Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Land Securities Purchases Westwood Cross Land

Land Securities has announced that following the purchase of an 8.5 acre site from Rosefarm Estates for £7.2m it has received planning consent from Thanet District Council for a new 96,000 ft2 leisure scheme on the site.

The site, which is adjacent to Land Securities' Westwood Cross shopping centre, has received detailed planning consent for a leisure and entertainment scheme, which includes provision for a hotel, multi-screen cinema complex, casino, bingo hall, restaurants and 530 car spaces.

Read the full story here.


Anonymous said...

What mandate did the people of Thanet give to TDC to create a "thriving and integrated town centre" at Westwood Cross? This whole scheme has proved disastrous to our retail businesses in Margate in particular, and now hits our leisure businesses. Developers have made their profits, Land Securities will make theirs, as will the big chains and all the time Margate and Cliftonville are quietly turning into 3rd world wastelands.

I thought TDC had regeneration of Margate and Ramsgate in particular as its priority. Not according to a
Land Securities spokesman, who talking about the leisure plans at Westwood Cross is quoted as saying "The £20 million investment will further support TDC's long term vision for regeneration of the area" (Westwood or Thanet's towns.?)

So TDC is happy to allow open farmland to be gobbled up to generate some seriously nice business for the big boys whilst its town centres' decline is accelerated by the loss of our existing cinemas, bingo halls, casino and restaurants.

Would any councillors out there like to try explaining exactly how Westwood Cross in its present form and in its future form is going to help Margate and Ramsgate? I just don't see the 'Emperor's New Clothes' but I do see a naked policy of greed.

B of Birchington said...

Yet another reason to avoid going to Westwood Cross. Traffic horrendous and the loss of yet more countryside. When Thanet has no green space left perhaps all these people will be satisfied. I suppose we can all browse around the derelict towns of Margate and Ramsgate.

Anonymous said...

B of Birchington. Your comment of 'when Thanet has no greenbelt left' is sensationalist clap trap. There is plenty of greenbelt, greefield & agricultural land left in Thanet. Thanet isn't going to be concreted over much like the south-east of England isn't going to be concreted over. Only the tabloids say it is and they only make sensational claims to sell papers to appeal to car drivers who only see 50 metres either side of a trunk road and little else. Only around 12% of the land in the UK is urbanized. 3:46. Your opinion is the type that has held Thanet back for 60 years and left it as a backwater. The High Streets went into decline when the Americans pulled out the USAF from Manston in the 1950s. Shopping in Thanet since then has not been a pleasant experience with a lot of decaying shops selling a lot of tat. Bobby's of Cliftonville was a major department store and that closed in the 1970s. There is a limited capacity of leisure outlets in the area. You should be positive that a company like Land Securities sees credibility in the area to invest. I believe town centre regeneration will follow waterfront investment. You'll see what I mean with the waterfront investment in Southwark and how that has affected the wider area. I agree the obvious, roads need sorting out and hopefully a section 106 would go some way to assist.

Anonymous said...

We now have almost continuous building on our cliffs from Birchington to Ramsgate and beyond and go and see how we have almost closed the open corridor of countryside that used to sweep N of Manston and out towards Sarre. Birchington almost joins Acol almost joins Cummins almost joins Airfield. The process of infill within that enclosure has begun and will proceed with a vengeance.

Anon of 7.00pm does not seem to realise that as long as you give big business nice green- field sites that it loves, in order to put up nice new retail wharehouses and equally hideous leisure sheds, it will always take that option. Their interest is not making Thanet or Ramsgate vibrant prosperous communities it is taking money off Thanet consumers in the most effective way in their business sheds at Westwood. Nor should we expect any less.
Our TDC councillors have that responsibility and quite simply they have failed dismally in their duty by allowing a new town of Westwood to be created. I refuse to spend any money at or even go to Westwood.

Little Weed said...

I thought that planning for a leisure complex was refused on this site a couple of years ago on the grounds that "The proposed development would result in a loss of land from a site designated for business and industrial use which would restrict the extent and diversification of employment opportunities in Thanet". So I guess that, if it is now agreed, it means that the occupants of the 1000 houses are no longer expected to work locally.

James Maskell said...

I remember the application for the hotel going through Council. Ive now seen a plan showing where the cinema should be going (the plan isnt perfect as the part showing Westwood Cross has clearly been amended). Theres going to be a huge amount of pressure on the Toby Carvery roundabout, where the traffic will come through. Worryingly theres a lot of land remaining on the application site (basically all the way up to Malowe Academy and Dame Janet). We're not even half way through it.

I have serious fears about this. Add on the 1000 houses plus the medical centre and the school and you can throw that transport assessment out of the window as its not going to be good enough in predicting the enormous traffic flows we could attract. At this rate, those living in St Peters are going to be completely holed in, with no way of getting out of Thanet, such will be ther traffic problems. We're asking for gridlock here.

Perhaps a Councillor could comment, will a granting of permission for the 1000 houses provide a precedent in the area, and make it easier for other developers to build more houses on nearby farmland?

Anonymous said...

First there was the Co-op, a huge store which then lured competition across the road - Sainsburys. Co-op became Tesco and then Asda arrived ... and they are all thriving. There is a market for them. Now we have a splendid shopping centre Westwood Cross and that seems to be doing well. Now new leisure proposals and housing schemes in the pipeline, these are all good. It will create jobs and leisure activities and perhaps have a knock on effect to the problem of vandalism (see ask Sandy)BUT .... before you all start climbing all over my opinions - one - there is a problem with the traffic. I go to ALL of the above mentioned outlets and have to endure the wait ... and two - other shops and businesses in the area will have to adapt! You do not have the right to exist as a business - you have to compete! That means better service, make your customer want to shop with you, it means different merchandise, look for niche markets, become better at advertising, organise customer events, special offers, get yourself and your staff better trained, form trading groups on the high street, use the Internet for sales, build up customer loyalty, offer to pay for customer parking - believe me these shopping complexes are here to stay. You will not last long if you dont react to their effect. Times have changed and you have to take steps to secure your future.

Anonymous said...

Let big business put up a cheap "warehouse" on a greenfield site; allow them to cover acres of land in tarmac for free parking; route bus services(subsidised)into them and then spend millions of tax payers money to improve the road infrastructure to get their customers to them without inconvenience or delay.

All of this compared to yellow lines; narrowed roads; parking charges; lack of policing and vandalism against shop windows.

So its the smaller businesses' fault for not trying harder? So they're the ones responsible for the decline of our once vibrant town centres?

Anonymous said...

"So its the smaller businesses' fault for not trying harder? So they're the ones responsible for the decline of our once vibrant town centres? " - who said that? - who implied that? - what have YOU been reading? - what was said was that if it rains you sell umbrella's and when it shines you sell sun cream. Times have changed and you have to change with them. Your comments are typical of business owners who think that they are owed an existance.

Anonymous said...

No,just a long established Margate business that barely provides a living and am fed up with the lack of a level playing field provided courtesy of TDC and its tax payers. I do not have the financial reserves to lose money for a year or too in expectation that we alone can attract more people into Margate. If numbers passing on the pavement declines, the proportion entering our premises will do so as well. We may have to join 30 other businesses in the past 12 months and call it a day.

Dave Chamberlain said...

James Maskell, precedents are not set because farm land is granted planning consent. It doesn't mean any farmland is up for grabs. If that was the case it would be a lot easier to get a change of use on any piece of field.

James Maskell said...

Maybe I wasnt clear enough, my mistake. I didnt mean any piece of land irrelevant of its proximity to the previous one. I meant if it was neighbouring or in the vicinity of it. For example when these houses are eventually built there will still be farmland neighbouring it. Would it be easier to grant planning consent for a future development on any neighbouring land on the basis that the housing development neighbouring it was formerly farm land?