CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST IN BERKELEY ROAD, BIRCHINGTON.
Some regular readers will remember the interest generated last year in the very odd planning decision to allow a house (the one in the pic above) to be built on a postage stamp of land in Berkeley Rd, Birchington after 20 years of rejected applications (made by G. Day & Son) and a refusal by an Independent Planning Inspector on Appeal. You may wish to refresh your memory by going to( http://thanetstrife.blogspot.com/2008/07/worry-is-not-what-our-councillors-are.html ). You will notice how out of style with the rest of the road it is and that despite objections from the neighbouring property owner that it would overlook her house and swimming pool, her local Birchington Cllr, Cllr 'Woger' Latchford refused to support her objection to it, when asked to do so and when it was being built, even walked on the scaffolding and looked down into her garden and swimming pool with Cllr Day, his fellow Cllr for Birchington North Ward.
You should be aware that this house is now the official address of Cllr Day (vice-chair of Planning).
At this stage readers with a special interest in planning matters might like to pop off to the UK Planning portal and look at Planning Application F/TH/09/0732. This application was made by residents living in Herschell Rd, but whose garden and access to a garage can be accessed from Berkely Rd beside number 10. They employed Clague Architects to come up with a really modern contemporary designed 2 storey , 4 bed-roomed house on the site in place of the large garden and a large garage, with access to the property from Berkeley Rd.
A picture of the site is shown below and the eagle-eyed reader will note how close the new house will be to, yes, Cllr Day's new house!
The story about this latest planning application gets better! Bear with me and savour the moment, as I am sure Cllr Day's close northern boundary neighbour will.
Clague Architects cited as a strong case for their vey modern contemporary dwelling to be be built so close to Cllr Day's one-off house, the following: "Our aim is to consider the precedent of unique one-off houses being built in the area."
This application met with approval by TDC's Planning Officers; after all, a precedent had been set in Berkeley Rd by Cllr Day, had it not? However, a local Birchington Cllr, by the name of Cllr Latchford OBE, objected to it and 'called it in' to be considered by The Planning Committtee! (One must assume that Cllr Day had objected but couldn't 'call it in' but that Cllr Latchford could.)
Enjoy this from the extract from last night's (16th Dec 2009) agenda for Planning Committee: 'The application is brought before members of the Planning Committee by Cllr Latchford on the ground that the design is out of keeping with the surrounding street scene and therefore the scheme would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.'
Anyway, after a site visit on 4 Dec and in spite of Cllr Day not being able to participate on this item last night and Cllr Latchford being an objector and bringing up the 'overlooking into garden and swimming pool at No. 10' ,when adressing The Committtee as ' Ward Cllr', I am delighted to report that this wonderful contemporary design was APPROVED and that Cllr Day will now have a new house in very close proximity to his new home in Berkeley Rd.
Whilst 'chickens coming home to roost' comes to mind , there is a more serious aspect to this for the electorate in Birchington and in Thanet as a whole, to consider.
When The Ezekiel Party Deputy Leader, (with one rap from Standards last year) was approached by a neighbouring owner, as her ward cllr , to support her objection to Cllr Day's house ( 1 m away from her back fence and overlooking straight into her backgarden and onto her swimming pool), 'Woger' declined to be involved and was later seen viewing this lady's property from his 'mate's' scaffolding and quite clearly approved of it. How strange that he should have a completely different stance when this new property will clearly impact on his fellow Ezekiel Party Cllr member's property? He calls the application in, opposes it, speaks against it and even uses the very words that the unsupported neighbour had to use herself , without any support from him 18 months earlier!
What does this say about the Ezekiel Party Cllrs in North Birchington or in any Thanet Ward if The Deputy Leader himself behaves in such an inconsistent way? No wonder there are those in Birchington, who used to be Conservative, and now have ideas about organising opposition to all Birchington Conservative Candidates in 2011.