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Families fear homes plan would create busy rat run

A quiet housing estate could be turned into a busy rat run if council planners give the green light to more homes, residents claim. Puffin Road is a cul-de-sac built as part of the Castle Chase estate at Hillborough. Developers Kitewood Estates plan to build up to 40 homes on land to the west of the residents’ homes, despite two previous planning applications being rejected in 2003 and 2011. But council planning officers recommended approving the scheme before the planning committee meeting on Tuesday this week. Puffin Road resident Natasha Kingsford said:

“They are turning a cul-de-sac into a through road. We’ve aired all our views last time in opposition. We have got a children’s play park here, but this will bring more traffic and make it unsafe for children to play. There are already speed bumps here in the road, so I don’t understand how construction traffic is going to access the site. The council might say these homes are needed, but they have identified areas for thousands of homes like the former golf club site and in Greenhill. So I don’t see why they need these 40 homes. We don’t want the homes, and don’t understand why it must come through Puffin Road. Lots of us are going to the planning meeting to voice our concerns. But it’s probably going to be approved. So it shows, if developers just persevere they will eventually get planning permission.”

The proposals for the site could include 24 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom properties, of which 14 would be designated as affordable homes. There would be emergency access to the site from Roseberry Avenue in Beltinge, and a pedestrian footpath into Rowland Crescent. The children’s play park in Puffin Road could also be extended. Kent County Council wants Kitewood to cough up nearly £98,000 in section 106 contributions in order to provide enough places at local primary schools. Police raised fears about whether the scheme would comply with national planning policy, and said a contribution of £4,000 would need to be made. Meanwhile, Stagecoach said the development would be “worsening an already unsatisfactory situation” because of increased traffic congestion. In a report prepared for members of the planning committee, council officer Ben Young acknowledged receiving 95 objections to the application. But he said that while the site had only been earmarked as a reserve location, plans by Kitewood were sustainable and would contribute towards the council’s housing strategy. Kitewood were unavailable for comment.

Herne Bay Gazette, April 2nd 2015

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