Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Westgate Conservation Area Under Discussion

A meeting is being held next month (July) to discuss plans to extend the Westgate Conservation Area.

The present Westgate Conservation Area was designated in March 1998, after concerns were raised about the demolition of some of the area's original buildings, especially along the seafront, which were then replaced by inferior modern structures. The area designated then was between the sea and the railway line and included places such as Adrian Square and Station Road, which contributed to the unique character of the town.

Cllr. John Kirby, Cabinet Member for Development Services, said:

"Thanet is fortunate to have a rich heritage and we already have Kent's largest conservation area in Ramsgate, which was recently extended by the Council to include the Royal Esplanade area. Westgate is a unique town, which originally evolved from a former private estate town in the country and much of its history can still be seen in the buildings that exist today.

"That's why the Council is considering the idea of extending its Conservation Area, but before we do that, it's vital we hear what local people have to say about these plans. The community has a big part to play in protecting our heritage, with individual property owners able to help protect our Conservation Areas by carrying out sympathetic repairs and maintenance work."

The meeting to discuss the plans will be held on Wednesday 12 July between 7.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. at Westgate library.


Anonymous said...

Was Seatowers in the conservation area? My experience with TDC is that they ignore their own planning policies when it suits them or when a developer induces them to do so. Can we be confident that extending the conservation area will actually halt the march of the flats or will it just be a stick to bash the ordinary resident?

Cllr David Green said...

Your readers will know that this is the suggestion I made some months ago as the best way of defending seatowers and future "development" victims.
Residents will need to consider whether they settle for a simple conservation area, which offers minimal protection against demolition or loss of trees. The alternative is the full removal of permitted development rights which will mean that potential developers would need to seek permission for all changes to the external appearance of buildings. Cllr Kirby will have to consider whether his department, already critised for poor performance, can cope with the extra load conservation areas impose?

Anonymous said...

An excellent point, Councillor Green. I hope that the Executive are not - again - making promises they cannot, or decide they will not, keep.

Anonymous said...

Why is modern development considered inferior? In actual fact a lot of it is better than what the Victorian built and they weren't immune to pulling down Georgian buildings to replace with their own. New buildings are a lot more energy efficient, warmer built to a higer spec than anything the Victorians managed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 944 - and the new flats have bigger rooms, more character and huge gardens, much better than the Victorian rubbish.
Or are they just energy efficient rabbit hutches?
Have you seen the width of doors in new buildings? How can you get normal furniture in?
Builders use special smaller furniture in show houses to make the rooms look bigger.
What a con!

Anonymous said...

It's all very well designating Conservation Areas, but with that goes a statutory responsibility. Could Councillor Kirby or any Councillor for that matter, answer a simple question please? How many Conservation Areas are there in Thanet, and how many regular statutory appraisals have been carried out? I expect there to be a deathly hush.

earwigger said...

Westgate conservation;-FOREST HOUSE -is up for sale and plans are being made to demolish and rebuild this site with more flats-this building is already inside the conservation area but dont hold your breath