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Lib Dems say No to Otterpool Park

February 23, 2017 11:05 AM

Ross Clark

Ross clark: No to Otterpool Park

The Liberal Democrats are opposing plans for "Otterpool Park", a 12,000 home commuter town being proposed by Shepway District Council.

The town, near Westenhanger station and junction 11 of the M20, is being proposed on land currently occupuied by Folkestone Racecourse and farmland recently purchased by the District Council as an "investment". As proposed, Otterpool Park would be larger than nearby Hythe.

The Party's position was discussed and agreed at a recent members meeting. Elham Valley Campaigner and Shepway Liberal Democrat Local Party Chair Ross Clark explains:

"Shepway Liberal Democrats are firmly opposed to the proposed development at Otterpool as currently outlined.

"We believe that the development is far too large, is being railroaded through against the wishes of the local community, is environmentally unsustainable, seems to contain insufficient social or actually affordable housing and will not serve the housing needs of local people.

We further believe that, despite efforts to present it as a 'garden town', the proposed development will effectively be a 'commuter town' that will suck wealth away from the area to the detriment of existing local towns such as Folkestone and Hythe."

Former County Councillor Tim Prater added:

"It feels like the prime motivation for this development is to generate millions of pounds for Shepway District Council rather than to meet the genuine housing needs of Shepway people thereby making this a case of 'profit before people'.

"These housing needs could be better met by a series of smaller and more sensitively handled developments across the area."