Five councils are being asked to consider purchasing farmland and turning it into community woodland as part of a 'counter plan' to stop new homes being built there.
Deal Town Council (DTC) has agreed in principle to a joint purchase of land at Cross Road which is bordered by Station Road and Sydney Road.
The decision last Tuesday night came after Walmer Parish Council (WPC) chairman James Murray wrote to DTC asking if it would consider joining a future venture.
Kingsdown with Ringwould, Great Mongeham, and Sholden parish councils have been named as possible co-investors.
The land has been subject to numerous contentious bids to build homes. The first, rejected in June 2017, was for 235 homes, built across two fields, divided by Cross Road. This has since been scaled down to two subsequently failed schemes for 100 homes, both contained on the land bordering Station Road and Sydney Road. These plans were rejected by DDC in November 2019 and November 2020.
WPC objected to all applications as part of the statutory consultation, citing a raft of reasons including the loss of natural space.
In his letter to Deal Town Council, Cllr James Murray said the agent Gladman has appealed and "appears to be using their financial might to wear down officers at DDC nervous about having to spend money to defend their elected repretentatives' democratic decisions."
Gladman has been asked to comment on this claim.
Cllr Murray wrote that despite the council now having enough land to fulfil its housing obligations for the next five years, the application "could go through simply because the applicants have frightened DDC planners and its legal team into submission."
He said: "The woodland would become a major amenity for those living nearby including schools.
"Tree planting would not only create a wildlife refuge but also enhance percolation of rain water into the aquifer which lies underneath this area of land (for the benefit of this area of east Kent) and reduce the flow of surface water into Sholden and surrounding areas."
Cllr Murray said the landowner may be "swayed" by a more positive community alternative if plans are rejected again.
He wrote: "The land without planning would only be worth a few tens of thousands of pounds, not insurmountable for a number of councils to purchase jointly for the greater good."
He said crowdfunding and reforestation grants are possible ways to fund the woodland scheme but money to purchase the land must come from each council's revenue reserves.
Deal Town Council agreed in principle to approach the landowner on this basis.
Cllr Sue Beer was one of two to object.
She said: "It might be a great idea but I always want to see a full options study and costings before I agree to spend on a substantial purchase."