Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Application Refused

Some of you may be pleased to know that the application to place a telephone mast outside the Ursuline College on the Canterbury road in Westgate has been refused.

"Common sense prevails" commented Tom King, chair of the residents association. "The worst location possible", said Cllr Gregory, his views echoed by others in the chamber among them Iris Johnston and Brian Goodwin.

What surprised both me and Tom King, is that nobody turned-up to speak against the mast, given the effort put into the protest, so residents should count themselves lucky that both common sense and a little lobbying had the desired result.

Perhaps next time there's an issue of local concern, we need to identify who is going to represent opinion in the council chamber or risk losing without a shot being fired.

The other thing I noticed tonight, sitting through a two hour planning meeting, is that gardens are now brownfield sites in the eyes of government and if your neighbour has a big one, a garden that is, then you could find his new house extension right up against your house wall, with very little to say in the matter.

Cliftonville's Northumberland Avenue now seems to be under threat, a concern expressed by ward councillor Wise at attempts to buy contiguous gardens and build new housing plots on them. This could change the nature of the area if planning permission for the first one is given and councillors are rightly worried by the idea.

So if you have a spare million or so under the bed where Gordon Brown can't find it, go and buy a few large gardens and retire on the profits.


Anonymous said...

I didn't turn up as I had gained the impression from posts on here, obviously wrongly, that it was a foregone conclusion as there were not any valid grounds for refusing planning permission.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, I see in your post of 5th Feb you posted:
"Just so you all know, there are no strong grounds to object under planning, health or road safety regulations; the planned mast being sited on the island on the dual carriageway virtually opposite the bus stop in front of Hengist road and in this spot, it is Kent County Council issue – highways – as opposed to a local Thanet Council issue"

Thats why I didn't bother turning up to a TDC meeting on the mast.

What was the point having read your authoritative post on it?

Anonymous said...

A good result! Did the planning officer attending reveal how many objections were received? Absolutely amazed that Ursuline did not co-ordinate a speaker to give 3 minutes worth of objection!

Cllr David Green said...

One wonders who the Ward Councillor's are, and why they didnt help co-ordinate any response by concerned residents?

Cllr David Green said...

Chater, Goodwin and Spencer

DrMoores said...

The planning officer didn't reveal the number of objections but the planned position does appear to breach industry guidelines if regard to location - outside a school - and councillors were concerned over the position of the mast presenting an obstruction. Thus they went against the planning recommendation to approve.

DrMoores said...

The other thing is that the position of the mast appeared to have moved again from where I saw it on the plans to right outside the school gates. I thought that this might be a matter for discussion but as nobody was prepared to speak, it wasn't.

cllr ken gregory said...

Cllr Green needs to realise that councillors should follow the local community not lead, after all they represent not lead.

Cllrs should remember that they are there to voice the views of others not their own


DrMoores said...

My warm thanks to Cllr Gregory for opposing the motion on common sense principles. I would have spoken had I been asked to and I had already heard from my good friend, the previous head of the Radio & Telecommunications Agency, who I consulted, that the application was both "Crass" and a breach of guidelines in regard to positioning near schools.

Anonymous said...

Having been so vociferous in your stance against the mast, why did you, or Tom King, not speak out against the proposal, seeing as you attended the meeting.

Or do we judge more into your arrogant comment that you would have spoken, if you had been asked!!

With all your high and mighty contacts and name dropping, you would appear to be the ideal expert to speak on behalf of the people of Westgate!

DrMoores said...

You make a virtue of being unpleasant 9:01 but I will answer your question.

To speak at a council meeting on a subject, you have to register in advance and in an earlier post I told people how they might if they wished to. As I am writing about the matter and assumed that the school might put up a spokesperson I recused myself. I understand that Tom also thought that given the number of objections, others might speak.

I would have been happy to represent the objections if I had been asked; it's happened before but I wouldn't go out of my way to put myself forward as a spokesperson . Does that help?

stuart said...

Simon, it seems you go out of your way to put yourself forward as a spokesperson on a daily basis with this here blogsite!

Whilst i don't want to be nasty like the caller before me I would have expected, given how vocal you were about this issue here, that you would have had something to say at the public meeting.

Anyway, the result is how we all wanted it to be.

DrMoores said...

Stuart.. I explained that having helped publicise this and many other local issues, I felt that others might be given the opportunity to represent their views on the matter or am I expected to personally champion every cause that appears here? If I were an elected representative then maybe but there are three ward councillors and a residents association that hold a mandate from the community. I'm only a sympathetic and interested party,

Anonymous said...

Unpleasant 9.01 and Stuart, get off the Doc's case! Every parent at Ursuline was sent a letter by the Head asking them to object and providing details on how to do so. As a parent I objected and assumed incorrectly that when TDC sent me details of the planning mmeeting and an invite to speak as an objector for 3 mins on a first come first served basis that Ursuline would be sending some-one along, perhaps even the head! I was pretty amazed to read here that no-one spoke. When I spoke to a member of Ursuline staff this afternoon when picking up my children, and said how the school must be pleased about the mast being turned down on Wednesday evening he said he knew nothing about the rejection by TDC and it had not even been mentioned at a staff meeting on Thursday morning!

DrMoores said...

I had a call yesterday from Sister Alice's office at the Ursulne to thank me for my help in raising awareness of the issue...just to let you know.

As readers will know from experience, I'm happy to draw attention to local issues that need a little extra attention from the town hall!