Act now to stop plans for thousands of houses around Kent Science Park

09 May 2018

Swale Borough Council is looking at supplying even more housing in Swale than has been identified by Government.

South Sittingbourne and its villages will likely be identified for mass development, a so-called “garden town” comprising in excess of 10,000 new homes. That’s 26 times the size of Eden Village near Fulston Manor, Sittingbourne. The Council has invited developers to draw up plans of how a ‘garden town‘ this size could fit into the local area.

In addition, the Council has called an early public consultation into its Local Plan Consultation, called ‘Looking Ahead’.

We doubt you have heard about this current 8-week process although it will affect your life in Swale. So we are advising residents about it and implore you to take part. Let the Council know how much more housing you wish to see in Swale and how you think it will affect the area. Time is running out. Participate before Friday 8 June 2018.


You can choose from:

1. A short questionnaire of 11 questions which does not require your details to take part or

2. A longer questionnaire of 46 questions + Guidelines for completion + Data Protection Permission Notice (the long questionnaire cannot be accepted without this separate Notice).

Whilst time-consuming and ambiguous in parts, we encourage residents to complete the longer ‘Looking Ahead’ questionnaire as it requires your contact details which will protect your submission and ensure you are consulted at further stages of the process. It is a lengthy document but it is your opportunity to tell them what you think. You may not have answers for every question but the following certainly need your opinion:
Short Questionnaire

Q4 What should the Local Plan’s approach be to housing targets (ie increased housing numbers from central government)

Q7. What infrastructure should the Local Plan include?

Q9. Where should new housing development be focused?

Q10. Where should employment land be?

Q11. Your thoughts on more housing

Looking Ahead (Long Questionnaire)

Q33. What should happen to local land designations ie countryside gaps (the area dividing town and village)

Q36. How can Swale protect agricultural land?

Q40. Local Plan Settlement Strategy – should there be a more even distribution of development around the
Swale Borough?

Q45 Should the Council council consider ‘New Settlements’ ie Garden Towns?

For those unable to complete a questionnaire, you can write comments on Swale’s future and SBC officers will assigned your views to the most appropriate part of the Questionnaire, to meet the online format. Post your comments to: Local Plan Consultation, Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne ME10 3HT

-The likely impact of further housing on GP surgeries, healthcare facilities and other services on all ages of the community. If the proposed mass development in Borden goes ahead, our local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responsible for GP and health services, could end up a further £90m in debt. For every new house built in Swale it takes 6 years for the CCG to receive funding for those new residents.
-Has enough work been done to identify all existing brownfield and redundant sites in the Borough for redevelopment so that agricultural land and countryside can be protected?

-Does the Council ensure current ‘key’ roads in and out of the Borough are maintained, upgraded and enhanced? What is the impact of the lack of investment in Junction 5 of the M2? How does the current traffic flow impact you in and around Sittingbourne and do you expect improvement in the future?-It is clear from the Council’s Peter Brett report that you “may” get a small parade of shops, a pub, a GP surgery, a secondary school and 2 primary school for every 5,000 dwellings but that is in no way certain. Is it enough and what happens if these are not provided?

-Is the Council addressing environmental issues, such as air pollution, light blight and noise?

-Can public transport accommodate an influx of new people and provide an efficient service?

-Swale is divided currently into two planning areas: 1) Faversham and its villages 2) Rest of the Borough, Sittingbourne, its surrounding villages and the Isle of Sheppey. Sittingbourne and Sheppey have historically been prioritised for housing development whilst Faversham has seen very little. Why not amalgamate these 2 planning areas into one and ensure a fair allocation of future development and economic opportunity? They have also said that no new settlements could be created on Sheppey because of issues relating to profitably. So that just leaves Sittingbourne to bear the brunt of the development. Do you agree with this?

- What is the impact on our biodiversity, our ancient woodlands, our hedgerows, wild flora and fauna, wildlife?

- Do developers proposals within a ‘Garden Towns’ benefit the local people and existing infrastructure?
We have registered a list of complaints with Swale Borough Council with regard to this consultation as we believe the format and availability of the questionnaires, the lack of clarity in supporting documentation, the ‘generic’ nature of many questions and the lack of publicity about what is a very important issue for local residents.

Please don’t assume any proposed development is a ‘done deal’. Residents can influence, change and delay decisions as part of any future planning process. We’ve done it before, over the last 12 years, but we need your help to do it again! Your written submissions are very important evidence for the new local plan. We need as many people as possible to write into Swale!