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Herne Bay housing development for 900 homes at Hillborough nears approval

A major 900-home development is on the verge of gaining the final seal of approval after developers pledged to pay £2.2 million towards a much-anticipated relief road.

Taylor Wimpey’s plans for Hillborough, in Herne Bay, also include an 80-bed care home, community centre and convenience store, designated land for a new primary school, retail units and employment space.

The land is earmarked for homes in the city council's Local Plan
The land is earmarked for homes in the city council's Local Plan

The 135-acre plot of farmland next to the railway line is earmarked for housing by Canterbury City Council.

Today, councillors will vote on the mammoth project, bearing in mind a recommendation for approval from planning officers. The proposals are split in two, with detailed permission sought for 193 homes and outline permission for a further 707 properties.

Meanwhile, off-site works will comprise a new London-bound on-slip on the A299 Thanet Way and a new roundabout at the Heart-in-Hand Road junction with Sweechbridge Road.

As a consequence of securing the green light, Taylor Wimpey will contribute £2.2 million towards the KCC-backed £7.7 million scheme to significantly develop Bullockstone Road.

The council is planning to widen the route, install a shared footpath and cycleway and extend the 40mph limit along the entire route.

The 900-home aspect of the Hillborough plan is due to be green lit
The 900-home aspect of the Hillborough plan is due to be green lit
Taylor Wimpey is behind the scheme
Taylor Wimpey is behind the scheme

The scheme, also called the Herne Relief Road, is envisaged to offer an alternative route out of the town to the A291 Canterbury Road, which runs through the centre of Herne.

Since being lodged with planning chiefs, the 900-home plan has received almost 300 letters from objectors citing fears over traffic woes, air quality, housing design and the additional pressures on existing facilities.

Despite worries from resident groups, parish councils and MP Sir Roger Gale, city planning officer Steve Musk has recommended the development be rubber-stamped.

In his report, he said: “The proposals will deliver market housing as well as affordable housing which will make a significant contribution to meeting local needs as well as employment floorspace and community facilities and highways improvements

“Overall, I consider that the change to the landscape as well as the under-provision of employment floorspace will be outweighed by the significant public benefits of the proposed development”

The junction of Bullockstone Road and Lower Road in Herne
The junction of Bullockstone Road and Lower Road in Herne
The proposals for the Hillborough site
The proposals for the Hillborough site

“The applicant has agreed to enter into a legal agreement to secure the payment of the full outstanding cost of the Herne Relief Road prior to the commencement of the development.

“This will ensure the contribution is available when needed to deliver this strategic highway improvement.”

If given the nod by planning committee members tonight, final permission will be put on hold until developer payments for section 106 agreements are finalised.

Of the 900 homes, 198 will be classed as affordable.

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