"To put the record straight, the owners of Kent Science Park have no wish to develop homes in the vicinity of the science park"
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.
The Sittingbourne business estate, which employs 1,650 people, is home to more than 60 companies based in 515,000 sq ft of laboratories and office space, including firms like GW Pharma and Novartis.
But proposals for a new scheme could see 100 hectares of commercial space added to the site, a new Junction 5a created on the M2 to access KSP, and a Southern Relief Road constructed to join the M2 to the A2.
The connection on the A2 would be near where previous plans have shown the completed section of the Northern Relief Road, between Bapchild and Teynham.
The scheme has been put forward by KSP joint owners Angelo, Gordon & Co and Trinity Investment Management, alongside Canterbury-based developer Quinn Estates. Its brochure says it could also lead to 8,000 people in long-term employment.
According to the proposals, through the Local Growth Fund, KSP, Swale council and Kent County Council, £13 million could be accessed to assist with the project.
Initial costing for Junction 5a and the Southern Relief Road are £80 million and this sum was being sought, the brochure said.
The proposals state: “The benefits of this project are all encompassing. Existing residents will be better served for road transport with reduced delays and traffic jams and better air quality through the creation of a better functioning road network.
“Existing businesses, notably at Eurolink, will benefit from reduced journey times and less congestion.
“The vision is to deliver this project so that by 2020 the significant disruption expected from J5 improvements and the Stockbury roundabout can be mitigated leading to economic, social and environmental benefits.”
The brochure says a public consultation could be carried out this year.
Cllr Gerry Lewin (Con), Cabinet member for planning, said the KSP proposals were not in the council’s Local Plan.
However, he added that it would be for the authority’s planning committee to make a judgement on any application.
Article By Chloe Holmwood, Kent Online