Access Issues

The Strategic Land Availability Assessment just over 18 months ago deemed this land unsuitable for residential development because “suitable access to the site has not been demonstrated to be achievable due to heritage and ecology concerns.” A further SLAA carried out in December 2023 decided that the new proposed access points overcame these concerns.

The two new access points are both on Whitstable Road, one using the bridleway opposite Kent College (which is in a Conservation Area) and one going through Blean Primary School (the school would be knocked down and rebuilt in a new location on the site). They both feed into the same narrow gap between Blean Primary School and the University playing fields to get to the earmarked land. These two access points are intended to serve 2,000 houses with potentially 4,000 cars – funnelling more traffic onto an already busy road.

As the most recent SLAA states, even with additional buses planned: “This would be a large-scale car-dependent development. More traffic could cause significant negative impacts on the highway network.”

The proposed development would make Whitstable Road and Rough Common Road into the two major routes between the new houses/shops/offices and Canterbury. Closer to the city centre, Whitstable Road is a busy residential street with traffic calming measures and limited on-street parking. Rough Common road would presumably need to be widened, with potential impact on residents and Blean Woods Nature Reserve.

Tyler Hill Road, a narrow country road whose junction with Blean Common has had several incidents, would become a major cut-through.

This plan would also make Hackington Road/Radfall Rd/Thornden Wood Rd into a major route between the new housing development and the coast – putting pressure on these narrow roads, and leading to more road-kill around Clowes Wood and the ancient woodlands near the Bison rewilding project.