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Plans for 1,400 new homes on farmland in Sittingbourne will go unopposed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England

By Rachel O’Donoghue

A campaign group will not oppose an application for a massive housing development on high-grade agricultural land in Sittingbourne.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said it “generally accepts” a Persimmon Homes proposal for 1,400 dwellings of various sizes off Quinton Road, which includes space for a primary and secondary school and amenities.

The application is the third to be made in as many months.

Cllr Gerry Lewin

Cllr Gerry Lewin

The site has been allocated in Swale council’s 2031 Local Plan for development, despite being a mixture of grade one and two agricultural land. It is also widely used by dog walkers.

Previously, the CPRE has been critical of a number of applications for housing on farmland, arguing brownfield sites should be the prioritised for building.

A letter to the council from the agent acting on behalf of Persimmon Homes says the new proposal will have a positive effect on the town.

“It is unlikely the effects of the development would impact settlements or populations outside the immediate area,” it stated.

Cabinet member for planning at Swale, Cllr Gerry Lewin (Con), said all suitable brownfield land had already been identified but more was still required to meet its Local Plan target.

“It is well contained by the existing edge of Sittingbourne and the A249," he added. "The site has no biodiversity or landscape designations and it is close to the strategic road network and rail links."

Persimmon Homes was unavailable for comment.

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