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Decision expected on 88 homes and 4G football pitch at Freemens Way, Deal

A project to build 88 new homes, a 4G football pitch and two storey club house in Deal will be decided upon tonight.

Sunningdale House Developments Ltd's scheme for a field at the rear of Freemens Way will also include eight 15-metre high lighting columns, an equipped play area, car parking and hard and soft landscaping if it is given the go ahead by Dover district planners.

The former South Deal School Sports Field could be brought back into sporting use
The former South Deal School Sports Field could be brought back into sporting use

The application (DOV/19/00895) was submitted by agent Hume Planning Consultancy Ltd in July 2019 and 30% of the proposed of homes are affordable.

Consultees Kent Highways deem the proposals acceptable where all the internal roads are to remain private and be maintained by a management company. The authority is satisfied over access proposals which "provide suitable visibility and manoeuvring room," and the amount of car parking is in accordance with Local Plan.

The site was once the former playing field of South Deal Primary School and has stood empty and not in sporting use for more then five years.

Sporting body Sport England was not a statutory consultee for this reason but has objected in principle on a raft of grounds which include the loss of approximately 2.1 hectares of playing field.

Although presented as a "qualitative improvement" the scheme's merits are not recognised as an exception by Sport England unless they are indicated in an up to date robust Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS).

The land behind Freemens Way in Deal
The land behind Freemens Way in Deal

Sport England said: "The applicants should engage with the FA. The Football Foundation/Football Association are, in principle, supportive but do have some concerns (it is not in a PPS; there needs to be a clear usage plan and pricing policy; this may be a solution to the need in the rural area but would preventbid for a 3G pitch on another site.

"The pitch would be close to dwellings, so noise may impact upon use. An acoustic survey should be carried out. Large and unsightly acoustic barriers should be avoided."

There have been three letters of support claiming the application's 4G pitch would support the ambition of Cinque Ports FC, giving the club a permanent home and allowing them to thrive and grow.

There is the belief the clubhouse could develop into a well-run and sustainable venue for Football for All and those in support believe it is a sympathetic housing development.

Six letters of objection have been received raising traffic and congestion concerns, lack of parking and insufficient access, increased air pollution, impact on schools and doctors surgeries and querying whether the affordable homes meet local need.

A previous scheme for the former KCC site was for 90 homes, a play area, two football pitches, changing rooms, access and parking
A previous scheme for the former KCC site was for 90 homes, a play area, two football pitches, changing rooms, access and parking

DDC Head of Strategic Housing said "The provision of 30% affordable housing aligns with the council's policy and supports the need in this location. 70% of these units should be for affordable rent and the remainder for shared ownership, although a higherproportion of rent to shared ownership would be supported in this area if the developer's discussions with registered providers indicate they would prefer a higher ratio.

Southern Water highlighted a risk of flooding from both the additional foul sewerage and surface water and requested that conditions be attached if the plans are passed to require that details of foul and surface water drainage are submitted for approval. A public sewer within the site which must be located and protected during construction.

KCC archaeology says the ground works for the development may impact remains of archaeological interest particularly Neolithic, Iron Age and Romano-British. Of note a hand axe within the brickearth at nearby Manor Road was found.

The developers have been asked to provide a contribution of £66,300 to the NHS towards the provision of capacity in the Deal and Sandwich Primary Care Network to meet the need of the development.

Other contributions requested include £292,512 towards the expansion at a Deal primary school, £362,120 towards the expansion at Dover Grammar School for Girls, £2,256.23 towards IT equipment for the new learners at Deal Adult Education Centre, £4,225.39 towards additional book stock at Deal Library, £12,925.44 towards extra care accommodation within Dover District.

Plans for 88 homes have been submitted on land off Freemens Way in Deal
Plans for 88 homes have been submitted on land off Freemens Way in Deal

Planning officers have recommended the scheme be given the green light.

The meeting of Dover District Council takes place remotely at 6pm tonight.

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