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Delight as land deal preserves green gap

Nearly 20 acres of land between Herne Bay and Whitstable is to be preserved by the city council as a “green gap” between the two towns.Delight as land deal preserves green gap_4Delight as land deal preserves green gap_5

It has acquired it from George Wilson Developments following a historic planning agreement with the company which has only recently been legally concluded.

The land lies in two sections to the south of the B2205 Whitstable Road between St Augustine’s Business Park to the west and Hampton Close to the east. The whole site is actually 22 acres but nearly three acres of it have been set aside for a new Herne Bay Age Concern community centre, when funds become available.

Now the council says the land will be protected from development and used for amenity, such as a nature reserve, public open space or agriculture.

Delight as land deal preserves green gap_2It was originally transferred under a planning agreement dating back to 1992 when the St Augustine’s Business Park was granted permission. However, the agreement was held up due to legal difficulties until the Age Concern Centre was approved in December 2008.

The city council’s deputy leader, Cllr Jean Law, said:

I am delighted that the land has now been transferred so the city council can protect this vital piece of open space between Herne Bay and Whitstable for the benefit of the community.

On top of this achievement, it’s great that Age Concern have secured an excellent site to develop a centre for delivery of their services for the community in the future.

Chief officer of Herne Bay Age Concern Sue Cliffe, added:Delight as land deal preserves green gap_1

Acquiring this site is a huge step forward for our plans to provide a purpose-built facility with comprehensive volunteer-led services which the whole community can benefit from.

It is here that our plans for a beautiful bespoke building can come to fruition, although it will inevitably take some time. We would like to thank George Wilson for his generous donation of the land.

Whitstable Society chairman Neil Baker welcomed the announcement saying it was important for the two towns to preserve their separate identities.  He added:Delight as land deal preserves green gap_3

It’s always been our policy to preserve the green gap because the danger ‘is the towns would be merged by creeping development.

The issue now is what the council does with the land and I suggest it touches base with other groups like the Friends of Duncan Downs to consider the options.

Kentish Gazette, 9th Dec 2010

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