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MP Charlie Elphicke says land in St Margaret's is unsafe but Dover District Council denies claims

The MP for Deal and Dover has hit out at the district council over a plot of land in St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe.

The Mercury previously reported that Mr Elphicke wished to purchase the land, near his home, to renovate it and turn it into a public picnic area.

However, this move came under fire from Labour’s Dover town and district councillor Gordon Cowan who claimed the MP could use the land for his own use.

MP Charlie Elphicke
MP Charlie Elphicke

Mr Elphicke said: “I’m happy to take on, at my own expense, the work that needs to be done. The Labour Party would prefer taxpayers foot the bill.”

Speaking at the time 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.”

After the controversy, it was believed Mr Elphicke would no longer be taking on the project but this may not be the case.

The MP may still purchase a section of the land for public use but claims that part of the area would be unsafe for the public.

But the district council, which owns the land has denied claims that the area is unsafe.

Mr Elphicke said: “For its own insurance purposes, the council has to deny that the cliff is unsafe. In fact there were two cliff falls here last winter and spring.

“This story shows that the Labour Party has nothing to say on the great issues that affect Dover and Deal. Clearly it’s going to be a long election campaign with lots of dirty and personal attacks like this.”

A DDC spokesman said: “The land concerned is very steeply sloping cliff, which by its nature is unstable but the council would deny that the land is unsafe.”

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