Canterbury City Council is to pressing ahead with their Wincheap Park and Ride expansion despite backlash from campaigners.
The Wincheap Park and Ride in Canterbury is pegged to be extended by 228 spaces and will be built on the beloved Wincheap water meadows, a decision that has garnered a lot of negative feedback from the people of Canterbury for a multitude of reasons.
“They could hardly believe that anyone would want to put a car park there.”
Richard Norman, a Professor at the University of Kent and an Admin of a quickly-growing facebook group titled ‘Save Wincheap Water Meadows’ has expressed his disdain for the Council’s decision to destroy the meadows that many refer to as a landmark.
Mr Norman said:
“There is a cycle path and footpath on the Hambrook Marshes side of the river, and as well as being a very convenient cycle route between Canterbury and Chartham, it is a very scenic walk and ride. It’s just five minutes from the centre of Canterbury and it feels very rural. That rural atmosphere would be ruined if there were a car park on the opposite bank. We started campaigning immediately, handing out leaflets to people using the path, and asking them to object to the planning application.
“They needed no persuading. Almost all of them were amazed, they could hardly believe that anyone would want to put a car park there. Many of them were regularly users of the path, a significant number were also visitors to Canterbury, and they were immediately eager to write and state their opposition.”
The campaign has also grown from handing out flyers, with a crowdfunding appeal already reaching £3,755 of £5,000, protesters gathering by the River Stour, and even going door-to-door to post flyers and leaflets.
In response to the pressure from the public, the Council has attempted to meet fully to decide whether or not to proceed with the decision, but due to technical reasons and a deferral in October, the final decision will now be made on the 8th of January at the earliest.