Plans to improve the environment at a controversial new housing development in Bearsted have been backed by councillors.
Despite widespread condemnation by residents, Country House Developments Ltd was successful in their bid to build on the land at Roundwell Park, Cross Keys, in April.
The 50-home development, on land known locally as Lilk Meadow – a notorious area for flooding – will also include an ecology park, featuring a wetland area.
At a planning committee meeting last Thursday, councillors approved plans for money be put towards the nature reserve management plan.
Kent County Council will be given £1,400 towards improving the environment and furniture of a public footpath, including two new handrails and improve conditions of the wetland.
Concerns have now been raised over future costs of ongoing maintenance works and who will have to pay for them.
Speaking after the meeting, ward councillor Val Springett said: “A great injustice has been done to existing residents concerned about future flooding, and future residents of these new houses who could be faced with some nightmare maintenance issues.”
At the time of the initial application, the council’s planning committee received 128 letters of objection and 743 residents signed a petition against the plan to build on the land.
Matthew Stevens, managing director of Country House Developments Ltd, said: “We are pleased the planning committee recognised the work we have done and approved the plan at Roundwell Park.”
The company will pay £25,000 to get the ecology park off the ground.
Bearsted Woodland Trust was set to take control of the wetland earlier this year, but is no longer involved.
As part of the Section 106 agreement, the developers also agreed to pay £37,800 for nearby doctors’ surgeries, with Bearsted Medical Practice and The Spires Surgery set to benefit.