Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blighted by Neglect

Save Sea Road
There's a new petition available for Westgate residents to sign if they wish and it reflects concerns surrounding the development of the derelict site on Sea Road.

I have called one of these applications into the Council's Planning Committee and I suspect the wording of the petition is, I hope, self-explanatory. Should you wish to add your own signature, then you can find copies at Best One, Wishing Well, the Garden Centre, Angelo's delicatessen and Edwards in the town.

"We, the undersigned, object to the planning application 13/0251 at 45-51 Sea Road because it will lead to the demolition of historically important buildings, already blighted by deliberate neglect, irrevocably changing the character of this important section of Westgate-on- Sea ‘s Conservation Area. The proposed redevelopment is not of sufficiently high standard nor is it in keeping with Westgate’s vernacular architectural style. It would eradicate rather than enhance the character of the Sea Road, as required of all new developments in Conservation Areas by NPPF policies 129 through to 139. We would, therefore, ask that the Councillors and Officers of Thanet District Council consider the devastating impact of this application on the Conservation Area street-scene and reject this application."

Taking a Short Cut Across the City
It's the Bank Holiday weekend and I consider myself very lucky to have completed all my tasks in the last 48 hours and despite the terrible weather on Friday; my gore-tex boots are still wet. Arriving back on Friday afternoon in an intense rainstorm, I repeated author and Spitfire pilot, Geoffrey Wellum's experience during the war, when I used the towers at Reculver as a landmark, flying low across the water to remain visual.

Yesterday, I had to run back and forth across London and here's one of my transit views of the city and The Shard. Returning home via Essex, the traffic jam on the M25 must have stretched ten miles, with the motorway closed southbound and empty of cars,from Stapleford to the Dartford Crossing. This must have been a serous incidents. I've one chap on Monday,who wants to propose to his girlfriend tomorrow, on a punt, poling down the river at Cambridge, outside Magdelen College. Awkward but not impossible and I really prefer it if the ideas are kept simple as there's less chance for error.

Back to Thanet and I believe the local paper has some explaining to do, as on the street, people really appear to believe, that Thanet District Council "lent' or 'gambled' a physical sum of over £3 million to TransEuropa Ferries to keep it solvent. Given the impression the public have received from the newspaper, I have problems with the expression, 'Responsible Journalism' but that's hardly comes as a surprise to readers.

I was pleased to see last week, at least, that one reader of the Thanet Gazette, finally lost her patience with the regular letters of Mr Muir of Westgate and asked why the local paper gave space to what is clearly a single issue and long-running obsession with Sir Roger Gale, from the same correspondent, week-in and week out over as long as I can recall. Unfortunately, he's back again with another rant this week so the editor clearly took no notice whatsoever!

Street Blight
From the new 'Save Sea Road' campaign above and before that, the fight against Tesco in Station Road, you will have seen that a great many local people are trying very hard to resist Westgate's unique character being blighted by uncontrolled development or flouting of the laws surrounding the protection of our conservation area.

I've had a series of complaints about a sign that that appeared last week on what I think is railway property, adjacent to the footbridge in Station Road and pictured. Any permanent sign or structure in the conservation area requires planning consent and this one makes it very difficult for me and others to argue that our local traders are committed to preserving Westgate's unique street-scene and character. In this example, the Council's planning enforcement team are aware of the matter and I expect they will be taking the appropriate action.

Enjoy your weekend and let's hope it stays sunny!


Anonymous said...

Further to the letters about Sir Roger Gale, have you noticed that on page 2 of the IOTG this week, where how local MPs in the same-sex marriage debate voted, he is once again accused of promoting incest. No wonder he has nothing to do with that paper.

Paul James said...

Simon, Clearly the TEF matter is not a case of TDC 'lending' money. What is does concern however is the irresponsible decision to allow the debt to rise to the mind-blowing and unsustainable £3.3M, and then to account for that money and allow the Council to spend what it hadn't got, and all shrouded in secrecy. The Councillors involved haven't the business experience or acumen to deal with such matters and must have been given some atrocious advice by your section 151 officer again. Any decent person would resign, but I doubt that will happen. Instead there will be the blaming game circus. Again.

Peter Williams said...

If you manage to get in contact with network rail re the sign, can you get them to pick up all the rubbish at the same time!

Anonymous said...

There's a protest at 6.15 this Wednesday outside TDC I believe. Many questions to be asked, what with this and the eyesore at Ramsgate is beggars belief!