Last Tuesday, 17th April it was mooted that the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) would not be finding its way into the hands of Leader Monk and his cohorts at Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) to fund the infrastructure to support the proposed Otterpool Park New Town. Today, 19th April, it was confirmed that that was the case:
“Kent County Council’s application for Forward Funding to support the delivery of necessary infrastructure at Otterpool Park, Shepway, will not be taken forward”.
Some residents have suggested that campaigning by our Association and other allied local groups has not gone unnoticed by Government Ministers or the fact that water scarcity in the Shepway region (Dour) could have been a factor, hinting from Central Government that a Town of this size is really a non starter.
On the 31st March a four page letter was sent to Prime Minister May and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid from a local Parish Councillor stating, among other points, that:
There is overwhelming opposition from Residents against the Otterpool Town project.
There is distrust from Parishes and Parishioners against FHDC. The District Council has a track record of alleged corruption which is still being investigated by Kent Police (case ref: ZY/035502/14).
Water Scarcity is a serious issue, compounding the situation with what is, in effect, a New Town being built in Ashford.
FHDC has a close association, via a collaboration agreement, with an offshore headquartered company, Cozumel Estates (Reuben Brothers), which would benefit from the HIF and bring nothing to the UK economy.
A copy of that letter will be released in due course, but for the time being will not be fully disclosed. We believe that that letter may have had an influence in the decision not to release the HIF to FHDC via KCC. If that is the case, we owe our local Parish Councillor, and all those who endorsed the letter a very great debt of gratitude.
Finally, for those of you who missed the Core Strategy review in Sellindge, another event is being held in Hythe next Tuesday 24 April, 3-7pm- Hythe Sports Pavilion, South Road.
And if you’re hoping to get a reasoned argument out of any of the hosts, think again. The box ticking exercise is in full swing.