Thanet District Council will tonight (Wednesday, July 21) reconsider the Gladman Developments bid for planning permission for 450 houses at Shottendane Road, near Margate.
CPRE Kent has long argued against this development, both during the Local Plan process and the current attempts to win planning permission. Despite this, only one significant ground of dispute appears to remain between the council and Gladman, and that is the issue of affordable housing.
This is because Gladman only wants to provide half the amount of affordable housing that TDC considers should be provided.
Thanet’s planning committee is reminded that Gladman is not in the business of building houses – rather, it is in the business of maximising land value through the securing of planning permissions.
It is worth noting that Damian Green, MP for Ashford and former First Secretary of State (de facto deputy prime minister) highlighted Gladman as the only company with which he had “flatly refused” to speak.
Gladman is a land agent or land promoter, taking on the costs of securing a planning permission on the basis that it then splits the resulting profits with that landowner when it sells to an actual housebuilder.
This incentivises putting maximum pressure upon a council to approve as quickly as possible and encourages negotiating out as many future costs as possible so the permissioned land can be sold at a premium.
As Gladman says on its website: “It is in our interests to optimise the value of your land as we, like you, only get paid when the land is sold.”
The point is, this land has not yet been sold on, meaning everything is theoretical until this point.
If the council insists on the full level of affordable housing being provided, the purchaser will need to reflect this in the price it pays for the land. This is exactly what planning policy guidance on viability expects should happen.
For these reasons, CPRE Kent is calling on Thanet District Council to be bold and refuse this application as contrary to the adopted Plan.
- Our comments on the revised application are here
- Details of the Gladman business model are set out on its website here
- For more on this story, see here
Wednesday, July 21, 2021