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Bicknor Wood Development

Bellway Homes are currently planning a development of 250 houses in the beautiful village of Otham, which is wholly inappropriate in an village of 190 houses. In fact, the simple idea of their being this development is astonishing.

Otham, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful, unspoilt villages in the world – one with character, charm and history. A village like this is one of a kind – there is no village exactly like this and there will never be one again, and adding houses to a small village like Otham is ridiculous. The developments will be detrimental not only to Otham but also to the surrounding area and to the British people who deserve to have villages not spoilt and destroyed by developers who not only don’t care about the village itself but the people who live in and around it. Not only would it be a disgrace by Bellway Homes to build these houses but a disgrace from Maidstone Borough Council whose members were elected in by the people of the borough, for the people of the borough, and who would seem to have no regard for the upkeep of a beautiful piece of British countryside and a beautiful British village which should be kept the way it is and not have a huge loss of identity.

Not only would it be detrimental to the village, but it does not make sense to put a disproportionate amount of housing in a small village which has so much history and problems of its own such as the limited capacity of roads and other weak infrastructure such as the internet connectivity and poor bus connections which make the site wholly unsuitable for any large-scale developments like the one currently being planned. The Amey Transport Report suggests that by 2031 the roads in Otham will increase in usage by 69% and is the worst case that they have seen as a ‘do nothing’ option. How Bellway and Maidstone Borough Council believe that this evidence is fine to ignore is unbelievable and if this building work does go ahead it would show the pure incompetence not only of the borough council but also of Bellway who believe that people would want to buy their houses in a small village with very little infrastructure, poor roads and a future of gridlock.

It would be dangerous and foolish to believe that this would not be an issue and that the continual use of Otham’s roads alongside the additional usage from Bicknor Green would not make a difference, hence this proposal should not be approved. In fact, their plan’s idea for a new access point onto White Horse Lane to bypass Gore Court Road and Church Road rat-running is also absurd – neither this addition or the closure of the White Horse Lane Junction will deter the use of thee village roads as a rat-run and prevent the destruction of a mostly peaceful village.

Along with this, the amount of housing proposed is much too high, not only for the reasons already explained, but due to Maidstone Borough Council’s Local Plan which stated that there should only be 190 houses in this site. Somehow, Bellway have managed to increase their proposed amount of housing to 250 whilst still keeping ‘the same’ density – something logically impossible – and if any housing was even to be proposed it should be kept to the draft local plan’s specification. In fact, housing on this site should be held off until the release of MBC’s full Local Plan, which should detail where houses should and should not be built. The sheer audacity of Bellway to propose housing and to pass the proposals just before the Local Plan’s release is astonishing – it is despicable behaviour and their proposals should be blocked as a matter of principal, at least until the release of the Local Plan which would state in much more detail the amount of housing that should and should not be built in and around the beautiful village.

This site should not be built on. Sites similar such as the Gore Court site have already been rejected due to site access and destruction of the countryside – so why should Bicknor Green be any different? It is in the same area and suffers from the same road issues and encroachment onto the countryside so why the Bicknor Green site is being considered for planning permission is once again, astonishing. Otham is a beautiful village, and to build on it would not only continue to ruin the beautiful Kent countryside but would also ruin the village. Just in the same way that a councillor would not like a disproportionate amount of houses being built in their town or village – the same applies to Otham. Think about other people, about the village and about the quality of life which could just be about to be ruined by another terrible planning decision made by Maidstone Borough Council.

Planning Reference: 15/509251/OUT

BYC Youth Select Committee

Here is a link to the British Youth Council’s Youth Select Committee on Mental Health; one of the processes that go into writing a report into the state of Mental Health services and education throughout the UK. BYC is a UK charity that works to empower young people and promote their interests and is run by young people, existing to represent the views of young people to government and decision-makers at a local, national, European and international level; and to promote the increased participation of young people in society and public life.

You can view the Final Report (pdf) and Oral Evidence Transcript (pdf) provided to the select committee below, which describes in detail everything discussed, and the important final conclusions that BYC has come to on young people’s mental health issues – the funding for state services, the role of education and awareness and stigma of issues.

WATCH THE FULL SESSION HERE ON PARLIAMENT TV

Edited November 2015 for final report.

Halt The Housing

Halt the Housing Now.

Oppose the additional housing proposed for Otham. Otham faces the prospect of a further 2 sites being passed and up to 630 more houses being built within the Village.

  • Land on the Junction of White Horse Lane and Gore Court 190 Houses with vehicle access via Gore Court Road.
  • Land next to Otham Church 440 Houses with vehicle access via Church Road

These sites would be in addition to 992 houses already under way on the Sutton Road and a further 275 for which planning has been applied. In all, that would be nearly 2,000 homes and probably 4,000 cars using the already overcrowded lanes. Participate in the final PUBLIC CONSULTATION that will start soon.

Click HERE for more information.

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