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Discussions about thousands of homes for Gravesend are taking place at Gravesend Civic Centre, Community Square

A public examination into how many new homes Gravesham needs to cater for its growing population is taking place this week.

400 homes will be built off Coldharbour Road

The Gravesham Local Plan Core Strategy originally identified a target of 4,600 new homes to be built by 2028.

However, a Secretary of State’s independent inspector indicated last year that the council’s plan needed to be revised to take into account the growing Gravesham population.

The number of extra homes is now set to go up from 4,600 to 6,170.

The inspector also recommended that Gravesham council carry out a Green Belt boundary review to identify more land for development up to 2028. This is required as there is not enough room in the borough for more homes.

One of the areas earmarked to provide up to 500 homes is land west of Wrotham Road, Gravesend, close to Morrisons supermarket.

Persimmon and Bovis Homes expressed an interest in building on the agricultural land which is controlled by both the firms and part-owned by Kent County Council. Gravesham council, at a meeting last week, produced a document looking at various sites for expansion.

These include areas east of Chalk, east of Thong Lane, south of Riverview Park, and/or expand the urban area to the west of Strood up to the A289 Wainscott Bypass.

There is also the option to expand areas such as Higham, Hook Green, Istead Rise, Culverstone Green, Meopham Green, Vigo, Cobham, Shorne, and Sole Street.

Meopham Green. Library image

Another option would be to merge areas together, such as Hook Green and Sole Street, Hook Green and Meopham Green, Hook Green, Meopham Green and Sole Street, Higham and Lower Higham and Culverstone Green and Vigo.

No decisions will be made until the Core Strategy is given the green light by the government. This week's review will see the results published in June or July. Consultations and reviews would then begin next year before a final decision is made in 2017.

Other things the council will need to consider include the future for employment, retail and leisure development in the borough.

The inquiry began today and is due to be completed by Thursday.

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