Why do we need to Save The Blean?

The University of Kent has proposed building a new settlement of 2,000 houses, shops and offices on a massive greenfield site in the heart of The Blean. The area earmarked is twice the size of the central, walled part of Canterbury. This sprawling project threatens productive farmland, precious green space, wildlife, and the very character of our villages and communities. You can see the area proposed on this zoomable map.

The Public Consultation closed on 3rd June. See our News section for info on what happens next and other updates.

Why is this happening?

Canterbury City Council has published its draft Local Plan, which sets out where development will take place up until 2040. Part of the process of formulating the plan involves putting a call out for sites, where local landowners can submit their land to be included for development. Kent University has put forward all of the fields it owns between Tyler Hill, Blean and Rough Common. Development agents working for them, Avison Young, are pushing this site by claiming there is “an unignorable economic need for the Sites to be delivered, to ensure the future success of the University” – positioning the University’s finances as a justification for this development (as opposed to real need or planning justifications).

What’s wrong with this plan?

The Blean is an area of ancient woodlands, farmland, heritage sites, the Sarre Penn Valley and the villages of Tyler Hill, Blean and Rough Common sited to the north of Canterbury. The area the University wants to develop is Grade 2 & 3 ‘best and most versatile’ farmland immediately next to multiple conservation areas, heritage buildings and scheduled monuments including a Roman Villa and Medieval Tile Kilns. It would also see houses built on top of the site of a known Iron Age settlement.

The area already suffers from poor drainage and regularly floods, due to the extensive clay soil. Covering the area in concrete will only make this worse.

The process is likely to involve widening roads and turning Rough Common into a major arterial traffic route into Canterbury.

The development would destroy the rural character of the area and turn three distinct villages into a giant conurbation within the suburbs of Canterbury. It would dramatically increase traffic across the north of the city, and heap pressure on our already overwhelmed GPs, schools and public services.

What can I do to help?

To help fight the development, local people have come together to create an action group to campaign for this proposal to be removed from the Local Plan.

If you want to help, please respond to the public consultation by 3rd June. We have two pages on this website with information about 1) ways to respond and 2) guidelines on the key issues.

You can also:

With your help, we can prevent these plans from ever being fulfilled. Please help us Save The Blean.