A proposal for a large development in Faversham is a step closer to reality today (Wednesday).
In an agenda for next week's borough council planning committee, documents published today suggest that the plan for 200 houses, a pub/restaurant, business park, 70-bed hotel and health centre in Love Lane will be approved.
When plans were announced earlier this year, developers were met with furious protesters who gathered more than 250 signatures in a matter of days.
They stormed a town council meeting in March where councillors threw their support behind campaigners and recommended the plans for refusal.
But it seems Swale Borough Council (SBC) have other ideas and have said that the housing would "help the council towards meeting a five year supply of sites and enable it to be in a more secure position for fighting appeals for less appropriate sites."
They also say that the employment opportunities would "help to secure new jobs for the area and help the economy."
It seems to address the mass opposition: "Whilst the proposal would result in some harm, including to the countryside, to best and most versatile land, to residential amenity and to the setting of the conservation area, the need for the development, outweighs the limited harm that would be caused."
Despite a majority vote from the town council to recommend the application for approval, some councillors had warned this may happen.
In the March meeting, Cllr Trevor Payne (Lab) said: “The town council decision is contrary to the advice of its planning consultant and contrary to all its own previous votes on this issue in the consultation on the draft Swale Local Plan.
“Of course, the vote was heavily influenced by the large public gallery and demonstrated that the town council is inconsistent and unwilling to make hard choices for the good of the town.
“Because of the inconsistencies I think it is likely that SBC will give little weight to the town council’s views when it considers the application.”
The proposal for Love Lane is part of a draft for Swale's new local plan where it says that "planning permission will be granted."
It says that the development would "avoid commercial uses that would adverse affect the vitality and viability of Faversham town."
This sentiment is agreed by developer Mark Quinn who says that the development would "benefit the town."
What do you think? Leave your comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org