Friday, April 27, 2007

Too Many Small Flats

With much of Thanet under attack from developers attempting to squeeze one-bedroom flats out of large houses, news of an appeal that shows that the developers don't always win.

The appeal against a new policy, restricting the type of housing that can be provided in the Cliftonville West Renewal Area, has been thrown out by a planning inspector.

New planning guidance was developed by Thanet District Council in response to concerns from people in the Renewal Area about the increasing amount of small flats and the lack of family homes there.

This guidance was designed to help the Council to refuse planning permission for any further applications to provide one bedroom flats and bedsits in the Renewal Area and received significant public support. It was adopted by the Council in December 2006.

An appeal was made over the Council's failure to determine an application within a given period to convert a property at 19 Godwin Road into three one bedroom flats. The Inspector dismissed the appeal and refused to grant planning permission for the conversion. His report stated that "The Council has provided substantial and detailed evidence as to the social, economic and physical character of the Cliftonville West Renewal Area* it is clear that the area does not form a stable, inclusive and mixed community, which is one of the strategic national objectives for housing policy." He goes on to say that "I accept that the high proportion of small units of rented accommodation in this area is inextricably linked to the area's serious and diverse problems."

Head of Development Services, Brian White, said: "This is excellent news and shows firm support for Thanet District Council's new planning guidance in the Renewal Area to help restrict the number of small flats, bedsits and non-self contained accommodation there. We are determined to improve the quality of life for people living there and residents have told us that the key to that is developing a more balanced and vibrant community. That's why this policy was developed and we hope that it will have a major impact in helping the Council's work to improve life for people living in the Cliftonville West Renewal Area over the next few years."


worm said...

I am very glad to hear this.

Anonymous said...

So am I.

Anonymous said...

Seriously good news!

Ken Gregory said...

as a member of the planning committee I must say 'its about time central gov't listened to us as local people, instead of telling us what to do.

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree. And in a related area, I hope the council will move to restrict the use of plastic windows in the conservation areas. Margate's fine streets have been blighted by nasty alterations.

Ken Gregory said...

You are so right, if anyone has put plastic widows up in a conservation area, tell the council, Mad Dermot will ensure they are taken down

Tony Beachcomber said...

Talking about windows, take a look at the grills put over the Tudor House windows and see the damage to the frame. My mum could have done better.
Would Mad Dermot take action.

Anonymous said...

Some interesting facts for you:

The population density of Thanet in 2002 averaged 1,236 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 421 for the region and 380 people per square kilometre for England as a whole.

Small flats alone do not account for this! Planning permission is granted to build on any small piece of land that builders can get their hands on - even if it is green belt and contrary to Thanet District Council's planning policy. This especially applies if the builder is a Councillor and sits on the Planning Committee.