Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Change of View

Having just had a chat with the KCC planning department about the Ursuline College Sports Hall application, here’s another view of the area, facing east withthe Canterbury road on the left, for their benefit. Higher resolution versions can be easily downloaded from the photo library at the top of the links section on the right of this web page.

I also had a conversation with the Cllr Robert Burgess, and asked if he could clarify "What's What" in regard to the different planning applications and allay people's concerns. As an example, how will the council put a new right turn (island)from the Canterbury road into the area, (a requirement of the planning consent) without causing even more traffic congestion in the mornings and afternoons?

I wonder if there is anything to the rumour that the farmland between King Ethelbert's School and Birchington on the Canterbury road, is up for a "change of use?" I suspect it's inevitable and I for one predict that Birchington and Westgate will be fully joined-up within ten years. Thank God for the Golf Course on the northern side, one can imagine the pressure on the Westgate Golf Club to sell-up! You could put a whole new town in there... "Birchingate on Sea."


Chris said...

Simon...Birchington is already 'Birchington on sea' you will have to come up with a new name.

DrMoores said...

We could have a competition to name the development that surely will one day join the two towns unless our local councillors act to block such a move!

Chris said...

Good idea..I will go first, how about...'West Birchingate'

Anonymous said...

How about a new train station - Birchingtongate West?

Westgate resident said...

Yet another good picture, Dr Moores.

It is an interesting thought but the picture shows how it might have been better after all for the Westgate residents who protested about the 'Ethelbert'scheme to have supported it. Tucked in that little field N of Ursuline Drive and fully screened by a good tree line, 23 houses would have made little visual impact and would have given Ethelberts the money to have built their shed less obtrusively and closer to the Canterbury Road.
Now the poor old residents at the dead end of Ursuline Drive will have a noisy industrial shed full of screaming excited kids within 14m of their house!
What was interesting visiting KCCs planning site after the details you and James gave(many thanks) was the right turn off Canterbury Road; how on earth can that be done safely? Also quoted on the notes from the site visit that took place last week was the admission by Sister Montgomery that the heads of Ethelberts and Ursuline could not come to an agreement on a shared facility after 3 YEARS of discussion!

I thought KCC had responsibility for Education as well as planning?
So KCC has utterly failed to Knock Heads together so to speak but is prepared possibly to allow the building of a big shed in the wrong place and entirely for the benefit of one school and its Sports college role.

As the photograph shows , these two schools share a common boundary for goodness sake.

It is a little worrying to see our lives being blighted by incompetent beaurocracy at KCC.

What does Cllr Burgess think about this fiasco, because at the moment he does not appear, like many of his colleagues to have done any thinking so far!

Concerned local said...

Speculation about why cauliflowers aren't growing between Ethelberts boundary and the first bungalows in Birchington has been about set aside and development. One of my neighbours has suggested playing fields for ursuline college as they haven't got any.
Next time your up in the air could you get a pic of how this open belt looks from the air, Dr Moores.
At groundlevel in a passing car, the bit not cultivated looks an odd shape for set aside or environmental field boundaries. Are we about to see yet another loss of green in our green wedge for special reasons?

James Maskell said...

So what did Cllr Robert Burgess have to say?

Anonymous said...

Yes it is land set aside for the Ursuline college to have for playing fields! They have of course been a specialist sports college for 18 months, but dont have any facilities of their own. So, build a giant box on what little field you do have. ( Their stupid plan for a sports hall, subject of the other thread!) and then ruin a nice green belt with fencing and huts! This of course is progress. My grateful thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Ah, green, I remember it well! But I must adapt and grow with the times. Grey concrete and steel are the new green!!! Ah green! What colour is that?

Linksfield resident said...

I have put this question on the other piece (thread?) and I hope its allright too leave it here. If Dr Moores is drawing KCCs attention to this issue is there more we victims in Linksfield and Ursuline Drive can do? Are we able to go to Maidstone and address this Planning Commitee on Tuesday 14th of Febrary? If local democracy, for what it is worth, is to happen, can those who objected in writing originally,still have a say?

No one listened to all those who said the Turner business was wrong and now councillers are looking a little silly. Can the voice of local residents still be heard at Maidstone?

Any advice would be welcome.

James Maskell said...

It explains everything relating to speaking in front of Planning Committee at KCC

Anonymous said...


Robert Burgess said...

As your county councillor, I represent you and will put forward any comments and concerns that you would like me to. You can email me at Just to clarify a few points about the proposed sports hall,it has nothing to do with the withdrawn application for housing next to it. I opposed this application and would do if it ever materialised again.As to the Ursuline sports hall the rear access from Linksfield is pedestrian and emergency vehicles only. The right turn is, in my opinion, a very important clause for permission being granted and I will be asking that if it is not implemented then permission be refused.I have also asked for more details of the propossed junction to be forwarded to me and will let anyone who is interested know when I receive them. The sports hall is being built on an existing orchard, not playing field, and encroches slightly on to the existing hardcore court. The children use the outside at the moment, so it would probably be quieter when they are inside. Please email me before sunday 6.00pm so I can include your concerns in my comments as local member at the meeting on 14th. Dr Moores has created a fantastic website and it has created a lot of interest well done! It is not the only way of contacting me, email or phone 01843 592563. (eve) thank you for taking the time to read this. Robert Burgess Kent County Councillor Margate West.

Ethelbert parent said...

Councillor Burgess, when you opposed the houses at the back of Ursuline Drive that would have been screened from residents of Ursuline Drive by a thick tree line(the photograph above shows this clearly)the plans presented to TDC made it clear that the purpose was for King Ethelberts School to raise money for a Sports Hall and the proposed location was shown and was a long way from any quiet residential housing.

The Ursuline proposal now puts a big barn (it will be very noisy from 9am to 9pm all week and weekends and holidays - go to Hartsdown and listen outside when a school group are in) right beside and within a few feet of the residential bungalows. It wont be screened because it will rise up and tower of the neighbours. In addition do you really think the noise at break times wont continue- at least outside noise was 2 times per day and in school time only -blessed peace in the holidays!

As regards pedestrian access at the rear, you must be aware that for pupils and parents pedestrian access at the front of ursline is the only way in- why are all those cars sitting on Canterbury Road twice a day? Pedestrian access at the back wont stop parents dropping kids off at the back; some are already doing so.

I dont think the residents of Ursuline Drive have been considered sufficiently. Whatever grounds you had for objecting to housing to fund King ethelberts sports hall must surely apply to this planning matter as well? That orchard looks lovely from the air and if its been there for years may have old english varieties of fruit trees - a valuable asset to the wildlife in the Green wedge.

Why cant these two schools sort out the needs they have for sports halls and build nad share together?
It is interesting that no KCC councillor or TDC counciller has raised this problem at any stage.

If neither school gets permission to build its own shed (sports hall) then that would force them to come together and put forward a joint and sensible proposal for a shared one -away from peoples houses.
What will you do when Ethelberts raise money and come to TDC and KCC asking to build a sports hall?

So far it seems that Ethelberts suffers and Ursuline gets their sports hall and stuff the residents around Ursuline Drive and Linksfield.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Burgess, whilst sounding inetested, has of course missed the point completely. If you read the two threads, then you will understand the concerns. The access from Linksfield Road is already causing problems. The school have started using it this year, to get people used to it. It will get worse, and it will eventually lead to emergency vehicles not gettting to where they should. At present this is a problem when the school opens, and closes. Now make that all days and weekends!!! There is an orchard. There was also an oak tree cut down by the school! No coment on this one councillor? Is this because the matter was reported to TDC and nothing happened?? Of course it would be better to have a joint hall in the shielded area between the two schools. But, I presume that the usual council excuse, TDC and KCC will be, that they are seperate applications and considered seperately! KCC and TDC are being lied to by the school. But of course, they don't live here!!!

Robert Burgess said...

Thank you for your comments, I will look into the access via Linksfield. Since I was elected in May 2005 I have tried to act on everything that people bring to me. Email me or phone. I would be more than willing to discuss the points you raise.