The petition of the residents of the United Kingdom
Declares that the proposals outlined in Medway Council’s housing infrastructure fund project to build a relief road and community-destructive flyover should be rejected due to their unsuitability and potential for the plans to damage the environment by destroying a key “asset of community value”, Deangate Ridge Golf and Sports Complex and Lodge Hill SSSI.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to ensure that plans to build a relief road from A228 Peninsula Way to A289 Hasted Road via a flyover at Higham Road, through the former Deangate Ridge Golf and Sports Complex and Lodge Hill SSSI be rejected and the former Deangate Ridge Golf and Sports complex be developed as an asset that would further the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community, such as a country park.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Kelly Tolhurst, Official Report, 21 July 2021; Vol. 699, c. 1101.]
Observations from The Minister of State, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (Christopher Pincher):
The Government are determined to level up opportunities across the country. This means building the homes this country needs, closing the opportunity gap and helping millions of young people into home ownership.
The Government have committed to deliver 1 million new homes by the end of this Parliament and increase building output to 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. To deliver these homes, the right infrastructure must be in place first. The housing infrastructure fund enables local authorities to deliver such infrastructure—including new roads, leisure and healthcare services, digital and power networks, and schools—to encourage more housebuilding without overstretching facilities.
I regret that due to the Secretary of State’s quasi-judicial functions in the planning system, we are unable to comment on the details of a specific local plan or planning application. However, I can make the following general comments.
Projects funded through the housing infrastructure fund must go through the standard planning process. Planning applications submitted to a local planning authority, irrespective of whether the development proposal is or is not in receipt of funding secured through the housing infrastructure fund, must be determined in accordance with the local development plan for the area, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. All planning applications will be subject to statutory requirements around publicity and consultation, including with relevant statutory consultees, before a decision is made. Any representations which raise material planning considerations must be taken into account by the local planning authority.