Strife predicted in the spring of 2008 that TDC had no intention of keeping Eurokent designated as 'employment land' and that has been vindicated by the present 'consultation' document The Local Development Framework Core Strategy that needs your comment on by 18 Jan 2010. Was this site ever promoted anywhere as 'employment land' by the lately departed Mr Bunnet?
CPRE has just announced its horror at what this document proposes. Ezekiel and his Ezekiel Party are proposing that we should build more than 600 exclusive houses here instead of retaining it as designated employment land and at the same time allowing all its policies on Thanet's fast dwindling plateau farm land to be over-ridden if a developer comes along with a promise of a good employment project. Are TDC so arrogant that they think its electorate is stupid? We know that CGI (aka CGP) has already purchased farmland for Phases 2 and 3 of The China Gateway project. Acceptance of the new LDF Core Strategy by our Councillors, in one fell swoop, removes presently designated employment land out of use whilst allowing uncontrolled development over yet more of Thanet's remaining versatile farmland, Are TDC unaware of Global warming and Copenhagen?
The unanswered question about these proposals is for whose benefit is this brazen manipulation being carried out?
Is it the TDC/KCC Quango called EKO LLP with our own 'Woger' Latchford as a director? ( You might be upset to know that a recent FoI request has revealed that EKO LLP cost Thanet Council tax payers £518,000 in 2007/08 and a further £50,000 in 2008/9 whilst your council was closing toilets and cutting back on street cleaning.)
Is it Rose Farm Estates Ltd that owns half the land for this project.(see map above). Who is behind Rose Farm Estates and what are their connections to TDC? (You might have been pleased to think that £6,700,000 of tax payers for that new link road was an investment for employment land but are you quite so happy when you realise that another private company, building luxury houses, is going to benefit from tax payers largesse from the setting up of the major infrastructure item through the site).
Is it CGI who will be able to develop its farmland that it has owned for two years and can get an application in for China Gateway Phases 2 and 3? (Bear in mind that Ken Wills has said that Gateway 1 depends on Phases 2 and 3).
What we have is the Ezekiel Party and 'Woger' pushing this for all its worth. (The pic above shows two Rogers out at Westwood Cross in early 2008, canvassing ideas from shoppers for Eurokent as a PR stunt with no validity with any branch of statistics and questionaire use.) They argue that Thanet has a housing target to meet by 2026. So lets look at housing/dwelling targets and data of completions.
The problem is that SEEDA and Govt keep changing the 'goal posts' and it may well be that a Conservative Govt will reduce these targets anyway. (Is that why Ezekiel and Latchford are so desperate to get the new LDF sorted?)
In the period 2001-2016 Thanet had a target of 6000 new dwellings. The South East Plan (Approved 2009) now gives Thanet a target of 7,500 new dwellings between 2006 - 2026. What is interesting is that between 2001-2006, Thanet had 1,923 new dwelling completions (223 more than needed)
If we accept that nothing will change between now and 2026, the South East Plan requires 7,500 new dwellings at an average of 375 units per year. The completion figures, so far, look good:
2006/7 - 651 completions.
2007/8 - 606 completions.
2008/9 - 726 completions.
So in 3 years we have a total of 1,983 completions when the average requirement meant only 1,125. In otherwords we have exceeded the 'new goal posts' already by 858 (76%) and have more than 2 years 'in hand'!
So I ask the question again, what are Ezekiel and Latchford up to with the nonsense about housing on Eurokent?
What have we in the pipeline awaiting this recession to end?: 100 houses in Minster; 1000 houses on Nash Rd; 50 odd at St Augustine's Westgate; 70-100 still at Sea Bathing; 175-200 on the Hereson School site; 20 odd on The Pegwell Bay garden grab; etc etc. I could even mention the new house by 10 Berkeley Rd!
The point is simply that with the excess already, the big approved projects in the future and the private development within our urban areas, Thanet does not need Eurokent to be luxury housing for 'aspiring' incomers or key Chinese workers and their families for China Gateway.
It needs to be kept and promoted for employment purposes and our dwindling versatile farmland preserved for food production that our grand-children will need, perhaps desperately. So Councillors, get with the facts and data and refuse to be kept in ignorance by the senior officers and Leadership of TDC.