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Canterbury district’s local plan discussed in public for the first time

 … and guess what – Herne Bay gets screwed. To pay for treats for Canterbury. 

Canterbury City Council’s draft local plan was discussed in public
for the first time last night, amid accusations one of the key sites
was “undeliverable” and uncosted.

At a meeting of the council’s overview committee, Lib Dem Nick
said the proposal for 4,000 homes on farmland at south
Canterbury was in the wrong place and would not work. Mr Eden-Green, part of the group involved with putting
the plan together, argued fewer new homes were needed than included in
the plan. He said:

“There is a lot that is excellent but it is not community led and that has been a fundamental initial failing. We should put houses where we need economic development, Herne Bay and Hersden, not south Canterbury.”

Studies commissioned by the council suggested most people’s
preferred choice for more developments was Herne Bay, then larger
villages, then Whitstable, with Canterbury last on the list. [This is a lie – click here to see the truth.] But 70 per cent of people did not support building on greenfield sites.

Mr Eden-Green won applause as he added:

“South Canterbury is barely costed and possibly undeliverable. This site and this plan have been hijacked by that development and the need to put the junction in for economic development.”

But both a proposal to refer the plan back to the steering group, and to extend the public consultation, were defeated.

Lib Dem leader Alex Perkins said:

“It is quite clear that
publishing this draft plan has caused a great deal of disquiet and
discomfort. To cram 4,000 homes in South Canterbury when we know it is only to pay for new roads is wrong. The working group should work with local residents and residents
association to find their vision of what local people would like to see
in the district because the danger is we are simply going to get this

In Herne Bay, hundreds of homes planned will also help pay for improvements to roads across the district, officials revealed. The developments at Altira Park, Strode Farm and the former golf
club as well as near Briary school in Greenhill would bring in vital
cash to pay for a new crossing at Sturry

Developers would also be asked to fund a ‘relief route’ for Herne
– but opponents said it did not go far enough and a bypass was needed. Canterbury City Council’s head of regeneration Ian Brown said:

“We are trying to build communities, not just individual housing
estates. The Herne Bay sites will provide a new regenerative beginning
for the town, a new focus and will contribute to new transport
infrastructure. In part that will help to fund routes through and the Sturry bypass.”

But town stalwart Dick Eburne said the plan to improve Bullockstone Road as the relief route did not go far enough. He raised concerns about transport, and said the public transport
system would need significant investment in order to meet the target of
more people choosing to travel sustainably within three years. He said Herne needed a bypass, and Bullockstone Road was not suitable, and that through traffic on the A28 should be diverted.

But Whitstable Tory Ashley Clark urged people to get involved. He said:

“Canterbury has got off lightly in the past. Whitstable has taken a lot of pain. I want all of you who are not happy with things to participate.
Look at what is there and see what you think and if you genuinely can be
constructive about it please take part and participate.”

Whitstable has been earmarked for 400 new homes alongside Duncan
Down, between St Luke’s Close and the Thanet Way, with a new junction
off the Thanet Way. There is also a proposal for a green burial site on part of Duncan Down as well as more pedestrian access.

Consultation is expected to start in June for eight weeks and the
plan is due to be revised by councillors in December, with a public
inquiry due to take place next summer before the document is finalised.

Comments sent in before the official consultation starts will not be valid.

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