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Regional Planning and Development: Kent

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consideration was given to including (a) the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway and (b) the Dolphin Barge Museum in the vision framework set out in her Department’s Green Cluster Study for Milton Creek; and if she will make a statement. (227431)

The Green Cluster Study for Milton Creek was commissioned via Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway to provide a brief strategic statement of the opportunities for creating green space north of Sittingbourne town centre, along Milton Creek to the Swale. It has no planning status, and is purely intended to set out an overall vision.

The study does include Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway. Both the Light Railway and the Dolphin Barge Museum are acknowledged in contributing to the development of the vision. However, the purpose of the publication is not to describe in detail individual schemes or stakeholders, but to present a broad assessment of opportunities in the area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent reports she has received on local development and regeneration plans of Swale Borough Council; and what her policy is on the future development of (a) the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway and (b) the Sittingbourne Dolphin Barge Museum. (227432)

The overall strategy for the physical regeneration of Swale is set out in the Swale borough local plan, adopted in 2008. Following adoption of the local plan, the borough council has commissioned a master plan for Sittingbourne town centre, and this is currently under way.

Communities and Local Government is supporting the regeneration of Sittingbourne through an indicative allocation of Thames Gateway funding of £10.9 million, of which £7.5 million will contribute to the construction of Sittingbourne Northern Relief Road; £2 million will contribute to the development of Sittingbourne Learning Campus, and the balance will fund the completion of the master plan and the development of proposals for increasing capacity at junction 5 of the M2.

The Government do not have any policy on the future development of the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway or the Sittingbourne Dolphin Barge Museum because these are matters for the local authority.