Published: 05:00, 20 June 2022
| Updated: 14:17, 20 June 2022
One of the main routes into Herne Bay could be lined with more than 1,000 new homes – as developers reveal plans to build another estate along the highway.
National firm Stonebond has this week lodged early proposals with Canterbury City Council to build 160 properties on a 14-acre field called Northwood, off Bullockstone Road.
It is the fourth housing development to be earmarked for the thoroughfare, which is also set to be equipped with a crematorium.
Greenhill councillor Dan Watkins believes there is a risk the Bay-to-Canterbury rat-run could be flooded with motorists.
“We need to have options with the Northwood plans for people not to use their cars, so they can walk, cycle or take the bus,” the Tory said.
“It feels to me there’s a risk there won’t be enough capacity on the road to accommodate all these extra families.
“It’s a challenge because Bullockstone Road is already too narrow for the traffic and quite a fast route.”
The latest plot, which is to the north of the A299 New Thanet Way, was earmarked for development in the city council’s current Local Plan – the district’s housing blueprint – five years ago.
Its inclusion in the document is expected to ease its path to receiving planning permission.
Meanwhile, many of the 572 homes that will eventually be built on Redrow’s former golf course development will also access Bullockstone Road.
Quinn Estates also wants to squeeze a further 95 properties onto the same plot, while Stonebond has launched a bid to erect 78 more at the old driving range nearby.
Contractors from major company Countryside have also started groundworks on the 800-home site at Strode Farm – which will filter traffic onto Bullockstone Road along a new route.
“The current Local Plan was developed years before I became a councillor, so I inherited it,” Cllr Watkins added.
“Some residents will be concerned. For those who didn’t follow the Local Plan process, it will be a big shock to them and I’ll probably get people writing in to me about it.”
Cllr Watkins promises that the authority’s revised Local Plan, which will set out construction in the area through to 2040, will feature no further building work in Bullockstone Road.
Stonebond bosses want to begin work on the Northwood plot by the end of 2023.
The project is expected to take more than three-and-a-half years to be completed.
“The site is already allocated in the Local Plan for 190 homes, but we are bringing forward a lower density, landscape-led development for 160 properties,” a Stonebond spokesman said.
“Our designs are centred around a large green space which can be enjoyed by new and existing residents in the area.
“The development will attract financial contributions which the authority can use to support wider infrastructure needs in the area such as schools, roads, leisure and community facilities.
“We are working closely with the city council and Kent County Council to ensure a scheme comes forward that is appropriate for the location.”
Papers show the houses will range from having one bedroom to four and 30% of the homes will be classed as affordable.
"It feels to me there’s a risk there won’t be enough capacity on Bullockstone Road to accommodate all these extra families..."
This comes as the Westerleigh Group readies itself for the start of construction on the Bay’s first crematorium this autumn.
To combat the expected influx of traffic onto the thoroughfare, Kent County Council will soon begin its £9 million Bullockstone Road Improvement Scheme.
“The planners tell us this scheme will provide the capacity and safety enhancements needed to allow the road to cope with these extra residents,” Cllr Watkins continued.
“There will be a lot of new housing along Bullockstone Road, but the new Local Plan doesn’t have any new housing estates off it.
"This is the last one – you can’t keep building in the same area forever.”