Star item tonight as expected was the East Kent College application where the only speaker in favour of the application was the Principal Graham Razey. The Officer tried to make the case but wasn't having much luck persuading the sceptical public gallery on the potential impact on nearby properties regarding overlooking and the parking/traffic problems. Councillors weren't impressed either with this one on the traffic issues. The Highways Officer spoke though I got the feeling he was a bit caught off guard. Its gone to Site Visit, to be held on 5th October and should return to Planning for final decision on 17th October.
The Hotel Leslie application was approved after a bit of debate, but the only other option would have been Site Visit and its a pretty well known site. When you consider what's there at present, the plans are an improvement. You can argue about the heritage of the building but I lived in Warwick Road for 3 years and never liked that building. Demolition is much better than trying to convert that. With the Embassy plans approved too, the street scene down there should be much improved.
The Park Avenue, Broadstairs application for extensions to the property went to Site Visit. Its a bit difficult to judge this one without visiting the site because while the report may say there are big distances between properties on the neighbouring street, there's clearly a serious problem and so the Site Visit seems the sensible thing to do.
We also got a briefing from the Principal Enforcement Officer which is always interesting to hear about. Its quite a good example of how the Council is having to operate under constraints and trying to be flexible in sorting out issues they have to deal with, whether it be a breach of condition, or a giant Gorilla on Margate seafront. I have a lot of respect for Steve Albon, having heard him do this talk before and a similar talk at Manston Parish Council back in June. This item ends up as ever a mixed back of good the bad and the ugly and this was no different.