Published: 11:31, 12 November 2019
| Updated: 11:49, 12 November 2019
Plans to convert the former Syngenta agro-chemical plant in Yalding into a business park are worrying neighbours.
Yalding Enterprise Park, a subsidiary of East Peckham-based Civils Construction Ltd, has submitted a planning application to Maidstone council seeking outline planning permission to create a 500,000 sq ft business park, with 53 different units ranging in size from 2,000sq ft to 32,500sq ft. The site lies within a floodplain.
Key to the scheme is the creation of a "flood conveyance" running south to north across the site to capture any flood water that would then be deposited via the Hampstead Lane Canal into the River Medway.
Syngenta closed in 2003 and work to decontaminate the site took five years.
A mile downstream is the Kenward pumping station that extracts water from the Medway to store at Bewl Water to supply the county's drinking water.
Residents saying digging the ditch, scheduled to be up to 6ft deep, will cut below the treated top soil and risks allowing contamination to enter the watercourse.
In addition, they are fearful of the effects of extra traffic on the local road network.
The company's traffic assessment claims there will be only 196 traffic movements during the morning rush hour and 152 in the evening rush period, which they say, is less traffic than when the Syngenta site was fully operational.
But residents ask, if that's the case, why is the developer proposing parking for 640 cars and 189 HGVs?
Hampstead Lane resident Katriona O'Hare said: "YEP says there will 885 HGV movements a day - and this along roads too narrow to take passing HGVs.
"Hampstead Lane is narrow with no paved footpaths or turning points.For at least one third of its length it is narrower than the width of two passing HGVs lorries.
"This application will not only grid-lock Yalding and the surrounding areas but put the lives of other road users at risk, including restricting emergency vehicle access."
Planning application 19/504910 refers.
More by this authorAlan Smith
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