Tracey has shared her views on the Kent County Council Consultation concerning the Blue Bell Hill site.
"There has been considerable interest in the last 24 hours regarding the proposals by KCC to sell off the land at the top of Blue Bell Hill which includes the viewing and picnic area. The report on Kent Online makes clear that there was little notice or consultation on this with interested parties, including myself. As a result I wrote to the Leader of the Council asking for the deadline to be extended so those who care about this SSSI could respond. However it is being reported in the KM that the sale has been halted. I shall be seeking clarity on exactly what the state of play is.
In the meantime there is a rumour that the sale had been proposed as part of the works that may be required for the Thames Crossing. The report published yesterday ruled out "C Variant" (the part relating to the improvement of the A229/M2 junction) on the basis it was too costly and would have huge environmental consequences. The specific passage reads:
"C Variant - In addition to assessing options for a new crossing, routes and junctions, we have also considered whether widening the A229 between the M2 and the M20 (called C Variant in earlier studies) would be a necessary part of a new crossing. Our assessment has concluded that this upgrade would have limited benefits, high environmental impact and high cost and is not essential as part of a new crossing scheme. We will give further consideration to this link separately as part of Highways England’s ongoing regional route planning".
With this in mind it remains unclear why it is proposed to sell a part of our land which managed by the brilliant Kent Wildlife Trust."
The KentOnline News article is available at: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/…/anger-over-plans-to-sell-off…/