Arlington Clean Up – Who is cleaning up for the benefit of the Planning Inspector?

How convenient. Cleaning crews were out at today at the Arlington Margate site on a Saturday morning cleaning up the weeds and rubbish that has been a shame to our town for over ten years. And to top it off,  a Thanet District Councillor was on site supervising.

We’ve been complaining for years about the dreadful state of Arlington, but is it really appropriate for TDC to be in attendance cleaning up of the locked off areas of the Arlington site, just before the Public Inquiry is due to start and there will be a site visit from the presiding Planning Inspector?

Of course, leaseholders, Freshwater, should have done this clean up years ago. We trust the public purse hasn’t paid for today’s activity.

Here is how the place looked before:

During the clean up:

After the clean up. All spick and span:

The Developers, Freshwater, paid for Thanet District Council’s ‘Independent’ Heritage Report

Thanet District Council confirmed today that Freshwater the leaseholders of the Arlington site funded the independent expert report looking at the upgraded listing of the Scenic Railway.

As we reported earlier this week,  the report was written by the firm Montagu Evans, who list Tesco Stores amongst their main clients. The independence of this report and the author is now questionable.

Is it a credible document to be presented to Planning Committee on October 19th?

I’m sure we will receive clarification on the independence of the report from the freeholder – Thanet District Council, the leaseholder Freshwater and the prospective corporate tenant – Tesco Stores. And further that Dr Chris Miele has a duty of care to Thanet District Council who commissioned the report and not Montagu Evans’ other clients, Tesco Stores.

30 September 2011 10:34
Arlington Statement
Thanet District Council commissioned the report, so that the professional duty of care was owed to the council for the advice received. The council paid for the report and were reimbursed by the developers. The report will be assessed independently by English Heritage and the council’s planning and conservation teams and this will be reported to the Planning Committee.

Why have we set up the Arlington House blog?

On Wednesday the 14th of June 2011, Thanet District Council’s Planning Committee referred the application to build a Supermarket Superstore of 7500m2 at Arlington House and Arlington Square to the Secretary of State with a recommendation for approval. The Committee were deadlocked with a vote of 7 for approval and 7 for refusal. The Chairman, Independent Councillor Jack Cohen cast the deciding vote to approve the application. The decision depended on 1 vote. The decision now rests with Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Government.

This blog has been set up to publish information on the history or Arlington House and Arlington Square. It is a prominent seafront building in Margate. Our aim is to build an archive of past, present and future of Arlington and its role at the centre of Margate. No matter what technicality the authorities claim that this is a site on the outskirts. Anyone coming in to Margate knows that this is at the heart of the town.

If you have stories, history or anecdotes about Arlington to contribute, please get in touch at arlingtonhousemargate@gmail.com

We ask that the proposals currently on the table be taken to a Public Enquiry. It seems only fair after the decision was made on a single casting vote of the newly appointed Chairman. We’re suggesting people make their views known by contacting Mr Eric Pickles MP and asking for this: eric.pickles@communities.gsi.gov.uk

http://www.ericpickles.com/

If you fancy some initial further reading, you could do worse than download and peruse the ARLINGTON PLANNING BRIEF, which was adopted by Full Council in 2008 and is the basis on how schemes for the Arlington site should be based on. You can then judge for yourself if you think this latest proposal of building of a huge 24 hour superstore fits with this http://www.ukplanning.com/  enter the reference F/TH/10/1061 .