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Local Plan: housing target criticised by residents in Council meeting

Critics of the city council’s
vision for the Canterbury district queued up to attack the  authority.

Each was given a three-minute
platform in the chamber to voice their opinions on the draft Local Plan – with
the issue of 15,600 new homes dominating the 
agenda. Most came from south Canterbury, where up to 4,000 homes are
planned for farmland and open space.

Speaker Malcolm Harris told
councillors:

“Not since the American
Declaration of Independence has a single document galvanised so many people in
a common purpose. We have got to rid ourselves of this absurd plan. There is no
justification for this  increase in house
building.

Clive Church, of the South Canterbury
Alliance, said:

“This plan is wrong in
principle and will be resisted at every stage of the  process.”

Michael Butler, of Old Dover
Road, fears for the future of the road network in the city if the homes are
developed. He said:

“These houses will
create complete gridlock in the Old and New Dover Roads. They will funnel into
the partial ring road we have. This may well mean more traffic, more gridlock
and a potential traffic disaster. The city of Canterbury is in peril.”

Another speaker with concerns
over the roads was Richard Cook, who estimates 15,000 new homes will bring
20,000 more cars.

Dick Eburne, a tireless
campaigner from Herne Bay, asked:

“Where is the
infrastructure for all these new homes? Let’s get the draft plan out there for
consultation so we can pull it to pieces.”

Prof Richard Norman, a
philosophy lecturer from St Michael’s Place, adopted a more balanced approach,
saying:

“There are a lot of good
things in this draft plan such as limiting houses in multi-occupancy and the
draft masterplan for the universities. 
But there will be deep concerns about the ambitious target of 15,600
dwellings, which will have an impact on the environment and erode the green
gaps.”

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The main proposals

  • 4,000 homes in south
    Canterbury
  • 1,000 homes in Sturry and
    Broad Oak
  • 800 homes behind the existing
    Hersden estate
  • 1,000 homes in Hillborough,
    Herne Bay
  • 800 homes at Strode Farm,
    Herne Bay and a new relief road for Herne
  • 600 homes in Greenhill
  • 400 homes in Herne Bay Golf
    Club
  • 400 homes off the Thanet Way
    at Whitstable and an extension to the Duncan Down public space
  • The closure of Sturry level
    crossing and the building of a new road re-routing traffic
  • An extension of the
    University of Kent campus to the north of the site to allow future expansion
  • A possible new relief road linking Sturry Road with Littlebourne
    Road through the Howe Barracks land

HB Gazette 6th Jun 2013

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