Report on Public meeting held on 13th September
On 13th September 2019, the Parish Council hosted a public meeting at the Herne Centre, to discuss the Bullockstone Road Improvement Scheme. (BRIS).
The meeting was well attended with approximately 160 residents present, it was standing room only.
A local resident Alistair Russell, took on the role of organising the meeting and put together the presentation.
He welcomed everyone and introduced Sir Roger Gale and Officers and Councillors representing Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council.
This was followed by the presentation, which showed details of the public consultation and also the 2019 Air Quality Annual Status report, plus the action plan which is to deliver the road improvements. He also showed pictures of large vehicles getting stuck in the centre of the village, outside the Post Office and in School Lane and the details of the Listed Buildings, in the parish. There were details of the 19 fatal and serious accidents between 2008-2013, published on Kent on Line in September 2015.
Everyone present was familiar with the issues of traffic through the village and they have concerns about the additional traffic that will be generated by the former Golf Club site which is under under construction and the proposed sites at Strode Farm, Hillborough and Greenhill.
KCC Highways have done some basic work on what is needed to bring Bullockstone Road up to a suitable standard for it to take a lot of the traffic that currently uses the village. They are also looking to see if the works can be carried out in phases so that the Golf Course money is not forfeited, although this will raise the overall cost.
After many questions on funding, timing of the funding and timing for the works, it was apparent that there was going to be a shortfall. Detailed design drawings have yet to be produced and KCC are using the S106 funds from Golf Course development for these works. Currently it is estimated that the cost for the work will be £7.75 million.
It was explained that funding from developers is released at certain stages of the development, it is not received at the start of the development. Currently the planning consent approved by the Secretary of State has the condition that the first payment from the Strode Farm development (£2.1M) will be due when the 250th dwelling is occupied.
Everyone agreed that the road improvements were needed although it is not the By-pass that residents thought they were getting. It was also agreed that all the infrastructure for these developments should be in place early, unfortunately planning legislation did not support this happening.
There were also issued raised regarding the construction traffic.
Air quality issues were raised and City Cllr Robert Thomas said he would ask their Air Quality Officer to look into this.
The main points
- KCC Highways to undertake a Safety Audit on the A291 through the village. They will notify the parish council as to when this is to be carried out.
- City Cllr Joe Howes to forward current Air Quality Data to the parish council and Alistair Russell as and when available.
- Sir Roger Gale and Mike Whiting to investigate additional/other funding streams.