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Swale lodges opposition to Kent County Council plans

Swale council has officially lodged its opposition to Kent County Council’s plan to carry out work on gas pipes at a Sittingbourne nature reserve.

The site, which used to be a landfill, is now designated by Borden Parish Council as an area of natural significance and is used frequently by dog walkers.

Dotted throughout the area are gas monitoring and extraction points, which link to buried pipes that KCC wants to carry out work on.

Site of methane/gas burner in Borden Nature Reserve
Site of methane/gas burner in Borden Nature Reserve

In a report submitted to Swale council, it argues there is a risk to people’s health because the “landfill gas management system is unlikely to be effectively extracting landfill gas”.

At a meeting in April, Swale councillors chose to extend its holding objection to the project, arguing KCC had not made public any information or documents showing the repairs were needed.

At the most recent meeting, Cllr Nicholas Hampshire (Con) reiterated his belief KCC had not provided evidence supporting the need for the maintenance.

The Borden and Grove Park member added: “The report provided to members is totally inadequate. It’s very generic and it uses terms such as ‘is unlikely to be effective’.

Cllr Nicholas Hampshire
Cllr Nicholas Hampshire

“Either the gas system is effective and dissipating the gas, or it is not.

“‘Unlikely’ is not good enough in what we’ve requested as a committee of specific evidence relating to this site.”

However, because Swale council is merely a consultee on the proposal, KCC will make the final decision as to whether the work will go ahead.

Its members look set to consider the application this month.

A KCC spokesman said the work was a necessity and would cause a minimal disturbance.

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