A planned housing development that has been refused permission three times goes before a ‘virtual’ appeal inquiry tomorrow (Tuesday, January 11).
The scheme, from land agent Gladman Developments, entails the building of 450 properties on farmland at Shottendane Road on the edge of Margate.
Thanet District Council is hosting the inquiry, which is being held online, with no in-person meetings. It starts at 10am and could take anything up to a week to complete – if you would like to speak, email firstname.lastname@example.org asking for details of how to take part. Proceedings will be live-streamed to the council’s YouTube channel.
Gladman’s third bid to win planning permission for the scheme was refused by Thanet District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, July 21. The decision followed previous refusals by the committee in April and June.
CPRE Kent, through its Thanet committee, has contested the Gladman scheme throughout on a range of issues, particularly viability and the proposed cut in affordable housing from 30 per cent (as set in TDC Local Plan policy) to 10 per cent on the first application and then 15 per cent on the second.
And it is the level of affordable housing that has most concerned the planning committee, although loss of farmland, flooding, challenging topography and impact on wildlife have all been cited as further reasons for refusal.
As part of its third attempt, Gladman offered 68 properties as affordable housing on an 80 per cent affordable rent and 20 per cent shared-ownership mix. It also claimed it would make almost £5 million in contributions to community and highways infrastructure.
However, this was not enough to convince the TDC planning committee, which also looked to agree on reasons for refusal to be cited should the case be taken to appeal by Gladman.
Sure enough, the appeal to the Secretary of State came and this will be heard at inquiry this week. CPRE Kent has made an eight-page submission and a representative of our Thanet committee will be speaking tomorrow.
Salmestone Ward Residents’ Association and Westgate & Garlinge Action Group have played principal roles in fighting the appeal and over the coming week the scheme’s viability and the level of affordable housing will be highlighted, with new evidence presented and witnesses cross-examined. The inspector has agreed to discuss biodiversity and flooding.
There is also the fundamental issue of whether the Shottendane Road site should have been included in the Thanet Local Plan at all. Michael Hand, a planning consultant speaking against the Gladman appeal, believes it has so many flawed aspects that it should not have been.
He views it as “a poor and late allocation in the first place” that was only included in the Local Plan to fill a gap left by the loss of another potential site, while documents justifying its inclusion do not appear to have been prepared.
- A petition calling for the site to be protected attracted more than 5,500 signatures, while SWRA’s crowd-funder for the appeal costs reached some £3,400 – you can contribute here
Monday, January 10, 2022