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Brenley Corner gridlock fears amid plans for 4,000 homes in Faversham

A notoriously busy junction could become "permanently gridlocked" if a council agrees to set aside land for thousands of homes on nearby land.

Those are the fears of Faversham MP Helen Whately, who is calling on Swale Borough Council (SBC) to rethink its housing allocation strategy.

Traffic approaching Brenley Corner from Faversham
Traffic approaching Brenley Corner from Faversham

Should the authority go ahead with its proposal to revise its own Local Plan and add a further 10,000 homes to its 2038 commitment, the south-eastern part of the borough is to bear the brunt.

It means an additional 3,410 properties will be built on land stretching up to the A2 junction at Brenley Corner.

The four-pronged junction plays a major role in the county's road network, with access being gained to both the A2 and M2/Thanet Way.

It is recognised by Highways England as one of the UK's worst accident blackspots - and is in the top 50 locations for casualties nationally.

Now, thousands of extra homes are set to be built on land between Brenley Corner and Faversham's town centre, while long-running talk of upgrading the junction's traffic flow and safety remains unfulfilled.

Faversham MP Helen Whately has concerns
Faversham MP Helen Whately has concerns

Conservative Mrs Whately said: “I’ve got serious concerns about plans for large developments.

"This hinges on funding for upgrading Brenley Corner, which has not yet been confirmed.

"The junction is a nightmare at the best of times and if these plans go ahead it could be permanently gridlocked.

“It’s not too late for Swale to rethink these plans and give people a Local Plan that will make life better not worse.”

Councillors backing SBC's proposals say a "balancing act" needs to be achieved, and with Sittingbourne and Sheppey having to cater for much of the borough's new homes in recent years, they believe it is only fair Faversham now takes its share.

Mrs Whately, who has run her own survey to gauge residents' thoughts, says 91% of respondents are opposed to the mammoth housing plans.

Villagers living in Boughton-under-Blean and Dunkirk, which are both in the borough of Swale, fear they will be left “under siege” as a result of the proposals.

They have therefore drafted their own 'neighbourhood plan' which will help inform decision-making processes on planning applications in the future.

Traffic building up on the roundabout
Traffic building up on the roundabout

The plan states: “Our roads were not designed for the amount of vehicle traffic they now bear.

“We sit at the head of the bottleneck leading to the Channel ports; Brenley Corner is among the nation’s blackest of black spots.”

"The anticipated increase in population would only exacerbate strains on our public services such as education and health provision, and would increase the risk that Boughton and Dunkirk will simply become a suburb of Faversham."

Swale Borough Council's public consultation on the additional 10,000 homes closed on Friday.

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