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Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst presents petition to save Deangate Ridge in Hoo

A Kent MP has presented a petition in Parliament to try to stop a flyover and save a "treasured green lung".

The MP for Rochester and Strood, Kelly Tolhurst MP, handed over a list of 4,000 names who are against the proposed loss of Deangate Ridge on the Hoo Peninsula near Rochester.

The petition also opposes plans to construct a relief road and flyover from the A289 Hasted Road.

The proposals form part of Medway Council's initial vision for how it will spend £170 million from the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) which centres around building 12,000 homes, a new railway station, and making Hoo St Werburgh a rural town.

Within the council's consultation document published at the end of last year, a relief road is proposed to pass through a southern section of Deangate linking Upchat roundabout to the Main Road Hoo roundabout.

Ms Tolhurst said: “The council’s proposals are deeply unpopular amongst my constituents and this petition, which has been signed by over 4,000 people, shows the strength of feeling which there is against these plans

“Many residents and councillors have expressed grave concerns over these plans.

Deangate Ridge Sports Complex (49500467)
Deangate Ridge Sports Complex (49500467)

“I hope that the presentation of this petition will highlight the deeply held concerns of local residents and will encourage Government to look closely at the proposals.”

The petition formally requests the Government rejects plans to build a flyover via Higham Road and relief road through Deangate Ridge – a key Asset of Community Value and also very near to the protected Lodge Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The petition also asks Deangate, which includes a former golf club and sports complex, is developed as an asset that would continue to serve the wellbeing of the local community - such as a country park.

Although the Deangate Community Partnership successfully petitioned to have the land designated as an Asset of Community Value, this expires in April 2023.

The petition has been co-ordinated by parish council chairmen Cllr George Crozer and Cllr Ron Sands.

George Crozer, chairman of Deangate Community Partnership and High Halstow Parish Council and Cllr Ron Sand (Ind) (49500461)
George Crozer, chairman of Deangate Community Partnership and High Halstow Parish Council and Cllr Ron Sand (Ind) (49500461)

George Crozer campaigned against the closure of Deangate Ridge Golf Club in 2018 and is the chairman of Deangate Community Partnership as well as High Halstow Parish Council.

Cllr Crozer previously described Deangate as a "treasured green lung".

Speaking earlier this year he said: "The area plays a vital role in the community, providing an essential wildlife sanctuary and an area for public recreation providing a treasured green lung for the entire local Hoo Peninsula community, now facing unprecedented major development."

Speaking ahead of a consultation in February, council leader Alan Jarrett (Con) said : "We understand how important it is to provide residents with new routes to good growth and the substantial funding we have received will enable us to significantly improve transport links before potential new homes are developed.

"We are committed to ensuring the right transport links and facilities are put in place before new homes are provided to meet local demand and the government’s challenging housing target."

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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