Land border dispute erupts and runs on Quiet Cliffsend Road – The Isle Of Thanet News
A dispute has arisen between the inhabitants of a Cliffsend road and a developer called upon to clear land backing onto their gardens.
Maybank Homes Ltd is clearing land at 20 Clive Road which has received planning approval for the construction of five homes.
But the work has sparked outrage among those whose properties have returned to the site who say the permission misplaced the boundary and “took pieces” from their gardens – leaving a drop of water in the development site.
A family also says that the work team demolished a piece of land they owned by using it as an access point to get to the site.
The dispute has resulted in numerous complaints to the police, with both sides reporting abuse, damage and confrontation, as well as further complaints to Thanet and Kent’s councils.
Resident Saffron Clayton says she was given three hours to remove a chicken coop and chickens from the site. She admits the land is not hers, but says she has used it for the past 19 years and it would have taken longer.
The couple Ann and John Townend say that the end of their garden “collapses” after the removal of the undergrowth and the trees.
Ann said: “There were cherry trees and bushes and now it’s all gone.”
Resident Steven Parsons said there were also concerns that the work was too close to a gas line and that there was asbestos at the site.
He added: “We are contesting the border they have established. It’s also on an old landfill with cars and all kinds buried there and we’re told the builders found asbestos.
Tania McCullum says workers destroyed land belonging to her in order to create access to their site. She says the patch was a wildlife area loved by her two sons with autism.
She added: “Our gate and fence are broken, everything is gone and it looks like we can only take civil action. We are really upset about the impact on wildlife and the environment.
Steven Mayhew, of the development company, says an “error” was made when creating the access, but denies that there was a wildlife garden on the site.
He said: “The builder accessed the site in the wrong place. I apologized and (the owner) asked us to dig up their trash and put it on our site. It was full of garbage. “
Steve Parsons said residents were devastated by the loss of wildlife and trees and there had been no notification.
He said: “If someone had come with proper notification, we could have negotiated and there wouldn’t be all of these issues.
“I think he (Mr. Mayhew) should come to my property and talk to us and end this dispute.
“We want poles and fences. There is a 5 foot drop at the end of my garden and it is not acceptable. Neither of us can use our gardens, there is no privacy.
Mr Mayhew said the demarcation line was in line with land registry records and neighbors had “taken” part of his client’s land.
He said: “It’s a bit of a mess. The owner asked us to do some landscaping, but there were so many problems. We have spent 15 years working on complex sites and have never had anything like it.
“We were called in to clean up and reclaim the owner’s yard, put up some fences, and then watch where we go from there.”
Green Party District Councilor Becky Wing attended the demolition work at a friend’s request and says she was shocked to see the extent of the clearance.
She said that a better way forward must be found.
She said: “Not only does it appear that a resident’s land was part of this demolition / remediation work, there has been significant habitat removal which appears to have been approved by TDC Planning on appeal.
“In addition, the gardens of other residents have been left overhanging as the soil has been removed, leaving exposed slopes which are now prone to erosion and fall.
“What really worried me when I visited the site for the first time was that work was being undertaken within 10 meters of a high pressure gas line despite clear signage and even the clean ones. Developer’s planning applications indicate that asbestos may be present.
“The planning report recommends that a full site survey be undertaken, but it is not clear if this has been done. “
Cllr Wing added, “I hope that the trees to be kept in the plans are properly protected throughout the rest of the development, that the developer is working with residents to find a better way forward, and that TDC Planning ensures that every aspect of the approved planning request comes together to protect both people and our ever-shrinking habitats.
Councilors Marc Rattigan and Brenda Rogers also visited the site and expressed their concerns.
However, Thanet’s advice says there has been no violation of the planning.
A spokesperson for Thanet’s council said: “The council has received complaints about violations of the planning conditions attached to authorization F / TH / 19/0407.
“Our planning enforcement team visited the Clive Road site but found no violation of planning control on the site clearing work.
“We understand that other relevant authorities have been contacted regarding the damage to nearby sites and the proximity of the site clearing to a gas line.”
Mr Mayhew said a site visit had been made to the gas line and no problems were found.
Gas company SGN has been contacted for comment.