Football being played on the Kingsmead Field

Controversial housing scheme for field set to be given the nod

The campaign to prevent development on Kingsmead Field became one of the defining stories of the previous city council administration.

Led by the tigerish Conservative John Gilbey, the authority seemed determined to do away with the field off Kingsmead Road and make it available for housing.

With the Kingsbrook Park development on the neighbouring old stadium site already built, it was not meant to be controversial – especially as the authority insisted that the field was hardly used.

This, however, proved a gigantic miscalculation as an energetic and relentless campaign was born to save the field from development.

Co-ordinated by Sian Pettman of Market Way, it succeeded – up to a point. A trade-off was reached between the council and the Friends of Kingsmead Field.

Sian Pettman of the Friends of Kingsmead Field

It was agreed that some 20% of the field would be set aside for development while the Friends could work on maintaining and improving the remainder.

Next week will see an application for those new homes go before Canterbury City Council’s planning committee.

The application is being submitted by the council to itself and comprises ten two-storey houses, three three-storey houses, two flats and a two-storey house with accommodation in the roof space.

Five of the houses will become part of the council’s housing stock for local families on the authority’s housing waiting list.

Nine letters of objection have been received to the development. They outline concerns relating to the impact it would have to the character and appearance of the area, poor design and the effect upon the ecology of the area.

However, planning officers are recommending that the scheme is granted permission subject to certain safeguarding conditions being met.

The application will be discussed at the planning committee meeting which takes place in the Guildhall at 6.30pm on Tuesday, August 21. The meeting is open to the public.

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