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15 Radnor Cliff development rejected by Shepway District Council

April 18, 2012 6:53 PM
By Tim Prater, Lib Dem Parish Councillor for Sandgate Village

On Tuesday 17th April, I spoke at Shepway Council's Development Control Committee on behalf of Sandgate Parish Council against a proposed new development at 15 Radnor Cliff, Sandgate. I'm delighted to say that the Development Control Committee listened to me and the other speakers against the development (local resident Joanna Ames and District Councillor Robert Bliss) and voted against the development by 11 votes to 2.

With many thanks to local resident Ian Barker for much of the material, I said:

"Good evening Councillors, and thank you Chairman.

"I should start by saying that, despite what it says in your original papers, I should make clear that Sandgate Parish Council unanimously rejected this application in its meeting of 22nd November.

"It did so on seven material grounds:

  • An overbearing and overly large design in a Conservation Area
  • Invasion of neighbour's privacy due to overlooking from the proposed elevated decking
  • Loss of the green space view and amenity of the Radnor Cliff Escarpment on a site within the Sandgate East Conservation Area
  • An inappropriate design and overdevelopment in a Conservation Area
  • Unacceptable access for parking from a narrow and busy road near a bend
  • The potential effect on the water table
  • The land stability of the area

"English Heritage classified our Sandgate Conservation Area as being "At Risk' around three years ago. Sandgate Parish Council are determined that the character of our Conservation Area is properly respected.

"Paragraph 77 of the Sandgate Conservation Area Appraisal observed that "the west end of Radnor Cliff is a distinct character area." This proposed development lies right at the heart of it.

"Shepway Planning Department pointed out to the Planning Inspectorate in 2010 regarding 25 Radnor Cliff, and I quote, "A vital component of Radnor Cliff area's character for example is its dramatic hillside setting and planting. Any infill or development proposals should reflect the existing plot sizes and volumes of houses".

"I'm afraid the plot size of No 15 Radnor Cliff has certainly not been respected. The plot extends to take in both the garage as well as a substantial part of the garden of the neighbouring property 'Pinehurst'.

"The plot is simply too large and too overbearing in relation to those of the surrounding listed properties and their green spaces.

"As I've mentioned, a key part of the character of the area are the views of the hillside from Radnor Cliff above and between the houses.

"The proposed new development is of a design, height and position that would almost completely mask the view of the hillside, to the serious detriment of the character of the area.

"I would also like to highlight the serious privacy and overlooking issues. The proposed rear decking would give residents of the development direct views into the rear windows of both No 17 & 19 Radnor Cliff.

"The proposed height of crescent shaped design of the development will also significantly block the light and direct sunlight to these properties and their gardens.

"As those of you who have visited the site will also have noted, the plans in front of you also do not seem to reflect reasonably the rear line of the building. The actual rear of the property would it seems be some three metres back from the real rear elevation of the neighbouring houses.

"Councillors, this development is ill considered, overbearing, badly designed and inappropriate in this location.

"I ask all of you, on behalf of the Sandgate Parish Council and the residents of Sandgate, to reject it."