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Why will Shepway Conservatives not conserve our Conservation Areas?

July 15, 2009 8:00 AM
By Neil Matthews in Letter to the Editor, Your Shepway

Shepways Conservatives' terrible reputation, when it comes to preserving our local history and culture, took a further step into an abyss recently.

No-one could be blamed to think a perfectly good 1920s house, in character with its neighbouring properties and situated within a Conservation Area, would be under no threat from an application for demolition and replacement. Certainly not from a planning application for an alternative glass and stainless steel modern design.

But that is exactly what has happened to Sandgate's western coastal strip - set within a Conservation area, when Shepway's Conservatives voted to approve it at a recent planning committee. Nothing wrong with the proposed new design, per se, but it does nothing to 'protect' and 'enhance' the Conservation Area that any application 'must' demonstrate in planning law in order for a grant of permission to succeed.

Whilst Shepway's Conservatives remain in charge, please don't think our Conservation Areas remain safe - far from it!