Published: 11:10, 23 June 2017
Plans for an ambitious 12,000 home garden town in Kent were met with a cold reception in the latest round of public consultations this week.
Planners publicly unveiled their 30-50 year masterplan for the huge Otterpool Park development, off Folkestone racecourse, across a series of venues in Shepway.
Shepway Council and Arcadis bosses faced a public grilling over the plans in a heated meeting in Hythe on Thursday afternoon.
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It came after last week’s announcement how building work could begin on the controversial 357-acre site as early as 2020.
The meeting saw a total of 50 residents gather to flag a flurry of issues with planners.
They included south Kent’s water shortage, a lack of roads, GPs, jobs, and a shortage of infrastructure to support the 29,000 person capacity development.
Shouts of “We haven’t got the water”, “This is a farce” and “Where will the cars go”, were just some of the protest calls heard in Portland Road’s Tin Tabernacle.
One resident told planners: “You must understand this area of Kent just doesn’t have enough water to support all of those people.
“We are already a water stressed area, if you can’t solve how you’re going to provide extra water then this is a deal breaker.”
When Arcadis water engineer Tom De La Rossa told residents to “use less water”, cynical laughter filled the hall.
Speaking after the presentation, he said: “We are working to ensure a number of measures are in place to ensure there will be enough water available.
“Water stress is a worry globally.”
The homes will be made up of detached, semi-detached and terraced built on the land bought by Shepway Council for £5.2 million.
It will include a number of schools, a medical centre, high street, religious buildings, with 40 per cent of the land earmarked for green spaces.
Additionally, planners and Shepway Council are in roundtable discussions with Network Rail, in the hope to bring High Speed Rail to Westenhanger Station.
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