Council leader “misled” residents

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15 Aug 2006
Villagers fighting SBC plans for 600 houses on Stones Farm, Bapchild have accused Cllr Bowles of “ at best misleading” them when he responded to the Gazette’s questions last week.
In the recent East Kent Gazette story about the Council consultation Cllr Bowles claimed that Stones Farm was “the only alternative” for the 600 houses, however villagers form Bapchild have pointed out that the Council’s own ‘Swale Borough Local Plan First Review, Local Plan Inquiry Topic Paper No5 Housing’ paragraphs 92-95 which show that the Council considered two sites and made it clear that “there is little to choose between them”.
Andy Hudson, Parish Chairman said:
“It beggars belief that Cllr Bowles did not know what his own council had written for the Local Plan Inquiry inspector, and is available on his own council’s web site.  I want to believe that he isn’t lying to the people of Bapchild just so he can get the developers to pay for the Northern Relief Road. What is worse is that I have been told the road could cost up to £100million, as it needs to cross the railway line, and neither the developers, SBC, the County nor the government have that kind of money.”
Villagers have stepped up their campaign this week with dozens of signs, against the Stones Farm development, being erected along the A2 and through out the village.
Mr Hudson said
“We have been inundated with requests for our signs as people throughout the village feel very strongly that the horrendous increase in cars and heavy lorries together with the loss of countryside gap and the threat to the Conservation area is wrong. I am confident that, with the number of people who are planning to respond to the council’s consultation that SBC will have to consider alternative sites.”
The consultation closes on 25th August 5pm