Monday, 28 April 2008

CHINA GATEWAY (Report 1) - WHAT WE ARE ABOUT TO LOSE

" The establishment of a Business Park of this scale has the potential to create a significant irreversible impact on the local environment."
(DougBrown, Major Development Planning Manger at TDC)

" A consortium of Chinese businesses is behind the proposed scheme"
(CGP)
I was out and about on Saturday morning taking pretty pictures of spring blossom and oil-seed rape in bloom (How nice to be in Thanet etc...) when I realised that Thanet's biggest Industrial Business Park, 'China Gateway' aka 'Manston Business Park' or 'Kent International Business Park' is about to change our views and the appearance of a large part of Thanet forever. The picture above was taken on Manston Road looking south-west. The folly 10 years ago of allowing Cummins to build and then expand will be nothing compared to what CGP has in mind. Look at Planning Application F/TH/08/0400 and then imagine 3 big warehouses in the picture above less than 200 m away.

This view is to the north-west from Manston Road and try and picture two huge warehouses to the right of Cummins' expansion that will fill almost all the horizon shown and 3 other warehouses between you and Cummins.

This view was from Alland Grange Road looking west. Filling the horizon to the right of Cummins' shed will be two enormous 50' high wharehouses but don't worry as you won't be able to see them because between the road and Cummins will be 4 other big sheds with a big car-park just the other side of the broken fence.
As I watched and listened to half a dozen brave sky-larks, wings flapping like mad as they climbed and sang at the same time, some words from CGP's application came to mind:
" it will be a considerable industrial complex" "It will result in the loss of additional agricultural land and natural countryside."
You bet, I thought, as another type of bird climbed into the air behind me at about 09.50 and I gazed up to see what looked like 'The Flying Doc' taking off in the morning sunshine. More words from CGP's application sprang to mind:
"The indicative master plan and overall site requirement for CGP and THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT (my capitals) extends beyond the employment land designation into adjoining countryside land."
Look for a new home sky-larks, The Chinese Government apparently not satisfied with developing and polluting China, now wants your bit of Thanet.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bertie,

This is very dramatic stuff to say the least. Just how certain are thngs at present on this scheme? You mentioned previously the link wit the local aquifer/water table. Surely, the water people will have cause to strongly object?

Nick, Whitstable

amkiky said...

I am a local resident who will be affected by this development and cannot express strongly enough how much I object to it. I understand the need for more employment opportunities in the area but NOT AT THE COST OF OUR ENVIRONMENT! Phase 3 of China Gateway - which is not due for approval until Aug-Sept this year - proposes further loss of agricultural land to make way for numerous amounts of industrial units which will stretch from the other side of Alland Grange, all the way to the Raf Housing Estate (along the B2190). I live at Pouces Cottages and should this go ahead in the future, reside in the middle of a Business Park! Not something I envisioned when I sought the countryside 5 years ago. I intend to make my objections known in writing to TDC (TDC kindly giving me until Friday 2nd May 2008 to do so) and I would very much urge those who feel the same to also make yourself heard. Objections are needed in writing to Lauren Hemsley at Thanet District Council or by e.mail Lauren Hemsley@Thanet.gov.uk. NO LATER THAN FRIDAY 2ND MAY 2008. Please fight for Thanet land. We want to keep our beauty not bury it under bricks and mortor. (Plans for Phase 3 were obtained from a public meeting with CGP earlier this year and are not, to my knowledge, available on the internet. I would be happy to e.mail them to you should you wish for a copy.)

Bertie Biggles said...

Amkiky, I hadn't realised the objection window was so short! My sympathy and will get on with further 'reports' and will highlight the close date. Good luck!

Nick, it is seriously big! Go to TDC Planning applications and punch in F/TH/08/0400 and reserve a few hours of reading time. TDC are likely to approve the whole thing in Phases 1 now and 2 and 3 later. Plan seems to build 2008-2012 starting on land designated within Thanet Plan some years ago as 'employment development'. But big business being what it is, wants more and 73 acres was purchased last Autumn outside the designated employment area. I suspect that a quid pro quo has been engineered between The Gateway Scheme and the development land at Westwood. All industrial stuff to be located at Manston thus freeing up the Rose Farm/Saga area for further retail/leisure and housing. (Look at my post on Barons carve up Thanet).

Anonymous said...

This is typical Thanet Council thinking. Only today was it mentioned on TV that farming is in for a big comeback. There is a serious shortage of food now and as China wants a big slice of it surely they are biting the hand that feeds it!
I despair of Thanet Council, I really do.

Bertie Biggles said...

Amkiky, TDC shows date for applications will be Fri 9 May and should be sent to doug.brown@thanet.gov.uk. Gives an extra week.!

Anonymous said...

this is huge