A QUESTIONABLE NASTY WHIFF HANGS OVER DOVER DISTRICT COUNCIL AS IT MAKES HISTORY BY BECOMING THE FIRST COUNCIL IN ENGLAND TO GRANT PLANNING PERMISSION FOR A CAR WASH IN A CONSERVATION AREA.
The Historic town of Dover once more makes history, only this time not by faithfully protecting our shores from Johnny Foreigner and his invading hordes. But by becoming the poster child for car washes in historic English towns.
Dover, a town that once stood proud on Britain’s front line, its majestic castle looking down over a grateful prosperous populous, now stands looking over a waste land of open ground and empty shops, a townscape of its leaders own making, master-minded by questionably motivated councillors who play petty politics and engage in vindictive feuds with anyone who tries to improve the town’s outlook.
Councillors’ big ideas for the town include placing a “Welcome To Dover” sign on a derelict building site allowing themselves to sleepwalk into becoming the car wash capital of England.
A fact born out on the 28th August 2014 when the trusted and learned burghers of the Council’s planning committee voted to give planning permission for a car wash in a most historic conservation area just below Dover Castle and within just a few meters of Castle Hill House, Dover most important 18th Century residential building, a house which since 1760 has given sustenance and shelter to the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and even kept baying hordes of Kent Miners from tearing Margaret Thatcher limb from limb.
Planning permission was granted by councillors knowing that Dover District Council had stated that planning should be refused, as did Dover Town Council, English Heritage, Dover Conservation officer, The Dover Society and 27 member of the public.
The same learned councillors were also armed with the knowledge that Dover already had 4 car washes within a square mile of the new site, and 9 (yes, NINE) within a two mile radius, obviously councillors were of a mind-set that the Castle conservation area was letting down Dover and its setting by lacking a car wash for all to see and hear on their way to visit Dover castle.
To top off the icing on the cake that celebrates the death knell for Dover’s heritage assets, the councillors in their wisdom ignored all Government, Kent County Council and Dover District Council polices and guidelines related to development in conservation areas, and the fact that Castle Hill House was about to be upgraded by the Secretary of State to Grade 2 Star-listed, making Castle Hill House the only Grade 2 Star-listed residential building in Dover. This is the equivalent to putting a car wash next to the Brompton Oratory!
If there are any blue birds still singing over the white cliffs of Dover don’t expect to hear them, they will be drowned out by the sound of jet washers and cars being vacuumed next time you visit.