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South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay not allowed into Thanet council Local Plan decision meeting

By Katie Davis

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has hit out at the council after he was denied entry to last night's special council meeting.

Mr Mackinlay took to Twitter to vent his anger, tweeting: “Another unbelievable Thanet Council fiasco."

“I’m currently not allowed in to the Special Council meeting to decide Thanet’s future local plan as it is ‘full up’ according to door staff.

Craig Mackinlay MP
Craig Mackinlay MP

“A lot of annoyed and frustrated people here at Thanet Council unable to get into the meeting. Including me!”

A TDC spokesman said: "There are a limited number of seats in the public gallery, and similarly the overflow room.

"Once the seats in both of these spaces are filled by members of the public, there is no further admittance,this is to ensure public safety.

"Last night, as both areas were full we had to turn away about 20 people, of which Craig Mackinlay was one.

"Other than seats for disabled people,there are no reservations for general seating.

"Had he made contact with us prior to the meeting he would have been advised of this.

"Other members of the public queued from 5:30pm to be assured of a seat."

Mr Mackinlay says, however, he is “delighted” with the result as it was “the right decision for Thanet”.

He said: “I have been saying for many months no plan is better than a bad plan, and what was being presented was a bad plan.

“Thanet with Manston as an airport is a wholly different Thanet from Thanet without an airport so this was a flawed plan and I’m delighted that enough councillors across the party, which is really important, have rejected it.

“We can now go back to the drawing board for a short while and get this right for the people of Thanet and for the future because this is going to be with us for a very very long time.

“I always thought this plan was not well thought out, was the wrong plan for Thanet and we can get it right now.”

Last night Thanet councillors rejected a planning blueprint that would have meant that the former Manston Airport site being developed for houses and businesses.

The vote to reject what is known as the Local Plan has thrown a lifeline to campaigners who want to see the airport reopened.

However, the decision to block the plan in its current format means that the government is now likely to intervene if the council fails to adopt it by the end of March.

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