Quinn Estates responds to questions on Betteshanger Grove development

We shared the following statement with The East Kent Mercury in response to comments from the public about our proposals for Betteshanger Grove.

This response from Ben Geering, Development Director at Quinn Estates seeks to answer questions on some of the issues raised to date, including the impact on the environment and local roads.

“We submitted the planning application for Betteshanger Grove to Dover District Council last month. If approved, the project will deliver up to 210 homes including self-build plots, together with up to 2,500 sqm of office (B1) floorspace and up to 150 sqm of retail (A1) floorspace.

“Throughout the planning process, we have carefully considered the environmental factors surrounding the site. It is our intention to minimise the impact on biodiversity by planning development on predominantly bare ground and preserving existing areas of ecology value, for example the woodland, ponds and wetland. We have also outlined how we plan to enhance biodiversity including through the planting of native trees and improvements to habitats for a range of species.

“This area that comes under the scope of our proposals has been allocated for development since 2002. Significant decontamination and clean up works of the former colliery and infrastructure investment were carried out by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) to provide for an alternative use of the site.”

“In order to minimise disruption to local residents, we intend to make best use of significant existing infrastructure investment on the former Betteshanger Colliery site. To achieve this, we proposed to use the existing roads on the site, which were built to serve and have capacity for extensive commercial uses, which have failed to come forward over the last two decades.

“We have conducted a transport assessment into the impact on junction capacity in the surrounding area, which indicates that the existing road network is suitable for a mixed-use development of this size and scale. We have also listened to local residents and even come forward with an application which is circa 20% under the capacity suggested for the site by Dover District Council in its recent Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).”

“We have carried out extensive consultation as part of this application and have responded, including proposals to fund historic drainage issues that have affected existing homes in the area. We are aware of these issues not just from feedback but also following our stepping in at the end of last year to resolve the drainage issues which the local residents were experiencing at the time, even though it was outside of our site and responsibility. As part of our planning application we have committed to the provision of circa £5,000 per house for the residents of Circular Drive to assist with both this and also offer them the opportunity for local residents to upgrade their existing houses to make them more sustainable.”

“The scheme will also provide much needed jobs and work in the local Deal area at a time when we believe it will be sorely needed.”

“The impact on school and local health services to support local capacity has been taken into account. The local Clinical Commissioning Group has identified the contribution the development can make to mitigate any impact on GP services.

“There will be ongoing discussions with Kent County Council, as part of the statutory consultation, on the contribution the proposal can make towards new schools provision in the area.

“We dropped our plans for a link to the Eastry bypass some time ago in response to feedback from the public and we have no intention of bringing forward any future proposals.”