In this week’s “Ask Sandy”, a reader asks if Westgate is about to be paved over for an intergalactic bypass and whether there’s enough water to support the thousands of new homes planned for the island.
Q: Can you ask Sandy if it's correct that the council has plans to allow development of the site of the Lymington road allotments in Westgate and other areas of farmland loosely defined in the area between the Minster road and Shottendane road at the rear of the town? Also, does Thanet have a sufficiently resilient water supply to support the expansion of housing envisaged for the island?
A: At the moment, the Council’s carrying out an open space audit, which will look at every piece of open space in Thanet, including parks, promenades, allotments and outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis courts, football pitches and playing fields. This work will show whether we have the right amount of land for allotments and other open spaces and we will be guided by this work. The Council will only consider releasing allotment land anywhere in the District if the open space audit shows that we don’t need it. As far the farmland goes, this is not the Council’s land and is not identified for development in the Local Plan. Therefore, it would not be considered for development at the moment.
As far as water supplies go, our water supplier, Southern Water are reinforcing their strategic main to improve the area’s water supply and this work will be completed by the middle of next year. This will cope with the major proposed housing expansion. Thanet Council also consults Southern Water on all major development proposals to ensure that they’re happy that there is adequate water supply and foul sewerage disposal.