As KCC unveiled its vision for the next 20 years Canterbury City Council has been doing the same. It has begun a six-week public consultation on its Local Development Framework, which should take the district to 2030. Bosses at the city council say the district is at a crossroads and a “window of opportunity” exists to shape it for the next 30 years. Officers have spent the past two years working on the first draft of the 120-page Local Development Framework.
It discusses plans for 10,200 homes, slip roads on the A2, university expansions – and a marina for the coast. Architect Peter Jackson has long been a campaigner for a marina at Whitstable and put together his own plans for a £16 million development in 2006. Council planning policy manager Adrian Verrell said:
“There is a shortfall of marina provision along the north Kent coast. Whitstable is likely to be the preferred option although traffic impacts are likely to be a major concern for the town centre. A new marina at Herne Bay may contribute to the regeneration agenda but this was not supported during the recent public consultation. However, Herne Bay has well-documented economic and social problems. A marina has the potential to provide jobs, strengthen tourism and provide a publicly accessible ‘green space’.”
The biggest challenge is to find space for 10,200 new homes. Planners have already allocated 6,000 which leaves 4,000 to find. The Council has broken this down to 3,200 in Canterbury (mainly in the south or south-west with limited infill in larger villages); 400 in Herne Bay and 400 in Whitstable. It is anticipated 70 per cent will be houses for families with 30 percent as flats. Mr Verrell warned:
“The housing stock does not offer sufficient choice to meet current needs. There is a need for family homes if we wish to attract a young, economically active population. The issue is likely to get worse as the population increases and we feel they impact of the high-speed rail link to London.”
He said houses are in short supply partly because of the number of second homeowners in Whitstable and the need for student accommodation in Canterbury. The University of Kent has said it will need 38,000 square metres for classrooms and 500 more student flats. Canterbury Christ Church University will need 13,400 square metres of space and accommodation for 300 students. Canterbury already has 25,000 students in higher education. More than 29 per cent of the area’s population is aged 16 to 34 – higher than the county average of 23 per cent. Kent and Canterbury Hospital has announced ambitious plans for its site which could lead to more traffic congestion.
The Framework calls for the completion of junctions on the A2 at Bridge, Wincheap and Harbledown and is investigating a fourth park and ride service. Planners are in talks with Southern Water to ensure sewers will cope and SouthEast Water has plans to flood Broad Oak to create a new reservoir.
Herne Bay Times 4th Feb 2010