Pro­tes­tors made their views clear

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

YOU printed an ar­ti­cle by Peter Raine (Fe­bru­ary 22) be­moan­ing the de­ci­sion to pre­vent Im­pe­rial Col­lege build­ing many more houses in Wye. Surely the sub­ject has been aired suf­fi­ciently to make it abun­dantly clear? Firstly that a very large group of lo­cal pro­tes­tors was adamantly op­posed to hav­ing their vil­lage turned into a mini sub­urb of Ash­ford; and se­condly Im­pe­rial Col­lege were not in any way guar­an­tee­ing the new jobs that were sug­gested would fol­low. Ar­eas of na­tional beauty need to be pre­served for pos­ter­ity and KCC are to be cas­ti­gated for their re­cent de­ci­sion to over­ride all plan­ning guide­lines by sit­ing their new high­ways de­pot on just such an area near Wrotham. Our trust fully sup­ports the ef­forts made by CPRE to pre­serve our coun­try­side, or what re­mains of it, from the depre­da­tions of de­vel­op­ers and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. The whole in­ten­tion of pre­serv­ing green belts is to pre­vent de­vel­op­ers get­ting their hands on it. Ian Grant, chair­man Ash­ford Rural Trust.

WELL, you have to laugh, don’t you? Read­ing of Peter Raine’s dis­ap­point­ment re­gard­ing the demise of Im­pe­rial Col­lege’s plans for Wye, he says that there was an ac­cept­able so­lu­tion there “if we had sat around the ta­ble to talk it through”. Ask any mem­ber of Wye parish coun­cil or the Wye Fu­ture Group how many times they tried to “sit around the ta­ble” with very rea­son­able pro­pos­als and how many times they were met with eva­sive­ness and di­ver­sion­ary tac­tics. Yes, Ash­ford does need to of­fer more em­ploy­ment but this has to be on sites where the in­fra­struc­ture of roads and ser­vices have been put in place. Wye and the sur­round­ing area would have gone through a long night­mare of road build­ing, even be­fore the to­tally un­ac­cept­able num­ber of houses pro­posed, could be built. Janet Hul­lett, Bridge Street, Wye, Ash­ford.

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