Garden Communities - Letter to the Kent Downs AONB Unit and Natural England

19 February 2019

Another letter has been sent to the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit and Natural England, voicing concerns about the proposed development South of Faversham. If you would like to contact them, there details are:

Kent Downs AONB Unit: mail@kentdowns.org.uk 

Natural England: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk 

Local Councillors' contact details can be found on the Swale BC website.

 

Letter:

"I am writing to express my deep concern about the proposed development by Gladman, including 5000 + new houses, proposed to the South of Faversham on a site surrounded on three sides by the Kent Downs AONB.

I understand that there is a need for affordable housing in Kent, but the cost to this area of natural beauty and its setting will be too high; this large development will bring pollution, from construction, people and vehicles, not only air pollution, but light and noise pollution, to the AONB.

The Kent Downs AONB Management Plan highlights that a key aspect of the AONB is tranquillity, it states that “The perception of being away from the noise, sights and smells of modern life is a much valued feature of many parts of the AONB where people can refresh body and soul. In the south east of England tranquillity is an increasingly rare resource……National tranquillity mapping carried out by the CPRE has confirmed that the Kent Downs offers important areas of relative tranquillity”.

The NPPF also requires (paragraph 123) that planning policies and decisions should aim to “identify and protect areas of tranquillity which have remained relatively undisturbed by noise and are prized for their recreational and amenity value for this reason”.

This development will destroy the tranquillity of this area of the AONB, it will also bring cars, and new roads further into the Kent Downs AONB.

I do not believe that the threat of this large development can be over-stated. It should be opposed in accordance with the following policies of the Management Plan:

SD3: “New development or changes to land use will be opposed where they disregard or run counter to the primary purpose of the Kent Downs AONB” and

SD7: “To retain and improve tranquillity, including the experience of dark skies at night, careful design and the use of new technologies should be used. New developments and highways infrastructure which negatively impact on the local tranquillity of the Kent Downs AONB will be opposed unless they can be satisfactorily mitigated”.

It will be impossible to mitigate the impact of this development on the tranquillity of the AONB and I ask you to please oppose this development.

Yours sincerely"

 

A response was recieved from the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit saying:

"I can confirm that the Unit share’s your concern regarding the potential impact of a development of the scale proposed on the Kent Downs AONB and considers the area involved to form part of the setting to the Kent Downs AONB.  We have been in touch with Swale to let them know our views and will continue to raise objection to the proposals".

 

Please keep the pressure on all those involved in the decision-making process!