The Canterbury Hub

Latest news from CCCU's Journalism course


Campaigners fight to stop 2000 homes in Blean

A new campaign has been launched by angry residents to stop a housing development being built in North Canterbury.  

Members of ‘Save The Blean Local Action Group’ oppose the plans for 2000 new houses which were included in Canterbury City Council’s draft local plan for 2040.  

Campaigner Julia Kirby-Smith said: “The area earmarked for development is very unusual in its biodiversity, partly because it is right between East Blean Woods and West Blean Woods so is a wildlife corridor.  

“There are skylarks and yellowhammers, a red list species in steep decline, among 60 types of birds, hedgehogs and badgers, at least two species of bats, and lots of ancient trees and woodland.  

“There’s also an internationally recognised Great Crested Newt breeding project on the University’s land, which they will have to concrete over to put in the other access road. 

“We’re in the middle of the Public Consultation period right now and we need as many people as possible to respond via the Canterbury Council’s online questionnaire.”  

The group is made up of 15 people from Tyler Hill, Blean, Rough Common, Harbledown and Canterbury who work closely with their parishes.  

They are hosting ‘Walk the Blean’ at 11am on 20th April which aims to let people see and enjoy the countryside that could be lost if the plans go ahead.  

A spokesperson for Canterbury City Council said: “The proposal for a new freestanding settlement on land to the north of the University of Kent in Canterbury is in the draft Local Plan that is currently out to public consultation. 

“We welcome views on that proposal and on everything else contained within the draft plan. 

“We also have three public information sessions coming up across the district where people can come and talk to our officers about the draft Local Plan in person. These are on Tuesday 23 April, 6pm to 8pm, at Herne Bay Baptist Church, Wednesday 24 April, 6pm to 8pm at Whitstable Umbrella Centre and Monday 29 April, 6pm to 8pm, at The Guildhall.” 

People can give feedback to the council about the draft local plan until the public consultation period ends at 5pm on 3rd June.