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The Office for National Statistics has released population figures for Canterbury

District facing population surge

The population of the Canterbury district is set to rise by 26,000 over the next two decades, according to a forecast from the Office for National Statistics.

It has calculated the present population as 165,000 with the number going up to 191,000 by 2038.

Canterbury City Council has created a Local Plan which includes the building of 16,000 new homes by 2031.

Leader Simon Cook says the plan was drawn up in anticipation of the population increase

“There’s nothing surprising about the figures although the precise numbers are always changing,” Cllr Cook said.

Council leader Simon Cook

“It was a trend we took into account when formulating the Local Plan.

“The number of houses we included in it is partly as a result of raw population growth and partly household formation.

“Fewer people are living in houses than they used to.

“That’s the key driver. It’s the population growth that lies behind the plan.

“We need more housing, but we also need the infrastructure to go with it – the schools, the roads, surgeries and so on.

“The really tough area is working out the number of school places that are needed and I really don’t envy the people doing that.”

School places come under the authority of Kent County Council.

The ONS puts Kent’s current population at 1,565,000 with the figure rising to 1,789,000 by 2038.

The council’s Local Plan has drawn criticism for the scale of the developments in south Canterbury and Thanington.

Some fear air quality will worsen due to increased vehicle numbers while others have raised concerns about the impact of additional demand for public services.

A judicial review has been launched against the permission granted for the 4,000-home Mountfield Park development at Barton.

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