Junction of Wrotham Road and Coldharbour Road.
Gravesham may need almost double the housing predicted after the latest migration figures were released.
The Local Plan Core Strategy originally submitted by Gravesham council to the government earlier this year identified a target of 4,600 new homes to be built by 2028.
However, a secretary of state independent inspector has now indicated the council’s plan needs to be revised to take into account mass inward migration.
The actual amount of extra housing needed is not known but could be as high as 2,000 homes. An area now earmarked to provide up to 500 of that figure is land west of Wrotham Road, Gravesend, near Morrisons supermarket.
As reported in the Messenger a few weeks ago, Persimmon and Bovis Homes have already expressed an interest in building there. It is agricultural land which is controlled by both the firms and part-owned by Kent County Council.
This space is green field land, as opposed to green belt, and means it is an undeveloped site within an urban area.
It is not yet known if, or how, green belt land will be affected.
Leader of the council, Cllr John Burden (Lab) said even if the increase was as much as 2,000, the overall figure was still below the 9,500 plus that Kent County Council originally proposed.
But he added that although there were no more urban areas in the borough which can provide that amount of housing, it was not a case of the council having to go back to the drawing board.
“It is disappointing we could not get the strategy through the first time of asking but we are looking at amendments rather than major re-drawing.
“The vast part of the plan is acceptable and our officers have worked very hard on it. These are minor amendments.”
Cllr Burden said that the fact Gravesham now has a population of more than 100,000 should be viewed as positive.
“Within any community it is always naturally growing. It is a great thing that people are continuing to live here and, of course, you are having new life brought into the world.
“This is a fabulous area and I can understand why people want to live here.”
Gravesham council agreed at a Cabinet meeting this week that they will revise the housing needs of the borough in light of the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
These figures were not released until after the core strategy was submitted to government in May.
The council assessed its housing needs using its 2011 census figures and following an eight-week public consultation period. The plan also received backing from Kent County Council.
However, the cabinet agenda stated: “As the revised ONS data showed net migration being positive rather than negative, due to international migration, the council, taking the above issues into account, has had to accept that the plan will need an increased scale of development to meet its objectively assessed housing needs.”
The council has until spring next year to re-submit its revised strategy which, if approved by the secretary of state, will be adopted in August.
The original 2028 plan earmarked areas such as Northfleet Embankment and the industrial site known as Swanscombe Peninsula East as substantial opportunities for riverside regeneration.