Many thanks to everyone who has sent objections to this plan via the council’s website or written to the Kentish Gazette. So far about 450 comments have been received, of which only one, we believe, is in favour of the proposal.
On 21st February the Gazette printed an article which was, in effect, the council’s response to our objection, headlining it “Council ‘agrees to disagree’ over park and ride expansion”. We felt it was a little disingenuous of the council to claim that “The principle of moving the park and ride to its proposed new location has already been agreed in the Local Plan and was tested thoroughly at the public examination…”, as the Plan failed to indicate the extent of the expansion, that it would seriously affect a green corridor and an Area of High Landscape Value, or that it would go right down to the bank of the river Stour.
The article ends with the council’s threatening parting shot that “…if the Wincheap expansion does not happen, the currently agreed alternative site is Faulkners Lane in Harbledown.” However, as pointed out by one of our supporters in last week’s Gazette (28th February), “…the proposed park and ride at Harbledown, after much campaigning, was withdrawn from the Local Plan in 2015”, so Faulkners Lane very definitely is not a “currently agreed alternative”.
In the same issue the Gazette printed a letter from the Hambrook trustees, plus another one pointing out the danger of having a heavily-used public footpath running straight through the park and ride extension. Finally, there is a long article in last week’s Gazette, highlighting the suggestion by George Metcalfe, the Lib Dem councillor for Blean Forest, that the much-criticised multi-storey car park scheme for Station Road West be abandoned, and built instead on the site of the existing Wincheap park and ride.
So, a lot is happening, and with your help we can keep up the momentum.