Broadstairs Park Protest

Local residents who are angry at plans to cut down 20 trees in Pierremont Park in Broadstairs to make way for a new community centre, say they may take emergency action to stop the work going ahead.

They're considering occupying the site or tying themselves to trees to prevent workman from doing their jobs.

The group is worried the small park and the people who use it will suffer because of the £1.4million development which has been granted planning permission.

At the weekend 200 people attended a demonstration organised by the Thanet Action Group, which is made up of local residents. Spokesman Norman Thomas said the meeting demonstrated the strength of feeling against plans to build the centre.

He said: "People don't want this new development. They believe it will damage a much-loved park. Thanet Council's planning officer has stated 20 trees will be cut down, but the speakers at the demonstration felt that not one tree should go."

The new community centre will replace a 90 year old dilapidated hut. It will be a two storey building with a main hall and stage, four meeting rooms, a kitchen and snack bar and toilets

Cllr. Ken Gregory, Chairman of the Planning Committee at Thanet Council said: “It’s probably fair to say that when this application was first submitted six years ago, there was a great deal of controversy about it. People were concerned about a number of things, but particularly the loss of parkland and trees.

"Having listened to all the views, it’s clear that the community centre would be a valuable resource for Broadstairs residents and therefore the benefits would outweigh the concerns that we heard people raise.”

The centre will be owned and run by the Broadstairs and St Peter's Community Centre Trust, but funded by Broadstairs Town Council, Thanet District Council and Kent County Council.