The city council is poised to abandon plans to build homes on all of Canterbury’s Kingsmead Field. Members of the executive will meet next month when they are expected to ratify a proposal to allow 75% of the field to remain while the rest is built on.
The council initially wanted to allow the whole field to be made available to developers. But campaigners fought to protect it and tried to have it registered as a village green last year. Sian Pettman, of the Save Kingsmead Field Campaign, said:
“This is a much better recommendation than we could have expected six months ago, but it could be better still. Councillors still have the option to decide there should be no development on the field. They could also decide all or part of the field should be designated as a village green which would give it a higher degree of protection. The final decision is not a foregone conclusion.”
The future of the five-acre field was due to be discussed by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee yesterday (Wednesday). It is next up for discussion at the executive meeting on July 3. Council leader John Gilbey will be away when the executive makes its decision. He said:
“I assume they will go along with the recommendation for the 75% and 25% split. I’m not convinced the field should be a village green. However, at this time we have given this undertaking to protect open space in Canterbury.”
The report going before councillors recommends three-quarters of the field is designated protected open space while the remainder is marketed as “residential development opportunity” which would “deliver the council’s long-term aspirations for the regeneration of the area”.
Herne Bay Gazette, June 26th 2014