Home   Maidstone   News   Article

KIG could be smaller than first thought

Sorry, this video asset has been removed.

Watch our report on the
campaign and hear from campaigner Brian Clifford

by Alan Smith

Kent International Gateway is preparing to down-size its
controversial application for a road/rail freight interchange, it
was revealed at a pre-inquiry meeting.

The scheme is likely to see the
company, backed by the international finance giant AXA, reduce the
size of the proposed warehouses by up to 73,000 sq metres of
floor-space. The two largest warehouses would be cut back, and two
of the smaller warehouses combined to make one. There are also
likely to be reductions in the area given over to car parking.

The initial scheme called for more
than 373,662 sq metres of warehousing, so the reduction
equates to less than 20 per cent.

The overall size of the KIG scheme
remains unchanged at 112 hectares.

However, the full details are not
known, because KIG is making the planning inspector, Maidstone
council and the many objectors wait until July 5 before it
officially submits the changes.

It is also holding back details of
a new environmental study it has commissioned on the proposal until
that date.

The last minute changes angered the
various residents’ objectors groups present at the hearing on

Richard Ashness, of StopKIG, told
the inspector it was unfair that there was "yet another modfication
of the application at this late stage in the process."

But the planning inspector Andrew
Phillipson said that it was KIG’s case that the changes were
"entirely beneficial", and that in any case the application was
only outline.

Mr Ashness said afterwards: "KIG
keep changing their case. Their first submission was based on the
need for a strategic rail depot; their second submission was based
solely on the problems of the Dover rail corridor. Their third was
only on the need to reduce the carbon footprint.

"Now again they appear to be
shifting the target. What are the implications of smaller buildings
on the business plan, the traffic flows? All the previous studies
may now be outdated."

KIG campaigners at protest picnic
KIG campaigners at protest picnic

Knox-Johnson, of CPRE Kent, warned: "All the consultants will have
to be re-consulted. This is just racking up the costs for the
council, the highways authorities, everyone."

The inquiry proper will begin on
Tuesday, October 13.

Campaigners held a picnic on
Saturday as part of their continued protest against the

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More