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Addington residents voice fears at loss of green belt land

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A NATIONAL house-builder is eyeing green belt fields next to the Kent Gate Way for a new development, sparking mounting opposition.

Persimmon Homes wants to build on the land next to Addington Village tram stop, bordering Lodge Lane leading up to New Addington.

More than 100 residents expressed their dismay at the potential loss of green belt land, at a public meeting on Tuesday.

The potential plans are at a very early stage, with the developer approaching councillors last month to raise the idea.

Any planning application is not expected for at least another 18 months to two years.

Chris Heney, development director at Persimmon Homes Southern, told the Advertiser this week: "I can confirm that Persimmon Homes has an option on land at Kent Gate Way.

"Representations on how development can help meet the local need for housing have been submitted for consideration."

He did not elaborate on the potential number or type of housing. The land being looked at spans roughly 25 acres between the tram stop, golf course, Kent Gate Way and Huntingfield.

Asked whether they were "vehemently against any development" on the site, most if not all of the more than 100 attendees at the Addington Residents' Association on Tuesday raised their hands.

The association's former treasurer, Alan Chitty, said one of his concerns was the potential impact on local schools and other infrastructure.

He said: "They had to build extra classrooms at Forestdale school – they cannot cope with what we have got."

Association chair Jim Nayyar proposed hiring experts to fight the proposal, noting the group had about £3,600 but residents would need to set up a fighting fund.

He added it felt as though they were "fighting a ghost in the mist" until and if developers presented concrete plans.

He added: "One of my fears personally is that now it has become (public) I hope we don't have other developers hoping to get the same field."

Tony Pearson, councillor for neighbouring New Addington ward, said: "Any vast development would have an impact on infrastructure in certain areas and it is something I will be keeping a close eye on.

"We are really lucky out here to have the green and lush surroundings, and we don't want anything to spoil that.

"But we also appreciate the need for new homes, so it is a balancing act."

Heathfield councillor Jason Cummings, in whose ward the land lies, said he had made clear in a meeting with developers' representatives they would have to properly consult residents.

Addington residents voice fears at loss of green belt land


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