Friday, April 06, 2007

Westwood Goes Ahead

I'm sure that many of you heard that the Westwood Cross planning application for new homes was given the go-ahead last night. I was at the council meeting but left before the end.

The plans went before the Council's Planning Committee on Wednesday 4 April and were referred to Full Council, because the application was a departure from the Local Plan. As a result, they will now be forwarded to the Government Office for the South East for a final decision.

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, which is why it is being treated as a departure from the Local Plan.

Since the Council first received the application in May 2006, the proposals have undergone a number of significant changes in response to public consultation, with officers negotiating 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 story is reported on the BBC website which writes:

"Controversial plans for 1,000 homes with shops, a school and leisure facilities on land between Broadstairs and Margate in Kent have been approved.

Thanet Council said it had taken a year to consider the Westwood application - three times longer than most planning applications were given.

"This application is for one of the biggest developments in Thanet's history," said spokesman Brian White.

So as we leave Iran behind. the big local question involves how people feel about the expansion of Westwood into a small town in its own right?


sue said...

Judging by the petition against it, at least 5,447 people don't feel good about it at all. If only TDC and related interested parties cared what people think.

Anonymous said...

It is a disaster but the pressure is on to build by the developers whilst the housing market in Thanet is on the up still. Very big money to be made here!

It doesn't matter that flats and houses have being going up all over Thanet on almost every available plot(even opposite the gas works in Margate!)in the past 2 years and I suspect the Government allocation for Thanet has now been met! So the real question here is do we need a 'new mini-town'? A large number of residents say no way but why does TDC not listen? Well, I for one could make a suggestion or two as to why but potentially libellous comments would get me and the 'Doc' into trouble. There is only one thing that can save us from 1000+ homes at Westwood; a calamitous fall in property prices. That line from 3 Blind Mice would then be applicable to the developers: "see how they run".

Nethercourt said...

I can see the need for more housing as a 'given'... after all, our population will inevitably fill it.
What annoys me is the line of least resistance taken in the interest of profit margins. Isn't it time we tied the developers into a quid pro quo arrangement so as to get all the unsightly brown-field sites used as well? Is anyone going to build on those old gasworks sites otherwise?