Council rejects 572-home Kent golf course proposal

Plans for up to 572 homes on a golf course on the edge of Herne Bay in Kent have been rejected after planners concluded that the development would be 'unsustainable'.

Herne Bay: golf course plans refused
Herne Bay: golf course plans refused

The hybrid application from developer Quinn Estates included an outline application for 572 homes, a 60-bed care home, doctors surgery and retail and office space.

A full application sought permission for the demolition of existing buildings and the building of sports pavilions and grounds including football and cricket pitches and tennis courts.

But Canterbury City Council planning officers recommended the scheme be refused because the economic benefits would be outweighed by the harm caused.

The planning report concluded that the scheme would represent "an unsustainable form of development that would result in a physical and visual intrusion of development into the open countryside".

"The applicant has failed to enter into a legal agreement to secure the delivery of the necessary planning obligations required in order to mitigate the impacts of the proposed development on the local infrastructure and make the development acceptable in all other respects," the report said.

Other reasons given include concerns about the capacity of the local highway network, the "urban" character and appearance of the scheme being out of keeping with the area and the potential harm on local protected habitats.

Also, the application proposed a 30 per cent level of affordable housing, below the 35 per cent set out in the council’s adopted development contributions Supplementary Planning Document, the report said.

The report also said that the applicant had "argued that the council cannot demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply which would result in the policies in the adopted local plan relating to the supply of housing being out of date".

But it added that the coucil "is satisfied that it is able to demonstrate a five-year housing supply".

"The council’s most recent housing supply requirements were given by the South East Plan. This identified that the council would be required to provide 10,200 houses in the 20- year plan period between 2006 and 2026", it said.

Quinn Estates managing director Mark Quinn said he is "dissappointed" and is considering the options of what to do next. He claimed that a number of the concerns raised by planning officers are "non-issues".

"I'm not a planner, but I'm surprised that their plan, which is three years out of date, is being given so much weight," he said.

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