First of all, you should be aware that these two barns are located in the midst of CGPs China Cateway Plans for Phases, 1,2 and 3 and the whole area surrounding them is proposed to be a huge Industrial Estate of which Mr Brian White at TDC was clearly aware of in March 2007.
Let's deal with the modest 12m long barn , to replace an old structure of the same size, at Rose Farm which, if CGP gets its way, will have car parking and industrial sheds all round it shortly and no farm land (Mr Struan Robertson flogged off his farmland to CGP in March 2007 you see).
Mr Struan Robertson applied on 14th May 2008, to turn a battered old Dutch barn into a modern enclosed barn with entrance sufficiently large to have tractors be stored in. Why he should want to do this at this stage remains a mystery but Brian White, turned down this barn application with the words: " The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposed development is necessary to agriculture ........ ( Go and look at F/TH/08/0559).
We now move to the other 'barn' at the back of Alland Grange Farm, which is currently under construction. Like the barn at Rose Farm, it too will be surrounded by industrial units of CGP's Gateway and in fact does not seem to feature in CGP's Phase 1 Plans ( i.e. it will be demolished in due course). An application was made for this structure on 11 Jan 2007 (see F/TH/07/0126) by, you have it, Mr Struan Robertson. Its very big as the plans below show, being 50m long.
Now comes the interesting bit. CGP bought an awful lot of Mr Struan Robertson's farm land in March 2007, reputedly for a sum in excess of £5,000,000 (with more to come if planning consent is granted for Gateway). CGP then took over the application which was then ammended on 6 Mar 2007. Now, this is the odd bit of reasoning; Mr Brian White approved this application on 26 March 2007 (very quickly it would seem) despite presumably knowing at this stage that CGP had a Gateway project 'afoot' and that CGP were not in the agricultural business and that as in the more recent Rose Farm 'barn' application, there was shortly to be no need whatsoever for an agricultural barn to store grain; you cannot grow wheat in large quantities on an industrial estate!
So what, you might ask? Let me explain; a major construction project needs some materials to be pre-located out of the elements and a very large grains store fits the purpose admirably. (Oh, of course it will need a further application for 'change of use' but I am sure Mr Brian White will oblige in due course).
So Mr White turns down the Rose Farm' barn' in 2008, because he assumes it will have no agricultural purpose when surrounded by warehouses and car-parks of CGP but none the less approved a 'grain storage' barn for CGP in 2007, knowing that it would shortly have no grain going into it.
What a strange world TDC Planning moves in. The worrying thing for us to consider is that CGP's application for Gateway is outside The Thanet Plan and therefore any assumptions dear Mr White has made as a Council Officer, seem to have ignored the fact that our TDC Councillors our meant to make decisions concerning Planning Applications like 'Gateway' and of course may yet turn it down. In that case, Mr Struan Robertson's barn at Rose Farm should have been approved on the basis that agricultural use is presently on-going.
As I prepare to climb the stairs for a well earned rest, the thought crosses my mind that "What tangled webs we weave...........................". Good night.