Workers seen at Battle of Britain site "making preparations for a planning application"
PUBLISHED: 14:55 21 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:15 21 December 2016
The fate of the Coldharbour Road site hangs in the balance
Northfleet residents were astonished to see workmen at the site of illegally demolished pub The Battle of Britain this week - even though a decision about its future has not yet been made.
The fate of the Coldharbour Road site hangs in the balance after demolition workers began work in October before approval had been granted by the council, violating a number of planning regulations.
But residents were shocked to find workers apparently digging up the ground at the site on Monday morning (December 19).
Gravesham Council’s planning enforcement team investigated and concluded the work was being carried out in advance of a planning application.
A spokesperson said: “The soil investigation works are being carried out to test the soil conditions of the land. It does not constitute development and does not therefore require planning permission to undertake such testing.
“We understand the tests and associated report is being undertaken to supplement a forthcoming planning application.”
Paul Sturgess, manager of planning consultancy the Caldecotte Group, confirmed soil tests had been carried out due to a fly-tipping incident that had taken place at the site on December 1.
“Nothing has been decided yet,” he added. “It is normal, standard practice, and it was to do with the illegal dumping.”
The Battle of Britain Community Group has been campaigning to have the Coldharbour Road site to be designated an Asset of Community Value, meaning residents would have an opportunity to mount a bid for the site.
Gravesham Council is expected to make a decision on the matter this week.