Activities in the year were significantly interrupted by the Covid pandemic. The most important activity of the society is our involvement in planning, and Robin reports on how that continued.
By David White, Chair
We held an online annual meeting and our committee meetings continued with most being online. At the end of the year we felt able to hold a Christmas social, although it was of limited numbers compared to previous years.
The society continued to play a part in organising Heritage Open Days and in efforts to gain Walkers are Welcome status for Deal.
By Robin Green, Chair of Planning
As the pandemic surged through the world the planning applications in the Dover district soared. In the last 10 years the average for the Dover district has been around 1400-1500. In 2021 that rose to 1942. In the same year the applications for Deal doubled.
A report by the University of Reading has recently analysed the contribution civic societies make to the scrutiny of the planning system. As an objective observer the researchers highlighted the fact civic societies make a contribution that is underestimated and not always appreciated.
We are seeing the development of urban sprawl along the Sandwich road past Sholden and the threat of 970 homes at Cottington Lakes only increases that. The threats to the infrastructure of the town that poses is consistently ignored with little attention paid to an overview of the town.
Our work on conservation area character appraisals has ground to a halt partly because of the pandemic but also because the DDC Heritage staff have been stretched not least because of the surge in planning applications in the conservation areas. The positive side of this is the investment in the restoration and conservation of property in the town.
The planning consent on the Regent runs out in July 2022 so the town still waits with bated breath…..and sometimes noise and fury….to see some positive action.
By Bill Venables, Treasurer
The examined accounts will be presented at the Annual Meeting. They show an Income of £3,879 and Expenditure of £2,180. The overall surplus shown in the accounts is £1,761, a small increase on last year. At the financial year end the Cash fund held was £8,020. Subscriptions were up by £113 on the previous year owing to a slight increase in membership from 251 to 254 and early membership payments, social events raised a small income of £570 with a related cost of £630. Administration costs and communication had a slight increase over last year but this will enable the Society to further develop its presence in Deal and Walmer making people aware of how the area is changing and whether it is the right kind of change.
The financial report can be downloaded below.
By Susan Tann, Membership Secretary
Following a year of minimal activity for the Society and no social events, we closed 2021 with a total of 260 paid-up members plus four complementary memberships. During the year we welcomed 25 new or re-joined members, and their support during that difficult time was much appreciated.
Work continues on encouraging members to allow the Society to send their correspondence by email. 29 members still receive their bulletins by post which involves both cost and time in printing, collating and mailing. Any of those members who would now prefer to receive our communications electronically are asked to contact the Secretary with their email addresses.