When it comes to planning in Thanet I often find that I am confused, and now with the new localism bill in the offing I don’t think I am alone.
On several occasions recently it seemed that the planning inspectorate had had their claws cropped, teeth pulled or whatever the right euphemism is, when some government department ceases to have a purpose – because of legislation – i.e. the paper keeps coming out but no one reads it anymore.
This is partly about HMOs, Houses in Multiple Occupation, something that causes various problems in Thanet, the whole business of living in town centres is a difficult one. I know about this as I live in King Street Ramsgate and frankly nowadays venturing out my front door of an evening is something that requires a strategy, not something I would have expected in an ordinary English town, although I gather from the other shopkeepers I know in other ordinary English towns, that this is becoming the rule rather than the exception. The ordinary codes of civilised decent behaviour have worn a bit thin, of an evening, I wouldn’t want to take my children for an evening walk in a lot of English towns and subject them to groups of people communicating with each other in a string of obscenities, something I take as low level verbal child sex abuse.
This brings us to the problem that ordinary decent people don’t want to live in the middle of many of our towns town anymore, it just isn’t very nice. People of course have to live somewhere and this means that it is easier to get accommodation where it is very noisy at night, so long as you don’t mind Bruv and Gees shouting at each other incoherently, punctuated with only too coherent obscenities for most of the night.
The solution to all of this is the HMO, I think the simple principle being that even with the 24 hour drinking laws, and recreational drug problems, Bruv and Gees have to have somewhere to pass out periodically and rooms in areas made uninhabitable for normal sleep, by the general level of behaviour, are ok for the comatose.
Anyway the council are trying to find a solution to the problem, which appears to be not passing anymore planning applications for flats, I think the idea is that perceived flat dwellers living in houses will behave differently. As a flat dweller I am not so certain that they are on the right track, the problem is a national one and the council is in more of a no win situation than usual over it.
I think that eventually the problem in Ramsgate will sort itself out, with the new road and rail connections, climate, architecture and so on it is a very desirable place to live and I think this will squeeze out a large proportion of the people with social and behavioural problems, many of whom only arrived due to different types of social engineering.
Anyway this is what the planning inspector had to say about Smith and Jones’s new flat http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/911/id11.htm thanks to Gerald for pointing this one out to me. So you see it seems that the planning inspectorate still have some bite.
For me of course the real planning issue was that the Smith and Jones building obtained planning permission for change of use from an indoor market to yet another drinking establishment.
One of the great problems that needs addressing in many English towns now, is the absence of real retail shops, where you can buy tangible goods from people engaged in a real business.
It is worth considering that this is the reason that all the other businesses went there in the first place, the trade in real goods by real businesses, that is. Having your hair cut, teeth pulled, getting drunk, getting fed, getting robbed, consulting a lawyer, gong to church all happened because of the real trade in tangible goods. Take this away and it is unlikely that the rest will survive and all we will have is housing with nothing much to do, once we have eaten and drunk our limit.