Houses Houses Houses

From picturesque scenery to easily accessible transport links, Kent is a highly-sought after county. It comes as no surprise why so many look for new homes in Kent, especially with the coastline nearby and Kent being one of the home counties - who doesn’t love this beautiful area?’ a quote from Redrow Homes website…

well it won’t be beautiful anymore if all the planned developments get the go ahead, totting up the ones that I know about in a small part of East Kent -

Sittingbourne 11,000 – new town
Faversham 1,500 – various smaller developments, but it all adds up
Herne Bay 2,600
Canterbury 4,000 – new town
Sturry & Broad Oak 4,000 – various smaller developments, but as above all adds up putting strain on existing services particularly the A roads running from Herne Bay – Canterbury and Thanet – Canterbury, already clogged up at peak times, making air quality low.
Sandwich 5,000 – new town which will dwarf three small villages, again putting huge strain on existing resources and roads.

That’s a total of 28, 000 that will equate to approx. 84,000 people, a minimum of 28,000 cars, where are these people living now? it’s doubtful they are homeless given that a 2 bedroom flat will set you back £170,000 a three-bed house £400,000. I think there is a housing need, but I think the need is in the rental/social housing sector and only a small percentage of these developments will supply that need, most will have a price tag.

A sales website for one such development, lists some helpful info about the existing town, shops, where to eat out etc. it also contains info about Doctors, Dentists and schools, these resources are already over stretched, a recent news item indicated that doctors surgeries are in the area are currently running an average of 3000 patients per doctor, class sizes in schools are increasing, they are having to add extra class rooms, why are schools and health centres not part of the developments?
Many developments pay local councils 106 money, a sort of land levy which is for the council to provide better infrastructure, parks, parking and other facilities etc, surely this should be provided by the developer as part of the package and that they should be made to meet these obligations but of course all this infrastructure is covering yet more land in tarmac…

If we need all these new houses, first and foremost they NEED to be affordable to both buy and rent, secondly, they NEED to be sustainably built, creating people and wildlife friendly habitats. Britain has the technology, the engineers the movers, thinkers and shakers to be able forge a new way of building. There needs to be new mandatory regulations for all new developments including use of sustainable building materials, trees and other vegetation forming wildlife corridors, especially if new roads are built, which create habitat fragmentation, wildlife tunnels must be incorporated.
Even China, which has been forging ahead with its own 21st century industrial revolution is waking up to eco towns, developments incorporating trees which will soak up and filter emissions, which hopefully over time will gradually be reduced, eventually zero, as technology and renewable energy advances.

Other initiatives for new builds could include a car, bike, tool and small appliance pools for residents to hire rather than buy things that they maybe only use once or twice a week, regular public transport and cycle paths. Schools, health/dental practices should be also be mandatory obligations so as not to put pressure on already outdated or over stretched services and resources.

As an ordinary individual I don’t know what I can do, I feel powerless, I don’t feel I have the knowledge to challenge the councils, the developers, the government that instigated all this with their report of how many new houses are needed, but I do know that a recent 1500 page UN document does not mince it’s words about the damage we have done to our planet, our home and what we need to do to halt this and save our planet and ourselves and covering yet more land in concrete and tarmac is not one of them…


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