Council refusal to sell land halts 450-home plan
Boxley residents can breathe a sigh of relief after plans for 450 homes were scuppered.
Boxley Parish Council was among hundreds of objectors to plans for a huge housing development at Gibralter Farm off Ham Lane in Lordswood and - like them - was disappointed when the outline application was allowed by a government inspector at appeal.
The proposed development site falls just across the border in the area of Medway Council, but is adjacent to Boxley parish and there were fears traffic from the new homes would use Lidsing Lane and pass through Boxley village to head into Maidstone, as well as adding unwelcome extra pressure on local resources.
However, to proceed the developers needed to purchase a small ransom strip of land owned by Medway Council to create an access to the new estate.
A legal challenge to force Medway Council to sell failed.
Medway councillors met to con- sider whether to accept an offer for the land of one third of the increase in value from farmland to land with housing permission.
Council officers advised the offer was worth “several million pounds.”
The council stuck to its guns and refused to sell, saying it believed the area was unsuitable for development.
The chairman of Boxley Parish Council, Bob Hinder, said: “This was an extremely brave decision by Medway Council. It has turned down millions of pounds at a time when every penny counts.
“It was right that the council took note of the many objections.”
It is predicted the landowner may look to find some other way to gain access for the site.
Cllr Bob Hinder, right, is pleased at the homes outcome