Sir Roger Gale
Member of Parliament for North Thanet (Margate, Herne Bay & The Villages)
Gale`s New Year View Herne Bay 2013
December 27th 2012
The new local plan will be published by Canterbury City Council and out for consultation early in this New Year. It will, inevitably, have to balance demands for new housing, and the twin demands for a new secondary and primary school that that housing is likely to generate, industrial and job-creating commercial development that will create employment for local people with the requirement to conserve open space, to protect the environment and to maintain the charm and heritage that attracts much of Herne Bay`s tourism.
Once the plan is on the table the restrictions upon the Bay`s Councillors and, to some extent, as a result of a self-denying ordinance, I myself, will be lifted and we shall be free to both voice local opinion and to express our own concerns and aspirations.
Into this mix will be tossed the regeneration of the Town Centre, hopes for the future of Herne Bay Pier, the Golf Club site with all its potential for leisure and accommodation and, of course, the further expansion of the Altira Park (“Kitewood” ) site, edge-of-town supermarket development and the much-needed Blacksole pedestrian bridge.
All of this represents, I believe, a tipping point for The Bay that will determine the legacy that we hand on to our children and our grandchildren. It is vital, therefore, that the Town has its say in no uncertain terms.. This is, I think, far too important a matter to be left to the mandarins of City Hall, but if the residents of The Bay, and their elected representatives, do not nail colours to the mast then the decisions will be taken by default and we shall have only ourselves to blame for the consequences, for good or ill, whatever they may be.
Old Windy`s Almanack predicts exciting times ahead for the town that we love. In wishing, to all, a superlative 2013, I make, exceptionally, one of those New Year`s resolutions that I ordinarily avoid. I shall do my utmost to ensure that when the Local Plan is finally approved it reflects the true wishes of the majority of the people of Herne Bay.