Published: 11:58, 17 May 2020
| Updated: 12:00, 17 May 2020
Developers have unveiled plans to extend a highly controversial 310-home development in Faversham by almost 20%.
Barratt David Wilson Homes, which has this week restarted its construction work, wants to add 58 homes to the sprawling Perry Court Farm scheme in the heart of the town's countryside.
The firm has submitted the proposals to Swale Borough Council and stresses the extra homes will boost the council's housing delivery rate, which is currently falling shy of its targets.
The land earmarked for the additional properties is a five-acre parcel of former farmland behind The Abbey School and next to a Grade-II listed oasthouse.
If approved, the new houses will be a mix of two, three and four-bed, while 20 of them will be affordable homes.
Developers say the extension of the development, which has proved to be the town's most contentious scheme in recent memory, will add an extra £400,000 to the local economy each year.
A planning document compiled on behalf of the applicants, states: "The proposals will deliver much-needed new housing that is integrated, has a distinct sense of place and is fit for purpose and will become a successful contribution to the market town of Faversham."
A pond will be installed at the site, while the design of the homes will be "sympathetic to the surrounding area".
But Bergamot Road resident James Charlton fears the scheme is "cramming" too many houses into a small area.
He also harbours fears over the increased traffic on Brogdale Road, on which long-standing rural houses are now being surrounded by new-builds.
"Although improvements to the road have been made, this will add considerable amounts of traffic to an area that was never designed to take the amount that is now being expected of it," he said.
Barratt Homes, however, does believes the road network can cater for the extra 58 homes, and stresses the land is not being over-developed.
Meanwhile, over the other side of the development, just off the A251, plans have been revealed for a terrace of shops next to the already-approved Aldi supermarket.
The new commercial units will be near to the rubber-stamped three-storey Premier Inn hotel and 66-bed care home.
Henry Davidson Developments say the terrace of shops, for which occupiers are yet to nailed down, will either be split into two or three units - offering retail space or becoming food and drink outlets.
The plans for both the commercial units and the 58 extra homes will be decided on by Swale council bosses later in the year.
Work will however continue on the first phases of the original 310-home scheme.
On construction work restarting this week, Paul Kitchingman, managing director at Barratt Homes, said: "Our first priority is the health and safety of our employees, sub-contractors and customers.
"We have created a detailed set of working practices and protocols for employees and sub-contractors to ensure that we can reopen our construction sites safely, in a phased and measured way, which minimises risk."
More by this authorJoe Wright