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

Chaucer Fields Timeline – a summary

March 2016

KCC decided to reject the Village Green Application on the recommendation of The Inspector.

February - March 2015 The Public Inquiry is held to consider the Village Green Application.
June 2013 We still await The Inspector’s report to KCC concerning the 18th March hearing of the Village Green Application. This has been delayed due to a legal complication and an update will be made when resolved.

June 2013

The draft Local Plan is published for public consultation which is open for public response until the end of August 2013.
SCF are pleased to note that the Area of High Landscape Value (AHLV) for the Southern Slopes including Chaucer Fields is proposed to be retained in draft Policy LB2 and that the protection of Existing Open Space continues to be protected in draft Policy OS9.
The assessment of SHLAA 057, being land to the east of Chaucer College, i.e. Chaucer Fields and the wider Southern Slopes, which has a potential to accommodate 200 – 300 houses, was deemed to have a significant negative effect on the countryside by the consultants employed by the City Council and they recommended that the land should not be brought forward for further assessment.
SCF encourage everyone interested in the protection of the Southern Slopes and in the wider issues concerning the future development of Canterbury, to study the draft Local Plan, and to make a representation to the City Council within the consultation period.
Below are links to documents than you can access to inform you about the draft Local Plan consultation and an extensive piece of work prepared by The Canterbury Society which has been presented to The City Council.
1. Link to the City Councils Local Plan –

Key Points of Local Plan

May 2013

City Council Executive voted to publish the draft Local Plan (Preferred Option version) for consultation purposes, together with the Canterbury Landscape Character & Biodiversity Appraisal for a twelve week period.

March 2013

A preliminary hearing of the Village Green appication was held on Monday 18th March at which Mr Westaway presented the case why our request to amend The Application should be allowed, and Mr Karas Q.C. representing the University, put the counter argument why the amendment should not be allowed.

We now await the Inspector's report and recommendation to be made to the KCC who will consider and determine the matter.

March 2013 A Quiz Night was held on the 9th March at St Dunstans Church Hall to raise funds towards the Village Public Inquiry costs. It was the most successful fund-raising event to date, a big thanks to all who attended and gave continued support to the campaign.
February 2013 Exchange of correspondence with the University's lawyers concerning our request to amend the Village Green Appication to enable all of our user evidence (which dates back some 60 years) to be considered at The Inquiry, results in The Inspector deciding to adjourn The Inquiry to enable arguments to be considered.
December 2012 SCF appoints Environmental Law specialist Barrister, Mr. Ned Westaway, to represent us at the Village Green Inquiry, scheduled to commence 18th March.
December 2012 Fund-raising ceilidh with Chaucer Fields picnic society. There was a ‘Christmas’ Ceilidh, with music from local group Roystercatcher and country dancing for all ages, on Saturday 8th December. Thanks to all those who attended and contributed.
December 2012 SCF begins preparations for the Village Green Public Inquiry in the week beginning 18 March 2013.
November 2012   Kent Union (the students’ union) votes ‘YES’ to a campaign to oppose development on Chaucer Fields.



Total votes





October  2012  The University formally submits the ‘Keynes III’ planning application for new student accommodation, but   delays submission of the application for the ‘Chaucer Fields’ conference centre.  SCF decides to oppose the conference centre application and any application to develop the southern slopes. See Gazette article 13th September 2012. See also 2012 Development map in Documents.
September 2012 The University unveils new development plans, locating student accommodation on a new site near Keynes College, Keynes III, but retaining proposal for a conference centre and associated accommodation on one of the fields on the southern slopes.  The original Chaucer Field’ planning application is withdrawn. 
September 2012 KCC holds public meeting of Regulation Committee Member Panel to consider Village Green application, and agrees to refer it to a Public Inquiry, scheduled for March 2013.  Read Gazette article 6th September 2012.
September 2012 Local Residents Associations send objection letter to CCC opposing housing development in SHLAA57 on the southern slopes.
January 2012
11th February 2011

Student balloon protest on Chaucer Fields. Students from the University of Kent joined forces with the population of Canterbury to protest against UKC's proposals to build on the greenfield site. Hundreds of people met on Chaucer Fields on the dark and wet evening of 11 February 2011 to celebrate the open space, voice their concerns and confirm their solidarity against the 'fat-cat' capitalist ploys of UKC management. 300 eco-friendly hot-air balloons were launched by the crowds, creating a beautiful spectacle across the hills rising above Canterbury.

February 2012 The University’s branch of the University and College Union, UCU, the lecturers’ union, votes against the development plans in an on-line poll. Read the Gazette article 3rd May 2012.
Feb/March 2012 KCC opens public consultation period on Village Green application. The University submits its objection to the VGA.
March 2012 Navarro and Power make music track Concrete Lung (Big Yellow Taxi for Chaucer Fields) based on the well known Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi. Watch the video on Youtube.
June 2011 The University asks for consideration of Chaucer Fields planning application to be deferred, following massive opposition from the public and criticisms in the CCC Planning Officer’s Report.      
April/May 2011 SCF submits detailed objection document opposing the development.  Members of the public submit 466 written objections to the planning application, and more than 1000 people sign a petition against it.  SCF applies to Kent County Council to have the fields registered as a ‘Village Green’. Read Gazette article 5th May 2011.
December 2010 ‘Save Chaucer Fields’ group (SCF) formed by local residents to oppose the development.  The committee organises a ‘Have your say’ exhibition to hear the views of the public and gather support for the opposition campaign.  Other actions include a joint protest with students launching hot-air balloons on the fields.
November 2010 The University opens a public consultation on plans to develop the southern slopes.  The planned development would include 7 student accommodation blocks, a hotel and a conference centre. The buildings would be 3 to 5 storeys in height and cover an area equivalent to more than 6 football pitches.  500m metres of hedgerow would be destroyed. View the 2011 plans.
2009  The University’s Estates strategy mentions the possibility of selling off land on the southern slopes for public residential housing.
2008   The University asks Canterbury City Council (CCC) to assess the potential of the southern slopes for housing development as part of the Council’s Strategic Housing Land Allocation Assessment.  The reference is SHLAA57. Read about SHLAAs.
2006 The University extends its Estate by 230 acres to approximately 575 acres. See the University of Kent Estates Map.                     
2006 Canterbury City Council’s Local Plan designates the Southern Slopes an ‘Area of High Landscape Value’.  View the map.
1992  Chaucer College, the Japanese college, opens after opposition is unsuccessful.
1989     Planning application submitted by the University to build a Japanese college on the southern slopes.  Local people object, and submit application for the field to be given ‘Village Green’ status.
1965 University of Kent at Canterbury opens. The southern slopes are retained as a valued green open space  separating the university from Canterbury to give the new university a special appeal in its rural setting.