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."
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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