The closure of a main road in Minster on the Isle of Sheppey has been postponed.
Part of Scocles Road was to be closed to traffic for 10 weeks from today (Monday) but it has been delayed because of other repairs taking place in Minster Road.
Vehicles were to have been diverted along Thistle Hill Way, Plover Road, Barton Hill Drive, Minster Road, Minster High Street and Back Lane.
The closure between Elm Lane and Drake Avenue is for footpath work to be carried out as part of a new housing development. Temporary traffic lights have been set up there for several weeks.
Meanwhile, Island motorists are fearing a summer of traffic chaos. There are already temporary traffic lights at the junction of Minster Road and Barton's Hill Drive and along the A250 Queenborough Road.
More vehicles from holidaymakers are expected to flood the Island as soon as the schools break up for the summer at the end of July.
Swale Cllr Elliott Jayes (Ind, Sheppey Central) said today: "It’s delayed until the Barton Hill/Minster road have the traffic lights removed."
There were no updated signs at the site earlier. Kent Highways planned to close the road from June 27 with reopening not expected until September 4.
Cllr Cameron Beart, who represents Sheppey on Kent County Council, confirmed: "These works will be going ahead eventually but the contractor has been given conditions that they are to work extended hours and on Saturdays to take advantage of the longer hours of daylight and complete the job as quickly as possible. This will be monitored daily by KCC Highways."
The work is being undertaken by Constantine Construction.
In the meantime, resident Lee Jarmain has launched an online petition calling on Swale council to do "everything in its power" to block plans to build 650 homes on farmland east of Scocles Road.
The petition already has more than 700 signatures.
It states: "We, who have signed this petition, are deeply concerned that building houses on the land to the east of Scocles Road, Minster, will have direct negative impact on the residents of Minster-on-Sea as well as affecting residents across the Isle of Sheppey.
It adds: "We call on Swale Borough Council’s planning committee to do everything in its power to stop this important greenfield site being turned into a housing development and to reject planning application 22/502086/OUT."
He said the proposed development would lead to a loss of open countryside to the detriment of a "much-loved landscape"and could affect residents' well-being.
He added: "It will displace the prolific wildlife that has long been a feature of this site and so put additional pressure on Sheppey's ever-shrinking natural habitats."
The petition also warns the development will result in more traffic on the Island's "already congested roads" and adds: "There is no justification for further adding to that burden by increasing its population via a spurious demand for more housing."
The petition is here.