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Littlebourne villagers vehemently against Gladman bid for 115 homes on farmland


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Plans to build 115 homes outside Canterbury have been branded “pure madness” by residents who fear the scheme will “kill” village life.

More than a 100 opponents are voicing their fury against proposals put forward by developers Gladman for a 14-acre plot of farmland in Littlebourne, off the A257.

A mass of villagers are wholeheartedly opposed to the development
A mass of villagers are wholeheartedly opposed to the development

They say the village already has to contend with an additional 87 homes being built on the other side of the main road, and are concerned yet more development will be “disastrous”.

Gladman has submitted its outline proposals to the city council’s planning team in the hope of getting the scheme approved.

But dozens of objectors have hit out at the project, with many citing traffic, sewage, power and pollution fears.

Parish councillor Ken Shaw said: “This application is a step too far. Littlebourne doesn’t have the infrastructure to support all of the new houses being proposed.

“We live under the constant fear of flooding during heavy rainfall. The sewage system is regularly overwhelmed and tankers are sent in so that we can flush the toilets.

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Opponents hope their objections can prevent the plans getting approved
Opponents hope their objections can prevent the plans getting approved

“Don’t even consider this application.”

His views are echoed by Sue Chandler, who said: “Currently 87 homes are being built and it is already changing the nature of the village, and any future development will kill village life.

“Village people do not want any more houses - it’s killing wildlife. The doctors surgery will not be able to cope - it struggles now.”

The NHS has looked over the plans and calculates the scheme will result in an extra 276 patient registrations.

The current GP capacity will not be able to cope with the increased demand, therefore the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning is asking for about £100,000 of developer cash to fund expansions of practices or new-builds in the city.

There have been more than 100 objections lodged against the plans so far
There have been more than 100 objections lodged against the plans so far

Parish council chairman Peter Farrow said: “This will have a severe impact on village life - there is such strong opposition to it. "We’re strongly suspicious that if approved, this will only be step one and more homes will be planned.”

Developers say six acres of green space will be included in the scheme, with a children’s play area, community garden and dedicated wildlife enhancement areas being installed.

“The proposals have been developed by understanding the existing situation of the site in relation to the settlement, in accordance with best practice in urban design and with reference to both national and local design guidance,” they say.

The field where Gladman wants to build the homes
The field where Gladman wants to build the homes

“The aim is to design a high-quality development with a strong sense of place that responds well to its existing context, will stand the test of time and meet the needs of current and future generations.”

The controversial 87-home development, titled The Laurels, is already under construction. The scheme, spearheaded by Leath Park and Moat, attracted a series of objections, yet was rubber-stamped by the council two years ago. The new 115-home proposal by Gladman is still in the design process, yet a bid for outline permission has been submitted. Should that be approved, the developers will then need to attempt to secure full permission.

How the properties being built at the 87-home development, which is already under construction, are set to look once complete
How the properties being built at the 87-home development, which is already under construction, are set to look once complete
Dozens of villagers came out in force to show their disapproval of the plans
Dozens of villagers came out in force to show their disapproval of the plans

Villager Kerry Clarke said: "To squash even more property into this small village will...cause yet more congestion, less places for rain run off, more strain on the limited infrastructure in the village and completely strip the character from Littlebourne that is slowly being eroded. It's destroying the quality of life for those who have lived here for many years."

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