CPRE Kent is calling for a commitment to improve the environment and community health as well as save valuable farmland in its response to the Medway Local Plan consultation.
We will be asking Medway Council to:
- recognise the contribution of agricultural land to local sustainability, and invest in improving ecosystems for healthy communities, well-being and resilience;
- Include “access to nature” when planning growth;
- enhance the understanding of biodiversity conservation across whole landscapes;
- make adaption to climate change a priority;
- proactively assess underused or vacant sites (especially brownfield) that might contribute to regeneration or meeting housing need, including small sites;
- consider sustainability when assessing sites (such as the employment park at Kingsnorth on the Hoo Peninsula), including transport infrastructure and other services;
- consider accessibility of local people to space and countryside;
- ensure Green Belt is given the highest level of protection, as specified in the recent Housing White Paper;
- continue with the designation of development gaps and areas of local landscape importance;
- consider the impact on air quality of all development and associated travel.
CPRE Kent Planner Jillian Barr said: “A strong and ambitious vision is necessary to deliver growth, protect the environment, but also to deliver improvements to the environment and community health. This is essential to Medway’s future. We are pleased that the council is consulting so thoroughly at this stage of the plan process and recognise that there are challenging targets. There is a proven link between access to nature, space, dark skies and tranquillity and the health of communities and we hope the council will take this fully on board now and when looking at sites over the next 18 years.”
CPRE Kent will be submitting its full response to Medway Council next month.
April 19th 2017