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

Impact and community concerns

newmapMap showing the approximate area of the land we are trying to save for future generations.

Reasons for opposing the proposed development on Chaucer Fields

     1 Loss of open parkland with grass & trees, habitat for birdlife with woodpeckers , jays and owls as well as the  protected species of bats, newts and dormice.

     2  Loss of an ‘Area of High Landscape Value’ (recognised in the 2006 Canterbury District Local Plan) with its iconic views of the Cathedral and City landmarks. 200 year old double hedge is a parish boundary & leads to the medieval Beverly Farm .

    3   Loss of public open space enjoyed by locals, students and the university’s own staff. This was land that originally the city council and the university agreed would be protected from development. The adjoining residential area of St. Stephens has one of the lowest amounts of open green space in Canterbury. This space is especially valued here as many residents have little or no private green space.

    4  This open green space area has been an attractive feature of the university, separating the main campus core from the city’s built up area. The  City Council has been approached by UofK to allow the whole of the southern slopes area to be assessed for its housing potential. The whole of this beautiful open green space may disappear.

    5    While there is an agreed need for more on-campus student accommodation this can be done with smaller developments nearer to existing student accommodation. The claimed reduction in students renting privately off campus nearby will not happen, as rents in the new on-campus blocks will be higher than off-campus accomodation.

     6   Noise, disturbance &  student car parking will become issues of friction between students & local families.

    7    The large scale of these buildings comprising a hotel conference centre and accomodation is completely out of keeping with two storey family housing of the surrounding area.

     8   Planning policy states that brownfield sites should be considered first for large schemes such as this. There is such land elsewhere on campus, as well as the Wincheap in Canterbury and possibly further afield the Discovery Park on the ex-Pfizer site at Sandwich. There is no need to pack, stack and push this development into the extreme southern corner.

    9   In the current weak economic climate, there is a whole range of uncertainties related to the demand and supply of education. This  makes  future trends difficult to predict with wide margins of error. The whole project must be regarded as having enormous risk and even be seen as a foolhardy gamble.

    10 Many students would like to see some of the £60m capital outlay being spent on improved study facilities. This is set against the university stating that it is prepared to sell off land from its 575 acre land bank,  including all the university slopes. There is plenty of room north of University road for the separated  new developments.

     11   The university & the further education institutions in Canterbury have  grown rapidly in the past few years with  more students per head of residential population than any other EU town or city. With rising tuition fees, student debt and government measures restricting international student entry, the student numbers peak has been reached. 

    12     Constructing high density accomodation close to a low density family residential area and creating busy student thoroughfares creates an imbalance with strong pressures to convert family homes into rented student accommodation.

    13    Extra traffic will be generated with higher levels of toxic gasses. Congestion at St Thomas Hill-University Road T junction on a steep hill will increase accident risk. There will be increased traffic through Rough Common disturbing villagers.

    14   How a large increase in waste water and run off from a built up are will be disposed of is a real concern and threat to people living at the bottom of the site. Pumping all that effluent up a steep hill does not allay their fears of pollution.