Medway Local Plan Response

The following submission was made on behalf of Cuxton Parish Council, in response the Medway Council Local Plan consultation.

“On behalf of Cuxton Parish Council, we wish to raise our objection to land south of Bush Road included for development in the draft Local Plan.

It is land which is in the Green Belt area and forms part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty [AONB].

The National Planning Policy Framework advises that construction in the Green Belt is inappropriate development.

In the Gravesend Local Plan which includes land between Dartford and Rochester, in a recent assessment, it was considered inappropriate for development as this land is within the West Kent Downs Landscape Character Area [LCA] and the Sub area of Luddesdown which is also in an area of [AONB].

 This land [ LCA] and an [AONB]forms part of Ranscombe Farm Reserve and on the South Point of this reserve is Brockles Field. The Viewpoint here is considered one of only five outstanding meadows in England. In a recent  Inspectors report he mentions the bird song he heard which he felt supported the tranquility of the area which should remain undisturbed, and is also within the Green Belt and [ANOB].

The land to the South of Bush Road includes the North Downs Way and is of National Importance as it links the three long distance paths across England. Namely, The Pilgrims Way, The E- Route from Middleton in Teesdale to the Dover Route, [ The St. Bernards Way]. All passing through the above mentioned [AONB], plus Ancient Woodlands and chalk escarpment.

The other site of concern is the land between the railway line from Strood to Maidstone West and the river. This river’s edge is not suitable for housing as it  is within a large flood plain and is only suitable for Marine use and will not support main drainage etc. Housing in this area would also have a great impact on the narrow Highway through Station Road and onto the main A228 and Bush Road junction , which is noted to be already at maximum capacity.

The railway line forms a flood barrier to the East. However, the land on the East side is permanently flooded which clearly indicates that housing of any sort would always be at risk of flooding, and has always been regarded as in a flood plane. Historically, this land was excavated for local cement digs and as a brick manufacturing company.

I trust you will consider the issues we have raised when considering your draft of the local plan.

Thank you

Ged Chalker. Chairman. “