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Burlington Property Group scraps plans for homes in Lynsted, near Sittingbourne, after community opposition

A developer has dropped plans to build homes in a village following a huge backlash, saying the message they’d had from the community was “very clear”.

Burlington Property Group has been praised for its “refreshing” approach, after it withdrew outline proposals for almost 10 properties in the middle of Lynsted, near Sittingbourne, on land off The Street.

The Street, Lynsted. Picture: Google Maps
The Street, Lynsted. Picture: Google Maps

The plans had included a mixed-use community hall, eight or nine houses and green space.

In a meeting which took place with more than 50 villagers at the end of June, Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council carried out a survey to gauge resident feedback, with 19% of all households responding.

A spokesman for the parish council said the results were “emphatic”, with 85% of people saying the plot should be left as it is.

They continued: “There was little interest in the community hall, with 60% saying “none of the above” when given a long list of attractive-sounding facilities that could be included.

“Four-fifths of respondents didn’t want any houses built there at all or thought the number of houses was too many.

The site plan for the proposed development in Lynsted
The site plan for the proposed development in Lynsted

“Nearly 90% said the landscape and appearance of Lynsted would be made worse, whilst 84% said their general enjoyment and quality of life in the parish would deteriorate.”

This isn’t the first time people in the village have opposed housing plans.

Earlier this year a councillor called proposals for homes near Lynsted Lane "sheer madness" after witnessing fire engines, tractors and buses struggle along the narrow route.

In 2021, those living in the area were also outraged after plans for up to 86 properties to be built off Lynsted Lane were lodged with Swale council.

Then in 2022 another application for 10 new houses, which was branded "totally bonkers" for its parking and pedestrian access, was rejected.

Conservative councillor for Teynham and Lynsted, Julien Speed
Conservative councillor for Teynham and Lynsted, Julien Speed

Speaking on Burlington Property Group’s proposals, Julien Speed, chairman of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council, said: “Concern was expressed in our survey about the lack of infrastructure for existing homes let alone any new ones – plus scepticism that the profit generated by eight or nine houses would go anywhere near to resolving the problems of flooding, electricity supply and broadband signal that we endure on a regular basis.

"The proposals for a shop or GP consultation room were regarded as unrealistic.

"We also already have a community room in Lynsted Church plus a function room at the Black Lion pub, both in very close proximity.

"The area is surrounded by Grade I and II listed buildings whose historic setting would be disturbed. There were concerns about the impact on the environment, wildlife, biodiversity and rural heritage, as well as the erosion of the unique identity of the village”.

He explained that, at the presentation, Burlington stated it would only proceed with the plans if they had full support from the local community.

Lynsted village sign
Lynsted village sign

Following an analysis of the resident survey, Lynsted Parish Council voted unanimously in late July to reject the proposals, in principle.

No planning application was put in, and the developer then abandoned its scheme.

Cllr Speed, who is also the Conservative councillor for Teynham and Lynsted, added: "I would like to thank Burlington for consulting the community and for respecting their views.

"It certainly makes a refreshing change from other developers we've had dealings with.”

In a letter sent to Cllr Speed, Nathan Stevenson, land director at Burlington Property Group, said: “Having reviewed the content (of your letter), I agree that the message is very clear.

The church in Lynsted. Picture: Google Maps
The church in Lynsted. Picture: Google Maps

“Without community support, we will no longer be pursuing the site so won't be submitting a planning application.”

Burlington Property Group has been contacted for comment.

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