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As you all know we have been collecting signatures against development on Princes Parade for some time now on a 38 Degrees petition. We currently have 5471 signatures.
We atemped to submit the petition to Shepway District Council, in December but they rejected our petition because it included non Shepway residents and also because it didn't include the name, address and signature of each person signing. We gave the council a copy sorted between residents and non residents, although we feel that visitor’s (non-residents) views are relevant because the site has both regional and national importance, but they still weren't happy. For data protection reasons 38 Degrees couldn't release the people's full email addresses but they were happy to provide redacted/partial email addresses which surely should have been good enough since we were also providing people's post codes. Of course they didn't have physical signatures, so SDC rejected it! We think this is unreasonable because no online petition has physical signatures.
38 Degrees have assured us that other councils, including the London Assembly, have accepted petitions including redacted email addresses so we can’t understand why Shepway couldn’t as well.
But it doesn't really matter whether or not Shepway have formally accepted the petition. We know and they know that 5471 people have signed it so we are not a minority. (So much for listening to the people!).
Shepway’s cabinet are expected to discuss the submission of a planning application for Prince's Parade at their meeting on 7 February. If at all possible, please do your best to join us in the public gallery – 5pm.
If you are in the mood you might want to write to David Monk the leader of Shepway Council re-stating your objections and ask him what he plans to do about the Japanese Knotweed on the site - but only if you are in the mood to irritate him!
If they agree to submit a planning application we will of course be asking you all to submit your objections to the plans once they are published. We will also at that stage set up a new petition (this time strictly within Shepway’s rules, hosted on the Shepway web site, so they can’t reject it again). The new petition will be aimed specifically at the planning application. However, please note that signing a petition is not a substitute for submitting an objection – we will need your help in doing both.
You may have spotted a petition that has been set up on the Shepway website. We are not promoting this as we consider that the 38 Degrees petition is out official petition so please don’t sign the one on the Shepway website.
To a certain degree, we have been fighting a "phoney war" thus far, once we move into a formal planning process, SDC will have to play strictly by the rules. We have the support of Historic England who are a statutory consultee and we know a number of Councillors from all parties will help us. So there will be lots to do in 2017!
Thank you for signing the petition No Development on Prince's Parade, can you help spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends?
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