We all agree that the recent history of the demise of Deangate Ridge Golf Club was the betrayal of the trust residents placed in Medway Council to do right by the people of the Medway and the Hoo Peninsula. The latest consultation on the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) application is further proof of that betrayal.
The consultation documents for the HIF are available on line Medway.gov.uk/futurehoo
The consultation seeks your comment and approval for plans to unlock massive growth in Hoo and High Halstow. These plans will herald another 10,000/12000 homes and the obvious increase traffic that will bring. Relief is planned by creating additional access to Hoo via a spur road connecting the A289 Halsted Way to the Main Road roundabout and an additional roundabout some 500 yards further along Peninsula Way towards Bells Land just before the Windmill Public House. See map.corrected map
Please not that the route shown here by Medway Council is not correct. Lodge Hill lane roundabout should be on Lodge Hill Lane. Medway say they didn’t correct the map to save confusion with a previously published map!!
The new spur road, from the new roundabout will cut directly North westwards into the golf course by the 7th tee, across the 6th green and down, what we came to known as, Cardiac Hill before leaving Deangate to connect with another new roundabout on Lodge hill Lane, onwards to Upchat roundabout and down to Higham road where it will connect to the A289 Halsted Way by a flyover and slip ways.
Those first reassuring much protected views of Deangate seen as you leave Main Road roundabout to head out onto the peninsula will be lost forever. So why spoil this vista ? Why drive a new road through Deangate? The HIF team at Medway will tell you ‘it’s to assist traffic flow”. But we know in reality it’s about houses, lots of houses, described in another Medway publication “ Planning for Growth on the Hoo Peninsula “ as Parkland living at Deangate.
In 2018 we came together spontaneously to fight to save Deangate in numbers that far exceeded those that initially responded to the proposition of an airport. That fight failed but we got partial success in as much that Medway Council agreed that Deangate Ridge and its sports complex was and is an Asset of Community Value (defined by the localism act 1988). It would appear they are about to betray that trust too, only time will tell.
Some Medway Councillors see the Peninsula and Deangate Ridge in particular as the answer to satisfying Government housing targets. Some see it as protecting the Capstone valley against development, so much so that they have successfully blocked the sale of access land at Shakespeare Farm to the detriment of much needed Council funds. The right approach of course is to identify all of the land assets of Medway worth saving and making a strong enough argument to government for a reduced allocation of housing numbers. The Council’s NIMBY approach to this problem is to the detriment of the most ecologically important asset they sadly control. Medway Council are now hell bent on the destruction of Deangate on the altar of the Capstone Valley and the seeming wrath of their constituents and continue to not listen to voice of reason. In the meantime the health and well being of the community of the Peninsula is neglected and Deangate is in part a Norse transport depot.
Now whilst proposing a road through Deangate to facilitate housing targets the Council refuse development in Lordswood /Capstone and publicly complain that 2000 houses in Lidsing would swamp Medway Hospital. Do they not realising 12000 houses on the Hoo Peninsula would exacerbate the problem to much greater degree.
The battle to protect our Peninsula is here now and it’s starts with saving Deangate. I urge you to once again let your voice be heard, Deangate is at the heart of the Peninsula and a ready made country park. The car park is there. The education block is there. There is even a golf driving range as a source of income. Maybe with the assistance of the Parish Councils and the help of us all we can build a Peninsula Heritage Centre/Museum to celebrate the rich heritage history and ecology of this wonderful Hoo Peninsula.
Cllr Ron Sands