I was pleased that last night Medway Council’s Planning Committee rejected the proposals by Gladman Developments Ltd to build up to 225 houses just off Town Road in Cliffe Woods.
This is a great example of local democracy at work and I am encouraged that the voices of local people have been heard. Following the public meeting I held in October it was evident from the outset that the plans were not right for the community or residents who have been here for generations.
In total, 300 residents overwhelmingly objected to the plans during the consultation stating various reasons from added strains to services and amenities to the inevitable and fundamental change to the village feel.
In its report, I am pleased the Council recognised that,
Employment opportunity within the village is limited and the nature of facilities within the village will result in occupants of the development having to look outside the village for alterative provision. The site is not well related in terms of sustainable transport modes to surrounding Towns & villages and their facilities. The proposed development is not considered to be accessible by a realistic chance of access by a range of transport modes and will be highly reliant on the use of the private motor vehicle [….] The development, if permitted, would have an adverse impact on the character and visual amenity of the local area, which is considered to be a “valued landscape’[.].
While this is not yet the end of the story, with Gladman’s set to appeal the decision, it is important for I, councillors and local residents to continue to stand again these speculative and predatory plans that would only blight our rural areas. I would encourage Clifee Woods’ residents to continue to make their representations to the Council throughout the months ahead.