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MP Charlie Elphicke in row with Cllr Gordon Cowan over a plot of land in St Margaret's

By Emily Stott

MP Charlie Elphicke has come under fire for trying to buy a plot of land for £1,000 from the council next to his home in St Margaret’s.

The Conservative MP for Dover and Deal says he wanted to buy the 0.39 acre area to restore and give back to the community.

MP Charlie Elphicke.
MP Charlie Elphicke.

However, Cllr Gordon Cowan, Dover District Council’s shadow cabinet member for access and property, claims Mr Elphicke could use the land to extend and benefit his own property.

The Labour councillor said: “It has not been on the open market and he wants to come along and buy it for £1,000. That is a disgrace.

“It’s land that is adjacent to his own property with nice sea views.”

Mr Elphicke denied the claims, saying he wanted to do something positive for the area.

He said: “Without checking the facts they have created a row. I wanted to do this so that people had a place to have a picnic. I’m dismayed that the Labour party want to make an issue out of it. Because of the Labour Party the area remains overgrown and unusable.”

Cllr Cowan claims the idea to restore the land to a public picnic area was only mentioned once Mr Elphicke was ‘found out’.

But Mr Elphicke denies this, claiming it was always the plan to restore the picnic area.

Kent County Council councillor Gordon Cowan
Kent County Council councillor Gordon Cowan

Cllr Cowan said: “ Quite frankly, he has been found out and now all he wants to do is turn it around and say isn’t it terrible that Labour don’t see it as a community asset.

“I found him out and he is covering it up.

“If it goes on the open market at the going rate and he would like to contribute or give the funds to the parish council he could contribute to the community at the same time as being the local MP.

“If he is looking to do a community asset project then that would be brilliant but that has never come up until recently.”

The MP said he will not now be buying the land.

The council has not confirmed what will happen with the area.

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