A planning inspector has refused two appeals by a developer to build up to 330 homes on greenfield land at Pond farm in the village of Newington near Sittingbourne. CPRE Kent was a major participant in the planning inquiry last November.
The inspector has now dismissed the appeals on the grounds that “even after considerable weight is given to the social, economic and environmental benefits …… the substantial harm that the
appeal proposals would cause to the character of a valued landscape and their likely significant adverse effect on human health would significantly and demonstrably outweigh those benefits.”
Jillian Barr, CPRE Kent Planner, said: “This is great news for this beautiful part of Kent. The development would have drastically changed the character and landscape of the villages and we were extremely worried about the effect on air quality and human health. The inspector agreed with us on these important points and also agreed the harm caused could not be adequately mitigated. There would also have been a detrimental effect on heritage assets.”
CPRE Kent also raised concerns including:
- The proposal predetermined decisions about the scale, location or phasing of new development that are central to the emerging Local Plan
- it would increase the village size by 30% and change the character and landscape of Newington
- loss of best and most versatile agricultural land
- it would increase air pollution on Newington High Street above acceptable EU levels, add to congestion and have an impact on safety on the A2
- it is unsustainable with no proper transport infrastructure plans
- the permanent change to the character of important footpaths used for recreational and health purposes
- Detrimental impact on the agricultural setting of Pond Farm House
Here are the full appeal decisions: 3067553-and-3148140-appeal-decisions
January 9th 2017.