Green Party councillors on Thanet District Council have proposed a temporary pause to major housebuilding, over fears that local infrastructure is now overwhelmed.
The group wants a moratorium for applications of developments of more than 10 homes. But the Labour-led Council does not think the authority has legal powers to be able to enact the move. The council have voted to discuss the proposal in more depth in October.
Thanet District Council has 1,600 households on its housing waiting list, and last year the number of households in emergency accommodation in the district doubled. The authority plans to build 400 homes over the next four years.
The idea of a pause on larger developments was proposed at a meeting of the full council on 13th July.
After the meeting Green councillor Mike Garner said “We’re not saying there shouldn’t be developments of more than 10 homes, just while we do this review we pause them. There’s a lot of disquiet in Thanet about the state of affairs with housing and I just think we should take time to pause and review this situation.”
Labour council leader Rick Everitt said “The Labour group supported this motion being debated because it covers a topic of significant public interest. However, our view is that council has no ability to pause the determination of major planning applications. The applications would end up being decided by the government’s planning inspectorate instead, on the same policy basis, and the council taxpayers would have to pay extra costs.”
Conservative group leader Reece Pugh said his party would debate its position before the October meeting.
He said “There’s development that’s still happening, so whilst this won’t stop everything it will stop other large scale developments coming on board and getting planning permission when actually we don’t have the infrastructure.”