Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It was a very sad day indeed when we learned that Dover District Council had passed the planning application for two housing developments at Sholden. It is difficult to understand why the plans were passed when Deal Town Council had turned them down and there had been so many objections over so many years.
The whole concept of building on Grade 1 agricultural land is a complete anathema. Our country is going to need all its agricultural land to feed our population over the coming years and the short-sightedness of this decision is breathtaking.
We could ask the question of just who is going to buy and live in these houses? There are already over 1,000 houses for sale in and around Deal. Where are these people going to work? When the reduction in the Pfizer workforce is complete, there will be far fewer jobs in the area and even more empty houses.
Despite traffic surveys, we all know that Deal roads are clogged with traffic during the morning and evening busy periods but avowal from frequent users of the roads around Sholden of traffic queues counted for nothing.
There are more than 2,000 empty houses in the Dover District Council area. What a scandal this is! Why is the council not concentrating on getting empty homes back into use and re-using brown field sites for new homes? Why are the unfinished houses opposite Walmer station not an indication to the council of what can happen in the present economic climate?