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New M2 junction called 5A between Sittingbourne and Faversham could be discussed by transport minister Grant Shapps

A bid to create a new junction on the M2 between Sittingbourne and Faversham could be discussed in government circles after an MP called for a meeting.

Gordon Henderson has asked transport minister Grant Shapps to discuss the plans with developer Mark Quinn.

Views of the M2. Picture: Andy Payton
Views of the M2. Picture: Andy Payton

Mr Quinn’s company Quinn Estates is behind plans for a Highsted Valley ‘garden village’ of up to 10,000 homes south of Sittingbourne.

The plan includes a southern relief road for the town which would join the M2 between Sittingbourne and Faversham at a new junction called 5a.

Mr Henderson said: “Mr Quinn contacted me and asked if I was able to arrange a meeting with the new transport secretary to discuss his proposal for an A2-M2 link. Because I have been a long-standing advocate for an A2-M2 link I wrote a letter to Grant Shapps.”

Cllr Mike Baldock, the deputy leader of Swale council, acquired a copy of the letter, sent in January, under a Freedom of Information request and said: “I was gobsmacked when I read it. This is a man who has said in public he wants no more large housing developments in Sittingbourne and is then trying to set up a meeting between one of Kent’s biggest developers and a government minister.”

But Mr Henderson said he backs new road infrastructure and not necessarily the homes.

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson
Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson

He added: “Despite my support for an M2-A2 link, I have made it clear on a number of occasions that my support for such a road does not mean that I support Mr Quinn’s proposal for the Highsted Park Garden Village development outside Bapchild. Indeed, I have already warned Mr Quinn I oppose his current proposal because it is far too large.

“Cllr Baldock is saying my support for an A2-M2 link must mean that I support the Highsted Park Garden Village because that’s the only way it can be funded. That used to be true when local authorities had to negotiate Section 106 agreements with developers. The S106 funds had to be spent in the area of that development.

“But the government introduced the Community Infrastructure Levy which local authorities can utilise in place of S106 agreements. CIL funds can be used to improve infrastructure in any part of the borough and is not restricted to a particular location.

“This means wherever the current administration on Swale council decides to put the houses that it says it needs to build, including Faversham, where I believe they should go, CIL funds from that development could be used to fund an A2-M2 link which would benefit not only people living in Sittingbourne and Sheppey but also those in the western part of Faversham.”

The new junction is not in Swale council's Local Plan. The housing document, which governs where development could go, is being reviewed.

Mark Quinn
Mark Quinn

A spokesman for Quinn Estates said: “It is perfectly regular for an MP to suggest a meeting to explore the potential delivery of significant national infrastructure. To date this meeting has not taken place between Quinn Estates and Grant Shapps.

"However, the delivery of a new junction 5a on the M2 motorway is something that has been signposted in the council’s own current Local Plan.

"If J5a goes ahead, it would provide significant game-changing infrastructure and unlock a much-needed road connectivity to Kent Science Park alongside thousands of local jobs and homes.

“We look forward to a public consultation.”

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