Inaugural public meeting and establishment of the Whitstable History Education Network (the ‘When’)

6PM for 7PM start on Friday April 27th at the Whitstable Junior School
(main gate between the Library and the Coach and Horses, then 1st left).

Anyone interested in local history is invited to this meeting to discuss and establish a ‘local history’ group/network covering the human and physical history of Whitstable and surrounding areas. There will be a graphical presentation and break-out groups covering a wide variety of activities and possible projects.
Continue reading “Inaugural public meeting and establishment of the Whitstable History Education Network (the ‘When’)”

Whitstable Harbour Public Meeting – Strategic Plan Review Development Consultation

A new date has been added to this consultation and will be held at Whitstable Castle on Friday 27 May, 4-6pm and 7-9pm.

Please note that despite being advertised as an exhibition, this is a presentation, so members wishing to attend should aim to get to the Castle at either 4.00 pm or 7.00 pm.

We will be discussing this at our next meeting on May 18th. The consultation opens online with a hard copy being made available at the Harbour on the 13th May.

The Oval – Latest Press Release

**BREAKING NEWS**

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS BEGUN AGAINST CANTERBURY CITY COUNCIL OVER MIS-SELLING OF WHITSTABLE LAND

Campaigners in Whitstable have formally begun legal proceedings against Canterbury City Council over their mis-selling of a prime piece of much-valued town centre, sea front land.

An application for a Judicial Review of Canterbury City Council’s decision to enter into a contract for sale, subject to planning permission, of the land known as the Oval, at Sea Wall, Whitstable was lodged on Wednesday 17th February in the Administrative Court, within the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in London. A judge is requested both to declare that the Oval is legal open space and to quash the sale contract.

There are five grounds for this Judicial Review

  1. Failure to comply with the legal requirements for the disposal of open space land.
  2. Entering into a contract that failed to fully accord with the expressed instruction of the council’s executive committee.
  3. Excessive secrecy of the resolution-making meeting.
  4. Failure to obtain best value for the land sold.
  5. Breach of the public sector equality duty in regard to disabled access to the site.

Angela Boddy, the Chair of the Whitstable Society, said: “Together with The Oval Chalet Preservation Community Group (OCPCG), we have tried to sort this out with the Council, but to no avail. We have had no alternative but to ask the court to intervene.”

Campaigners also gave an initial comment on new planning application from Sea Street Developments Ltd. published on February 18th.

Suzanne Blaustone of the OCPCG said: “The developer promised extensive on-site public open space to the Council’s Executive meeting in Dec 2014, when the sale was authorised by councillors. But the developer then removed it all by the time of the developer’s public exhibition in May 2015. The Developer has not formally met with either of the campaigning groups to discuss the revised plans since they exhibited them and we submitted our objections. The new scheme published on Feb 18th offers only a small fraction of the usable public open space that was shown to those decision-making councillors (‘the Piazza scheme’) and still falls well short of the written promise to the Executive by the Council’s Estates Department in Oct 2014 that the open space would equal 90% of the Oval site.”

The WS Chair advised: “The council’s head of legal services, Sarah Bowman, told councillors last week that she is likely to spend over £20,000 on barrister fees to fight our claim, so nobody should assume we will win our case quickly or easily. Therefore, we urge the public to examine the new planning application for the site (CA//16/00375) and to send their views to the council’s Planning Department before the Friday 18th March deadline”.

A fuller statement from the Campaign on the new planning application will be released late next week after the Whitstable Society and the Oval Chalet Preservation Community Group have had the opportunity to examine the plans closely.

Footnote: The Claim and witness statements can be accessed at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yfs02wpjuauhewn/AACG606q2qa-rC5Ki-kMW_mRa?dl=0 .

The planning policies covering the Oval and the Tile Warehouse combined site can be found under Tab 1, page 35, where they are detailed for the judge.

For further information about this press release, contact Graham Cox 01233 645520 / 077110 79369 from Feb 22nd, or planning@whitstablesociety.info before then.

Streetlight Consultation – Kent County Council

From the KCC website:

Starting on Monday, 21 September, residents, businesses and communities are being asked for their views on whether they would prefer the current level of service provided by part-night lighting, or all-night lighting.

This is a 10-week consultation which will help inform a new street lighting policy.

Matthew Balfour, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Light emitting diodes are significantly more efficient than the existing lights.

“Improvements in LED technology and reductions in prices mean that LED lights are now the first choice for street lighting. We already use LED lights as a matter of course when replacing our old or failed street lights.

“We are aware that some people have concerns about part-night lighting, in particular that it may lead to an increase in crime or the fear of crime.

“We have been working very closely with Kent Police, who have analysed their records and stated that they have found no correlation between crime rates and changes to street lighting.

“However, with the flexibility offered by the new technology we have an opportunity to review the way that we provide street lighting. We want to understand how residents would prefer their street lights to operate.

“I would, therefore, urge people to take part in the consultation.”

People are being asked to respond by visiting www.kent.gov.uk/streetlights and completing the online consultation questionnaire.

The consultation document and questionnaire are also available in Easy Read and Word formats on the website (above) or on request by e-mail alternativeformats@kent.gov.uk, or phone 03000 421553, or Text Relay:18001 03000 421553  (this number is monitored during office hours and there is an answering machine at other times).

For any other formats people can also use the details above.

The deadline for all responses is Sunday, 29 November 2015.

Planning Application – Residential Development 400 homes north of old Thanet Way

CCC Planning Dept have today published Devine Homes’ outline planning application CA//15/01296 for their proposed housing development north of old Thanet Way (east of Duncan Down). The consultation period is until 17th July.

You may view details (some 96 documents) on the CCC website (Planning section): https://publicaccess.canterbury.gov.uk

CCC advise that paper copies of these documents will be delivered to Whitstable Library around midday Thursday 18th June for public viewing.

The Future for Kent’s Libraries

There will be a PUBLIC MEETING: ‘What future 4 Kent’s libraries?’ in Whitstable on FRIDAY 15th May (10.30am to 12 Noon).

It will be at St Peters Church in Sydenham Street and all Kent’s library users/supporters are invited.

Author & Library Campaigner, Alan Gibbons, will be the guest speaker. KCC Leader, Paul Carter, has been invited to send a representative. Free including tea/coffee.

This will be an opportunity to share library stories and have a say in what should happen next now that the KCC consultation and the ‘Save our public libraries’ petition have closed and we await responses from Kent County Council.

Please invite friends and contacts from across Kent – this is a whole-county issue in which Whitstable has played a leading role.

Gorrell Ward Hustings hosted by Whitstable society

Hustings election meeting for Gorrell Ward (incl. the old Harbour Ward) at 6.30 PM on Friday 24th April at St Johns, the Methodist Church in Argyle Rd

(see Hustings 2015 for a list of Candidates.)

The Whitstable Society will host a ward hustings for Gorrell Ward at 6.30 PM on Friday 24th April at St Johns, the Methodist Church in Argyle Rd.

Gorrell Ward is the combination of most of the old Gorrell Ward and the now defunct Harbour Ward. This may be the first ever ward hustings in Whitstable.

All parties are attending , with about 15 candidates in total: UKIP, Greens, Lib Dems , Conservatives , Labour, the Trade Union party and one independent (former Labour).

Candidates who wish to make a statement will speak for about 3 minutes each in the first half of the meeting. Copies of what they will say may be found on http://www.whitstablesociety.info/home/Hustings2015 a few days before the meeting if a posting is requested.

In the second half of the meeting, the public can ask any question they wish. Questions can be submitted in advance to chair@whitstablesociety.info Angela Boddy Chair of the Whitstable society.