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Protesters march on Shepway District Council’s offices in Folkestone over 'destructive development'

By Matt Leclere

Hundreds took to the streets today against “an overwhelming tide of destructive development in Shepway”.

Residents turned out in force to demonstrate against what they believe is too many new homes and development in the district.

They took their case to Shepway District Council’s offices in Folkestone on Saturday morning before parading through the town centre.

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Protest march against development in Shepway held in December at the Civic Centre in Folkestone
Protestors carried placards and banners

The protest march was organised by several community-led protest groups unhappy at the wave of development proposed near their homes.

Among the projects they are opposing are the Otterpool Park garden town plans – approved by the government earlier this month – as well as the M20 lorry park at Stanford and the proposals for 8,000 additional homes throughout the district in the council’s core strategy development plan, which was approved by the Planning Inspectorate in 2013.

Les Barratt, co-chairman of Sellindge and District Residents Association and Monks Horton parish councillor, said: “Recent studies by CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) have evidenced how over a million new homes could be created across the UK just using brownfield sites.

Dog joins in protest march
Development will affect future generations

KCC councillor for Hythe, Cllr Martin Whybrow (Grn) said: “It is no surprise that so many residents are so concerned.

“This would represent a massive hike in the population of an already densely populated part of the country where services and infrastructure are struggling to cope as it is.

“Otterpool, in particular, could easily become purely overspill from London – a commuter town with twice the population of Hythe.

“When you add in the appalling lorry park development, Prince’s Parade, the razing of perfectly reasonable homes to build blocks of luxury apartments, and so on, it is clear why so many residents feel their communities are under attack and are losing their identity.”

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