‘evidence of neglect‘, objections from The Victorian Society, KCC Archaeology, CPRE Historic Buildings Committee, and Save Britain’s Heritage as well as a number of local interest groups, all goes to show the heritage of the Princess Royal, South Street, Folkestone, matters to local people.
In an email sent by Ross McCardle, the council planning officer dealing with the Princess Royal application to Sir Roger De Haan’s agent, he makes clear that ‘evidence of neglect‘ by the owner is apparent. This requires planning officers to disregard the deteriorated condition of a heritage asset and treat it as if it were a normal building.
This is acceptance that the Anthony Swaine Report, written in 2017 was on the money and nothing has changed since. We further understand another Anthony Swaine report, written late last year/early this year, pretty much says the same thing. It has not been placed on the planning application file 22/0109/FH
The owner of the Princess Royal is: Sir Roger Michael De Haan, via his two companies Folkestone Harbour Nominee (1) Ltd and Folkestone Harbour Nominee (2) Ltd.
At bullet point five the email states:
The NPPF requires planning officers to disregard the deteriorated condition of a heritage asset where there is evidence of neglect. In this instance KCC Archaeology highlighted the poor condition of the building in 2017 (which I understand was prior to your client’s owner ship of the property), since which time it appears that no measures have been taken to further shore up or weatherproof the building. Planning officers must therefore consider the current application on the basis that the building is in good condition.
Now with regards to the italicized sentence above, this is simply not true. A quick purchase of the title deed shows the Princess Royal was purchased in 2015, for £191,750, by Sir Roger’s companies, according to Land Registry documents.
As the letter further states, it has been called in to planning. It was the ward Cllr, Nicola Keen (pictured) who called in the application.
Let’s hope that all the documents are available to the planning committee. This would allow them to fully evaluate all the facts to make their decision, including the second Anthony Swaine Report.
It goes to show that heritage matters to locals and groups alike. It also shows Sir Roger, via his companies has elected to neglect the Princess Royal. We fail to understand why the council has chosen not to refuse the application and consider whether an Amenity Notice under
Section 215 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act
a Nuisance Order under Section 29 of the Local Government (miscellaneous provisions) Act is is more appropriate.
We would add that it is also possible to use
ss79-82 of the Environmental Protection Act for abatement or prohibition of a nuisance;
s54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (Urgent Works Notice),
We wonder why they have not used one of these powers. You can make up your own mind.
The Shepway Vox Team