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Halfway residents launch petition calling on Swale and Kent County Council to halt house building on Island

By Emma Grove

Members of a group calling for a stop to building on the Island until there’s better infrastructure in place have stepped up their campaign.

Last month we reported how a Facebook page called Sheppey NO more houses! was launched in response to plans for a 147-dwelling project at the former HBC Engineering site in Power Station Road, Halfway.

More than 640 people have signed up to it and there are dozens of comments about various developments across the whole of the Island.

Artist's impression of the new housing development in Power Station Road, Halfway

The group says the area needs more jobs, better traffic management, more schools, doctors and dentists and better sports and recreational facilities before any more homes are put up.

Now the residents who set up the group have launched a petition aimed at Swale council and Kent County Council.

It calls for all current development here to be suspended until adequate infrastructure is in place and asks that other parts of the south east are considered as potential sites for ‘London overspill’ instead of Sheppey being a ‘dumping ground’.

“It’s as though every square foot of grass or not built up land is being devoured by housing..." - resident Colin Morris

They say Islanders are unhappy at the expansion seen here in recent years which has caused congestion, that previous developers have not delivered promised services and there is not enough work for people who already live here, many of who commute on and off Sheppey.

It already has more than 400 signatures and campaigners are hoping to encourage hundreds more.

Colin Morris, who lives in Buddle Drive, Halfway, and was one of those behind the Facebook group, said they will be writing to Swale council when the plans are officially submitted, but they wanted to do the petition to highlight the issues to make the authorities and developers aware.

“I think it makes our stance very clear,” he said. “We are objecting to more housing without creating what the people who live here need.”

He said the main concerns which are emerging are problems with traffic, with people sometimes queuing for half an hour to get from the bridge to Halfway.

“People are getting really disenchanted,” he added.

“It’s as though every square foot of grass or not built up land is being devoured by housing.

“We are not saying not in my back yard but we are saying there’s a great deal of public opinion and the petition is a way of gauging it.”

To sign the petition, click here.

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