Having been a resident of Blean all of my childhood and a lot of my adult life, with my family home in the middle of the Northern Land Holdings I find the plans presented deplorable.
When the University started buying up the rural land in Blean and Tyler Hill, in my opinion, I think all those that live there, use the Crab & Winkle Way and enjoy walks and the beautiful countryside feared one day plans would be sprung on us that would not fill our hearts with joy.
Reading the vision for the Northern Land Holdings, which I find outrageous, I also feel that the UKC must think we are all a little naïve.
This 145 page document talks of a shared cricket pitch right next door to a place where many in the Parish worship in exchange for innovation business centres, park and rides likened by the architect to ‘California’s Silicon Valley’ plus more housing. Do the UKC think that this cricket pitch which is actually the size of an event arena may soften the blow of all the other proposed development? One can only assume that access to this Cricket Pitch would be via the current Crab and Winkle route as plans seem to be rerouting this completely.
Many local people who use the Crab and Winkle Way will have walked/cycled along this route and will have noticed that the University’s amazing sports facilities don’t spend much time in use so why the need for a cricket pitch away from these already incredible facilities. Plus there are accessible cricket clubs and pitches very nearby at Tyler Hill, Chestfield and Faversham who are constantly advertising for more attendees.
Is this not a bargain ploy…green land for housing?
The rather oversimplified plan on page 101 shows none of the houses in existence between Blean and Tyler Hill or the church. The plan makes it look like a void of open space when in fact this road houses many people, a church, farms, etc.
It talks in detail how this development with provide us with so many things for the better all I can see is it taking away the much loved Crab and Winkle way and rerouting it, the tranquillity we as locals and many not local to the area diminished, the destruction of more green belt land not for the good of the environment but for pockets of the University which has already taken over so much of the surrounding land as the plan shows on page 33.
One of the problems the University Campus states it has is, is too many cars. This plan just moves the cars away from the Campus and make them someone else’s problem. The residents of Blean and Tyler Hill.
This road link couldn’t cope with recent closure of the Radfall Hill Road due to roadworks. The knock on effect being both dangerous due to the amount of traffic having to use Tyler Hill Road and jams both heading into Canterbury and towards Whitstable.
To build more houses and an ‘Innovation Parks’ would take away so much from the local community who enjoy the open space and being able to walk along Tyler Hill Road without a constant stream of traffic.
There are people that may read this and think I am one of those people who don’t like change. You would be right but I realise sometimes you have to embrace it. On this occasion I don’t feel I do. These plans are an outright intrusion on all those that live in Blean, Tyler Hill and beyond.
I understand UKC want to make this University one of the best in the Country but Canterbury isn’t just about the University it is as much about the rural areas and villages that surround it. Also something that should be considered is the future use of the University in a time where rising student costs are making University a less attractive prospect for young people.
Everything that is being proposed for the areas surrounding Blean and Tyler is not to enhance the University but booster their coffers. How they can justify building on this farmland, talking about expanding roads to cope with this which I can’t see how they can as most of land that borders Tyler Hill Road belong to family homes. Their arrogance that this development will enhance these two beautiful Parishes is frankly inconceivable.
During term time the City changes so much due to the influx of the University’s students, a fact we all accept, but when it starts to affect our lives by building on land that is cherished by many surely someone has to say enough is enough.