Highways bosses have welcomed a financial incentive put forward by a developer behind controversial housing plans.
Keepmoat Homes wants to build 153 houses at the end of Belgrave Road in Halfway, Sheppey.
It has now said it will provide each new home with £100 towards using public transport or buying a bike – if the development is given the go ahead.
The so-called Travel Plan is in a ‘technical note’, by the developer’s highways consultant, responding to the proposed reason for refusal put forward by Swale council’s Planning Committee in December.
It says: “As a result of the committee’s highway-related concerns, Keepmoat Homes would like to offer additional mitigation by providing incentives to residents promoting sustainable travel. This incentive will be through reimbursing each dwelling £100 for bus travel expenses or £100 towards the purchase of a bicycle or cycle equipment.”
It also states the incentive would be in addition to changes the developer had already proposed for nearby roads.
These include the Halfway traffic lights being altered so traffic would not join the lights from The Crescent – it would only be able to turn into The Crescent, parts of Belgrave Road being widened by 50cm, the Queenborough Road junction being improved so drivers can see better and extending the 30mph speed limit to Queenborough Corner.
Kent County Council’s Highways department says it is satisfied by what the developer is offering.
KCC senior development planner Alun Millard said: “The proposed reason for refusal specified the harm caused by additional traffic from the development would result in severe impacts on the road network.
“However, the assessment for the Halfway Road junction does indicate the proposed improvements would increase the capacity of the junction by much more than would be needed to absorb the traffic being generated by the development.”
He also welcomed the commitment to provide each new home with financial incentives towards using public transport or buying bikes.
A decision on the plans was deferred in December after councillors voted 11 to five to reject the application. Swale’s development manager Andy Jeffers called the decision in so advice could be given on the implications of turning it down should the applicant appeal to the planning inspectorate.
The proposals are to go back to the committee next Thursday.
To view the plans or comment, go to swale.gov.uk/planning and search for 19/501921/FULL.