Mass development of Swale countryside back on agenda

15 Apr 2010

Back in June 2008 when site manger of the Kent Science Park James Speck stated that “Rural Link road is not part of science park plans.” we knew it wouldn’t be long before the true scale of the expansion plans came to light.

In meetings and discussions at the time James Speck gave further assurances that they were no longer interested in the larger scale expansion and instead concentrating on the development over the next five years.

When the planning application for the 4 hectare expansion was submitted it in February 2009 was already clear that the bigger picture had not substantially changed.

Now Kent Science Park have once again brought forward plans for a 50 Hectare expansion of the park, new motorway junction and Southern Relief Road not because we need one but as they kindly put it “because it is thought to be essential to acceptance by the Highways Agency of Junction 5A”

The Kent Science Park however remain guarded about the use of housing to facilitate the expansion programme, but have no problem with housing being promoted indirectly by other parties.

The Highways Agency believes that 10,000 houses would be required to fund the road, but that doesn’t even begin to cover the real costs once you factor in the required transport network improvements, including possible motorway widening and substantial improvements to the existing M2 Junction 5 and M20 Junction 7.

More worryingly still Swale Borough Council officers are already discussing tariffs’ from other new development served or enabled by the southern relief road and other non Science Park development in the vicinity of the science park which clearly illustrates the danger in such proposals.