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North Kent College buildings to be demolished for more than 150 homes if council approves plan

By Sean McPolin

Plans to demolish parts of a college and build more than 150 homes are set to be given to green light by councillors.

Members of Dartford Borough Council will discuss whether or not to to approve the proposals for North Kent College at a meeting on Thursday.

It comes as part of two applications for big changes at the student site.

North Kent College is proposing to sell off green belt land to property developers
North Kent College is proposing to sell off green belt land to property developers

In May last year a public exhibition was held to discuss the proposals.

If given the all clear, property developer Bellway Homes will tear down buildings and revamp others on the western side of the campus, including Victorian mansion Kingsfield House.

They propose to build 65 houses, which will include two, three, four and five bedroom homes.

The rest of the properties will compromise of a number of apartments.

North Kent College - formerly known as North West Kent College - will use the money received from Bellway for the land to fund a new two-and-a-half story academic building - which is also set to be approved on Thursday.

If given the thumbs up, it will contain three dance studios, a musical theatre, a rehearsal room and a venue space, among other academic facilities.

There were no plans for any additional students mentioned in the proposal.

The developments drew some criticism from locals, with Wilmington Parish Council objecting to both plans, as building would take place on the green belt.

North Kent College in Oakfield Lane, Darford. Picture: Steve Crispe
North Kent College in Oakfield Lane, Darford. Picture: Steve Crispe

The council also felt the addition of more than 150 homes would add pressure on local schools and GPs "which are already at capacity".

With regards to plans for new houses, 13 letters objecting them and one letter supporting them were received after a consultation, with building on protected land, pressure on local services and the loss of land among the reasons for objecting.

For plans to build a new academic building on the North Kent College campus, a consultation received two letters objecting to the plans and one supporting them.

In the council document, the main reasons against the plans were that "Dartford's housing supply is already planned for on brownfield sites, and therefore building houses on the green belt to pay for a college addition would be unacceptable".

It would also cause an "increase to congestion in the area at peak periods, when there is a lot of traffic from college users, schools and commuters".

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