This website is opposed to the University of Kent's development proposals for Chaucer Fields

Notes on the 'consultation' at 22 January 2011

One comment: 'There is no reliable representation of the proposal here to give the locals a sense of what the project might look like'.

The broad perception is that the ill-conceived proposal should not go ahead. The proposed development would severely impact on the amenity and quality of life of the local community, causing disadvantages, costs and incovenience.

Bars on the proposed site?
A bar in the proposed hotel, and another in the single storey hub building, neither mentioned in the 'consultation', will sell alcohol. It is not known whether an entertainment licence will also be applied for by these venues. Students and conference delegates may cause noise as they move between the proposed site and the city centre.

Control for pedestrian access from the city?
Although the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Physical Resources, Prof. Keith Mander suggested that the entire proposed site could be perimeter fenced on the west and south sides, this is impractical, as fire egress points and other gates would be required. If occupants of the proposed site wish, they could walk round to Saint Michael's Road anyway, rather than walking down University Road and Whitstable Road - the long way round. It seems clear the extra pedestrian movement and potential for nuisance and noise has not been fully or adequately considered.

Effective consultation?
The 'consultation' has omitted to present evidence that all alternative sites have been deemed unsuitable - even if the proposed development is divided across infill sites.

Gloss and spin through omission of realistic graphics?
The graphic displays of the proposals do not effectively indicate the scale of the development and its impact on adjacent streets. A photomontage of the site's scale against images of the existing housing would assist understanding of the proposal. The trees behind the elevation of one building presented on a display board do not exist.The visual impact of the proposed development would affect those living in Durnford Close and Harkness Drive directly, diminishing amenity, and property values.

The proposed buildings would cover an area twice the area of Canterbury Cathedral.

Student consultation ineffective?
Having spoken to undergraduates at the University of Kent, its apparent many have not heard about the proposals. The University has not apparently engaged in dialogue with them effectively.

Proof of need?
There is lack of proof of need by students for the accomodation the proposed development would provide. The financial incentive to students would be insufficient to attract them away from off-campus housing: houses of multiple occupation in Canterbury.

Parking - who knows?
The architects, the public relations representatives, and the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Kent do not appear to have a consistent or convincing view of how to deal with student parking in the streets surrounding the propose site. Forcing residents parking onto locals streets will mean costs will be incurred by residents, causing them, and their visitors, inconvenience.