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Kent police reveals its fears over plans for new homes at rear of Jubilee Fields, Upchurch, and other areas of Swale

By Rachel O'Donoghue

Kent police have issued a warning about the future of policing in the borough as they objected to a planning application in Upchurch.

In an unprecedented move, the force said it would be unable to cope with the pressure placed on it if Clarendon Homes was granted permission to build 41 dwellings on land adjoining and at the rear of Jubilee Fields.

A letter sent to Swale council stated: “[We do] not believe [the application] is compliant with the National Planning Policy Framework and is therefore not sound.”

Kent police wants the developer to contribute cash to the force
Kent police wants the developer to contribute cash to the force

The 2012 guidelines set out a number of compulsory planning rules for authorities to follow.

The force stated that without the developer contributing cash to the force it would be unable to provide the necessary requirements needed for the Jubilee Fields project and future applications.

The letter added: “There is evidence that an increase in population arising from new developments results in an increase in crime and disorder…

Proposals for 2,500 extra houses across Shepway go on display this week
Proposals for 2,500 extra houses across Shepway go on display this week

“In addition, new development inevitably creates targets for crime which require a visible police presence to reduce the perception of crime and respond effectively to instances of crime.”

The force said that to maintain adequate policing in the area all developers needed to make a contribution of £315.84 per house built.

Ukip prospective parliamentary candidate Richard Palmer, a Newington resident, said: “I have been stressing for many years that the area’s infrastructure just can’t cope with the increase in population and the housing proposed without improvements in health, transportation, schools, policing.

Richard Palmer
Richard Palmer

“The hard-pressed police need more resources but are facing budget cuts which will place the people of Sittingbourne and Sheppey at risk.”

A spokesman for Clarendon Homes, based in Maidstone, said he was not in a position to comment at this time.

The application has yet to be considered by planning officials.

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