Tuesday, 17 November 2009


The story so far is as follows:
Following the consultation exercise by the council they published the decision to sell this land for development with a photo. It was at this time that it was realised what plot of land they were actually wanting to sell.
Several e-mails later to the council asking them to re-open consultations failed. One of our ward counsellors did contact us saying it would only be developed for community use. When asked what that meant the answer was either a cafe or what he called eco-pods posibly even coach parking. It was at this point that it was realised that it would be lost to development. Recent legislation on Village Green registration was suggested and hence an application was made.
It was necessary to support this application with evidence that this land had been used by the public for at least 20 years and is still used.
A leaflet was delivered to properties with 1/4 mile radius of the site. It was amazing the reaction it received. There was a considerable amount of disquiet about the way the council had mislead everyone and as a result a massive amount of evidence was gathered on KCC forms.

There has been support from Counsellors Iris Johnston, Tom King and County Counsellor Robert Burgess as well as the Westbrook and Westgate residents Association. Regrettably despite several e-mails to our ward counsellors Mick Tomlinson and Dean Mc Castree none of which received a reply has there been any indication as to whether they support or oppose our application.

In September we were asked to meet with a developer so he could explain a potential use for this land. A small group had a site meeting with him. The proposition was to lease this land to site 12 Eco Chalets on the plot of land between Barnes Car Park and the first slope to the West. The idea was to provide accommodation for people wanting to visit the Turner Centre. There was a frank exchange of views as it would have barred all public use of this land. It was voiced that this development would meet with very strong objection. This land is used for walking, dog walking, nature enthusiasts, children, cycling, kite flying, picnics, bar-b-Q's and a pleasant place to get away from the adjoining busy bays. It has developed into and continues to develop into a haven for birds and insects and it has been reported bats. There are wild flowers and in the spring daffodils. The cycle route passes it and it adds to the joy of coastline. We use it and do not want to lose it.

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