The action group fighting to save land in Thanet from a new housing development are toasting their success this morning. Following a 2.5 hour planning meeting with Thanet District Council last night, the vote for the new housing went Votes: 7 against, 4 for, 2 abstain.
Although it is a big milestone for the campaigners, the war has not been won yet as the committee voted for it to return to for further discussion at later date. This is seen as giving the planners time to find answers for the issues raised by the campaigners.
The team are sure that their success is partly due to the amount of support they have recieved in the area, including over 3,000 signatures in a petition. The petition will be left ongoing and can be found here.
The petition states: “Thanet District Council will meet to decide whether planning permission should be granted for the building of 450 houses on agricultural land to the north and south of Shottendane Road (Salmestone Ward). The applicant has already cut affordable housing on the site from 30% to 10% so is not addressing the issue of providing affordable housing for local people. The development is linked to proposed housing schemes at neighbouring villages of Westgate and Birchington via Section 106 payments for a new ‘inner circuit’ road. Together, they will mean the loss of some 750 acres of farmland”.
There are now over 400 proposed new development areas in the UK which are threats to our environment
The industrious team have managed to uncover a number of issues in the official documetns relating to the farm land in Thanet. They have uncovered a 10-fold ‘error’ in the available land area. Our local plan in Thanet states there is a total area of 103,300 has, in fact it is more like 10,300 ha.
The team are also still waiting for the heritage impact assessment report for the 2000 houses that could go on fields between two ancient monuments of – Dent de Lion and Quex settlements. It appears that any request for information is met with slow or no response. You would think that the District Council do not want to help?!
Despite this small victory, there is still a long way to go to win the war. The council have a set number of houses it wants to build (as it receives Government payments for new houses) so it will continue to find suitable land to use. With the number of new house builds on the increase, it is a war that may just continue to be fought by locals.