Cllr Jacqui Meade “Calls In” s73 Folkestone Seafront Development application.

J-Meade-photoCllr Jacqui Meade (pictured) ~(Lab) of Folkestone Town Council has sent via email a request to call in the s73 Folkestone Seafront Development (pictured above) application.

Cllr Meade believes the seafront development has caused such local controversy that “calling it in” was the right and proper thing to do.

So what does this mean? Will Folkestone & Hythe District Council now suspend the application allowing the Secretary of State to deal with the matter? That is yet to be announced.

So what is a call in?

  • The Secretary of State (Sajid Javid MP) can “call in” certain planning applications that local authorities propose to approve. For example, where it may have wider effects beyond the immediate locality, significant regional or national controversy, or potential conflict with national policy. These will then be subject to a public inquiry presided over by a Planning Inspector who will make recommendation to the Secretary of State who will decide the application instead of the local planning authority.

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Damian Collins MP (Left) – Sajid Javid MP (centre) – Sir Roger de Haan (Right)

Cllr Meade in her application has specifically applied

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Left Damian Collins MP –  Centre- Sajid Javid MP – Right Sir Roger De Haan

It is not yet known if the “holding direction” has been effective. In the call in – it states: 

“The Council (Folkestone & Hythe District Council)  has published no guidance as to what amounts to a “minor material amendment” under section 73. This is in contrast to other councils which do, such as Lewisham  which is plainly in the interests of administrative consistency and fairness. This highlights an issue of national importance, namely the absence of any such guidance on a national level which results in a postcode lottery: what is minor in Folkestone would not be minor in Lewisham. It means that the high judicial review bar of irrationality essentially collapses the judgement of whether an amendment is “minor” into an entirely discretionary one. This is particularly so where there is an inequality of arms as between local campaign groups reliant entirely on their participants own funds and time, and well-resourced developers and their elite lawyers This is not what the distinction between minor material changes and more significant material changes was intended to achieve.”

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Cllr Meade continues

  • I am aware that the developers have this week proposed two new concessions and Council Officers are recommending they be accepted. However, these concessions are far from sufficient to address the wider issues of national importance identified above. As requested at paragraph 2 above, in view of the imminence of the Council meeting on Tuesday,

  • I would invite the Secretary of State to preserve the status quo – until the public have had a chance to comment on my call-in application, and until the Secretary of State has considered my application substantively taking account of all relevant factors and undertaken any due enquiry – by issuing a holding direction to that effect.

Finally a test usually carried out to assess the acceptability of a change to an approved scheme under the minor amendment procedure is:

  • Would the interests of any third party or body who participated in, or was informed of, the original application be disadvantaged in any way?

Yes they could lose a Water Sports Centre, The Harbour Masters House potentially. All the people who agreed to these things and more; in the original application, would be disadvantaged if that promised then, isn’t delivered now. You can make up your own mind.

The full “call in” application can be downloaded and read here.

The Shepwayvox Team

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Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

4 Comments on Cllr Jacqui Meade “Calls In” s73 Folkestone Seafront Development application.

  1. “Jonathan Ward, a sociology researcher at Leeds University, who recently published a report questioning the benefits of cultural regeneration in Folkestone and Margate, contends that the harbour development casts De Haan’s support for the arts in a different light. He said: “[It’s] a bit of cultural branding used to conceal what is basically a speculative property development aimed at elite consumers.”

  2. Regardless of her political affiliation, the Councillor has got b*lls for taking on “Folkestone’s very-own superman, Sir Roger De Haan”

    https://www.kentlive.news/news/news-opinion/the-overpriced-plans-folkestones-seafront-1481656

  3. Girl Power at it’s best. First Cllr Wendy Peacock in Hythe, now Cllr Jacqui Meade of Folkestone, whose’ the next female Councillor who’ll show some backbone? Well done and the best of luck to you Cllr Meade.

  4. Bang on Ms Meades. More power to your elbow. Why is Folkestone being transformed into a pastiche Spanish resort for those with money. The sea views are what make Folkestone, and they are being sold to the highest bidder, another is that of the Leas Pavilion, a 7 floor structure to smother the Leas. Where does the problem of the lack of truly social housing come in these grandiose schemes?

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