Published: 15:05, 11 October 2019
| Updated: 17:07, 11 October 2019
Furious residents fear their village will be overrun with "screaming children" after plans for a 350-home site were unveiled.
AE Estate Developers launched the first stages of its bid to build the properties on an 18-hectare plot of land in Hillborough, Herne Bay, at the end of last month.
Residents fear village will be over-run with children
The development is one of three planned for the plot, with companies Kitewood Estates and Taylor Wimpey having already submitted applications to build a total of 1,080 homes.
However, the latest scheme has sparked fears among Osborne Gardens residents Veronica Lewis, Jackie Weeden, and Maria Stewart that the developments will change Beltinge, near Herne Bay, beyond recognition.
In a joint letter, they said: “We have been told that we must integrate with the new estate, but that is to the detriment of our lives on many levels: all of our green space and trees are being taken away, we will be subjected to unacceptable levels of pollution, noise and traffic and higher levels of crime.
“On a more personal level, we moved here because it was a quiet, 'grey' area and we certainly have no desire to integrate with screaming children and family life.”
AE hopes the site, which is located to the south of Beltinge, will have three access routes, including one built in place of a derelict house in Osborne Gardens.
The villagers believe this would result in HGVs regularly travelling along their road, putting the lives of elderly and disabled residents at risk.
The letter continues: “If this was accepted it would mean that Beltinge and especially Osborne Gardens will become one huge construction area for many years, endangering the lives of the current residents in terms of traffic, disruption and pollution.
“Osborne Gardens will be turned from a minor residential road to a major thoroughfare.
“We will be subjected to traffic chaos. Many residents are elderly, infirm or disabled and crossing the roads will be a life-threatening situation - without a doubt, some poor soul will lose their life at some point.”
In documents submitted to the local authority, AE insists the new road network will be "efficient" and allow "pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles alike to move easily through the site and to connect with the wider area".
Kitewood wants to build a separate access route in Osborne Gardens, which has also been fiercely opposed by residents.
And earlier this year, highways chiefs from Kent County Council warned that cars parked along the street could be hit by lorries thundering to and from the 180-home site.
AE also proposes to construct access routes in Chartwell Avenue and through a connection into the neighbouring Kitewood development.
Speaking on behalf of the company, planning consultant Ben Young has insisted that the "concerns of locals are paramount" to the firm and that the site "will be in keeping with the rest of the area".
“These access points are based on a Taylor Wimpey masterplan and we are having pre-application discussions with Canterbury City Council and KCC about them - so nothing is fixed at this stage,” he added.
“As part of that, we will be discussing disruption from construction traffic. It will be managed to mitigate the impact on residents as much as possible.
“We will be going out for public consultation before we submit, so local people will be able to have their say. We will then look to respond accordingly and as we are able to.”
Mr Young expects a planning application to be submitted by January.