Published: 06:00, 13 February 2021
A developer has been accused of “box-ticking” amid claims its proposal for a 350-home estate on the outskirts of town does not contain adequate bus links.
Firm AE Estate has officially launched its bid to build the properties on a 45-acre plot in Hillborough, on the outskirts of Herne Bay.
Papers show that the company wants to construct a number of “large, detached luxury homes”, while also creating allotments and a central green equipped with goalposts and a ping pong table.
But Stagecoach South East has objected to the scheme, fearing that buses would not be able to serve the estate because of the perceived unsuitability of the routes on to the site.
Its planning manager, John Pugh, said: “Access to the site would be via the existing residential roads - Highfield Avenue, Chartwell Avenue and Osborne Gardens.
“These roads are not built to take buses, and already have extensive on-street parking.
“This is clearly a box-ticking exercise rather than a serious attempt to come up with a sustainable proposal to discourage car use.”
The development is one of three earmarked for the plot south of Beltinge, with companies Kitewood Estates and Taylor Wimpey wanting to build a total of 1,080 homes in the area.
AE claims a proposed spine road running through its development will be designed to accommodate buses - but Mr Pugh contends that this is not enough.
He added: “Buses would not be able to serve the site because of the unsuitability of the surrounding roads.
“We therefore conclude that the application is not sustainable as a stand-alone development and does not meet the basic measures needed to achieve modal shift away from car use.”
Each of the Hillborough developments have been met with objections from residents who believe they will cause traffic disruption, a drop in air quality, and place additional pressure on existing services.
Taylor Wimpey has appealed the council’s decision to snub its 900-home plans for its section of the plot.
Beltinge councillor Jeanette Stockley thinks if AE’s bid gets the green light it will make the surrounding roads congested and dangerous.
“Osborne Gardens is quite narrow and has parked cars everywhere, and Highfield Avenue is a sleepy cul-de-sac,” the Conservative added.
“There would be massive congestion if buses went through there and it wouldn’t be nice for the residents.
“It sounds like a lovely scheme, but it only works, from what I can see, as a stand-alone site - the whole of Hillborough was meant to be one big development.”
'There would be massive congestion if buses went through there and it wouldn’t be nice for the residents...'
In planning papers, AE says its project, which it has named Beltinge Green, will be “realistically priced”. It is also pledging to offer 30% of the homes as affordable properties.
“The perimeter of the site has been designed to provide existing and new residents of the area with a place to walk their dog, run or take a leisurely walk,” the documents add.
“A broad range of tenures, places to live and house types will create a diverse new community that is well integrated with existing residents.”