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CARE Information Leaflet

Our green leaflet was delivered around the village on 4–5 April.

Sections of the plan we particularly recommend people comment on

  • The "new town" or Cooting Farm Garden Community (formerly R1) - between Adisham and Aylesham has been removed, but developer pressure could bring it back in some form.

  • Houses - around 10 - are still proposed on the south side of Station Road (R12)

  • Policy C17 (Canterbury Business Park) covers the further expansion of Highland Court Farm (beyond the warehouses for the wine factory and the concrete batching plant already approved).

Meetings and 'Drop-In' sessions (all events at Village Hall)

Public Meeting

Thu 18 April


Drop-In Session

Sat 20 April


Drop-In Session

Mon 22 April


Drop-In Session

Thu 25 April


Drop-In Session

Thu 30 May


Drop-In Session

Sat 1 June

12:30pm-2:20pm (after Big Breakfast)

Drop-In Session

Mon 3 June


Come to a drop-in session if you'd like to discuss the Local Plan with us or you don't own a computer.

Ways to Respond to the plan

We recommend using sending an email response, given the old R1 is no longer in the plan. But you can also complete the survey.

See this page for practical advice. Read on below for some suggestions about what you can write.

The deadline is Mon 3 June.

Issues to consider in your response

Cooting Farm Garden Community (removed from plan)

Based on what's happened elsewhere in England, turning local community against local community will be a strategy some developers will pursue. Residents elsewhere in the district are fighting for reductions in housing near to them. We need a high number of responses to reassure CCC that it did the right thing.

It's also sensible to mention any other parts of the plan you agree with.

Firstly, please tell CCC if you back their decision to find land for housing that is less damaging than the open Kent Downs and that you support the removal of R1 (Cooting Farm) and R20 (Aylesham South, near Womenswold). Mention the locations by name as everything has been renumbered.

Similarly you can say you support the council's overall new housing policy.

As the new plan is five years shorter (until 2040, not 2045) the annual house-building target is lower.

Much of the money from these two developments would have funded the eastern Canterbury bypass. This was unpopular anyway: it would have sliced through villages and countryside close to us, causing noise, light and air pollution. The new council has dropped this, so if you support that decision (and the loss of the city-centre "traffic zoning scheme") please say so.

CCC are describing their transport policy as "bus-led", they've reinstated the Sturry Road Park and Ride and want to (eventually) offer new bus routes and (eventually) improvements to both Canterbury railway stations. If you support the public transport policy – there's also a whole Draft District Transport Policy as well – it's worth writing something about this.

Some of the main arguments about Cooting Farm Garden Community

If you responded to the last plan consultation, you don’t need to make your detailed arguments again. However all the previous reasons against an ‘Adisham New Town’ remain! These need restating in your response. We need to:

  • Defend Adisham's long history as a separate rural community.

  • Protect our beautiful downland landscape (including the condition of footpaths and bridleways). (The council's Landscape Appraisal produced in 2020 may also give you some ideas). Read more about landscape.

  • Keep this highly productive, prime farmland. Read more about farmland.

  • Conserve our wildlife habitats, both on the farmland (which including environmental field margins, hedgerows, trees and other edge habitat) and in the 12 nationally-registered ancient woods, five of which are SSSIs. Read more about wildlife.

  • Control road traffic (including safe cycling and horseriding). The road infrastructure is inadequate already, without another 3,600+ houses at Adisham and Womenswold.

  • Say no to air, noise, and light pollution.

  • Point out the new facilities (healthcare, education etc.) would not have been ready in the initial years of the new town, and there were no guarantees about what would be available or when.

  • Explain East Kent is already a water stressed area and the sewage infrastructure is inadequate. Using tankers to transport sewage (as was previously suggested) would be totally unsuitable, and sewage already sometimes leaks downstream of the village.

  • The chalk aquifer here provides clean water to elsewhere in Kent, so any pollution from a major new settlement built on top would be a disaster.

  • The extra surface water run off from so many new houses would be significant, even with sustainable drainage. The top of Station Road already floods after heavy rainfall and areas along The Street would also be vulnerable.

(Write in your own words and add your own reasons.)

How did everyone respond last time?

We’re asking everyone to respond to the consultation again, regardless of whether you did before.

There are two consultation periods, "Regulation 18” (now) and “Regulation 19” (later). If you take part in this one it will have more impact, plus the rules Regulation 19 are more restrictive on what you can say.

(Note: unless you make a prior comment, you can’t speak at the “Examination” hearing - the final stage of approving the plan, led by a government inspector.)

R12 Houses to South of Station Road, West of Cooting Lane

(Previously called R22.) This is a development of approximately 10 houses in (probably) a single row.

There has been one new "condition" added since the previous plan: to “protect and enhance the existing trees" along Station Road. The wording suggests one access point somewhere on Station Road (rather than Cooting Lane). We'll only see the road layout and how the houses could be arranged when a planning application is made.


  • Some feel that R12 would mean that the village landscape would be spoiled.

  • If more than ten new houses are built, that should mean that three new ‘social houses’ can be funded somewhere in the parish. (Canterbury’s policy is to provide 30% “affordable housing”, but only for developments of 11 houses or more.)

  • You might also have a view on the provision of "starter homes" (small, two-bedroomed houses) for the young to get on the housing ladder.

  • Station Road is narrow at this point, with no traffic calming measures. Traffic between the B2046 and Adisham Downs Road often passes at high speed.

  • Vehicles regularly park on the pavement due to the lack of overall parking, causing problems for pedestrians, those with buggies etc.

  • The number and position of access point(s) could also make the road more dangerous.

  • A previously suggested site (SLAA142) on Bossington Road, next to the existing houses, could potentially accommodate three semi-detached houses. This site was rejected by the council at an earlier stage, but you can raise it in your response.

  • There's already often significant flooding at either end of Station Road after periods of heavy rain.

In summary:

Do you think this land should be developed? Would Adisham benefit from new housing, and what type? Could anything be done to improve this development, including access, parking and traffic calming?

C17 Canterbury Business Park (Highland Court Farm)

This site (previously called C21) has a long history.

While most people’s attention last year was elsewhere, Chapel Down and Defined Wine's planning application for a “winery" (which is to say, a factory with tall industrial warehouses and loading bays, rather than pretty vineyards) was approved, then legally challenged and “quashed”, then swiftly reapproved by Canterbury City Council. It's now been challenged again and there is a court hearing in London in May.

Meanwhile, a wider area of land (C17) is again part of the draft local plan, all of it greenfield land within Kent Downs National Landscape (what used to be called an AONB).

Legally major developments on a protected landscape like this are only allowed in "exceptional circumstances" and have to be in the "public interest".

Finally, in late 2023, Gomez, the fresh produce supplier based at Highland Court, ceased trading. Their warehouses are up for sale, but Chapel Down are yet to indicate they have any interest in using them.

Gomez is a large, brownfield site with similar facilities and existing HGV access right next door to where Chapel Down and Defined Wine want to built: they instead want to build new, huge metal sheds on high quality agricultural land that's also home to rare plants, supports a wide range of birds species, six or more types of bat, the North Downs Way and other footpaths/bridleways, providing views of historic Higham Park.

The scheme would increase traffic, noise, and light pollution.

Surely the existing brownfield site should be used first?

If you agree, please ask the council to remove C17 from the plan.

Policy C17 is significantly larger than just the warehouse space; it surrounds the current business park and stretches south all the way to Coldharbour Lane - an area where developers wanted to build originally before they were forced to reduce the size of the scheme. To the north, it will be visible from parts of Bekesbourne.

The AONB, Natural and Historic England have already raised serious concerns about the winery. Their job as “statutory consultees” is to advise government on protecting the environment, but they’re not allowed to campaign - ultimately it’s up to the public to support them. CPRE Kent are also strongly opposed to the development.

Summary of reasons:

• greenfield site within a protected landscape
• doesn't pass "exceptional circumstances" test
• commercial development, not in "public interest"
• similar development recently refused elsewhere (Cuxton winery in same AONB)
• opposed by multiple statutory consultees
(Natural England, Kent Downs National Lanscape, Historic England) and CPRE Kent
• planning permission given for warehouses before Local Plan adopted
• huge empty warehouses on brownfield site immediately next door
• industrial scale operation, not a tourist attraction
• wildlife disturbance, large net onsite habitat loss
• irreversible loss of productive farmland
• increased traffic (plus effect of the new concrete plant)
• traffic and visual impact on Public Rights of Way
• existing light pollution needs fixing/enforcement

Read more about last year's planning decision or donate to the CrowdJustice campaign if you are able to.

Finally, a reminder about the public meeting on Thu 18 April.
Also, our page which explains how to send your response to the council.

Thank you for taking time to helping us!