Fears for city’s Iron Age his­tory

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Spotlight On Housing -

An Iron Age mound could be lost if plans for a stu­dent block at Rho­daus Town are ap­proved, a his­to­rian fears.

The build­ing is set to re­place the for­mer St Mary Bredin School, which later served as an of­fice for the Can­ter­bury Mo­tor Co and sits on top of the mound.

Gazette his­to­rian Paul Cramp­ton said: “Note that the new build­ing is flat to the ground, so the trun­cated Iron Age mound on which the school sits looks like it will also be de­stroyed. It is lit­er­ally the old­est struc­ture in Can­ter­bury.”

Af­ter the Gazette re­vealed ar­chi­tect Guy Holl­away’s plans last week, they aroused de­bate in the city.

Com­ment­ing on the Can­ter­bury Re­mem­ber­ing It As It Was page on Face­book, Cor­rinne Carter said: “That artist’s im­pres­sion of what the new build­ing will look like has given me pal­pi­ta­tions! It looks like one of the face­less strips of new build­ings in USA. What has this got to do with the won­der­ful her­itage of Can­ter­bury?” And Niall Great­head said: “I have noth­ing against stu­dents and most of them con­tribute well to the com­mu­nity in my ex­pe­ri­ence but for heav­ens sake, why are they al­ways con­sid­ered more im­por­tant then the peo­ple that live here? What this city needs is af­ford­able homes for ev­ery­one.”

Peo­ple liv­ing in the Rho­daus Close be­hind the devel­op­ment have also been hav­ing their say.

Re­tiree June Blow­ers, 80, said: “This isn’t a bad place to live and I hon­estly can’t say that I would be that both­ered by this devel­op­ment.”

But Am­rit Ghal, whose house would be just a few yards from the devel­op­ment, is not happy with the pro­posal. The 34-yearold said: “There’s too much devel­op­ment like this al­ready – do we re­ally need more? I fear that we might more noise when this new devel­op­ment is built.”

Mr Holl­away says the build­ing is a re­sponse to the need to free up houses in res­i­den­tial areas and was in­spired by the ar­chi­tec­tural styles of the past in Can­ter­bury.

He said: “We want some­one to drive past and say ‘that feels like Can­ter­bury’, that it feels like it be­longs.

“The new build­ing would have 150 beds and we would be look­ing at a clus­ter model, which would have six or seven bed­rooms and a shared kitchen and liv­ing space.

“There would be zero park­ing so no cars. Stu­dents liv­ing there would be able to use the Pala­mon fa­cil­i­ties next door, like the gym and work spa­ces.”

The ar­chi­tect is hold­ing a three-day public con­sul­ta­tion ahead of the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion process.

The drop-in events will be held at Pala­mon Court on Fri­day, Septem­ber 8, from noon to 6pm, on Satur­day, Septem­ber 9, from 10am to 4pm and on Sun­day, Septem­ber 10, from 10am to 2pm.

Pic­ture: Chris Davey FM4070207

The for­mer St Mary Bredin School

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