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Campaigners against new homes at Ark Lane, Deal, will form a protest group

By Eleanor Perkins

Neighbours opposed to the development of 41 sheltered housing apartments at a former clothing factory site will hold a meeting today.

Churchill Retirement Living has amended its plans for a three-storey building in Ark Lane, Deal, which will include one and two-bedroom homes, a communal area, refuse area and 16 car parking spaces.

They say the development is to cater for an ever-increasing ageing population.

Deal Ark Lane development protest

Deal Ark Lane development protest

Opposing the plan is Stuart Walker, of College Road, who is inviting all affected residents to attend The Golf Road Centre from 6pm today in a bid to form a formal group.

The aim is to persuade Dover District Council to allow the new group to represent themselves at the appeal hearing expected later this year.

He said: “My reason for objecting to the revised plans is that they have not addressed any of the reasons for Dover District Council’s refusal of the original application.

“They have moved it a little more towards Ark Lane and College Road, but the building is essentially the same.

“Most people would agree it’s gross over-development.”

The amended plans contain 16 instead of 14 parking spaces and Mr Walker is concerned about the already-congested nearby roads. He said: “That’s for 41 flats. Many people over the age of 80 still drive and the presumption that you don’t is insulting and ridiculous.”

Susan Carlyle, of Ark Lane, said: “The amended plans show a marginal move bringing it nearer to the edge of Ark Lane, where it will be overlooking other properties. They want to remove the trees and they’re very established hornbeam – the only mature trees in the area.

“But the major thing is the lack of parking spaces. There’s no space for visitors or staff.

“We’re already heavily parked in the area, we have school traffic, and there’s a lot going on.”

Mr Walker said the group would like the opportunity to discuss the plans with Churchill Retirement Living and see if the company is happy to reduce the number of apartments.

He said: “It’s not the development per se, it’s the huge block of building that’s unacceptable.”

A compromise, he said, could be 14 detached houses – which a previous developer managed to obtain planning permission for – with three flats each and one spare to make an office. He said: “There would be space between the building. It’s the perception of this massive great building stood in the middle of a site that people don’t like.”

Churchill Retirement Living has not responded to our queries

For more information visit dover.gov.uk/planning and search for reference number 16/00502.

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