Chairman: Alex Hills
The Dartford and Gravesham (D&G) districts sit astride the A2 and high-speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and are home to Bluewater shopping centre and Ebbsfleet International Station. The area to the north of the A2 forms part of the Thames Gateway, incorporating over 10 miles of Thames waterfront. This is primarily built up, but is interspersed by rural areas such as Shorne and Highham. The land to the south of the A2 is primarily rural, with the majority of a high agricultural, landscape and/or conservation value and home to the many individual villages that have retained their character against all the odds. No less than 78% of Gravesham sits within the Metropolitan Green Belt, and 24% forms part of the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
- The proposals for a ‘Thames Estuary’ airport – we welcome the decision of the Airports Commission that this is no longer considered a possibility. It would have been incredibly environmentally damaging.
- We welcome the creation of the new Urban Development Corporation for Ebbsfleet Garden City – but stresse the importance of sustainability and environmental protection in the decision-making process. We are also involved in the consultations into the planned major entertainment centre, Paramount Park.
- New Greenfield and Greenbelt sites proposed for housing development are now a hot topic. Residents together with CPRE support have ensured maximum publicity in the local press.
- Lower Thames Crossing – congestion at the Dartford Crossing has spurred Kent and Essex County Councils to put forward plans for another Thames Crossing downstream of Gravesend. If this were to go ahead it, the subsequent road infrastructure would substantially impact the remaining open countryside in North Kent between Gravesend and Medway. Our view is that freight transport through Kent needs to be looked at strategically (including current crossing and toll system) rather than addressing the symptoms with substantial civil engineering projects. You can find out more about this issue by clicking this link.