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Meopham villagers angry at development plans

Kent house prices plummet by 25 per cent
Kent house prices plummet by 25 per cent

Villagers are being urged to attend a meeting to voice their fears that Meopham could be turned into a town due to development plans.

CPRE Protect Kent is supporting residents in their fight to save the historic village.

It has accused the council of wanting to build in Meopham because derelict sites are not being developed fast enough in Gravesend and Northfleet.

Council planners and the leader of the council, Cllr John Burden (Lab) are about to consult people on the suggested development areas.

They have blamed the threat to the countryside on the economic slow-down and developers’ reluctance to build on derelict sites.

The cabinet nearly halved the number of houses they are required to build.

They have highlighted a number of areas around villages to the south of A2 as possible sites and have acknowledged that some developers are speculating by buying up land in the areas.

CPRE Protect Kent said the sites include Lomer Farm, New Road, Melliker Lane, Heron Hill Lane and Steeles Lane.

Rita Ford, of New Road, fears 213 houses will be built behind her garden. She is concerned for birds of prey, bats and the lack of services for the extra homes.

She said: "There are not the services to support the number of houses they want to build and it would turn Meopham into a town."

In all the council has to plan for more than 5,000 more homes to be built across Gravesham by 2031.

Alex Hills, from the CPRE Dartford and Gravesham branch, urged residents to attend the next Rural Neighbourhood Forum meeting at Istead Rise community centre on Monday, October 17 at 7pm so that their voices can be heard.

The council has a legal duty to earmark land for development.

Cllr Burden has warned that if the council fails to get a comprehensive plan approved by the end of next year the government will rubber-stamp all developers’ proposals wherever they want to build.

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