At the Parish Council meeting of 13th September 2017, representatives for Redrow Homes addressed the Parish Council and the 200 plus members of the public regarding an application they are proposing regarding farmland at Walnut Tree Farm which is off Britannia Road, to the east of Willowbank Drive and behind Longfield Avenue. The access to this new development would be a new access road from Britannia Road.
The initial proposal was to discuss 71 dwellings (this isn’t a final number and may be subject to change) which were made up of a mixture of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses and 3 storey flats. In accordance with any new proposals there was also a 30% allocation allowed for affordable houses.
Medway Council are currently producing a Medway Plan (due for completion late 2018, early 2019), which will have a number of options which the representatives from Redrow Homes are saying that this site is included in some of these options. The fact the plan for Medway Council has yet to be agreed means that this can be seen as a predatory application with developers trying to exploit the current situation.
The representatives explained that they had undertaken their own ecological assessment as well as reviewing other survey results from other agencies. They plan to consult with the residents of High Halstow individually as well as holding an exhibition for all to see the whole detail in order to ascertain views
The Parish Council accepted that that there was likely to be some form of housing allocation when the overall plan is adopted but it had to be acknowledged that this development may not have been part of this plan and therefore could be an additional allocation.
Previous expansion in recent years, when the village approximately doubled in size provided no additional services/improvements to the village and these issues would need to be addressed as otherwise this development would only compound the inherent problems such as
- The lack of capacity with the pumping station where currently every year sewerage tankers have to come out on several occasions to alleviate the issues.
- The lack of GP’s in the area with both of the current practices unable to take on any more patients.
- The local primary school is unable to increase its size and already has a waiting list.
- The air quality at Four Elms Hill already being a serious issue.
- Questioning whether using farmland being used for homes is the best use of this land
- The land being proposed being the wettest part of the village as highlighted by our own High Halstow Hikers where they are unable to walk this route currently.
- The one road on and one road (A228) off the Hoo Peninsula and that adding to this already congested road will only enhance the current problems.
- The current road structure bring traffic in and out of High Halstow, Britannia Road and Christmas Lane being rural roads not being sufficient to see the village continually growing.
Please find below pictures of the plan circulated at the meeting, this plan is also available to be seen at the Village Hall, main door. The Parish Council will be seeking your views and trying to ensure all the information to be had is available to all of the residents