Yes folks, it's Kitewood. The people who brought us Altira Tumbleweed Park, and didn't bring us a new Blacksole Bridge. The people who said they would bring us a new Blacksole Bridge if they could have a huge swathe of Beltinge to play with.
To be honest, I don't think we're any closer to getting a bridge, but Kitewood are starting to nibble away at the open spaces of Beltinge, laying the foundations of "Kitegate" a development area the size of Hampton.
They've got their eyes on the eastern end of Kitegate, where they hope to knock up 40 homes on farmland, much to the annoyance of the local residents who thought they would be living next to, er, farmland.
Our lives will be ruined if more homes are built
Concerned families on the Castle Chase estate are furious with plans to use their neighbourhood as the only access route to a proposed 40-home plot off Puffin Road. They claim an extra 500 vehicles will drive through the estate every day, passing four play parks, if the development on farmland gets the thumbs up. Anthony Palmer, of Puffin Road, is among almost 100 people who have written objection letters. He said:
"This would have a devastating impact on what is a very happy and settled road. Children play completely happily in the play area outside my house. With the addition of at least another 500 vehicle journeys a day this will compromise this environment and put their lives at greater risk."
Neighbour Keith Roberts added:
"There are approximately 25 children under the age of 16 in Puffin Road alone, where we feel they can play in a very safe and secure environment. This would not be the case with heavy plant vehicles coming through the road on a daily basis."
Most people on the estate appear happy for new homes to be built, but object to Puffin Road being used as the only access route. They say older roads to the north of the site are much wider and should be used. Trevor Higgs, of Puffin Road, said:
"I understand the residents of Roseberry Avenue, Rowland Crescent and Richmond Drive will most certainly raise objections to their roads being used in a similar fashion and I fully understand their concern. However, these roads are far more suited and in closer proximity to the estate."
A similar application on the same site was knocked back in 2003, with planners saying there was already enough housing land in the area. The decision was appealed unsuccessfully by developers Kitewood Estates in 2005. Local councillor Gabrielle Davis supported the objection at the time of the appeals She said:
"I was assured afterwards that the site would be taken off the local plan as there was, and continues to be, enough housing for local needs. It is an open space and should remain protected for future generations."
Kitewood planning manager Paul Watkins said Puffin Road was earmarked as an access route when the Castle Chase estate was built. He said:
"The planning consent included a condition that access could be provided from Puffin Road. The application site is also allocated as a reserve housing site for 40 dwellings in the Canterbury District Plan First Review, which was adopted in 2006. Our own engineers have tested the suitability of Puffin Road to access the site for 40 dweilinqs and found no issues."
A decision on the outline planning application is expected to made in the next few months.
HB Gazette 9th June 2011
Here are the planning documents - just click to view.
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