Earlier this week I paid a visit to the Friends of Broomhill, to take a look at their work.
The reason for the visit was because The Green Party’s attention was drawn to a small development that had applied for planning permission at Broomhill Park, Strood, and this was a cause of real concern to the local people. This proposed development is of two detached houses in the middle of the park. I went to find out why this small development would cause such a stir.
The Friends of Broomhill have, over the past 15 years or so, created a space for the people of Strood that is, or should be, the pride of the whole of Medway. The park is an open space that is well used; on my visit it was freezing cold and yet it was well populated with people walking, children playing etc.
Rochester & Strood Green Party candidate Clive Gregory (3rd from left) with Friends of Broomhill Park
The proposed development is NOT an extension to the properties or roads that border the park. It is a ‘vanity’ project at the highest vantage point of the park – right in the middle of this vital public space, many metres from the nearest other property. It is a development of two high value (probably £500k to £1m value) houses. Thus it will do nothing to address the housing problems in the area.
I’m satisfied that this development is not in the interests of the local population and will continue to campaign against it. The local opposition has nothing to do with any specific street or nearby resident being compromised in respect of their view or interest as there is no specific resident that would be directly affected. However, the ENTIRE community would be affected in that their open space, their park would have a private residency right slap bang in the middle. This would make impossible the Friends of Broomhill’ idea that the highest vantage point in the park would be the ultimate vantage point from where you can see; Sheppey Bridge, the Medway, the Thames – a stunning view. This view, and indeed this park is an asset for the people of Strood, but in fact is an asset for ALL Medway residents to potentially come and view virtually all of Medway.
Furthermore, the land is L3 designated which protects it as a green space. If the planning application is granted it will set a precedent for development on other vital green spaces, so important to our health and wellbeing and the conservation of habitats for our wildlife.
I therefore back Friends of Broomhill in calling on Medway Council to reject the planning permission for this development. Should readers wish to register their own objections – the more the better – then please write an individual email/letter to the address below, as soon as possible, quoting planning application number MC/14/3309:
Planning.firstname.lastname@example.org or The Planning Service, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR. Further information can be obtained by contacting Odette Buchanan, secretary of Friends of Broomhill on email@example.com.