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July 28, 2019 12:34 PM
By Alan Wells

pump lane orchards

Medway Liberal Democrats deplore the news of the proposal to destroy Grade 1 agricultural land off Pump Lane to build 1,250 residential units. We believe this would obliterate an area of locally valued landscape and therefore is completely incompatible with the aims of sustainable development. Medway's rural heritage in this area will be lost and can never be recovered if this development goes ahead. As with Capstone Valley and Riverside Country Park, these spaces are a vital asset for everyone.

This massive development would have a devastating impact on the surrounding environment and drastically change the face of the rural area. The land provides a sanctuary for a number of species, with the orchards home to bees in hives, as well as rabbits, badgers and hawks that fly over the area looking for prey.

Such large-scale construction will add significantly more car travel in a well-preserved rural area. The increased level of traffic from this scheme and all the other developments committed and proposed in the Lower Rainham area will significantly increase traffic congestion and worsen already poor air quality.

The Conservative-run council has not adopted a coherent, credible Local Plan which gives clear guidance on where to build sufficient housing to meet government targets, so allowing development on 'brown build' sites as opposed to destroying Green Belt sites. Liberal Democrats are calling on Medway Council to adopt a Local Development Plan to help protect the environment against developments of this nature and simultaneously improve the quality and quantity of new residential development to stimulate regeneration in our town centres.