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Kent Science Park suffers huge job losses

Another blow for the Kent Science Park as second employer announces huge job losses with the closure of Go Response premises in Sittingbourne. This comes just over a month since Dovetail Services announced 200 jobs would be lost which brings the current total to around 350 or one in five of the total number of people employed at the park.

At a time when the new owners are pressing for mass expansion of the current site and the economy is doing well is it surprising to learn of this unfortunate and sad news.

At the recent public enquiry the Highways Agency severely criticise Kent Science Park plans stating that costings for proposed M2 Jct 5A were woefully short of the mark.

They stated that the expansion plans would make local traffic worse, and that there would be a negative economic impact on the rest of the network. They made it clear that they would not support a new motorway junction and Southern Relief Road.

Finally Swale Borough Council admited at the Public Enquiry that Kent Science Park is not required to be developed further for Swale to meet its (housing and job/employment) targets!

This means that the Kent Science Park is no longer considered to be a key driver of employment for Swale.

 

LaSalle’s dirty tricks backfire

Jones Lang LaSalle has refused to acknowledge that statements accusing FPOG of campaigning to the close the park are untruthful. The comments which coincidently appeared during the 2011 public consultation on the parks future did not influence public opinion with 93% opposing the large scale expansion of the park. Although the expansion is not a likely prospect in the next 20 years, the Borough Council remains undeterred by the weight of public opinion against the expansion and is seeking to include the possibility as a future ambition.

Results of March 2011 Consultation on expansion of the Kent Science Park

Kent Science Park Consultation Results



09 Mar 2017

Job losses at Sittingbourne call centre Go Response

Workers at Go Response on the Kent Science Park near Borden have been told the company, which was recently taken over by rival firm Direct Response, will shut up shop on March 31.
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20 Feb 2017

Millions sought for new M2 link in Kent Science Park expansion in Sittingbourne

Plans for a huge extension to Kent Science Park (KSP), the creation of a new junction on the M2 and a southern link road have been revealed.
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26 Nov 2015

The largest privately owned network of science and technology parks in the UK has been put up for sale by the Mars Pension Fund.

Mars, along with fund manager LaSalle Investment Management, has put a £95m price tag on the five-strong portfolio in what will be a litmus test for investor interest in the sector.
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23 Jul 2015

Kent Science Park joins assault on Council with plans for 400 new houses

The Kent Science Park is the latest in a long line of speculative house builders to have a pop at the Borough Council’s Local Plan which allocates housing sites until 2031.
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22 Jul 2015

Expanding science park 'will create thousands of jobs'

An average of around 10 jobs a month will be created over the next 20 years under plans to expand the Kent Science Park.
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19 Jul 2015

Science Park hoodwinks public with false employment growth claims

As the Kent Science Park cooks up yet another growth plan, this time projecting the creation of a further 2,550 jobs over a 20 year timeframe, it would appear that they have got in a muddle over their previously claimed employment figures.
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15 Jul 2015

Kent Science Park in Sittingbourne to reveal 20-year masterplan this weekend which it says will create 4,150 jobs

A business park will reveal a 20-year growth plan this weekend which it hopes will create 4,150 jobs.
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11 Jun 2014

Secretive Plans for New Motorway Junction Fast Tracked as Top Priority

Plans for the speculative new £20 million junction are set to leapfrog all other transport priorities in Swale including the completion of the Northern Relief Road and improvements to Stockbury Roundabout.
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The key proposals and why we object


The housing

Although not included in the next 20 years, then again neither is the expansion, 5,000 houses have been repeatedly proposed in the past to assist in funding the road.

It is however no secret that the Southern Relief Road requires more development to help justify its existence and whilst the Kent Science Park are keen to distance themselves from the housing debate, they don't object to someone else making this proposal.

The housing debate in connection with the Kent Science Park has never been one about meeting local demands and has always been in additional to the housing quota's proposed by the Borough Council.


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The expansion

The Kent Science Park wishes to expand its site to three times its present size with the view of creating somewhere between 2,500 and 3,500 new jobs, although this is a moving target and way down on their original estimate of 5,000.

We say lets build on the back of proven success and make the most of the present site and unbuilt planning permissions before considering a major expansion.

At present the owners have failed to deliver on all previous growth targets, currently averaging just 25 jobs per annum over the last eight years.


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The road

No longer a key part of Swale Borough Councils Core Strategy as funding is highly unlikley in the next 20 years. The evidence presenting the proven case for the road would appear to fall short on a number of significant points and appears to suggest seriously high levels of traffic on the rural road network.


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