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Consultation on plans to build 500 homes in Capstone Valley slammed

By Lizzie Massey

A consultation on the prospect of 500 homes in Capstone Valley has been slammed as basic and inaccurate, but politicians do not expect objections to stop an outline application being submitted.

A public consultation was held at Lordswood Leisure Centre and it is estimated about 3,000 went along throughout Friday.

Tim Wade of Gibralter Farm, Ham Lane, Gillingham, is very concerned over plans to build 500 homes on the fields between Lordswood and Ham Lane

An application to build more than 9,000 homes in the picturesque valley was thrown out in 2009 after a 12,000-strong petition.

But now the Attwood family, who were involved in the initial application and own a substantial amount of the valley, are preparing a fresh plan for 500 houses near the Gibraltar Farm area.

"Many residents came away even more angry and set against the plans than they were before" - Tracey Crouch MP

It follows the collapse of Medway Councils housing strategy after a plan for 5,000 homes at Lodge Hill, Chattenden, was defeated by breeding nightingales.

Chatham MP Tracey Crouch (Con) said after the consultation: “It was a really good turn out but the exhibition was basic and in part misrepresented the council’s position.

“Many residents came away even more angry and set against the plans than they were before.

“The development would have a devastating impact on the local environment and infrastructure and people are understandably incredibly concerned.

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch

“I got the impression the developers will not be paying much attention to anybody’s views and will go on to submit an outline application regardless.”

Councillor for Lordswood and Capstone David Wildey (Con) added: “People are extremely worried about these plans, because many see it as the gateway, and first steps, to the 9,000 houses from the previous application.”

Cllr Wildey continued: “The developers also said they had spoken to local councillors, like myself, and insinuated our support which isn’t true in the least.”

Councillor David Wildey (Con)

Ms Crouch has pledged to lead and support the campaign against development in Capstone Valley, which she has dubbed the “green lung” of Medway, and has set up Facebook page for residents to rally behind.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/savecapstonevalley

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