Published: 12:11, 04 March 2021
| Updated: 14:48, 04 March 2021
Plans to build 800 homes in a rural location have been rejected by councillors.
Members of Medway Council's planning committee unanimously refused a bid to build on agricultural land at East Hill in Capstone Valley.
The proposal, put forward by the Attwood farming family, also included a two-form entry primary school, shops and three play areas for the site which runs along North Dane Way in Lordswood.
The council's head of planning Dave Harris said: "This proposal would harm the character, function and appearance of the countryside, would harm that Area of Local Landscape Importance, (would have) unacceptable impact on the setting of the country park and would also be unacceptable in terms of its impact and viability of the rural footpath network."
Mr Harris also explained how despite the needs of the council to meet its housing targets, officers had concerns about the density of homes on the site, disruption of the views from Darland Banks, and the potential impact of the development on the residents living in Carlton Crescent, on the northern edge of the site.
During a virtual meeting of the committee on Wednesday, March 4, council Leader Alan Jarrett, who represents the area, criticised the inclusion of a GP surgery in the plans.
He said: "This is not about bricks and motor in terms of health provision, it is about the availability of GPs.
"It's very easy for an applicant to talk about more GP provision and I would say to them and I will say to you, colleagues, where are these GPs going to come from?
"We all know there's a shortage of GPs in north Kent and Medway is no exception."
The plans attracted more than 900 letters of objection.
The same developers are pursuing plans to build 450 at Gibraltar Farm - an area south of the East Hill site - after they won an appeal to build on the land.