Thursday, 17 December 2009


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(  ). 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.


Ken Tishman said...

Looking at the google map I think it may be possible to squeeze a small town house into the middle of the road's turn around. Maybe a 3 storey with roof garden to conserve space.To allay fears of the swimming pool owner,offer them access to the roof garden as a diving board.

Anonymous said...

Petty and nasty comes to mind - Perhaps a new party should emerge for Norf fannit as the "Thoroughly nasty party" - just to continue the theme?

The Pirates

Not built a house at all in Thanet since 1690

Anonymous said...

Corrupt comes to mind. (Again)

Anonymous said...

Well it happened in Westgate a useless councillor was replaced with a good hardworking independant - so all those public spirited folk it should be a rallying cry what can happen in Westgate can happen in other wards.
There are several wards with longstanding lazy ward tory ward councillors who are just "Ezekiel yes men" never seen to do anything unless ... it is election time!

Tony Beachcomber said...

How embarrassing for Conservative Party members in North Thanet, and yet another dent in the reputation of TDC.
I would have thought that after eight years in opposition the Conservative Councillors would have learnt something as to why they were in opposition. It may not yet be as bad as the 1980's but it does bring back memories of the bad old days some Conservatives would like to forget. Such stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Can I add a comment that Cllr. S. Tomlinson came out with last evening when discussing another application. During the debate relating to the crazy plan devised by a builder to knock down half of a pair of semi-detached farm cottages Cllr. T. came out with, 'Well, having looking at the photograph of the existing property, anything would be an improvement on what's there'.

She seemed unaware that the other half of this pair of semis is someone's home on which much love, care and attention has been lavished.

If this plan goes ahead their home is at great risk. As Cllr. Hayton said he'd never in 18 years on planning heard of such a scheme. How do you separate a pair of old semi-detached properties and ensure that the remaining half still stands, isn't damaged or devalued?

Cllr. Tomlinson's crass remark is unacceptable and I hope she has the courtesy to apologise. The planned three-storey house to replace what is currently there has, in my amateur view, less aesthetic appeal than what is there but then I'm not on a committee allowing old houses to be demolished to make way for modern ones.

i found it interesting that she and the vice-chair of Planning went along with whatever the officer recommended so I'm glad the rest of the committee had the guts to vote against and ask for site visits.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Anon, a bit unfair on Ingrid to call her useless. The independant candidate in the May 2007 TDC elections was such a strong popular candidate it was obvious someone had to go. Such is the case in that part of Thanet when a strong independant faces a slate of sitting conservative councillors as the conservatives cannot use national issues so merit comes into it.
The trouble is there is never enough independants with the right credentials in the Westgate and Birch area to keep them on their toes so they do take the seats a bit for granted. That is until someone like Tom King comes along.

Anonymous said...

More rolled up trouser legs?

Anonymous said...

Bertie, surely you must understand by now that Ezekiel Party councillors aren't really there to help their constituents, they are there to help themselves. I thought this was a forgone conclusion.

I concur with The Pirates although I suspect they may have already emerged like so many leeches out of their chrysalis.

Anonymous said...

"useless" Tony is how a member of the Residents assoc described Ingrid Spencer they arent my words! i think you are being kind saying it was only because of the calibre of Tom King! Apparently she was "invisible" and "unapproachable" i can think of many other tories in wards for whom the same description fits!I agree whole heartedly it needs a group of independants with the community's interests at heart not the self perpuitating group we have at the moment out for personal gain only !Bertie you need to be the rallying point!

peter piper said...

surely it is a standards board offense for a councillor to refuse to help a constituent for no good reason, or because it would be contrary to his 'mates' interests. wonder if this was tried and if not whether it should.

Bertie Biggles said...

11.26, its a thought but at heart I want a proper principled Conservative Party running TDC not the Ezekiel Party and if that can be achieved before 2011, I would be delighted. If not, an Independent Alliance (not a Party) comes to mind.

Interesting thought, 11.51. Will look into that, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Too many of the Tories don't bother to reply to letters/e-mails/phonecalls, in my experience, so the work they should be doing falls to others, at times from other wards.

I even hand-delivered an appeal for assistance from one of my local councillors who hadn't even the courtesy to acknowledge or reply.

It would be interesting to know if they are breaching their code of conduct by so ignoring their voters but surely they do that at the risk of losing their seats so why don't they just get off their backsides and do what they were elected for?.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon 11:26, you are right some Councillors do make things difficult for themselves and they have only themselves to blame.
On the subject of independants, personaly I would like to see Labour candidates elected. However, I do not see everything through rose tinted glasses and have been around long enough to realise where the political pendulum and the voters choice can swing in some parts of Thanet.

Anonymous said...

As the very well loved Councillor for this ward Roger Latchford stepping down and his replacement is being groomed at the moment, The two Conservative Candidates will have to fight hard to win their seats as two very well known Birchington residents will be opposing them.

Anonymous said...

07.49 "I suspect they may have already emerged like so many leeches out of their chrysalis". That sounds a bit Dr Who, but then, perhaps, The Ezekiel Party could be evil aliens wanting to feed from the blood of the people of Thanet.

Where is The Doctor when you need him!

Anonymous said...

You don't mean Mr (can I clean your carpets) Worrow by any chance. From the frying pan into the fire then.

Anonymous said...

I was talking this morning to a life-long Tory who cannot believe what is happening here.'How can a carpet-fitter run a business like TDC?' This guy is no snob having created his own business from nothing but he is in despair over what is happening here. It's time the Ezekiel Party woke up and realised their days will be numbered if they continue down the same path. Do they care? Do they think the voters are so stupid they aren't aware of what is going on? If anyone says, 'Yes they are that stupid' then heaven help us!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.27

I never mentioned for a "better tommorow" the Carpet cleaner by name,but it could possibly be him. I cannot mention his name he might "Lodge" a complaint, and I do not want to end up on the tiles.
If the Tories win the March
then they will have been in power and implimenting their cuts for a year and the tide will be turning against them, so Birchington could end up with at least one or two Lib Dems and a couple of Independents and Thanet could be run by a coalition if the Tories lose more seats across the area.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon 10:27

I think you will find that unpopularity doesn't garuntee winning a seat for the opposition in Birchington. For a start to take on Conservatives in Birchington the opposition candidates have really got to be of good calibre if not better and well known in the area. Birchington is not like some other parts of Thanet where running down the other candidates and parties and relying on popularity is the key to winning votes, which does rule out the Lib Dems.
So on that basis and being totally honest if a established parish councillor like John worrow was to stand in Birchington North, I think it will require a well established local independant candidate of good calibre to prevent him from taking the seat, and at this moment in time there isn't. So my money would be on him.

Anonymous said...

Bring it on, I say. Let's clean up local politics and then the name of Thanet won't make the pages of Private Eye again.

Anonymous said...

At least two very well known local businessmen with strong local community ties are intending to stand in Westgate to try and make it three Independants.

Such is the feeling about two of the Councillors. One who is perceived to be out for himself, and the other who has become invisible.

A Council with a strong band of Independants having the casting votes would really make the Parties look to their laurels.

Anonymous said...

when i read this rubbish it just makes me laugh i am sure very body that writes on this blog site are thick.or just don,t have a clue asto what goes on in thanetinfact it is sad just what some people will print i think they should know the facts before printing this rubbish perhaps this is why thanet was i a state when labour had control just the labour goverment have done to the uk now
the saying empty vessels make the most noise comes to mind
think before you print

Bertie Biggles said...

16:21, perhaps your last comment could apply to you.

You sound so much like 'Our Leader' that I have no hesitation in saying, how nice to have you visit.

So you clearly have no problems with Cllr Day's odd planning consent in Berkeley Rd (despite 20 + years of failed applications) once he had become Vice Chair of Planning? You clearly do not find it strange that 'Woger' should have quite a different stance to the application by 10 Berkeley Rd compared to his approach with his 'mate' Day's place? Well well well! This little sorry tale is precisely why the general public no longer trusts its Council or its Leadership. Integrity of the Planning process involves public perception of decisions and if an authority is perceived to be perverse in its planning decisions then it has compromised the public trust in the process. You might like to re-instate Cllr Hayton?
Anyway, Happy New Year to you.

Anonymous said...

it is nice to read the rubbish people put on this blog site if they know the facts it might be a diffiernt story
if you care to look at the facts cllr day was not even in the romm so nowbody know what was coming up untill it came up so please don,t put up so much trash or if you do get the facts also look at labours records of when they were in power
not good reading soi think you shoud lay down that way you won,t full down

Bertie Biggles said...

15.37, for goodness sake! The item was part of the agenda for the Planning Committtee and the officer's recommendation and all details were part of the paperwork sent to all members!

Whoever said Cllr Day was there when the item was raised? Presumably as an objector he had to declare an interest and withdraw as did Cllr Hart. The point of this post that seems not to have been grasped by you, is the contrasting positions taken on applications within a few feet of each other, by Cllr Latchford. If you fail to grasp that simple point then then that is up to you.
Happy New Year!

Peter Piper said...

If 31 December 2009 15:37 is our beloved leader then I for one would be most concerned at his inability to understand basic English. If this is from another Ezekiel Party member I am equally concerned.

With people who cannot grasp basic facts running the district it is no wonder that Thanet is in the mess it is.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who received an e-mail from 'Our Leader'. When she forwarded it to me I thought it was a joke due to the poor English, lack of punctuation and grammar. The e-mail address was correct so unless someone had usurped his details it was from him. It was in the same vein as the one Bertie posted so, yes, concern over the councillor's grasp of the basics.

Anonymous said...

short memories some people have thanet was in a very bad way upand till the tories took over in some way they are still picking up the mess left ,and some of the comments read on there blog site just make me laugh what a load of rubbih people put on this sight just makes me roll over laughing
please try and put the facts up and not all this rubbish

Bertie Biggles said...

15.14, please support your comments with some counter argument? In 2003, Thanet wasn't in the mess it is today after 5 boom years and let's face it, £millions of tax-payer's money channelled in by an over generous Labour Govt in Thanet's direction for some years now. Westgate Residents Assoc reports no dedicated street cleaner in Westgate and I can assure you Dane valley suffers from the same problem. The bin collection and re-cycling fiasco (no blue bin collection) this holiday is even worse than last year. It is also time for TDC Cllrs and TDC to get onto KCC as the last few weeks of cold weather has already produced a growing crop of pot-holes on many of our major roads let alone the minor ones.