Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Happy Easter from Westgate

The Co-Op's Mel & Emily Raising Money for Charity
The snow has stopped and the sky has cleared, for now at least and in Westgate, there's an Easter Saturday spirit in the town as you can see from the two photos.

It's that unique community feel that I would like very much to protect for the future, along with at least two thousand other residents. I worry, that should it be approved, a big modern supermarket blockhouse on the southern-side of Station Road, regardless of its 'High quality PVC fittings,' may set a precedent the town could well do without.

I do understand that people hold a spectrum of opinions on whether a Tesco would be good for Westgate and the debate is welcome but as was pointed out to me yesterday in a letter:

"The Conservation 'report' is not really a report at all, just a couple of sentences expressing vague concern. It is extremely weak, and even criticises several aspects of the design. It does not in any way stand up to scrutiny, and if that is all the report consists of, it is easily challengeable." Furthermore, in the Council's planning statement, much is made of 'compliance' with the current policies, which are exposed as 'selective quotes'. Either these apply or they don't. In recommending the Tesco, the Council's planners cannot reasonably claim compliance with the earlier local plan policies in support of their argument and then claim we can't challenge the same!

Chris Ballard
Lots to think about then and we will keep up the pressure all the way to the next planning committee meeting on the evening of April 17th where the application will be finally decided. However, regardless of the outcome, what this objection has shown, as with the Sainsbury's opposition of last year, is that the residents, businesses and traders of Westgate can work very effectively indeed as a community to express their views and I feel quite privileged to be a ward councillor, in a town which has a strong collective voice and uses it when it has to.

4 comments:

Paul said...

Had a lovely time at the Easter Eggstravaganza at Lymington Road today. It was very busy despite the cold - a great idea to sell tickets in advance! We would happily have paid £1 for each child as opposed to 50p... Thank you to whoever organised it.

Louise Oldfield said...

There have been consistent large scale objections from communities in Thanet to the development of more supermarkets. The objectors to the Arlington Tesco superstore, which includes Westgate in the area, also count. With the unprecedented decision of the Sec. of State to pull the decision making from the Planning Inspector at the 11th hour and for last week's granting by a HIGh Court Judge to permit a move to Judicial Review, the strength of communities own self determination has been underlined. We at the Arlington campaign are happy to help share experiences, Simon.

Bernie said...

Had to smile at your comment about the council non-compliance, and you not being "allowed" to challenge this! It's exactly the experience I have had whilst challenging some H&S Investigation findings!!
Apparently "facts" recorded during an investigation and therefore considered relevant to TDC, are not open to any comment by me, as the "facts" suddenly become irrelevant!!!!
Nice to know I'm not alone in this experience though :) Good luck with your campaign! x

Anonymous said...

thank you to everyone that donated money or bought things off our stall on saturday...money raised goes to the carers trust which is the co-ops charity of the year.....we also have a book stall inside shop now....no fixed prices just donations in the pot....donations of books always welcome...thank you again....mel and emily...co-op westgate