Published: 16:31, 22 January 2022
| Updated: 09:14, 24 January 2022
A controversial housing estate has finally been given the green light more than a year after first getting planning permission.
Quinn Estates has been given the go-ahead to start construction on its 725-home Conningbrook Park, or 'Large Burton', scheme following numerous delays.
Planning permission was narrowly granted by just one vote in May 2020, but the developers were held up by poor water quality levels at an internationally important nature reserve.
Wetlands at the Stodmarsh Nature Reserve outside Canterbury, which are a haven for wildlife, had been deemed to be suffering from high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous.
Experts said waste water discharges from existing housing developments filtering into the River Stour and Stodmarsh’s lakes were the cause of the problem at the reserve.
Councils across east Kent were forced to put decisions on housing projects on hold while the best course of action to tackle the reserve’s deteriorating water quality was decided upon.
However, residents in the Kennington area recieved a notice yesterday that permission had finally been granted for the development to go ahead.
A start date is now expected to be decided for the estate Kennington development, which also includes a new site for Ashford Bowls Club, a two-form entry primary school and community centre off Willesborough Road.
The project has proved exceptionally controversial, with plans receiving more than 1,100 objections before being confirmed.
The approved application grants full permission for only 288 homes, with outline permission for the other 437.
Plans for the development – which will be built opposite the existing Little Burton estate – first surfaced in 2016 and feature two access points off Willesborough Road and 30% affordable housing.
Bosses say 35% of the 81.5-acre site will be retained as open space, with a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the railway line also included.