Borsetshire Issues and Options

Cliftonville DPD - Preferred Options Report

Introduction

The Preferred Options Paper

Thanet District has suffered from long-term economic and social problems and is the most deprived local authority area in Kent. Within Thanet, the most deprived wards include Cliftonville West and Margate Central. 

The scale of deprivation suffered in Cliftonville West and Margate Central wards is confirmed by the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2007; a widely used measure of deprivation combining a range of indicators. This reveals that Thanet's 5 most deprived areas adjoin each other and all fall within the Cliftonville West/Margate Central wards. 

The following table shows the "ranking" of these 5 deprived areas compared with all areas in Thanet, Kent County and England. 

Area  ("Super Output Areas" within wards)

Deprivation "Ranking" compared to all areas in:

Thanet

(total of 84 areas)

Kent County

(total of 884 areas)

England

West Margate Central

2

2

192**

North Cliftonville West

3

3

399*

North Margate Central

1

1

167**

Central Cliftonville West

4

4

631*

East Cliftonville West

5

5

670

Areas shown ** fall within the 1% worst lower "super output areas in England  (rank below 325)
Areas shown * fall within the 2% worst lower "super output areas" in England, (rank below 650)

Information from the 2001 national population census and other sources confirm the severity of deprivation across a wide range of indicators for Cliftonville West and Margate Central wards.   Key illustrative points are set out below. These wards have a significantly high proportion of:
economically active people who are unemployed. (Highest rate in Thanet and more than double Thanet's overall rate) 

  • male job seeker's allowance claimant rate (more than triple Thanet rate)
  • people of working age with limiting long term illness (nearly double Thanet rate)
  • hospital admissions due to alcohol/drugs (over five times the County average)
  • shared dwellings (Cliftonville West has highest rate at over four times the Thanet average) 
  • children in households with no earner (Margate Central has highest rate in Thanet)
  • residents who are lone parents.
  • crime rates. (These wards accounted for 12% & 16% of all recorded crime in Thanet but only contain 5.5% and 3.8% of Thanet's population). 

The Council and partner agencies are working together with the local community, landlords and businesses to improve and maintain property, and improve the infrastructure and environment to help address the deprivation issue. In 2005 an area comprising parts of the Cliftonville West and Margate Central wards was declared a Renewal Area - ‘an area identified as having poor housing conditions, coupled with social and environmental needs'.  This Renewal Area was known as the ‘Cliftonville West Renewal Area' and is the area to which this document applies. Key objectives underpinning the Renewal Area declaration are to improve the condition of the private sector housing stock and the general amenities in the area. Since the original declaration an extension to the Area has been agreed. However these planning policies will only apply in the originally designated area (see map in annex 1).

The Cliftonville Development Plan Document (DPD) will set planning policies to work in conjunction with the aims of the Renewal Area. As far as possible, within the realms of the planning system, the DPD will aim to create a more balanced community and make the area a safe, pleasant and attractive place.

The DPD will apply the Government's commitment to developing strong, vibrant and sustainable communities by promoting high quality, inclusive design; developing a socially inclusive community with a suitable mix of housing and taking into account the needs of the community with a view to delivering safe, healthy and attractive places to live. 

The sentiments of the Council's Community Strategy will be echoed in the DPD. These aims include achieving a safe community where people feel confident and able to take part in community life, better social and recreational facilities, clean, safe streets and quality public spaces.  These Community Strategy objectives are particularly relevant in Cliftonville West Renewal area, which needs specific targeted help to achieve them.

The DPD will be one of a number of initiatives to help achieve the aims of the Community Strategy, and the Strategic Planning Team has worked closely with other departments/partners to ensure common objectives are being sought.

Other initiatives relevant to Cliftonville West include:

  • Cliftonville and Margate Central Renewal Area - an initiative to work with landlords and residents to improve the physical state and appearance of buildings and bring empty properties back into use to try and tackle poor housing conditions coupled with social and environment needs.
  • Safer Stronger Communities Fund - an initiative aiming to improve the quality of life for residents of Cliftonville West, Margate Central and Dane Park wards by reducing crime, promoting a stronger sense of community, improved public spaces and better access to public services.

Planning initiatives have already been established to improve the situation in the Cliftonville West Renewal Area. Following significant public consultation and involvement, a policy restricting further development of studio, one-bedroom flats and non self contained accommodation was adopted as council policy and supplementary planning guidance in December 2006.  The key objective of the policy is to complement the aims of the Renewal Area, stem the deprivation cycle and help establish a more settled, mixed and confident community.

The consultations associated with the development of this policy raised a number of other issues. It was therefore considered appropriate to prepare a DPD to include the one bedroom flat policy, along with policies to address where feasible the other issues raised. A major public consultation on the Issues and Options for the DPD was carried out in autumn 2007.  This consultation raised a significant number of issues, all of which were considered and used to form the basis of this Preferred Options paper.

In 2004 the government changed the planning system through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.  This replaced the ‘Local Plan' system with a series of policy documents comprising a ‘Local Development Framework' (LDF).  This emerging Development Plan Document will be a component of the LDF for Thanet and will become a statutory planning policy document once it is adopted.

The DPD will cover the same area as the original Cliftonville West Renewal Area and is shown on the map accompanying this document. This is also the area to which the recent policy adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance applies.

The process for preparing the DPD is shown in the diagram below - the red arrow shows the current stage.  The current local plan, the Thanet Local Plan, will be ‘saved' until policies are either replaced or superseded.  This DPD will replace that part of Policy H10 of the adopted Thanet Local Plan which designates Cliftonville West as an Area in Need of Special Action.  A new planning Bill is currently going through parliament and subsequent stages may alter as a result of that legislation.

 Development Plan Document Process