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

Introduction

Canterbury protects Open Spaces?

Canterbury City Council published an open spaces strategy for 2009 - 2014 following consultation. The information below contains sections from it. The information in bold and green is an exact reprint.  The Strategy is available on its web-site www.canterbury.gov.uk
Canterbury City Council recognises the 'Importance of open space to visitors and residents in providing the backdrop to a world heritage city and strong sense of place within the district. The council will protect and enhance the quality of its open spaces'. It aims to Aspire, Protect, Enhance & Promote. If planning was given it would be breaking all of its assertions.

The slopes below University of Kent are a vital amenity space used by many people living locally, and also people coming from further afield. They are used for many activities including dog walking, walking, running, children playing, bird watching and very popular for sledging and snowball fights when it snows. If it was lost people would have to often drive to another green space. It is a great natural area where residents and students mix, and would be a great loss for positive community cohesion between residents and students.

The Council defines the value of open spaces as:

Parks and open spaces play an important role in the lives of many people and are fundamental to delivering the ‘shared priorities’ established between central government and local government, including:
• improving the quality of life for all sections of the community
• promoting healthier communities and narrowing health inequalities
 • providing opportunities for active and passive recreation, relaxation, social interaction, play and spiritual refreshment
• creating safer and stronger communities
• transforming our local environment and ensuring sustainability
• meeting local needs more effectively
• promoting the economic viability of localities
• enhancing biodiversity

Parks and open spaces are for everyone, where we meet, stop and reflect and revive our spirits. They provide places for play, sport and recreation, to get away from the stresses of modern life. Good quality parks and open spaces have a big impact on local communities in terms of providing the green setting for good quality neighbourhoods. They can support and improve the local quality of life for residents and visitors.

Parks and open spaces have the potential to provide added value – to provide habitat and food source for native species including birds, shade on hot days, reduce the impacts of pollution and help regulate surface water drainage.

It is important to recognise the contribution that public rights of way and green space can make to public priorities such as health, quality of life, sustainable tourism, transport, social inclusion and economic development.

St Stephen's ward in Canterbury has a low amount of open space. Canterbury's Open Space Strategy 2009-2014 says St Stephens ward has total population – 8,996.
• Population under 12 - 1,122 (12%)   • Open space per 1000 people - 1.93 ha
Its action plan proposes to Enhance St Stephens pathway, Hales Place Pond and UKC slopes amenity open space. If this vital space was removed it would be detrimental to many people locally,and greatly reduce the open space

Do you feel this is being followed? If not perhaps write to the council and / or your local councillor.