Thanet District Council’s Labour leadership has hit back at “lies and misinformation” from other political parties about the Council’s draft options for the Local Plan.
The draft is currently out for an eight-week consultation, having been publicly available since before Christmas.
In a glossy booklet distributed across Thanet South constituency, Tory party candidate Craig McKinlay said: “I am utterly shocked by Labour-led Thanet District Council. They have produced a housing development document that will ruin our local area.”
As can be seen on the TDC website, the motion to recommend the plan to go out for consultation was moved at the cross-party Local Plan Advisory Group by Conservative councillor Ken Gregory on November 18th last year.
It was also supported at the meeting by the Conservative leader, Cllr Robert Bayford, as well as the independent chair, Cllr Jack Cohen, and the two Labour members present.
None of this should come as a surprise, because the plan reflects a duty imposed on Thanet by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government to identify a 20-year supply of land for new homes.
Meanwhile, UKIP has mailed thousands of Thanet households claiming TDC plans to build 12,000 “houses”, all on greenfield sites and without “properly consulting” residents — NOT TRUE!
District council leader Iris Johnston said:
Common sense would tell residents that TDC does not have the resources to build 12,000 houses.
Councils are expected to allocate land offered up by owners for development on a strategic basis, where the infrastructure exists or can be provided.
I was already in contact with tenant farmers who might in the future be affected by their land owners 'offers' and I share their concerns.
The law is clear that unless Councils identify sites the government will allow developers to build where they like, including on the green wedges between our towns and in rural areas.
It is very sad that the Conservatives are scaremongering about the effects of their own government’s legislation, while it appears that Ukip will tell any lie that suits their purpose.”
The council has advised residents of land that could provide up to 12,000 homes - not “houses” - and support the creation of 5,000 new jobs in Thanet by 2031.
The figure includes planning consents granted since 2011 as well as some developments already completed - believed to number around 3,350 in total, and — wherever possible — brownfield sites that have previously been developed.
No homes on Manston Airport are included and greenfield sites have only been brought forward where development is sustainable and the landowners support it.
The eight-week consultation on the plan runs until March 6th and a series of well attended meetings and drop-in sessions have taken place across Thanet to raise public awareness.
The council has chosen to consult at this stage., although it is no longer required to do so under Tory governmnet legislation. However, there will be a further statutory consultation dealing with infrastructure, schools and the NHS before the plan is submitted to the secretary of state for approval.
Cllr Johnston added:
I would encourage people to read the information available and make up their own minds, rather than be led up the garden path by other political parties.
Of course there will be different views about the detail and that’s the point of the consultation, but pretending it’s all some Labour party plot won’t change the need for the council to plan responsibly and transparently.
I will also be attending a meeting in London with other Kent district leaders on March 19th to show our joint determination to keep Kent green and ensure London mayor Boris Johnson gets the message.”
More details are available at www.thanet.gov.uk/.
Thanet District Council’s Labour leadership has hit back at “lies and misinformation” from other political parties about the Council’s draft options for the Local Plan. The draft is currently out...