A scheme from land agent Gladman Developments for 450 new houses on farmland on the edge of Margate will be reconsidered by Thanet councillors this evening (Wednesday, June 23).
The plans were narrowly refused by the planning committee on Wednesday, April 21, with seven voting against them, four in favour and two abstaining.
Loss of farmland, flooding, challenging topography and impact on wildlife were all cited as reasons for refusal, but the primary concern to councillors was the proposed cut in affordable housing from 30 per cent to 10 per cent.
Planning officers had argued that potential infrastructure funding made the cut in affordable housing acceptable.
Now Gladman has come back with the level of affordable housing increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent – still half the target figure set by Thanet District Council planning policy.
Thanet CPRE has lodged an objection to the revised proposal, referring to several issues. Of course, it is difficult to see how the plan could now be deemed acceptable simply because of the risible increase in affordable housing.
David Morrish, Thanet CPRE chairman, said: “It’s an outrage that one part of Thanet council is producing a plan for 30 per cent affordable housing while another part appears to be negotiating that figure down to 15 per cent.
“Of course, if this scheme is approved, it will set the benchmark for every other developer here to push for lower levels of affordable housing – eventually, no affordable housing will be built.
“These apparent negotiations appear to have been done behind closed doors, with no community involvement. This pathetic increase from 10 per cent to 15 per cent is insulting to the wider local authority and the people it represents.
“A further concern is that councillors, or at least some of them, did not appear to have been given the information that the local authority is likely to benefit to the tune of £2-3 million should the development proceed. This is due to a covenant involving Margate Town Council, which formerly owned the land.
“There are many issues with this scheme – for example, there is no clear strategy for disposal of foul-water, which will have to be pumped to another system, while the effect on surface drainage is certain to be detrimental.
“Long-running problems with water quality where Tivoli Brook meets the sea will only be exacerbated by this development if it goes ahead. As if the beaches of Margate haven’t had enough of such problems in recent years!”
- For more on this story, see here
Wednesday, June 23, 2021