Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Great Westwood Plan

Plans to build 1,000 homes at Westwood are to be considered at special Planning Committee and Full Council meetings next week (week beginning Monday 2 April).

The application will first be heard by the Council's Planning Committee on Wednesday 4 April at 7pm, at which public speakers will be able to talk in support of the application or raise matters of concern.

One person can speak in favour and one can raise concerns. Only those who have previously raised concerns in writing to the Council about the application can apply to speak at the meeting. The Parish Council also has the right to speak at this meeting.

The following night, on Thursday 5 April at 7pm, the application will go to a meeting of the Full Council, as it is a departure from the Local Plan. The Local Plan, which first went out to extensive public consultation in 2001 and was eventually adopted in 2006, allocated 1,000 homes for the site. However, the application marginally exceeds this number. There will be no public speaking at the Full Council meeting.

The proposals for the site have undergone a number of significant changes in response to public consultation, since the application was first received by the Council in May 2006. In that time, officers have negotiated a Section 106 agreement with the developers, after local residents raised concerns about the road network in the area. The agreement requires that, amongst other things, major highway links in the area should be constructed and completed before anyone moves into the housing development.

The application also proposes a school, medical centre, community building, play areas and open space, along with some commercial and employment use on the site.


Mr Friday said...

As someone who has objected to the development the amendments suggested to the roads infrastructure are marginal at best and will not change anything about the scheme itself.

As far as I can tell, the only changes will be to widen Star Lane (which is currently nothing more than a farm track), block off Manston Court Road completely and install a pelican crossing right next to the existing roundabout serving Westwood Cross - cue traffic mayhem as this will be another point for the traffic to grind to a halt.

This is an ill-conceived scheme and will make the traffic situation at Westwood even worse than it already is. I note that the traffic management report commissioned as part of the development admitted that Pearce Signs roundabout was already operating past its optimum traffic level so what is this going to do to improve things ?? I really hope Councillors realise the depth of feeling of their constituents about this and throw it out. If not they will suffer via the ballot box come May.

Nethercourt said...

Seconded! IN SPADES!!!

Cllr David Green said...

The arrogance and incompetance of the Conservative administration at Thanet Council is staggering.
I'm a reasonably well informed member of TDC, and shadow spokesperson for Planning matters.
I have asked now a number of times for briefing by officers on various aspects of this development including the highways issues and the affordable/social housing. All have been denied.
I am extremely angry that the first I hear of the emergency Planning Meeting and Special Council is from the blogsite of a Conservative candidate for the coming local elections.(No blame on Simon)
I will not comment upon the application, because as always, that should be judged upon its merits, and 5 days to go before being asked to judge perhaps may be the most important Thanet planning decision of a generation, I know little of the detail of what is being proposed.
No opportunity to ask for information or get questions asked.
Whoever is responsible for this attempt to bounce this decision through should resign or be sacked immediately.

James Maskell said...

I knew of these upcoming meetings for over a week and Im just a layman.

I dont expect Labour to actually stand up for local residents. We all know what happened with the Pearce Signs Development, where Labour split and promises were shattered.

Cllr Green, with the plans widely available on the internet, why cant you say what you think of the plans? Youve already said what your Labour Group's policy is on Westwood. Why cant you give your views?

Anonymous said...

Of course Cllr Green should have stayed for the entire planning meeting instead of leaving early. After all he is the Labour Shadow member for planning. Perhaps he had a more important appointment. Or perhaps he had forgotten that the labour group had supported the proposal whilst he was a cabinet member back in 2002.

Lets be sure, your stated views will come back and haunt you.

Cllr David Green said...

As you ask, I left the meeting in order to attend a meeting with the Eastcliff Residents group concerned with the restoration of Ramsgate Eastcliff seafront.
None of us were aware that an annoncement was to be made at the end of the meeting. Meeting Chairs usually make announcements at the beginning of meetings, for obvious reasons.
The principle of this development site was in the local plan which I voted for and still support. What we are due to discuss is the detailed proposals, which I still havnt seen, and wont discuss until I have seen them.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

If the plans do go through (as they will knowing the TDC), the TDC *MUST* insure that off street parking for 2-3 cars per household, and water to come from the London Grid, waste water returned there too!

Arrogance & Incompetence.... I've been saying that for years....

Anonymous said...

With the incredible amount of development of housing (mainly flats) around Thanet in the past two years, have we not exceeded Prescott's quota and thus there is no local need for this extra development?

Anonymous said...

Aren't the people who own Westwood Cross behind this proposed development? Nuff said.