Monday 26 January 2015

Update: Hoser's Corner - Council approved 'foundation trenches' for the development in July 2010

Today, I received a reply from Thanet Council's Head of Planning today on the planning status of Hoser's Corner, the derelict broken corner of weed infested concrete, complete with bits of tiles, from the previous dwelling:

From: Simon Thomas Date: 26 January 2015 at 15:14Subject: RE: Hoser's Corner planning statusTo: Louise Oldfield 

Dear LouiseThank you for your email regarding the site at Hosers Corner.Planning permission was granted in 2007 for the re-development of the site. The permission was granted on the condition that works should be commenced within 3 years of the date of the permission. In July 2010 the Councils Building Control Officer visited the site and has confirmed that the foundation trenches had been dug and concreted. This constitutes commencement of the development under the Planning Act and therefore the 2007 planning permission is extant.I hope this clarifies the position.RegardsSimon

So, 'foundation trenches' were dug and inspected in July 2010.

Where would these foundation trenches be? When I went to the the site yesterday I found no evidence of any works. Perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough.

The answer came later today on Facebook and Twitter from Labour MP candidate, Will Scobie stated he'd been informed the works ie the 'foundation trenches' were in a section of Percy Road side of the development.

This is a detail from their Lower Ground proposed plan of the Percy Road side of the development:

Obviously, as  the vast majority of the site clearly has no evidence of works having been started. The concrete floor surface is old and contains patches of the original floor coverings of the previous dwelling.

The chronology of how these 'foundation trenches' might have happened is:

-  April 4th 2010, the developer, Mr Lam, made a application (F/TH/10/0289) to extend the planning  permission granted in 2007 (F/TH/05/0070). As part of this application Mr Lam stated that no works had commenced on site.

- July 2010 the site was then inspected by a Thanet Council Building Control Officer who signed off that works had started by seeing evidence of foundations in a section of Percy Road. The exact date hasn't yet been confirmed by Thanet Council. The 2007 permission was granted July 25th 2007 and required works to have commenced by 3 years from this date.

- The 2010 application (F/TH/10/0289) to extend planning permission was withdrawn at some point in the summer 2010.

Some further things to consider about this issue:

- A series conditions were applied to the original 2007 permission granted (F/TH/05/0070) stipulating that no works be commenced on site until they were submitted to the Council and agreed.

Were any of these conditions fulfilled by the developer prior to works starting on site for the 'foundation trenches' that were constructed between April and July 2010?

- What constitutes work on site having started? This falls under the The Town & Country Planning Act 1990, Section 56, Para 2:

- What evidence of the 'foundation trenches' for the development was inspected and signed off by Thanet Council's Building Control department?

What we do know is the everyday reality of this derelict site has been an eyesore for over a decade.

Let's see the Building Control Officer's sign off of the works having started.

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