Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Full of Holes

Interesting story in The Telegraph today as complaints about noise and noisy neighbours have reached unprecedented levels as Britain becomes an overcrowded and fractious nation, according to an official report published today.

"In urban areas homes are increasingly smaller and built at higher density
So many people are having to live cheek by jowl, especially in large cities, that noise pollution is a blight on many lives, it says.

"Today's report, a major study of social trends by the Office for National Statistics, says complaints about building sites and roadworks - up from 31,800 in 1994 to 66,780 in 2004-05 - are hardly surprising given the level of construction work in major cities, particularly London.

There is also an unprecedented number of roadworks, and the proliferation of cable television firms has aggravated a perennial problem with 500,000 holes dug by utility companies in London alone.

Which reminds me, what on earth is going on out towards the St Nicholas roundabout with the main road into Thanet effectively "Cut-off" from London by the roadworks. I don't doubt it's a KCC issue but I'm trying to find out how long the road crew will be digging small holes in a big dual carriageway and inconveniencing thousands of Thanet residents trying to get home.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our New Westwood Town is likely to have some high density housing with similar noise stress and noise pollution.

I commented yesterday on the way the closure of the Thanet Way has now ocurred for its second week, without a murmour from TDC or our KCC Councillors. What other town in the UK would put up with its major access closed with diversions taking you miles out of your way or down single track farming lanes? With only one team repairing one patch yesterday, how long is this nonsense going to take and is there a real necessity to close two lanes? Get onto it please , Councillors. KCC seems to regard us as an inconsequential village, not an Isle with 150.000 residents.

DrMoores said...

I'm told the work should be finished by the weekend, in time for the kids to go back to school after half term.

DrMoores said...

Listening to the local radio this morning, there seems to be something resembling a disinformation campaign surrounding the housing at Westwood. I have the same impression looking at the story in the local papers.

chris wells said...

Can you elaborate on your disinformation comment Simon? All I heard this morning was the welcome news of the new hotel at the Prospect site.

DrMoores said...

Cllr Nicholson was on KMFM yesterday expressing his concerns over the Westwood project, the number of houses that would be build and the perceived absence of infrastructure. It did however lend the impression that over a 1000 homes would appear, almost overnight and offered no suggestion as to an alternative, i.e challenging the plan and the possible outcome of such action.

chris wells said...

Cllr Nicolson is playing a thoroughly dishonest and disreputable game with this issue. At full council last week he backed and spoke in favour of a labour amendment to limit the size of this development to 1000 homes - the figure always used in his administrations last local plan. That backing of the development is missing from all his current comments.

He also uses the worst possible scenario figure for the current development of 1130, which he knows will only happen in at least 10 years time, and if the school is not wanted in the area. The likely figure is 1020 or 1060 homes.

His playing up of the traffic issues does not explain how and why the addition of 20 or 60 homes on his approved plan figure will make all that difference. It wont, of course. He is merely attempting to exploit the politics of this issue and pose as the champion of those opposed to the development at all. His lack of honesty does nobody any credit.

He also quoted from a Dept Communities and Local Government press release concerning the easing of pressure on expected population growth last week. What he did not say was that this was about growth post 2026 long after this development will be finished and occupied.

These sins of omission bordering on outright lie would appear to be the polics of desperation. Facing a serious drubbing from national political disenchantment with the Blair administration; serious challenge in his own backyard from Ramsgate First, and with little or no new talent to offer the electorate, one can almost feel sorry for him.

I take no vote for granted on May 3rd, and nobody should, but Cllr Nicolsons dishonest tactics on this issue, echoed as they are by Cllrs Fenner, Poole, Green, and Hart in recent weeks on other issues, suggest that what the labour party are hearing on the doorstep makes them very uncomfortable and truly desperate.

Keep going Richard. There is no better noose than one you tailor to fit your own neck.

Michael Child said...

I posted the comment below in David Green’s blog where similar arguments are going on. I read what is being said by the left about the right and the right about the left and wonder where, or even if the truth lies. The election fever seems to be very low on information and very high on criticising the opposition, the premise that we will make a voting decision based on not voting for those most criticised begs some interesting questions.

Looking at the District Council Statement of Persons Nominated for the forthcoming election (TDC with their advanced IT skills have published it as a pdf file that a lot of computers won’t open easily, so I have put it up at thanetonline.com for those of us with less advanced skills) you will see that Ramsgate First have put up one candidate in each Ramsgate ward. This means that the results for many of these wards that were previously very predictable, no longer are. I am hoping that something with a bit more information about all the candidates will come next. I don’t know what the rules are but a few biographical notes would be very helpful, it would be nice to know a bit more about the people we are going to vote for.

I am myself finding it increasingly strange that local politicians can make things like the level reached by the high tide into a party political issue. In a town where the Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken worked with the Labour councillor to produce a radical local paper we have rather a tradition of cooperation for the good of the people. Frankly were the spirit of the East Kent Critic still here, (who took on the Dallas Pinder Whites in the high court details here http://www.thanetonline.com/id71.htm ) I don’t think things like the Westwood Cross gridlock or the Pleasurama problem would have occurred. Confrontational party politics at this local level seems to be inappropriate at best and damaging where I live at worst. How the height of a building or the removal of the seafront parking can have become a political secret is beyond me, the answer that the information is available for one to ask for if one knows it exists just a laughable catch 22 situation. That the people of the town voted to pay for a town council that was canvassed essentially to protect them from the district council says a great deal about people’s perceptions of local government.

I have put up some pictures of Manston at the weekend to cheer you all up a bit at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/manston/
sorry I’m not much of a David Bailey so never mind the quality feel the width.

Nick Evans said...

I'm glad Michael mentioned Jonathan Aitken and the local Labour councillor. The latter gentleman was none other than Cllr Derrick Molock, a lifelong socialist and vegetarian. He served both district and county councils with aplomb and was elected as KCC Chairman for a year in the early 1990s. He died I believe around 1996/97. Derrick and my late father Bill Evans, a freelance journalist, were good friends since teenage years despite hugely differing political views. Derrick knew what was good for Ramsgate and would always give is best to achieve that aim.
Nick Evans