I spent two hours this afternoon flying a friend, who takes photos for different Kent council planning departments, all around the county. We were photographing, new developments and greenfield sites further developments and there were a great many of them.
It's hard to find anyone who is in favour of greenfield development in the county but from what I understand, local councils have very little choice in the matter and Westwood is a fine example.
In simple terms or at least as I understand it, we could either accept the housing plan for Westwood on 'Favourable' terms; i.e. squeezing concessions like roads and amenities from the developers and KCC or TDC could object. If that happened, then the appeal could cost the local taxpayer anything up to £750,000, would tie-up the planning department for a year and given central government guidelines on housing development, would, in all probability, lose.
Westwood would get the bare minimum in the contract, the houses would still be built, the amenities would be less and Thanet would be a bigger loser.
At least on the positive side, there will be more housing for the people who need it, more jobs and the maximum benefit from a development that I, like many others, am instinctively opposed to.
What was the alternative, can anyone tell me?