Parishes take on Medway

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Two Hoo Peninsula Parish Councils have engaged top lawyers Leigh Day to issue a warning to Medway Council over their multi million road building “HIF” programme. The £170 million “Housing Infrastructure Fund” grant from the Government is intended to provide the extra road and rail capacity to allow the building of 12,500 houses mainly within two parishes on the Peninsula  – High Halstow and Hoo St Werburgh. The largest sum £86 million is for new roads, bringing at least a doubling of road traffic onto the Peninsula with its internationally recognised ecology and habitats.

Parish Councillors decided to use the top legal team of solicitors and barristers which successfully stopped the Heathrow expansion in its tracks earlier this year. Leigh Day have written to Medway Council, criticising their refusal to provide any information about the environmental impact of the massive road building proposals or to even tell local community any of the detail of their proposals. 

Medway Council seem to believe that they are entitled to plan our future in secret by agreeing to concrete over large parts of the Peninsula without telling us how it will affect our communities, our ecology and our living conditions.” says High Halstow Parish Council Chairman, George Crozer 

Both parish councils are concerned that Medway Council will enter into binding agreements with government housing agency Homes England to deliver specific infrastructure projects that will foreclose public debate about less harmful alternatives. This would be unlawful, says the letter, because of Medway’s failure to consult the Hoo Peninsula community,  or to assess the environmental impact before entering into the agreement. As a result both Parish Councils are unable to progress their neighbourhood plans while they are being being kept in the dark about Medway’s proposals.  

The entire reasoning behind the HIF programme is to expand the highway capacity to allow even more vehicle traffic onto local roads, to serve a massive house building programme on poorly located sites in the rural area. 

This cannot be the way forward,” says Cllr Crozer, “Medway are refusing to give the Parish Councils  the information they need to understand how they will be affected, in terms of traffic, air quality and the effects of building thousands of new family homes on our treasured greenfield landscapes, with nothing in the HIF programme for  providing the local health, education, retail and other services that we need, forcing new residents to use their cars for all their daily needs. Anyone would be suspicious of Medway’s motives when they are so desperate that they won’t tell us what they are doing, leaving us with no alternative but to resort to the courts!”

See Solicitors letter below.Letter, LD to Medway Council (16-07-2020) (as sent)

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9 Replies to “Parishes take on Medway”

  1. I am totally against all the secrecy and deceit that Medway Council are maintaining. Openness, truth and sound scientific research is what the people of Hoo deserve. We do not want our countryside ruined and our health put at risk. Medway Council you are ruining our lives . Your secrecy is causing further anxiety to the residents.

  2. We live in Wainscott and we will also be affected by this awful amount of building we also want our countryside as well as Hoo and High halston. Hope this will not go ahead

  3. We moved here 20 years ago to live in the countryside and be able to see wildlife. Why the people that live here do not get a say on what should or shouldn’t be built is not right. The recent covid lock down has proved that you do need the countryside on your doorstep to help with mental health. We have lost our orchards and fields to more houses even though our roads and health facilities cannot cope. Why are Medway council not listening?

  4. The greed of the council is spreading the concrete jungle which is London to our beautiful Rural surroundings. We chose this way of life and should not be forced into a city or Town life. Not to mention the wildlife. It has to stop

  5. I moved here to live a rural life with a great country side. Not to live in a concrete jungle, stop ruining our peninsula there’s not enough doctors on the island to accommodate the community that’s already here. 🤬🤬

  6. I moved here to be closure to nature, fields, trees and to be able to hear the birds not in a concrete city like Thames mead I think the Council should stop being so greedy and stop ruining our village, makes me so angry there is not enough Dr’s or hospitals or schools to accommodate it

  7. Please think before you destroy everything in this area. We have limited Dr’s and will not be able to cope with this increase. The school’s won’t cope and I don’t see you be able to construct roads that will cope with extra traffic. It’s hell now and if there is a hold up no one gets to go to work/school.

  8. I can’t believe Medway Council continue to withhold information that has been requested by Ron Sands (Hoo St Werburgh) and George Crozer…(High Halstow.)
    What on earth are they trying to hide ?

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