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North Kent College to hold public exhibition over selling Green Belt land

ByDaniel Green

A college is to hold a public exhibition about selling off land to property developers to help fund new facilities.

North Kent College, in Oakfield Lane, Dartford, is proposing to sell off Green Belt land to Bellway Homes to pay for a two-storey teaching block which would be in an empty area at the north east of the campus.

Principal David Gleed said: “We want to invest more in further enhancing our arts facilities at the college.

North Kent College is proposing to sell off Green Belt land to property developers. (1930579)
North Kent College is proposing to sell off Green Belt land to property developers. (1930579)

“We plan to construct a new two-storey teaching building to be located on the vacant area at the north east of the campus.

“The new building would provide purpose built teaching and studio space to meet the requirements of the highly regarded design, music and dance courses.

“It will also provide an area for a new refectory.

“However, with the lack of funding for further education, the college cannot move forward with its exciting plans for the future.

“We have considered all avenues to generate funds.

“The only option available to the college is the release of surplus land on the campus.

“We have for some time been working with Bellway Homes and have had discussions with planning officers of Dartford Borough Council.

“A number of buildings are old and redundant and serve no useful purpose and could not be reconfigured for modern teaching.”

Bellway Homes said re-development of the land would be acceptable in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework as any harm to the Green Belt may be outweighed by very special circumstances, which allow approval of housing to pay for a new college building.

The building firm intends to retain Kingsfield, a Victorian mansion where Martina Bergman Österberg established her physical education college in 1895.The building will be fully restored and converted into apartments.

The exhibition is happening at the college on Saturday, May 12, between 10.30am and 3pm.

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