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Local Plan: Herne’s identity at risk

People in Herne “have
right to be concerned”
about the inclusion of Strode Farm on the Local
Plan.

In it the council says it would be likely to approve plans for 800 homes
being built there. The plan also says a relief road would need to be built for
Herne, linking Canterbury Road with Bullockstone Road.

Locals have expressed fears
of losing village identity and the increased traffic levels that would come if
developments at Strode Farm and Herne Bay Golf Club get the go-ahead. Herne and
Broomfield parish council clerk Monica Blyth said:

“The issue the parish
council has is the majority of the developments proposed are within Herne or
within a couple of miles.  This will have
a huge effect on the amount of traffic coming through the village and residents
are concerned about losing the village’s identity. 

We understand that we will probably have to
have something built.  We have been
talking to the Campaign to Protect Rural England and are hoping to liaise with
them about what is the best way forward.”

In a questionnaire given to
Herne and Broomfield villagers earlier this year, 342 opposed any development
of the golf club or Strode Farm.  Another
52 said they would accept the golf club but oppose Strode Farm and 13 said they
approved both proposals.

While a planning application
for the golf club is imminent, this is not the case with Strode Farm. Developer
Hollamby Estates, which has been linked with the site, says that submitting a
planning application will be a long way off.

MP Sir Roger Gale says a
condition of any development should be that a relief road would have to be
completed first, before houses are finished. He said:

“Often people want to
build houses to make money and then say we will give you the land to make the
road.  We have got to have funding for
the whole road first. A road around the village of Herne has got to be
done.  Until that is resolved, I cannot
see any real progress being made on that site.

Herne have right to be concerned
about the proposed development for Strode Farm. 
It’s not to say there shouldn’t be any housing but a massive housing
estate would be unsuitable.”

Residents have to speak out

An action group like the one which stopped a Tesco being built in Herne has not been ruled out by Herne and Broomfield parish council. Clerk Monica Blyth said:

“It’s a possibility, but that was a different issue. The main thing that stopped Tesco was the issue of access to the site and the fact they wanted to extend it more than they had planning consent for. This is a very different issue. we will have to wait and see.”

The council also called on residents to air their views when the Local Plan goes out for formal public consultation.

“It is no good signing a petition saying we don’t want it. They need to make their reasons clear why this in not a suitable place to have a development.”

The Details

A relief road from Canterbury Road to Bullockstone Road would bisect the 800 home development at Strode Farm. Money for this would be contributed to by developers of the four Herne Bay strategic sites.

A parish hall would be built at Strode Farm as well as some local shops. A footpath linking Lower Herne Road with the golf club development would also be inculded. Developers would also have to contribute towards the cost of the new rail crossing at Sturry.

HB Gazette 9th May 2013

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