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Local Plan: Parish pledges to halt Strode in its stride

Parish councillors have vowed
to stop a massive housing development they fear would link Herne to Herne Bay.

Members of Herne and
Broomfield Parish Council
are working with charity CPRE Protect Kent to find
reasons to stop 1,000 homes being built at Strode Farm owned by Hollamby
Estates
, of which parish councillor Andrew Brealy is a director.

Mr Brealy left the room when
the issue was discussed at a meeting on Thursday, but chairman Tony Day said
the charity’s advice was to focus on highways issues.

The development, included in
Canterbury City Council’s draft Local Plan, would involve upgrades to
Bullockstone Road to turn it into a “relief road”. But Councillor Day
said they did not go far enough. He said:

“The road will end up
more or less as it is. It is totally inadequate. It is less adequate than the
current route through the village. People from all the new developments will
all want to go to Canterbury and will be going through our village or a relief
road. All these developments should hinge on the proper infrastructure being in
place.”

The parish council plans to
hire an independent expert – part funded by CPRE Protect Kent – to examine the
highways issues but members said it was crucial residents also got involved. Councillor Ann Blatherwick
said:

“We need to find out why
we are not being considered separately to Herne Bay and why we are not mentioned
as a village. We are a separate community. But we are just lumped in together
and that explains why they are trying to join us up.”

Members also discussed the
loss of agricultural land, and the lack of school places. County councillor
Alan Marsh said:

“We would need new
schools, two primary and two secondary, to deal with the numbers of children.
There isn’t money for one school, let alone four.”

The parish council won the
backing of city councillor Peter Vickery-Jones, who stressed he had not been part
of the Local Plan steering group that put the proposals together. He said:

“It is about time
Canterbury picked up where it should. There has been huge resistance to South
Canterbury but it is right it should be developed there.”

But he cited the need for an
alternative option, and suggested Thanington near Canterbury.

Village Hall plans on display

Plans for a new village hall
for Herne will go on display next month. Herne and Broomfield Parish Council
members have asked flve developers to provide drawings and costs for a new
building in St Martin’s View, next to the School Lane car park.

Villagers will be asked to
choose their favourite and fill in a questionnaire before councillors decide
how to proceed.

At a meeting of the parish
council on Thursday, clerk Monica Blyth said developers would be at a public
exhibition on Friday, July 12th from 1 to 7pm to answer any questions and
results of the consultation would be considered by the hall committee.

Cllr Tracey Jones said it was
important the consultation was as wide as possible, with an exhibition at the
weekend as well as during the week. Councillors agreed to investigate other
dates the material could be on display and to print extra leaflets and posters
to distribute via schools and shops.

HB Times 20th Jun 2013

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