The application to extend the park and ride was approved at the planning committee stage on 15th October, but a decision by the full council two days later on whether or not to approve that decision had to be deferred, thanks to an intervention by Cllr Nick Eden-Green. At some point the application will return to the council, but we do not yet know when that will be – probably on 16th December – but we’ll keep you informed. Our thanks go out to all those who are keeping the issue alive by writing to the Gazette – four letters in the 24th October issue alone. Your letters have also helped to redress the published account of an alleged outbreak of violence and abuse after the planning meeting. Following Cllr Eden-Green’s intervention at the council meeting, it is hoped that the Council will undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment, in line with the commitment that it made in its Climate Emergency declaration, which was adopted in July.
There was an item in Radio Kent’s Wake Up Call on 31st October, including interviews with our MP, Rosie Duffield, and Cllr Ashley Clark. However, a timely reminder: just as you shouldn’t believe that there was a riot in the Guildhall simply because it was reported in the Gazette, so you should be wary of accepting everything you hear in an interview. Ms Duffield was incorrect in saying that the Wincheap Meadow is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while the interviewer, Ian Collins, three times referred to Ashley Clark as being from Canterbury County Council! Fortunately, Ms Duffield rebuffed Cllr Clark’s claim that a new nature reserve would be created as mitigation, when all that would happen is that the wild area adjoining the proposed extension would be relabelled as a nature reserve. Facts need to be sifted out of the flurry of media reports, and important points should often be double-checked. The Save Wincheap Water Meadows petition now (6th November) has 3177 objectors. If you haven’t already signed it, click here, and help us get to 5000 names!