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!