Friday, 6 January 2012


Controversial plans to build a new community centre in a Broadstairs park have failed to gain council approval, as they would lead to a loss of open space.

The plans for a new community centre in Pierremont Park were given the promise of financial support by Thanet District Council in 2005. A planning application was then approved by the council in February 2010, but the council still had to give the go ahead for the scheme, as it involved building on land that not previously been leased in a public park.

The council advertised the proposed lease in November 2011 and 10 responses were received, with nine objecting to the plans. Further objections have since been received by the council. Concerns raised include:
  • The proposals will damage the park, lead to a loss of trees and open spaces,
  • There are other alternative facilities in Broadstairs, so this scheme is no longer needed, and
  • It is not a good use of taxpayers’ money in the current financial climate.

As a result of these concerns, Cabinet last night (Thursday 6 January) decided that they would not grant a lease to the Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Community Centre Trust for the new community centre to be built. Instead, the Cabinet will now investigate, with Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Town Council, ways in which the existing buildings in the park can either be replaced or improved to provide better community facilities for the town.

Cllr. Alan Poole, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “I appreciate that this issue has a long history, with much time and effort put into this project by this council over the years.  However, as a new administration, we needed to re-look at this and, of course, we’re aware of the almost universal objections to this project, which we need to consider carefully. Having done that, we cannot grant this lease, as it will lead to a loss of public open space, which many people have concerns about. Equally however, we know that more needs to be done. That’s why we’ll now be working with the town council to look at how we can improve community facilities in Broadstairs, but without impacting on the open space in the park, which we are committed to preserving.”

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