Saturday, September 06, 2008

On The Of-fence-ive

Bloody hell! I must get a new headline writer! So there I was scanning through the 47 free newspapers that plop through the letterbox each week, looking for stories. As any media mogul worth his salt knows, there's no point reading the editorial content. You've probably seen it all before. No, what I always read are the adverts. And I wasn't disappointed.

On page six of the Isle of Thanet Extra I spotted this:

Notice of a public inquiry next Tuesday to appeal against our beloved council over the erection of 2.1m high security fencing without going to the awkward bother of getting planning permission.

The appeal is listed as having been brought by 'Samber Limited'. A quick search of the interwhatsit elicited the news that 'Samber Limited' is a Jewish charity based in Golders Green whose aim is: 'To advance religion in accordance with the Orthodox Jewish faith and for such other purposes as are recognised by English law as charitable.' The appeal refers to 'land adjacent to the Montefiore Synagogue, Honeysuckle Road, Ramsgate', where Samber Limited appears to have taken it upon themselves to install a large erection without bothering to ask the council.

It's not the first time, however, that 2.1m security fencing has caused upset on the Ile. Earlier this year there was a huge kerfuffle when it was put up, again without planning permission, in Broadstairs. And in April, reader Foxy complained about this new fence in Cecilia Road, Ramsgate:

On those occasions it was the council that didn't bother applying to itself for planning permission. Now, however, it seems that it's going to all the trouble of a public inquiry to test the good taste of our local boundaries!

Click here to view case on Planning Inspectorate website

Update: Reader Walter writes: Stop the bus!!!!! Samber purchased the land from a developer who put the fence up and a gate without planning permission. It was then blocked off by an inappropriate gate and the new/old owners were told to remove it - and we had a new right of way instigated after.. yup after yet another public inquiry. TDC are actually (and I spit in TDC's direction as I type this) the good guys in this case!

I have reworded this story to reflect this, Walter, and to eliminate my previous erroneous drivellings. All I can say is that my glass eye must have required polishing earlier in the day!


Anonymous said...

See: F/TH/05/1555 which was refused Jun 2007 and the enforcement order issued by the TDC planning committee meeting held on 18 July 2007.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is good...very good – and a big well done for ECR putting this issue in the public domain.

Looks like there is an ongoing dispute concerning a sum of £30,000 for the upkeep of the Public Open Space. That’s the woodland full of dog turds on the top part of the former Lady Judith College. TDC still has not obtained this money well after signing up to a 106 agreement.

It appears that a certain Jewish Charity wants the Rabbinical College to be placed back on this site.

I wonder what will come out at the public inquiry. I can reveal one thing; a fencing contractor was spotted on site measuring for new fencing?

For those that are interested in Montefiore Matters the Synagogue is open tomorrow.

Conservationist said...

The synanogue is well worth a visit if you have never been inside - they usually open up the mausoleum too.

Anonymous said...

A College would restore the land back to its original use and enhance the environment around the synagogue and mausoleum. I am all for an improvement to the neglected and poorly managed area that MAG has not really got to grips with. The whole site could become a Jewish Focal point in Thanet and attract more visitors and inward investment. Proper landscaping and development of a College would enhance this dilapidated and neglected site that resembles a dog toilet more than a useful amenity to all of Ramsgate.

Anonymous said...

I can understand TDC getting excited about 2.1m gates being put across rights of way but our Council getting agitated about 2.1m high fences does seem incongruous given its record so far on hideous allotment fences of the same height. It could only happen in Thanet!

Anonymous said...

Has a planning application been made to commit arson and vandalism on any of these sites? I bet not! Typical.