In September last year, we wrote to KCC about their plans for the A251/A2 (Watling St) junction. Work has now begun on the junction. A 420m section of the A251 is to be shut for 11 weeks (April 5 to June 18) while traffic lights are installed. The closed section of the A251 will extend from the fire station and the new roundabout for Aldi and Premier Inn. The closure is to allow for earthworks and utility diversions.
This is KCC’s proposal put to Swale’s Joint Transportation Board on 1st March in response to the various representations made last year, KCC has added pedestrian crossings to two more of the arms of the junction:
Nationally attitudes are, slowly changing,
'Well designed infrastructure gives places a sense of identity . . . projects shouldn't just mitigate, but should have a relationship with their surroundings and enhance them . . . we need to think harder about how our infrastructure improves air quality, health, and wellbeing' Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Design Group, New Civil Engineer, March 2021 p16.
Phil Jones has pointed out
“KCC’s overriding concern appears to be to attempt to reduce short-term congestion by increasing motor vehicle capacity, with little thought given to the quality of the place or enabling active travel. This is not consistent with national policies and will simply serve to further embed car dependency and encourage more car travel.”
“The failure of KCC to include even the most basic facilities for cycling is at odds with ... the Prime Minister’s plan for cycling and walking. Active Travel England will soon be established and will hold local highway and planning authorities to account. Government has stated that a failure to meet the principles set out in (the plan) will result in financial penalties being imposed on local authorities.”
After further representations made at the Swale Joint Transportation Board by Tim Stonor
“KCC agreed to look at putting direct, rather than staggered pedestrian crossIng. They also agreed to look at putting in cycle “advanced stop lines” which give cyclists a bit of space ahead of the vehicles at traffic lights.”
As Tim Stonor, architect, urban planner and trustee of the Faversham Society, comments
“Both important concessions. Not nearly good enough, but better.”
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Your rationalisation of "another Perry Court" simply ignores the fact that it is a development, regrettably of 350 units plus industrial whilst the Duchy is of a minimum of 2500 and given its Poundbary and Newlyn developments always increases its units.
Whether you can accurately support the assertation of a significant number of new homes occupied by Faversham residents, given the proposed increase in units is some 30% of the current town occupancy, is challenging.
As yet I have seen no comment by the Society that it regrets the
The loss of some 450 acres of grade 1 and 2 agricultural land and the loss of a unique landscape on the entrance to Faversham that creates the market town surround
It is not a rationalisation, I am merely pointing to the danger of not having in place an adequate 5-year housing land supply. The Local Plan determines the number of houses that can be built on particular sites. It is simply a fact that Faversnam residents are moving out to some of the new houses.
Central government demands that Swale build more houses, neither MP wants them in their constituency. However, they have to go somewhere. Given the consequences of not allocating sites somewhere in Swale then either central government, through our MPs, has to be persuaded to reduce the allocation to Swale or viable alternative sites need to be identified. Do you have any suggestions? Central government is forcing through the development east of Faversham and causing houses to be built on prime agricultural land.
The CPRE has objected to building on prime agricultural land has the NFU or any of the political parties?
On affordable housing, the Draft Local Plan policy DM15 will apply as a minimum to the Duchy land as to all greenfield sites. DM15 requires 30% affordable housing on greenfield sites, which is applicable to SE Faversham and other allocated greenfield sites.
The Duchy’s land is allocated under Policy MU 1c Land at South East Faversham: “Subject to securing high-quality design and an appropriate mix of uses, planning permission will be granted for a minimum of 2500 dwellings, a variety of employment space capable of supporting 2500 jobs, community infrastructure, open space and habitat creation on land at South East Faversham full details of what is required of the Duchy land is on pages 68-80 of Reg 19 Draft Local Plan
The Swale Borough Local Plan Review (Reg 19) Pre-Submission Document [PDF 119MB] can be downloaded here https://services.swale.gov.uk/assets/Planning%20Policy%202019/FINAL%20Reg%2019%20(RGB)%20119MB.pdf
Comments can be made via the councils Consultation Portal
There will not be 4000 units on the Duchy site.
The Duchy will need to provide the same proportion of affordable houses as all other developments.
These facts are clear in the Draft Local Plan. With no approved local Plan and a viable five-year housing land supply, we risk another Perry Court scenario. A significant number of the new homes are being occupied by Faversham residents looking for larger homes to accommodate growing families.
Whilst comment on this long planned scheme must be welcome. I am surprised that no strategic consideration has been given to other crossing points along the A2 from Brenley Corner to The Western Link and the Newnham junction.
The increased traffic flows generated by the 400 unit Perry Court development and Aldi and the industrial park will make even the existing very marginal number of cycle journeys more dificult.
The proposed Duchy 4000 units are primarily designed for commuters as average Duchy house prices are high, thus anything other than vehicular access through the propsed roundabouts will be difficult.This of course will be even more so as the A2 is the designsted emergency road when the M2 is closed.The Newnham junction is an accident black spot.