Friday, 30 July 2010



(that proposes 'gifting' 1300+ sq mtrs of open green space to a housing group for building development)

Local residents met with Cliftonville West councillors Linda Aldred, Doug Clark and Clive Hart on Thursday evening (29th July) and all were appalled by significant omissions in a report published by Thanet District Council that is being presented to the TDC Cabinet for discussion at its meeting scheduled for 5th August.

The report that recommends gifting the 1300+ square meters of green open space at the south end of Dalby Square to the Town and Country Housing Group for building development has four very relevant and very serious omissions.

Firstly, absolutely no mention whatsoever is made in the report regarding the use of the green space for public recreation for the last fifteen years. TDC laid the whole area to lawn in 1995 and has maintained it as a green open space for local residents ever since.

Secondly, absolutely no mention whatsoever is made in the report of the Dalby Square Project Group and their sterling work to regenerate the square that includes the south green that is proposed to be 'gifted' away against their wishes. Over the last decade the group have raised around £400,000 to create beautiful formal gardens for adults and visitors and a playground for very young children. The group are clear that the south green is part of that project and it provides a large grassed area where slightly older children can play ball and let off steam whilst being watched by parents from windows in hundreds of flats surrounding the square. The group now feel cheated by TDC with whom they have signed joint agreements and received planning permission to improve the green space.

Thirdly, for over seven years, ward councillors Linda Aldred, Doug Clark and Clive Hart have met with TDC housing and regeneration officers on numerous occasions (that must average at least 4 times each year) where they have made it absolutely clear that the green space at the south end of the square is an important local amenity in a densely populated area where health and wellbeing are nowhere near the levels they should be. They have also regularly and jointly lobbied TDC on behalf of residents to protect the green space for the same seven+ years.

Lastly, at paragraph 5.6.1 in the report it states that a drop-in consultation was held on 14th July attended by local residents and council officers. That drop-in consultation was advertised as an application for the Warren Court site and not the green in Dalby Square. This paragraph in the report completely fails to say that all three ward councillors were present at the drop-in consultation. Much more importantly it also fails to say that the Dalby Square Project Group and all three ward councillors raised serious objections to the proposed development at that drop-in consultation.

At Thursdays meeting between residents and ward councillors, concerns were raised as to why the developers drop-in consultation took place on one evening and the following evening TDC declared the square a Conservation Area.

Questions were also asked as to how the land can be 'gifted' to a developer after an application has been received but before a planning decision has been made and therefore actually during the application process.

Further serious concerns were raised as to the whole matter being a 'done deal' and legal documents were assembled and plans were prepared in order to fight both the 'gifting' of the land to developers and the proposed planning application that will cover all 1300+ sq mtrs.

Published by Cllr Clive Hart - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 2RW (01843 298770).

For confirmation of the residents position on this issue call Jenny Cranstone on 01843 228414


  1. Well that got everyone in Dalby Square in particular or Thanet in general, really excited. Is this really an issue of great public concern or just more point scoring by the Labour group?

  2. It's actually the Dalby Square Project Group of residents who are absolutely up on arms about the loss of green space and we support their views. They've worked steadfastly for almost a decade, raised £400,000 to improve the square and are now being totally ignored. It's our job as ward councillors to voice their concerns, especially when they've done so much to help our local community. The burnt out Warren Court Hotel site needs redeveloping. The much loved and much used 1300 sq mtr community green space in a densley populated area most certainy does not!

  3. Where are this 'up in arms' protest group? Surely a few supporting Cllr Hart's posting on this blog might make the sceptical more convinced. At the moment it looks like Cllr Hart supporting an article posted by Cllr Hart and a couple of doubters.

  4. Whichever way you look at it, it still highlights the back handed nature of "deals" done at the council offices.
    Why should it matter, really, if its labour or conservative or lib dem or raving loony party, the point is that these "deals" need to be bought out into the open and the Cllrs involved made to justify the unjustifyable.

    Together we stand, divided we fall, it's long past time that we all grew some balls and stood up for what is right in Thanet.


  5. But, Jet, what is right? Surely it is another man's wrong. Each demo attracts a counter demo and so on, so that the only peace ensues when we all stop protesting and demonstrating.


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