Wednesday, 18 March 2009

AN INTERESTING PLANNING APPLICATION?

Readers may not have spotted an item on page 14 in KM 's Thanet Extra last week. Two Chimneys Caravan Park on The Shottendane Road wants to put in a 9 hole Golf Course, woodland, a small lake, a nature trail, an adventure maze and a mountain bike activity area alongside its site for use by its site residents.
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Details can be found on UK Planning site at F/TH/08/1466. A decision on this application is due to be made by TDC's Planning Committtee on Thursday 29th April 2009.
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I have mixed feelings about this proposal. I have no doubt that it will provide an interesting 'tourist attraction' but only for 'customers' of Two Chimneys and that it will lead to an increase in wild-life habitat and bio-diversity. My main concern is that it will be taking out almost another 60 acres of prime agricultural land from crop production in Thanet.
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The history of expansion onto agricultural land by Two Chimneys in the past 8 years shows that it expanded from its original site to Park Road to its East in 2002 and took 20 acres of prime agricultural land for this. (F/TH/01/0599). In 2006, it expanded again but to the west by another 10 acres. (F/TH/05/0599). If this application is granted, Two Chimneys will have effectively taken almost 100 acres of prime agricultural land out of production in the past 7 years. My main complaint about Two Chimneys is that it is still the most intrusive and poorly screened ' mobile home' site in Thanet and perhaps TDC Planning should enforce more effective screening planting!
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I have to admit that I would rather see woodland, a lake and a copsed golf course than glass houses or industrial sheds. I am depressed to have to accept that with TDC's present outlook, our 'Isle' is disappearing under 'industrial development' (Thanet Earth; KIA Masterplan; China Gateway etc) and that in 15 to 20 years time we will have a 'developed' heartland with a promenade and beaches fringing it.
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Perhaps a Golf Course, woodland and small lake is not such a bad idea after all?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

With all the fuss being mad about prime agricultural land being deveoped, this has got to be opposed!

The Two Chimneys site is an eyesore from two directions, and a car park from the third, with camper vans on winter storeage.

This plan is to make them money. The 'residents' who are there all the year round, in breach of council directives ( not that they ever enforce anything!) do not use local shops or facilities, and use it for cheap housing!

Anonymous said...

We were waiting for you to pick this one up Bertie!Everything seems to be allowed in this area of Thanet!?

Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

i would imagine it wil sit in a planning apllication pile for years.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, they will build it.

Anonymous said...

I expect they will do what they want as always.

Put up screen of hedgerow - done five years late after council perstering and still not adequate.

Close site for part of year - residents live there all the year round!

Signs go up and down like a yoyo making the corner look horrible.

This place is now like a village which contributes nothing to the towns around it.

Peter Checksfield said...

Personally I think that ALL golf courses are a waste of land, though I'm sure I'd feel different if I played the game (I'd much rather parks, commons, nature reserves, etc). But otherwise I don't see nothing wrong with this, & (contrary to what anon 23:06 says), people who stay on caravan sites DO usually venture outside. Unfortunately (like most villages these days) I don't think there actually are any shops in Acol, only a pub.

Anonymous said...

As you say Bertie better this than another housing estate. As I drive around Thanet I become increasingly amazed at how much development has taken place over the past few years, houses crammed in together as tightly as permissible, (which with the current planning regime is very tight indeed). Every small piece of green seems to be replaced with concrete. But then our developer friends do pay handsomely.

Anonymous said...

I have no issue about this. Saying this place is an eyesore seems a bit strong, I barely notice it though live half a mile away in Westgate. The woodland and lake may provide an interesting opportunity for wildlife. Who cares that it takes more agricultural land, it can always be restored if it needs to.

Bertie Biggles said...

In regard to restoration, if needs be, you are absolutely right 10:37.

It is interesting that Prof. John Beddington, the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser addressed the 4th annual Sustainable Development UK conference in Westminster yesterday with dire warnings about food and water shortages on the Planet by 2030 with a population of 8.3 Billion. Food reserves are at their lowest in 50 years and price rises and shortages are inevitable with Europe having a role to play as a key centre for food production. Hence my concern about losing the most versatile of agricultural land in the UK, that we have in Thanet.

Anonymous said...

I live in Westgate and I have to say Two Chimneys is one of the best well maintained parks in the Thanet area.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" Re:Two Chimneys
I was amazed to read the comments posted 18th March 23.06
I think the plans are a great idea it will help to encourage tourism in the area which is vital for the suppliers and businesses who will benefit from the increase revenue from the holiday makers. If they are not using local shops and facilities, where do you think they are going?
As a former holiday home owner at the Two Chimneys Caravan Park (I sold my caravan as there were not any facilities locally to take my children except the beach and you need sun for that also it is not very pleasant sitting amongst smelly seaweed!!and the area was becoming more & more run down)
I can assure you that the park is not open all year round, get your facts right!
You are coming across as a bitter person.
How many companies like this encourage tourism in the area and at least try to create jobs for people who desperatly need work
Maybe what you should do is drive along the coast and look at the boarded up and burnt out shops and businesses. Get a grip on reality or maybe you could come up with some ideas to re-market Margate!!! as you you seem to know it all.

local camper said...

I live locally in Birchington.My family regularly go camping at Two Chimneys & we join them, my children are safe & entertained. The plans for expansion look realy good and we definately are in favour of them.Tourists coming to the site use all the local shops,take aways & restaurants. I know because i reccomend some to campers i speak to.
I don`t think the site is an eyesore at all and is one of the best kept i have been to.
Someone needs to something positive for the area before it gets any worse, I wont even set foot in Margate any more and I live here, I certainly wouldn`t want to holiday there ¬No Dreamland,and everywhere looking derelict.
I say good job to a buissness wanting to expand & try to help the area.Farmers are giving up land. The planning application looks like a good countryfied plan with no concrete or housing!

Anonymous said...

If you have lived in Thanet all your life as I have then you must have noticed the destruction of all amenities ie: Coronation Ballroom, Westcliffe Hall, Dreamland, Pleasurama, Marina swimming pool , to name just a few.
I do not have mixed feelings as Bertie Biggles this developement that Two Chimneys want to invest in can only be good for entertainment for people staying on the caravan park and isn't that what holiday parks are all about?
As for two Chimneys being an "eyesore" what does this person think about high rise flats dotted all over Thanet? also will the Turner Centre be good looking? blocking views from peoples homes overlooking the sea and costing millions of pounds, shops in town centres boarded up and falling apart.
Businesses have to make money to expand, improve, employ and invest for the future. If they don't make money then there will be none of these things or money going to the government in taxes.
Hedges, shrubs were planted a long time ago but like all living things they take time to grow and if agricultural land is so important why does this council want to build houses on green belt and why did governments pay farmers to leave fields fallow?
I think two Chimneys plans should be approved