William and Louise overwelmed by support for their proposals for the Business and Garden centre

As many know , Louise and I have faced decades of objection from one of our neighbours, (see post on the dispute over private road) to the development of our Farmyard areas, in the urban area as a Garden and Business Centre.   

Four  applications F/TH/20/0261, F/TH/20/0419, F/TH/20/0320 and F/TH/20/1418 were submitted in 2020 to  confirm that my proposals offer public benefit, are in accordance with planning policy and cause no harm to the conservation area , heritage assets, green infrastructure  or the amenity of the area.

A recent objection  Doug Brown re F_TH_20_1418 is a repeat of old objections 16 06 18 Plan Cons to TDC referring back to settled past issues about the private road and old defeated  legal claims. 

j s F_TH_20_1418- SUPPORT

j r  F_TH_20_0419-SUPPORT 

the first of these applications 20/1418 was passed at committee on the 19th May 21  in accordance with officers recommendations.  officers report 20 1418

This   application to improve the accesses onto George Hill Road can now be implemented to reduce traffic down the private road, improving, road safety and traffic segregation , improving the settings of the listed buildings along it for everyone’s mutual benefit. 

The second application, F/TH/20/0261 for alteration of the roof of block D, is now also approved , F_TH_20_0261-DELEGATED_REPORT-890983.  The objections raised were repeats of old objections already raised in 2014 and 2016 against approved applications  – Kevin Palmer F_TH_20_0261-OBJECTS-861457 – This application  reduces the maximum height of the approved building from 4.5m to 3.6m , – below the height of the boundary screening .  21 05 27 -JS 2nd drft support  , 

We now await the out come of the next two applications. The continued use of the site for existing  uses will preserve the garden, farmyard and horticultural nature of the site . 

claire cartier – F_TH_20_1418-SUPPORT

We sincerely thank all those who have written in , in support of these applications. These 30+ letters are available to view on the TDC planning website under the above reference numbers . The three quoted below, especially from Margate Civic Society and Ramsgate Operatic Society,  encapsulate all the overall points. We really hope and believe that the determination of these applications will now draw a final line under the unfounded objections of the past , allowing us to invest in improving the facilities we offer to local small businesses, individuals and charitable groups.  


Ramsgate Operatic Society,  Broadstairs, Kent


Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing in support of the planning applications by Mr William Friend in respect of Northdown Business Centre. Margate, Kent, CT9 3TS.

The application references are F/TH/20/0261, F/TH/20/0419, F/TH/20/0320 and F/TH/20/1418.

I am fully aware of the proposals contained in the applications which I believe will enhance and improve the entire site. In addition I believe that if granted, the changes will allow the buildings and facilities to blend in further and add to the character of the whole conservation area around the location.

Secondly, The public benefit for the community would be further assured by consolidating the current arrangements for the existing small businesses and charities that use the site.

I am writing this letter of support as the Secretary for Ramsgate Operatic Society on behalf of the entire committee of trustees as I have been able to witness at first hand the benefit to the community and charitable organisations such as ours. The site owners have provided storage facilities for our costumes and scenery with an initial six month rent freeze followed by a monthly rental charge well below the average commercial rate.

I am also aware of the generosity and support given to other registered charities that regularly use the site including the Thanet Male Voice Choir of which I am a member.

I believe that Ramsgate Operatic Society will benefit further from the changes allowed by successful applications as it would eventually allow the provision of larger and improved storage facilities for the Society.

My fellow trustees have been consulted and are also fully in agreement with the applications for the same reasons listed above. They are:

Paul Trindall: Chairman, Mary Pickett: Treasurer, Barry Todd: Trustee, Linda Sanford : Trustee, Nathan Karro : Trustee, Thomas Mitchel: Trustee, Rhea Woodward: Trustee,

Yours Sincerely

Ken Pickett,  (Secretary to the Trustees)


From: “mike.thompson>
To: emma.fibbens@thanet.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, 27 Apr, 2021 At 20:14
Subject: East Northdown Farm – planning applications ref; – F/TH/20/0261, F/TH/20/0419, F/TH/20/0320, F/TH/20/1418.

Dear Ms Fibbens,

Margate Civic Society submits the following comments in full support of the above planning applications.

The site provides for mixed usage which re-enforces and supports the sustainability of the farm itself whilst at the same time offering diversity that supports a garden centre, cafe, small business units and educational use. This mixed usage is most commendable as it provides affordable opportunities to small local businesses who would be unable to thrive outside this environment owing to the high rental charges in force elsewhere.

We hear much talk about affordable housing provision but virtually none about affordable commercial provision but it is clear that occupiers of units on the site are grateful for the opportunities provided.

The planning applications do, therefore, support local employment and seek to further the existing local interest and viability of the site. The intention to maintain, invest in and improve this connection is to be applauded. It would be all too easy to sell out to an out of town developer for some grandiose residential scheme and turn away from the local connection that is currently provided.

It is, therefore, the opinion of Margate Civic Society that the planning applications submitted will further improve the site and the development of the local green economy and for these reasons, the Society fully supports their approval together with any safeguarding conditions that may be considered appropriate.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Mr.M.Thompson (for Margate Civic Society)

 Margate CT9 



Dear Mrs Fibbens,

I am agent for the Applicant Mr Friend and have been involved with East Northdown Farm for many years.

The two change of use applications above conform to Mr. Friend proposals to continue with the established commercial uses set out in 2013 ,rather than alternative residential schemes under consideration at that time within the urban area.

The other elements of the Scheme approved or implemented so far, with respect to their uses and design, have hitherto not met with any objections from any statutory consultees.

Application F TH 20 0419 received 30 letters of support, and none against, from local residents , tenants and local groups , such as the Margate Civic Society . The principles and sentiments already set out in these letters apply equally to both 0419 and 0320 and I endorse and commend them to you. The proposals will allow the future use of the site and buildings such that it will enhance the facilities on the site for public economic and amenity benefit, and  in a way that  is sympathetic to its sensitive location in the Conservation Area.

The Application F TH 20 0320 is a full application for two similar change of use notices submitted under the GPDO to the Council in 2016. In my opinion the GPDO encourages development of this kind. Accordingly, I support the  approval of the current full application. The new Local Plan specifically endorses the principle of re-using areas of historic, amenity and heritage interest , such as the Ramsgate Royal Harbour, Margate Old Town and Quex Park as mixed use creative hubs to foster local creative talent , particularly needed now in the recovery of small business from the Covid Pandemic .

The proposed development will improve the economic and amenity contribution of  East Northdown Farm, Garden and Business Centre to the area .

In my opinion  the proposed development will have no impact on the frequency of commercial traffic currently using East Northdown Farm Lane, a private road in Mr Friend’s ownership.

The development will not have a negative impact on the curtilage of Listed Buildings fronting this lane, or the buildings themselves. The Listed farmhouse is undergoing the final phase of re-roofing and the roof of the listed ‘Kent Barn’ is due to undergo similar ‘once every one hundred years’ repairs and refurbishment shortly, funded from the income from the Business Centre.

For these reasons I support the Application as submitted

Yours sincerely

James Squier

James Squier 

Bidwell House, Trumpington Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. CB2 9LD



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