Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Following a High Court ruling, Thanet District Council has won its right to introduce a selective licensing scheme in two of the district’s wards – Margate Central and Cliftonville West.
The proposal to introduce a selective licensing scheme was agreed by the council at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on 12 January 2011, in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour and low housing demand, and improve the management of privately rented properties.
The move followed an extensive consultation exercise by the council’s Housing Regeneration team in 2010, which generated more than 700 responses.
But last year the Southern Landlords Association approached the High Court and requested a judicial review, on the grounds that the council had failed the legal tests by basing its decision on factual inaccuracies, irrelevant considerations and unsubstantiated assertions.
The High Court hearing took place over 30 and 31 October 2012, with Mr Justice Cranston handing down his Approved Judgement yesterday (Tuesday13 November).
He concluded that the Southern Landlords Association had ‘failed to establish any error of law in the council’s assessment and designation of its Margate Central and Cliftonville West wards as a selective licensing area’.
The decision represents a significant victory for the council, being the first local authority in Kent to use this power to help regenerate an area.
The council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, Cllr David Green, said: “The High Court decision is wonderful news for the people of Thanet, and I’m delighted with the ruling.
“The council is dedicated to the regeneration of Margate Central and Cliftonville West, and the selective licensing scheme represents a powerful legislative tool to help us do this. Throughout the process of High Court judgment, we’ve always been on the side of local people, and I’m very pleased that our stance has been vindicated.”


  1. Now that the High Court have confirmed the selective licencing can we please please please ask Cllr Green to ensure that the £21M that the council have to buy up derelict properties is used to create family homes for people who can support themselves. Whilst providing social housing is all very admirable, Cliftonville and Margate have a huge social imbalance and until there is a problem with too many DFL's or the streets are overparked with Farraris, can he please ensure that social housing is provided somewhere else.

  2. Selective licensing will not change cliftonville, without first addressing failures within education, health, law and order. Echoing the above comment, provision of more social housing is only bringing greater numbers of the disadvantaged to the area, the large development at the end of Sweyn road has had its occupancy criteria changed to allow greater numbers of dss tenants, hardly improving the areas image. This development alone ,140 flats, was hardly what the area needed.
    The failure of the court case at least allows things to move forward. However it would be nice if the council were to explain some of the statisitcs it quoted in the original consultation especially the claim that based on BRE (building research establishment) data that 58-85% of rented properties were substandard. They fail to say that this figure was generated from a computer model into which the council put itsown data.
    The councils own failure to deal with rogue landlords along with a laissez faire attitude towrds planning and pllanning enforcement has compounded the areas problems.
    Also it must be remembered that there are sections of society that are expensive to house, the council does not want them neither do decent landlords, they are destructive and expensive to house, these people gravitate to accomodation to accomodation available to them.


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