Seaside council focuses on economic growth

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 7 Dec 2015

Thanet seasideA district council serving struggling seaside towns says it is attempting to draw in investment and improve the local economy.

Thanet District Council serves 127,000 people in east Kent towns such as Broadstairs, Margate, Ramsgate and Minster, which have suffered “fluctuating economies”, strategic planning manager Adrian Verrall told Planning.

“We are looking at how, with new strategies, we can drive not just an economic strategy, but a whole investment programme.

“We have been talking to people like the Homes and Communities Agency and developers about how we can achieve this through a long-term strategy to encourage that extra investment.”

Verrall said positive signs of upturn included the multi-million pound Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate, the high-speed rail link to London and the Westwood Cross shopping centre.

The council looking to recruit a community infrastructure levy (CIL) officer to lead on the preparation and adoption of a CIL charging schedule and approach to section-106 agreements.

“This will help us pull together a coherent strategy for infrastructure funding once we have adopted our local plan, which we are preparing at the moment,” he said.

“This is a new role in the planning department and will involve negotiation with developers; administration and deployment of infrastructure funding; and pursuing other funding opportunities.”

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