On the 8th, 9th and 10th December, a ‘Community Engagement’ was set up to inform local residents of the Otterpool Park New Town development that Shepway District Council would like to foist upon us. We believe that this so called ‘Community Engagement’ is little more than a charade – a tick-a-box venture to go through the process of humouring or placating residents in SDC’s quest to destroy our rural communities.
Let us not forget that this ‘New Town’ has never been part of any local plan, core strategy or any other planning consideration.
We have been told by Deputy Leader, Jenny Hollingsbee, how the great silent majority are greatly in favour of this planned metropolis and how wonderful it will be for everyone in the area.
On the above dates, S&DRA attended the ‘Community Engagements’ and simply asked attendees whether they were against, in favour or neutral on the development.
Out of 151 residents questioned, 10 were neutral (needing more information) 2 were in favour and 139 were against the proposed development.
According to DCLG, part of the criteria for the development of a new town is to have local support. So, did Shepway District Council garner opinion from local residents before they presented their ‘Expression of Interest’ to DCLG (Central Government)? They certainly knew the opinions of 27 Parish Councillors on the 7th June 2016 who told Mr. Monk and Susan Priest that they thought it was a bad idea to build a New town.
And who was presenting the ‘Community Engagement’? An independent or neutral body I hear you say. Well err, No: Cozumel Estates. Who are they? you ask. Cozumel Estates is owned by the Reuben Brothers. And who are the Reuben Brothers? They are the bedfellows of Shepway District Council. They are also owners of the Folkestone Race course, pushing for (along with SDC) the development of the New Town.
Your Councillors, Your Council, Fit for purpose? – We’ll let you decide.