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Housing

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Chilmington Green: 51.124105, 0.831013
South Canterbury: 51.260223, 1.096959
Land at Sturry/Broad Oak: 51.301911, 1.118374
Land at Hillborough/Herne Bay: 51.364386, 1.167383
Strode Farm, Herne: 51.352970, 1.125240
Land North of Hersden: 51.316881, 1.161075
Fort Halstead: 51.310925, 0.154495
Cranbrook sites for 250 homes: 51.095582, 0.537639
Borough Green Garden City: 51.291335, 0.305187
Tonbridge and Malling local plan: 51.211185, 0.327530
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Chilmington Green
In October 2014 planning permission was granted by Ashford Borough Council for a new neighbourhood of 5,750 homes, 10,000 sq.m of employment development and other supporting and community development at Chilmington Green. The principle of the new neighbourhood was established in the Council’s Core Strategy in 2008. However, the prospect of urban extensions to Ashford was recognised in the Greater Ashford Development Framework of 2005, which sought to demonstrate how Ashford could accommodate 31,000 new homes by 2031 in line with the then Government’s growth plan for Ashford. Although CPRE objected to Chilmington Green through the Core Strategy planning process, once the development was agreed in principle it was our objective to ensure that principles of sustainable development were embedded in the development and that it would be the highest quality possible. This we sought to do through the subsequent Area Action Plan (AAP), which sets out the delivery framework for the development. The AAP was adopted in July 2013.
South West Ashford
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South Canterbury
The Canterbury District Plan included the site as a strategic development for 4,000 new homes, 70,000 sq. m. of employment development, the relocation of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, and extended park and ride and a modified junction on the A2 at Bridge.

In March 2016 David Lock Associates on behalf of Corinthian Mountfied Limited submitted a hybrid planning application.  This was for up to 4,000 dwellings comprising detailed proposals for 140 dwellings with access via New Dover Road, and outline application for up to an additional 3,860 additional dwellings with all matters reserved except access.  The outline also includes provision of social and community facilities, two primary schools, public open space, land reserved for a potential relocation of the Kent & Canterbury Hospital including associated medical and health facilities, or business, hotel and conference facilities and/or petrol filling station if not required.

CPRE Kent strongly objected to the application for the following reasons:
  • The application is premature
  • The loss of Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land
  • Provision of the Fastrack route to the town centre beyond the application boundary is dependent on other land owners / developers
  • Impact on views of the City and World Heritage Site
  • Impact on setting of listed buildings
  • The Trust has still to decide on relocation of the hospital
  • Air quality
  • The site is within designated Area of High Landscape Value
  • An incomplete Sustainability Strategy
  • The Planning Statement Parameter Plan is not consistent with the Canterbury District Local Plan Publication Draft 2014 illustrative layout for the site
 

The application was considered at a Special Meeting of the Planning Committee on 13 December 2016. Members agreed 9 to 3 to grant planning permission subject to completion of a Section 106 legal agreement, the reduction in the height of block 6 by the reduction of the clock tower feature.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has decided not to call the application in.

Local Campaigners have successfully sought permission to undertake a Judicial Review in the High Court of the Secretary of State’s decision not to call in the permission granted by Canterbury City.  The High Court hearing will be heard in July 2017.

South of Canterbury
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Land at Sturry/Broad Oak
As part of the growth plans included in the emerging Canterbury District Local Plan a strategic development site is proposed at Sturry/Broad Oak. The proposal would see 1,000 new homes, new employment development and a new relief road including the provision of a new crossing of the railway. CPRE Kent has objected to the overall growth plan and to the inclusion of this large greenfield site for development.  In our extensive representations we highlight that it:
  • will comprise urban sprawl and will lead to the merging of Sturry, Broad Oak, Canterbury and Fordwich;
  • undermines the landscape and historic setting of Canterbury by taking land that is a designated Area of High Landscape Value, specifically designated to provide this setting;
  • involves the loss of a substantial amount of the high quality agricultural land; and
  • impacts on ancient woodland.
We are extremely concerned that this and other large strategic sites promoted in the local plan at Canterbury and Herne Bay will not be delivered because of their reliance on extensive new road infrastructure needed to support them.  This will mean that pressure will be placed on the Council to permit yet more greenfield land for development, not included in the plan, to meet its ambitious housing target.

The new local plan will be submitted for public examination in November 2014, and we will be making sure that the appointed Inspector is fully aware of our concerns.
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Land at Hillborough/Herne Bay
As part of the growth plans included in the emerging Canterbury District Local Plan a strategic development site is proposed at Hillborough, Herne Bay.  The proposal would see 1,300 new homes, 33,000 sq.m of new employment floorspace as an extension to Altira Park, and a new slip-road onto the Thanet Way.  The developer of the site will also be required to contribute to the Herne Relief Road (see Strode Farm site at Herne).

CPRE Kent has objected to the overall growth plan and to the inclusion of this large greenfield site for development. In our extensive representations we highlight that:
  •  at 81 hectares, the site is too large to be assimilated into the existing community and the landscape. A smaller scale of development would be more acceptable here; and
  • it will involve the loss of a substantial amount of the highest quality agricultural land.
We are extremely concerned that this and other large strategic sites promoted in the local plan at Canterbury and Herne Bay will not be delivered because of their reliance on extensive new road infrastructure needed to support them. This will mean that pressure will be placed on the Council to permit yet more greenfield land for development, not included in the plan, to meet its ambitious housing target.

The new local plan will be submitted for public examination in November 2014, and we will be making sure that the appointed Inspector is fully aware of our concerns.

Herne Bay
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Strode Farm, Herne
As part of the growth plans included in the emerging Canterbury District Local Plan a strategic development site is proposed at Strode Farm, Herne. The proposal would see 800 new homes, 15,000 sq.m of new employment development and the provision of a Herne Relief Road. CPRE Kent has objected to the overall growth plan and to the inclusion of this large greenfield site for development. In our extensive representations we highlight that:
  • the proposed development is unrelated to and out of scale with the needs of Herne village;
  • it will see the loss of the remaining green gap between Herne village and Herne Bay;
  • it will involve the loss of an entire landscape type in this locality and will be highly visible in views;
  • it will involve the loss of a substantial amount of the good quality agricultural land;
  • it will impact on the Herne Conservation Area; and
  • the proposed relief road will not function as proposed and will not reduce traffic through Herne village on the A291, which in fact will increase because of this development and other developments proposed at Herne Bay.
We are extremely concerned that this and other large strategic sites promoted in the local plan at Canterbury and Herne Bay will not be delivered because of their reliance on extensive new road infrastructure needed to support them. This will mean that pressure will be placed on the Council to permit yet more greenfield land for development, not included in the plan, to meet its ambitious housing target.

The new local plan will be submitted for public examination in November 2014, and we will be making sure that the appointed Inspector is fully aware of our concerns.

Herne
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Land North of Hersden
As part of the growth plans included in the emerging Canterbury District Local Plan a strategic development site is proposed on the northern side of Hersden. The proposal would see 500 dwellings and some employment development. CPRE Kent accepts that there is potential to expand Hersden village, but this needs to be endorsed by the local community rather than imposed by the City Council. However, if expansion is to occur it should not be on greenfield land on the northern side of the village when there is a major brownfield site available on the southern side of the village. This would better accord with national policy which seeks to use land of lower quality first.

The new local plan will be submitted for public examination in November 2014, and we will be making sure that the appointed Inspector is fully aware of our concerns.

Hersden
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Fort Halstead
The Fort Halstead site, formerly a Ministry of Defence research establishment, sits in the Green Belt and the Kent Downs AONB to the north of Sevenoaks. The Sevenoaks Core Strategy (2011) regards the site as a ‘major developed site’ in the Green Belt that should be retained for employment purposes. However, the Council’s draft Site Allocations Plan proposed a range of additional development at the site, including potentially some residential development, in order to retain viable employment opportunities at the site. The planning inspector who considered the draft Allocations Plan agreed that some housing development would be acceptable. In response the Council put forward a modification to the Plan proposing 450 dwellings, the quantity being that promoted by the now site owner Armstrong Kent LLP. This was accepted by the Inspector and the Plan was adopted by the Council in February 2015.  The developer has now submitted an outline planning application for that number of dwellings.

CPRE Kent has objected to such a significant amount of housing development here. This is a site in the open countryside, in a prominent and sensitive position on the top of the scarp of the North Downs. Currently the site is developed at a relatively low density, which respects its location in the Green Belt and the AONB, and activity is largely confined to the day-time. The significant residential development now proposed will see the site more intensely developed and occupied throughout the whole day. There will be the introduction of wider urban uses into the rural area which will inevitably have an impact on the character of the AONB – not just in terms of landscape impact, but in terms of lighting, movement and noise. It will also mean that future residents will need to travel elsewhere to access most everyday services and facilities, making this an intrinsically unsustainable location for such significant residential development. We believe that Sevenoaks District Council has failed to consider alternatives to this mass housing plan, and has simply sided with the developer.

Sevenoaks District
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Cranbrook sites for 250 homes
The Tunbridge Wells Site Allocations Development Plan Document currently under examination, contains a number of “threats” to which we have objections, including  excessive and unsuitable housing allocations for sites at Cranbrook (up to 250 homes).
Cranbrook, United Kingdom
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Borough Green Garden City
This is a very speculative proposal based on the footprint of the previously proposed (and rejected) Borough Green International Freight Depot. Nearly all the site is Metropolitan Green Belt (MGB) and around 20% also classified as AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

CPRE recognises the need for new housing, particularly affordable rural housing. However, Government planning reforms introduced in March 2015 specifically protect the MGB from development. The proposal would effectively urbanise this part of Kent and blight the panorama of the  Holmesdale Valley that makes the AONB here so special.

We also believe the proposal has ignored some basic facts: for example, it alleges some of the proposed site is 'brownfield' land as it comprises restored quarry sites. However, in planning terms, restored quarries are classified as 'greenfield', not 'brownfield'. In addition, much of the land is still being quarried and is therefore not actually available, which is actually a requirement of this 'call for sites'!

The proposal asserts that the Borough Green bypass is 'extant', meaning that it already has planning approval. However, at a judicial review in 2006, the bypass proposal was conceded to be unlawful and would therefore need to be subject to a completely new application. Since the bypass line is within the AONB and has one of the largest colonies of great crested newts in S.E. England, it will prove very difficult and very expensive to obtain approval for it.

In summary, the CPRE is opposed to this wholly speculative proposal and will campaign long and hard to convince Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to exclude it from the agreed list of sites to be considered for development.

 

Borough Green, United Kingdom
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Tonbridge and Malling local plan
We have submitted comments on the Issues and Options of the Tonbridge and Malling Local Plan. These include comments on sustainability, environmental issues, housing numbers and calling for measures to protect the landscapes, character, historic assets and the Green Belt. Read our response here. We will continue to submit responses as the Local Plan progresses.
West Malling, United Kingdom