Published: 19:43, 05 February 2019
| Updated: 22:06, 05 February 2019
Councillors have tonight unanimously rejected plans to build a £125 million sports and leisure complex - featuring 175 Cotswold-style holiday homes on protected countryside.
The developer Quinn Estates was hoping to build a new stadium for Canterbury City FC along with six new pitches for the city's rugby club on an area of outstanding natural beauty at Highland Court Farm, near Bridge, close to Canterbury.
Football team chairman Tim Clark warned councillors his club would collapse if the development was not given the go-ahead.
Yet the council's planning committee has rejected the controversial proposal - much to the delight of conservationalists who have campaigned for the project's demise.
As well as giving the nomadic Canterbury City FC a permanent home, the 300-acre scheme would have seen a luxury 175-holiday home complex be created.
Having gained a host of objections, including from Natural England, Kent Wildlife Trust, Dover District Council and a number of parish councils, the development has long-proved contentious.
Prior to tonight's meeting, a damning officer's report had listed 12 grounds for recommending the application be rejected by councillors.
Authority planning officer Steve Musk, cited adverse traffic problems, harm to the protected landscape, a lack of affordable housing, loss of agricultural land and a lack of community infrastructure as reasons behind his recommendation to refuse the project.