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Herne Bay, England, CT6
United Kingdom

Community website for all things Herne Bay (Kent, UK). Covers: The Downs, Herne Bay Museum, Herne Bay Historical Records Society, Herne Bay Pier Trust, Herne Bay in Bloom, East Cliff Neighbourhood Panel, No Night Flights, Manston Airport, Save Hillborough, Kitewood, WEA, Local Plan and much, much more...

Save Hillborough

Sir Roger Gale says: Bridge, then houses.


Herne Bay MP Sir Roger Gale says a proposed development in Hillborough should not go ahead until Blacksole Bridge has been built.

He has called for a trade to be made for the site near Altira Park, which has been earmarked for 1,000 homes. He says developer Kitewood Estates should build Blacksole Bridge in exchange for approval of its plans.

A long-running stand-off has halted development at Altira Park because of a clause the council included in the initial contract with Kitewood. It said it would not have to build Blacksole Bridge until 17,000 sq metres of its business park had been developed.

Sir Roger said:

"I am not averse to sensible plans for properties but my absolute priority is Blacksole Bridge. If Altira have a determination to acquire land and build houses, we should not be interested unless they build the bridge. I know the city council, in its infinite wisdom, put in a condition that they would not have to build the bridge until they have built on a certain amount of land. Now they want something else. If they want that, then they should build the bridge."

However, Sir Roger qualified this by saying he felt 1,000 homes would be too many for Hillborough. He said:

"I think the density would be too high. I am not prepared to see the city district housing needs and problems dumped on Herne Bay."

The Kitewood Group director Mike Dolan said:

"I think it would be premature for me to comment in any detail on the draft Local Plan because at present it is just a draft. It has to go before the Overview and Scrutiny committees and the Executive of the council before being published. It is quite possible that changes will be made as part of that process so I believe the appropriate time for me to comment is when the actual outcome is known. Suffice to say that we are greatly encouraged the land has been recognised as suitable and appropriate for development."

The Details

A new primary school would be part of a 1,000 home development at Hillborough. It would also include a community hub, doctor's surgery and local shops. The development would be accessed on a link road to the Thanet Way, via Altira Park.

Some smaller parts of the development would be accessed from Sweechbridge Road. These would benefit from a new slip road to the westbound carriageway of the Thanet way at the Heart-in-Hand junction. Developers would also have to contribute towards the cost of a Herne relief road at Strode Farm.

HB Gazette 9th May 2013

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Here we go again


Our beloved Council has released the draft Local Plan.

(They waited until 2 hours after polling had finished in the recent County Council elections - I wonder what they were afraid of.)

The Local Plan MATTERS. It matters because it lays down the ground rules and the blueprint for development across and around our town for the next 20 years. Once it's been signed off by an Inspector (towards the end of next year) we're stuck with it.

So it makes sense to spend some time having a good look at it now, and getting involved in the consultation process, so that we're not left with the short end of the stick.

We'll be keeping you up to date with the Hillborough bit of the Local Plan on this site. You can follow the impact of the Local Plan on Herne Bay as a whole on the main HerneBayMatters website.

By the way, there's no point in complaining to anyone just yet - our Council will be ignoring everything that anyone says until the official start of the consultation, some time in mid-June.

In the meantime, do please let us know what you think - either by commenting on the posts in this blog, or by using the "Contact" option on the menu at the left of the screen.


Click it to big it

Click it to big it

Click it to big it

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Puffin plans come to nuffin



Plans by developer Kitewood to build 40 homes on greenfield land in Beltinge have been thrown out by a Government planning inspector. Paul Jackson dismissed the company’s appeal against the city council's refusal to release the land for development.

Kitewood complained that it had never received a response to its application in time.

In a response that will please protesters, Mr Jackson said the area already had enough housing and that previously developed brownfield land should be used first. Kitewood boss Mike Dolan, who was told of the decision by the Herne Bay Times, said:

“We are somewhat surprised at the inspector’s decision. We do not believe he has given proper weight to the representations we made at the inquiry, particularly concerning the availability of land for the council's forecast housing needs up to 2016, and his interpretation of central government policy.

Nevertheless, we respect his right to exercise his discretion in certain matters and will now await our legal advisers’ review before deciding whether to challenge the decision in the High Court. We are heartened by his comment that he is not convinced here would be any unacceptably increased risks to anyone’s highway safety or to children playing in the area as a result of 40 new homes.”

City council spokesman Rob Davies said:

“We are naturally pleased the inspector upheld our position, particularly on the key issues of the five-year housing supply and the focus on the regeneration of the town centre. We put forward a strong case. The dismissal of the appeal is a vindication of the work we are doing to provide housing land for the future.”

HB Times 1st Mar 2012

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Puffin development enquiry


Missing page adds to legal clash over homes

Lawyers representing council officials clashed with developers at a public enquiry into the fate of greenfield land in Beltinge. They went head-to-head in front of independent planning inspector Paul Jackson, over Kitewood's plan to put 40 houses on a plot west of Puffin Road.

Kitewood argues that it never received a response to its planning application. And it says the district does not have a deliverable supply of housing over the next five years.

The council claims the site was a reserve site in their local housing plan --and they are already 1,150 homes ahead of their strategic requirement, so the land doesn't need to be released for development.

A jargon-heavy series of clashes between council barrister Richard Ground and Kitewood representatives over policies and figures were thrown across the sombre Canterbury Guildhall. The two sides were forced to go through every single site being developed in the Canterbury district, as well as noting which houses or flats had (and had not) been sold, before the debate started in earnest.

Paul Jackson

Paul Jackson

Confusion briefly reigned after the council's barrister asked his opponents to turn to page 24 of one of the foot-thick piles of documents. But they claimed that their page was missing. All eyes turned to the inspector, who was shuffling his paperwork. He said:

"I don't have a page 24, either. This is very serious indeed. I very much doubt that there has been any funny business but I do want to preclude the possibility of any doubt so I am going to ask you to retire and make sure all your pages match."

Pages of supplementary planning documents, country planning acts, case statements and monitoring reports were juggled frantically to put things in order before the inquiry continued. The decision is expected to be published in a few week's time.

HB Times 3rd Feb 2012

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