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Yet more spin from Kent Science Park

The Director of the Kent Science Park (KSP), James Speck gave assurances in 2011 that the owners of KSP had no wish to develop homes in the vicinity of the park and yet here we are just a few years later with exactly that proposal in front of us.

The latest KSP plans are little more than a cynical attempt for a speculative housing application under the pretext of yet another 20 year plan. Another Gladman style proposal trying to cash in on the local plan predicament, this time for 300-400 houses under the ploy of rental houses for employees, a huge greenfield development in our magnificent rural landscape.

Unsurprisingly this time KSP don’t actually require any new land or planning consent to generate the thousands of new jobs promised. 

The Five Parishes Group has been adamant for the last 10 years that it was completely unnecessary to develop/build beyond the security fence, and that many more jobs could be created within the park.

Now rather miraculously a significant number of the proposed jobs in the latest "scheme" are to be created on land given planning permission over 5 years ago as part of their previous expansion plans, which has yet to be commenced, and the remainder within the confines of the present security fence alignment.

It therefore becomes clear that the management of KSP have not been entirely truthful about the ability of the existing site to facilitate the levels of employment now envisaged or the growth in employment claimed, and are trying to present the housing as the critical means of delivering these jobs which is utterly preposterous. 

There's no mention of the now defunct Southern Relief Road or junction 5a because they were of course a developers flight of fantasy and completely unjustified.

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

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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01 Apr 2012

The case for major expansion of the Kent Science Park has certainly not been proven.

First we had planning applications for new buildings, then before these were let and some still haven’t even been built, there was a urgent requirement for expansion beyond the security fence to retain Ecologia and service interest from potential new tenants.
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26 Mar 2012

Rural roads to suffer if Southern Relief Road is built

New evidence only made available today as part of the consultation exercise expels many of the myths surrounding the Southern Relief Road including the so-called benefits to the rural road network.
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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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