"I am opposed to expansion of the Kent Science Park and opposed to massive housing developments south of the A2"
Cllr Mike Whiting prior to supporting HIF bid
11,250 houses over 1,500 acres of Swale countryside to be constructed with the sole purpose of funding a road that is currently not required by or contained within the Local Plan
To put this into perspective the land at North West Sittingbourne one of the largest developments in Swale's entire history has plans for 1,520 houses on 187 acres of land. This is 800% larger.
Although not included in the current local plan up to 2031, the 11,250 houses have been proposed as well as a new link road from the A2 in Bapchild to the M2 near the Kent Science Park.
This housing is not required to support population growth or inward immigration from other parts of Kent or the UK. We have just spent over 7 years agreeing our housing figures during which time the Kent Science Park remained silent on the matter.
The borough council, however, is also keen on using this unprecedented scale of development to meet housing targets that have not yet been forced on us and specifically with the intention of funding a Southern Relief Road.
We barely have the infrastructure to cope with the existing community needs and Swale are to build another 13,500 homes in the next twenty years. Another 11,250 in addition to this would make a difficult situation intolerable.
With the only new secondary school built in decades planned on the other side of town, it's not a question of which school are my children to go to, but which town?
The development at Iwade already forces extra traffic on the roads with their daily trips to Faversham, the only place with capacity left.
But are we building new homes in Faversham where the school places are? Quite simply no, Faversham is almost a development-free zone and whilst we don't wish to impose any further development on Faversham, we must recognise that Sittingbourne and Sheppey cannot continue to take Faversham's share of the housing needs.