As we reflect on getting back to ‘normal’ life, I’m sure that like me one of your memories of lockdown will be how grateful we all were to be able to get outdoors and enjoy the countryside. I don’t need to extol the virtues of the countryside to you, but those of you who attended, or have now have watched, Professor Jules Pretty’s presentation on Health, Nature and Low Carbon Good Life will be aware of the documented benefits of being outdoors – whether it’s being in your own garden, local park or the wider countryside; and whether it’s for the purposes of gardening, admiring the view, walking or running. As the countryside charity, CPRE Kent wants to be at the forefront of championing these benefits – and we’d like you to get involved. Starting on Friday, September 24, we’d like to trial a ‘netwalking’ event starting in the home of our Pink Wellies: Will Walk blog, which featured a diary of lockdown walks from Faversham on the North Kent Marshes. The idea is that these walks will start at 10am on the last Friday of the month – moving each month to a different area of the county. These walks will be undertaken at your own risk – we’ll ensure that we have forward and back markers, so you can walk at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Needless to say, you’ll need to wear a pair of sturdy shoes and bring wet-weather gear and water to drink – you’ll also need to be prepared to walk on uneven ground and climb over stiles. If you’d like to take part in this month’s event, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch with this month’s walk details.
The walk from Pegwell village along the cliff-top towards Pegwell Bay is enjoyed by locals, visitors and ramblers alike – but its setting will be ruined if a bungalow estate at the start of the footpath is granted permission. A developer is looking to build the six bungalows on the edge of the village, which would of course itself suffer from the plans should they be approved by Thanet District Council. Pegwell and District Association – a member of CPRE Kent – is objecting strongly to the application and inviting all concerned by the proposal to make representation by Thursday, September 17. The application number is OL/TH/20/0564 The association is objecting to the application on the following grounds:
The planned scheme is totally incompatible with the rural nature of Pegwell village and its cliff-top setting – a designated conservation area.
The application seeks to widen the public footpath TR15 to create access to the proposed development. This is wholly inappropriate for this popular track that forms part of the England Coast Path and the Contra Trail, which is extremely popular with local people, walkers and visitors alike.
The loss of hedgerow that would be entailed in the planned widening of the footpath noted above is not acceptable. Hedgerows are a scarce feature in Thanet and home to a tremendous amount of wildlife.
The building of the bungalows would result in the loss of high-quality agricultural land, although note the observation below on an earlier planning application (OL/TH/20/0876).
The proposed development abuts the Thanet Coast Special Area of Conservation and is unacceptably close to Sandwich and Pegwell Bay NNR –Kent’s largest National Nature Reserve – and the Thanet Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The planned road entrance would be an obvious safety hazard to road- users and pedestrians alike.
The proposed access route would necessitate the loss of hedgerow between the site and Pegwell Road – see observation on hedgerows above.
If you would like to make a representation, visit https://planning.thanet.gov.uk/online-applications and search OL/TH/20/0564