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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Early objections to plan for hundreds more new homes for Thistle Hill in Minster

08 December 2013
by Lewis Dyson
Minster resident Alan Bengall is concerned about the number of houses proposed for Sheppey

Minster resident Alan Bengall is concerned about the number of houses proposed for Sheppey

Thistle Hill has been described as the “thorn in Sheppey’s backside” after plans for 500 more homes were made public.

There are currently 800 houses already built on the estate and a further 1,200 have been agreed upon in principle under Swale council’s Local Plan.

Outline planning permission is now being sought for a major development on 11 hectares by Eastchurch-based firm Taylor Brothers.

Swale council officers will have until February to decide whether the land is suitable for 500 homes, and if it is granted, more detailed information on the buildings will be submitted.

The proposed site, at Harps Farm, extends from east of Parish Road to the west of Scocles Road. It is split by Heron Drive and is north of the existing homes.

There are plans for open spaces, a pond, a village green and cycle path. Five online comments objecting to the application were received within 24 hours.

One critic of the proposal is Alan Bengall, the spokesman for Bearing Fruits Gone Rotten, a campaign aimed at cutting the housing allocation for Sheppey under Swale council’s new Local Plan proposals.

He described Thistle Hill as a thorn in the backside of Sheppey and said the new proposals do not take into consideration the pressure more homes will put on surrounding roads.

He said: “Although Thistle Hill is an ongoing project and I appreciate it has been for a number of years, there is no mention of infrastructure or of developing Lower Road.

“[Thistle Hill] has gone beyond anything I thought it would and you can see in the future that it is going to swamp the whole area with traffic.”

He added a separate proposal for 500 homes in Barton Hill Drive had recognised a need for improved transport links on Lower Road between Cowstead Corner and the roundabout on Thistle Hill Way, as it is already a problem for vehicles at peak times.

Representatives of Taylor Brothers declined to comment.

Swale council agreed not to allocate greenfield land east of Scocles Road, on the opposite side of one of the proposed site’s boundaries, for housing in its Bearing Fruits consultation carried out earlier this year.

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