Last night's Planning Meeting was quite interesting. The Ezekiel Party seemed short of numbers and what was surprising was that no substitutes seemed to have been called on in place of Cllr Watt-Ruffell ; not even the permanent substitute from Cabinet, Cllr Tomlinson. No caravan park applications were on the agenda either.
In a reference to 'Strife's ' recent highlighting of Cllr Tomlinsons regular attendance at the previous 6 planning meetings, 'Our Ken' said:
" For any of you bloggers out there (looking at the public seating area) you will note that Cllr Shirley Tomlinson had better things to do this evening'.
It was noticed that Cllr Day (vice chair) seemed lost without 'Shirl', the other half of his double act , being there.
The agenda items had some very interesting aspects. A pair of semi-detached houses in Lanthorne Rd are to become just one as one half was given consent to be demolished to make way for a large building instead. I have to feel sorry for the owners of the one left standing. Cllr Bruce as TDC's Cllr for Conservation and Heritage urged the Committee to turn down the application but his pleas, as far as The Ezekiel Party members were concerned, fell on stony ground.
KCC pulled its application for 175 odd houses on The Hereson School site at the last minute, which would indicate that KCC and TDC might have some disagreement on this matter! It will be worth seeing how the plans for this site eventually work out and what benefits acrue to Thanet.
The agenda item that led to the quote of the evening from Cllr Chris Wells was F/TH/09/0833 at 15 Granville Rd, Broadstairs. You will have to wait for the quote whilst I give you some background.
This site has a fascinating history and complications; not least it seems to be a tale of a developer cocking a snoot at TDC. An application for an extension at the back of the property was originally for 5m. This was turned down. An application was then approved when the extension at the back was set at 3.5m. Residents affected were then amazed to find that the 5m extension was then built. They complained, so the developer put in a retrospective application for 5m again (F/TH/09/0833). This was turned down last night with local residents over the moon! The twist in this tale serves the developer right! If he had built to 3.5m as per his agreed consent, his front windows would have been acceptable as the area was not at the time a Conservation Area. It became included in a Conservation Area prior to the retrospective application so all Conservation Area rules now apply. So we wait for TDC to enforce the demolition at back and rebuild to 3.5 m and the replacement of all front windows in line with Conservation Area rules. Serves the beggars right comes to mind!
Now the quote. Quite a few Cllr were there last night speaking under Rule 24.1(in support of or against, as ward Cllrs etc) and Cllr Chris Wells who spoke to The Planning Committtee urging them to reject the retrospective application, in describing the lack of amenity space at the back of 15 Granville Rd said:
" It is not so much about the room to swing a cat but more about whether there is space to twirl a kitten on your thumb."