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Objections as plans for 700 homes in Minster lodged with Swale council

By John Nurden

An application to build 700 homes at Minster has been lodged with Swale council.

Details of the scheme by farmers SW Attwood and Partners were made public at the same time councillors were celebrating the start of building a £6.6 million roundabout and road widening project for the Lower Road.

JB Planning Associates said: “The overarching aim of the development is to create a sustainable, attractively landscaped neighbourhood to Minster providing a strong, structured edge to the existing urban envelope.”

An artist's impression of the homes
An artist's impression of the homes

But the scheme off Barton Hill Road on Sheppey has already drawn objections from 10 residents, including David Jones.

Mr Jones, of Coral Road, Minster, said: “The Island’s infrastructure cannot cope with another 1,400 cars. The A249 is manic every morning. There are no decent shops or entertainment facilities on the Island for children or adults.

“There is no A&E and parking for all the schools is a nightmare. We cannot cope with another 700 houses.”

Juliet Faull of Warden View Gardens, Leysdown, said: “It’s obvious our infrastructure isn’t adequate. Like so many others, I hate coming home during rush hour. The queuing is awful.

“As I understand it, when the new bridge was opened 12 years ago the estimated number of vehicles using it a day was around 26,000. In 2016 more than one million vehicles used the crossing in one month.”

Where all the homes could go at Barton Hill Drive, Minster (2842195)
Where all the homes could go at Barton Hill Drive, Minster (2842195)

But James Delafield of JB Planning Associates defended the scheme.

He said: “The site is in a sustainable position within walking distance of the current service provision in Minster.

“The creation of up to 700 new family homes will help strengthen this offering while contributing to the Island’s future growth needs.”

“It will provide a range of high quality family homes where people will live and take pride in their environment. It will also offer new public open space, recreational routes and children’s play areas benefitting both new and existing residents.”

Before: the land now
Before: the land now

Land for the new roundabout has come from Attwoods. Money from the scheme is also going towards improving the Lower Road from Cowstead Corner to Barton Hill Drive and introducing a footpath and cycleway.

But there are no plans to revamp Cowstead Corner roundabout, which creates most of the traffic congestion as four lanes merge into one.

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