Final consultation for local plan
THE consultation for the final draft version of the Canterbury City Council’s Local Plan will begin this Thursday. This is the last chance for the public to examine the plan, which has taken several years to produce and includes details of what development will take place and where. As well as new homes, changes to the district’s road network are proposed, Including a new railway crossing at Sturry and a relief road for Herne. Council leader John Gilbey said it was the result of ‘years of hard work and consultation.’ He said:
“This is now the final period of consultation before the public examination when the plan receives rigorous independent scrutiny, so I would urge people to make their views known over the next six weeks.”
Previous drafts of the plan have been contentious. In April, a proposal to build 4,000 homes on agricultural land in Barton ward, south Canterbury to help the city meet its government development target, proved unpopular with residents and city councillors alike. Mike Walling, of the Barton Residents Association, said the proposal was ‘unsustainable’. He added:
“[It will] add on to Canterbury a population of 20-25 per cent, the size of Birchington, and damage the attractiveness of Canterbury’s perceived good quality of life.
“More appropriate brownfield sites should be considered such as Howe Barracks, the site of the former colliery to the south of Hersden, or lower grade agricultural land such as at Yorkletts.”
Last month, Councillor Gilbey was found guilty of a confidential information breach, after revealing details to Blean Parish Council before the plan was released to the public. He has since agreed to undergo training on the subject. Since information from the plan began to be released last summer, almost 7.000 comments have been submitted. Full details and all the documents can be found at www.canterbury.gov.uk/localplan. It can also be viewed at the council’s offices in Canterbury and Herne Bay, in libraries across the district and at Whitstable Museum. A number of public information evenings are being held for people to learn more and the consultation ends on Friday, July 18.
• They will take place starting at 7pm at Herne Bay High School on June 16; Spires Academy, Sturry on June 18; and Kent County Cricket Ground on July 2.
Herne Bay Times, June 11th 2014