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National Highways expresses traffic fears over 200-home Canterbury estate plan off Nackington Road

Hopes of building a controversial 200-home scheme that has attracted dozens of objections from locals have been dented by highways chiefs.

Rydon Homes wants to construct the estate on a 30-acre plot of prime farmland off Nackington Road, Canterbury, which sits on a larger site, called Mountfield Park, already earmarked for a total of 4,000 properties.

The land earmarked for the 200 homes
The land earmarked for the 200 homes

The firm is confident its project’s impact on the existing road network “will not be significant, and certainly not severe”.

But National Highways bosses beg to differ, and are urging Canterbury City Council to snub the development in its current form.

They argue Rydon’s proposals “do not appear to chime with the [wider] masterplan” involving its scheme and Mountfield Park, as there is no information on when a new junction on the A2, near Bridge, will be installed.

“It is essential to ensure that a fully funded new A2 and A2050 Roman Road junction is delivered in a timely fashion,” a letter from National Highways states.

“It is currently not possible to determine whether the application would have an unacceptable impact on the safety, reliability and operational efficiency of the road network.

The location of the proposed housing estate
The location of the proposed housing estate

“We currently recommend that planning permission not be granted, other than a refusal if the council so wishes, for a period of three months.”

Despite being independent from Mountfield Park - which is being masterminded by developer Corinthian - the 200-home development is eventually meant to be incorporated into a joined-up masterplan.

While the A2 junction is not part of the scheme, Rydon proposes installing a new junction in Nackington Road to act as the access point to the estate, which is planned to sit opposite Chaucer Hospital.

The company insists there will be “no residual effect on road capacity”.

Planning papers state: “It is clear the proposed development is acceptable in transport and highway terms and can be safely accommodated within the existing highway infrastructure.”

Nackington Road is a key road in and out of the city
Nackington Road is a key road in and out of the city

A statement provided to KentOnline this week reads: “Rydon Homes and its consultant team are continuing to work with the statutory consultees, including National Highways, regarding their concerns.”

Having been submitted five months ago, the proposals have attracted a barrage of criticism from those living near the plot.

More than 90 unimpressed city residents have hit out at the scheme, with a main focus on the loss of prime farmland, the impact on wildlife and the potential traffic problems the development would cause.

Queues on Nackington Road are a daily occurrence during school term, with tailbacks holding up drivers between Old Dover Road and Simon Langton Boys.

Objector Ian Phipps said: “Adding a large number of car movements on to this would make the queues even longer.

“As a consequence, the level of air pollution would further deteriorate.”

Meanwhile, Simon Knights added: “[There will likely be] at least one car per house, more than likely two cars per house. All these adding to the traffic in and around Canterbury. Nackington Road is a nightmare in the rush hours already.”

Kent County Council’s own transportation team leader, Ruth Goudie, has also raised similar concerns. She challenges the applicant’s assertion that transport to the site is sustainable.

“Bus services are bunched up at school arrival and departure times, and infrequent through the middle of the day,” she says in her report.

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