Gravesham countryside under threat

PUBLISHED: 13:03 29 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:03 29 May 2014

Gravesham Green Belt under threat from development

Gravesham Green Belt under threat from development


Rural campaigners call for Green Belt to be safeguarded

The London Green Belt is under attack after a call for development sites resulted in almost half those submitted being in the designated area.

Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) was forced into asking for sites after a government appointed Inspector told them that their core strategy would fail examination otherwise. The Inspector told the council that they were unlikely to meet their housing needs without allocating further sites.

GBC opened a consultation for submissions for sites which could be developed, and have today published the result.

Almost half of the sites which have been proposed are in the Green Belt – supposedly one of the most protected landscape designations used in the national planning system.

Campaigners have reacted with dismay after the council announced the location of the proposed sites, suggesting that better, less damaging sites are available to the council.

Chairman of the district committee for CPRE Protect Kent – a charity dedicated to conserving the countryside – James Ferrin, told KoS why he feels Green Belt development is such a bad idea: “Urban sprawl into the countryside needs to be prevented. The countryside are the lungs of the town and also the larder. Several areas of prime agricultural land have been put forward which is hugely short sighted. With growing populations we need all the agricultural land possible to be able to provide for our population.”

“The countryside also woefully lacks the necessary infrastructure to accommodate huge population increases, not just roads schools and local amenities but also drainage, utilities and water. A field will soak away rainfall…. Concrete is impenetrable…and we all know the effects of flooding in recent times.”

When asked why he thought so many Green Belt and Greenfield sites had been proposed he said: “This is the easy way out for developers, both in terms of cash in their pockets and the physical ease of developing the sites, - there’s no clearing of contaminated areas or removal of industrial waste.”

He continued: “I would like to see Gravesham Council fight to protect the open spaces of the borough vehemently. Gravesham is not a suburb of London and nor should it be. Once green belt is developed it may open the flood gates and then where will urban sprawl stop. Gravesham announced a shortfall of around 460 units based on their most recent Local Development Plan. These sites open up way more than this figure so I would hope that the vast majority are discounted.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kent News visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kent News staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kent News account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

Yesterday, 16:39

A planning application was meant to be submitted by the end of this year but has now been delayed until the spring

Yesterday, 13:22

Gravesham and Thanet haven’t settled any under the scheme so far, but have committed to do so by 2020

Yesterday, 11:54

The Margate park’s showpiece ride was temporarily out of action due to maintenance work

Yesterday, 08:51

Terrence Matthews pleaded guilty to his charges

Digital edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Most read

Local business directory

Kent's trusted business finder