LDF Meeting

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24 Feb 2012
I attended last night’s Local Development Framework meeting where the LDF Panel were due to agree the final details of what it is we are to be consulted on. Well actually I did duck out after the first 1:40 minutes because I have not yet eaten and believe me it was dull and uneventful given the topic matter at hand.

Considering the relatively small contribution Faversham makes towards housing numbers and employment land a significantly disproportionate amount of time was taken taking about sites in Faversham, but then again a reporter from the Faversham Times was present. This we could not have missed following a number of remarks made by Cllr Bowles about her presence.

I did feel for the people of Sheppey who had no representation at all and have taken possibly more than their fair share of the housing including the only reserve site, which was quickly skipped over by the panel.

Besides the 550 houses planned for Stones Farm which I think everyone must surely be aware of by now, there is no more housing planned for Bapchild in the next 20 years.

The Northern Relief Road is to come forward by way of a search area for possible routes, so no actual routes are to be consulted on, although the land owners agent who met with planners two days before the meeting did very kindly illustrate where he believed the road could be positioned which is very interesting although there are some technical difficulties around one of the options which should make the consultation fun.

Both the Kent Science Park and Southern Relief Road will not be progressed in the plan period (next 20 years) unless finances become available. The Council is effectively accepting the case for both the major expansion of the park and the Southern Relief Road.

Given the poor reception of the earlier consultation which explicitly showed that residents entirely objected to any expansion it would seem that our views have simply been ignored. The case for the Southern Relief Road is also very weak, with traffic movements so small that most villages could only dream of reducing their traffic levels too, the transport case is practically non-existent. The employment case if anyone still believes that the Kent Science Park can deliver any jobs at all, is equally flawed as the traffic model shows that the majority of these jobs will come from outside swale.