Stones Farm sets a dangerous precedent
Stones Farm has been selected by Swale Borough Council as the site of choice for the expected shortfall in housing allocation in the Local Plan.
Although Stones Farm is not a matter for the Five Parishes Opposition Group to deal with, one can not help but be alarmed at the precedent that this development sets for the future funding of major infrastructure in Swale.
Swale Borough Council will not doubt resort to using the excuse that additional housing is being imposed by central government through KCC and that they are opposed to this. I should however point out that they have very little incentive to do so, as this housing forms the core of their funding policy for project ranging from the town centre redevelopment to the Northern Relief Road. Quite simply without the 1,600 additional dwellings being forced upon them there will be no town centre redevelopment or completion of the Northern Relief Road.
This use of housing to fund infrastructure development is nothing new, but given that the Northern Relief Road will provide anything but relief for congestion in Sittingbourne, it seems preposterous to exacerbate this situation with yet more housing and the traffic that this will generate. Swale Borough Council is in fact so concerned that they have proposed another relief road to solve the problems that the Northern Relief Road will create. This will almost certainly have to be paid for with more housing which will generate more traffic which will require more roads etc etc