Destruction of Farmland

The proposed plan involves the destruction of more than 100 hectares of Grade 3 agricultural land, which is used for a mixture of livestock grazing and arable crops (wheat, barley, rape seed and beans). 

The UK is facing considerable impacts to its food supply, driven by climate change, supply chain disruption and tightening global trade – which means we will need to produce more food in the UK over the coming years, not less. Agricultural land needs to be protected and enhanced in the UK to ensure our food security. National government is beginning to write this into Food and Land-use strategy, and Local Planning Policy is expected to evolve soon too.

As well as building houses on a large swathe of agricultural land, the proposed development would have a detrimental impact on Amery Court Fruit Farm. This is a successful, long-established fruit farm lying between Blean and Tyler Hill. Fruit farms have to manage multiple challenges including theft and vandalism, and a large new population on the doorstep of this farm would pose a threat to their ability to operate.

The University of Kent recently committed to being a Right to Food University: “In adopting this basic human right, we commit ourselves to promote food justice, tackle food poverty and transform our food system so that it operates to advance human health and an environmentally sustainable society.”

It’s hard to see how allowing houses to be built on farmland progresses that agenda.