Published: 15:31, 28 April 2020
| Updated: 09:29, 29 April 2020
An application for hundreds of homes opposite Betteshanger Park has been submitted by the new owner.
Now, chairman Mark Quinn has requested outline planning permission for 210 dwellings on land directly opposite the main county park - known as Betteshanger Sustainable Parks.
To be called Betteshanger Grove, it will feature a mix of flats, two, three and four bedroomed houses and 12 plots for self-builders. A total of 30% amounting to 63 homes will be made affordable.
The proposal also includes plans for a 2,500sqm office and a centre with 150sqm of retail floorspace.
The developer - who is a key partner in the recently approved £250m film studios in Ashford - has already consulted with residents of Betteshanger, particularly those in Circular Road whose homes will back onto the new development.
A public meeting was held at Betteshanger Social Club on March 4. It was attended by 98 people, 47 of which submitting feedback forms. Northbourne and Sholden Parish Councils have also been consulted.
As a result of discussions, Quinn Estates has agreed to gift the land adjacent to the social club to the Betteshanger Social Welfare Scheme to be retained as functional open space.
A sinking fund will be generated for the maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant alongside any upgrades required to serve existing and new properties in the long term, as well as a £200,000 fund for carbon off-setting measures to existing properties in Circular Road and Broad Lane.
Quinn Estates has also pledged to make improvements to the area's skate park.
Concerns have already been raised about the wildlife, the loss of rural space and lack of road infrastructure.
Sarah Moon is one of five people to have objected online. She said: "This proposal will be a blight on this area. Traffic is already horrendous and we do not have the infrastructure for yet more people to be moved into this area."
Ilda Hudson said: "Another 210 homes in Sholden when the area has taken more than its fair share of housing over the last 10 years is not what I want to see.
"I see no improvement to the road network or a linked road from either Deal town centre to the Betteshangar roundabout nor do I see a linked road to the A256."
Joanne Pay said: "We were just looking to buy our first home on Circular Road, it appealed to us due to the semi rural location and no nearby housing estates, knowing that our children could grow up playing and exploring the quiet surrounding areas. It now looks as though all the pros to buying in this area have gone."
Peter Findley said: "A development of this kind, on this habitat, would represent a considerable biodiversity loss for the district which is likely to be impossible to replace. I request that DDC make an Environmental Assessment mandatory."
The application comes less than a year after Quinn Estates scrapped plans to build 3,750 new homes around Northbourne.
At the time in August, the company stated it would shift its attention to a ‘significantly smaller and more sustainable development around Betteshanger Country Park’.
Ben Geering, development director at Quinn Estates, said: "We submitted the planning application for Betteshanger Grove to Dover District Council last week.
"If approved, the project will deliver up to 210 homes including self-build plots, together with up to 2,500 sqm of office (B1) floorspace and up to 150 sqm of retail (A1) floorspace.
"Throughout the planning process, we have carefully considered the environmental factors surrounding the site. It is our intention to minimise the impact on biodiversity by planning development on predominantly bare ground and preserving existing areas of ecology value, for example the woodland, ponds and wetland. We have also outlined how we plan to enhance biodiversity including through the planting of native trees and improvements to habitats for a range of species.
"In order to minimise disruption to local residents, we intend to make best use of significant existing infrastructure investment on the former Betteshanger Colliery site.
"To achieve this, we proposed to use the existing roads on the site, which were built to serve and have capacity for extensive commercial uses, which have failed to come forward over the last two decades. We have conducted a transport assessment into the impact on junction capacity in the surrounding area, which indicates that the existing road network is suitable for a mixed-use development of this size and scale."