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New access road for Sandwich Leisure Holiday Park causes objections

By Emily Stott

A new access road for Sandwich has caused a flurry of objections because it would prevent emergency vehicles from accessing homes.

The Alexander Close Residents Association (ACRA) has shared the road with Sandwich Leisure Park for years, but problems with access for lorries and static caravan deliveries has prompted the caravan park to apply for its own access road.

Paul Coston, of Woodnesborough Road, spoke on behalf of ACRA, to air concerns that splitting the road would leave residents with a single lane access.

Sandwich Leisure Holiday Park

Sandwich Leisure Holiday Park

Alan Smith, owner of Sandwich Leisure Park, said he inherited the ownership of the road from the park’s predecessor and this plan comes after years of trying to negotiate with residents.

He said: “Residents have had every opportunity to come forward. We’ve said this is a problem we’ve inherited from our predecessors and we need to resolve this.”

Mr Smith has denied claims that the park does not own the whole road. He said he would not have been able to put in a planning application unless Dover District Council was happy that he owned it.

Speaking at the town council meeting on Monday, Mr Coston appealed to councillors to object to the plans.

 “Residents have had every opportunity to come forward." - Mr Smith

He said: “The applicant is proposing to build a concrete and steel barrier leaving the residents of Alexander Close with a single lane access, restricting emergency vehicles or larger refuse vehicles.”

He said the council should not condone a local business owner “who seems to think he can do exactly what he likes”.

Mr Coston added that the residents are open to negotiation with the park owner and would like to work with him to find a solution that benefits all.

However, Mr Smith claims this has not been their stance in the past, having previously tried to negotiate before it reached this stage.

Cllr Jeffrey Sneller said: “The application we have here for splitting the access road down the middle is absolutely ridiculous.”

He said the road was widened years ago to benefit both parties and he thought reducing this road would be a “retrograde step”.

The council voted to recommend refusal but Dover District Council will have the final say.

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