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250 homes approved in Margate despite concerns from St Gregory’s Roman Catholic Primary School

Controversial plans for 250 homes have been approved – despite a head teacher raising fears over children’s safety at a nearby school.

Outline proposals for the estate, on land between Nash Road and Manston Road in Margate, caused concerns for the wellbeing of pupils at St Gregory’s Roman Catholic Primary School.

The land sits between Nash Road and Manston Road. Picture: Google
The land sits between Nash Road and Manston Road. Picture: Google

The school’s head teacher told councillors at Thanet District Council’s (TDC) planning committee he was worried about the relocation of the drop-off bay and parking spaces away from the main entrance.

Twelve new parking bays will be provided under the housing scheme, which has been drawn up by Bellway Homes.

David Walker, head teacher at St Gregory’s, said: “I understand there is no entrance pathway planned to support children’s access to the school.

“I’m most concerned for our proportion of special needs children, which is almost double the national average.

“Their parents park as close to the school as possible to keep them safe.

David Walker, headteacher at St Gregory’s
David Walker, headteacher at St Gregory’s
A map showing the development next to St Gregory's Primary School and where the school's 12 parking bays will be
A map showing the development next to St Gregory's Primary School and where the school's 12 parking bays will be

“How will they get their children into school if they can’t park near the school entrance?

“New houses are important, access links are important and progress is important but none of these are as important as children’s safety.”

Concerns were also raised over the previously agreed reduction in affordable housing to be built on the site, which sits next to Thanet Crematorium.

Cllr Becky Wing (Green) said she was “deeply saddened” by the reduced number.

Originally, the development was set to fall in line with TDC’s policy of 30% affordable housing.

Councillors approved the plans last week. Picture: Piper Developments
Councillors approved the plans last week. Picture: Piper Developments

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But in 2022, it was agreed that 18% of the planned housing would be affordable after the developer stated it would not be financially viable at a higher rate.

Despite the reduction in affordable housing, 31 of the 45 units will be affordable rent.

In planning documents submitted to TDC, planning consultants Savills said “every step has been taken to ensure the safety of the school”.

They said: “The proposed vehicular drop-off in the development will not be the sole dropping off/picking up area available for parents who drive their children to school; sections of Manston Road and Shottendane Road will remain available for parking on, and the stopping up of Nash Road will create further opportunities for parking close to the school’s Manston Road entrance for those who desire to.

“As addressed in the KCC Highways and transport responses, the proposals have met - and continue to meet - all of the necessary safety standards required for pedestrians and vehicles.”

The planning committee voted to approve the layout for the plans on February 14.

Cllr Steve Albon (Lab) added: “The layout is exceptional, it’s clear it's concise, and the properties are well located.”

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