Plans for 1,750 homes at beauty spot rejected

Council members have rejected plans to build up to 1,750 homes in a beauty in Kent.

The garden village, called Binbury Park, was proposed at the former Detling Aerodrome site, north of the A249 between Maidstone and Sittingbourne.

The site of the proposed garden village of Binbury Park, near Detling

The plan, presented by Quinn Estates, also included a provision for commercial premises, a primary school, shopping center, health center, hotel, sports field and countryside.

There was also a promise of a park-and-ride schedule and improvements to Junction 7 on the M20.

But Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) officials recommended that its planning committee reject the plan, due to its lack of sustainability.

The 125-page report described it as a “heavy car-dependent system that fails to make a positive contribution to climate change goals.”

It also raised concerns about the location of the site in Kent Downs, an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

An artist's impression of what Binbury Park garden village would have looked like
An artist’s impression of what Binbury Park garden village would have looked like

It stated: “The Council has a duty to give great importance in preserving and strengthening the scenic AONB.

“The proposals would lead to the urbanization of a significant area of ​​AONB and would lead to great damage to its special qualities.”

The report continued: “The proposals would lead to the loss of ancient forest land, which is considered an irreplaceable asset.

“There are no reasons that can be described as completely exceptional to allow for the irreplaceable habitat losses.”

The plan was formally rejected after going before MBC’s planning committee at Maidstone Town Hall yesterday.

The plans included a provision for an elementary school, shopping center, countryside and more
The plans included a provision for an elementary school, shopping center, countryside and more

Cllr Steve Munford (Ind, Boughton Monchelsea and Chart Sutton) said: “There are some good aspects of the schedule, but we have to prove a need, and there is no need.

“Even after we have identified a need, we would need to prove that this could not be done elsewhere in the neighborhood, and under landscapes that are not protected.”

Cllr Anne Brindle (Con, Boxley) said she agreed with much of what had been said on both sides of the discussion.

“Yes, it is a well-developed development that provides housing, leisure, schooling and improvements to the motorway network.

“But all this development is within AONB. I accept that parts of it may not be very ‘nice’, but it is called AONB, with the highest level of protection.”

Cllr Anne Brindle reminded the members of the council that this development is within AONB.  Image: Sean Aidan
Cllr Anne Brindle reminded the members of the council that this development is within AONB. Image: Sean Aidan

Cllr Tony Harwood (Lib Dem, North) said: “It’s a site I know very well, my grandparents lived in Detling.

“There is a significant problem here with this place, not only in terms of landscape but also in terms of car addiction.

“I do not think that a rural situation like this could make public transport work in a sustainable way.

“I also believe that the status of that site (Delting Aerodrome) essentially as a battlefield should not be turned into another residential area.”

Cllr Ashleigh Kimmance (Lib Dem, Heath) said: “I agree with much of what has been said, but I turn down the refusal because it is the right development, but it is in the wrong place.”

An application for general planning for the project was submitted in October 2018.

Updated plans were submitted in December last year, after the developers tried to address the issues raised during a public consultation.

The plans opposed the campaign to protect the countryside in England, which claimed that the development would destroy part of the Kent Downs Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Thurnham Parish Council.

The committee rejected the plans, with eight abstentions, three against and two abstentions.

.

Leave a Comment