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Tiny response to Shepway regeneration consultation exercise

Friday 2nd July 2021


A CONSULTATION exercise into a major housing project on the Shepway estate in Maidstone attracted only scant attention.
Only 74 people of the 10,000 plus residents, just 0.74%, took part in the exercise.
Social housing business Golding Homes plans to demolish 114 homes to build 240 new ones, shops and open spaces.
Local people were invited to share their views and feedback pointed to fears of antisocial behaviour, poor surveillance and lack of street lighting.
Local councillor Malcom McKay said: "The response is hardly a ringing endorsement for the consultation exercise."
Former Shepway councillor Eddie Powell said low-level crime, antisocial behaviour and a lack of policing came up "time after time" in the list of residents’ concerns.
He added: "I'm getting phone calls even now from people asking what this project is about. They hadn't a clue there was a consultation."
Of the 74 responses, 49 came from the 114 homes and 15 businesses directly affected by the work in Shepway.
It is hoped the work will help to tackle problems on the estate by multi-million pound investment in Northumberland Road and Cambridge Crescent.
Sue Chalkley, interim chief executive at Golding Homes said: “Our team hand delivered approximately 200 information packs, which were received by all customers and neighbouring homes affected by the proposed regeneration plans for Shepway. This information and feedback was also made available on our website, social media and in local media. We have also had an on-site presence in our new Shepway Hub, which has been well received by the local community. We would like to thank those customers and local people who have taken the opportunity to book an appointment to visit us and share their feedback in this way.  

“We received 74 responses to our survey, a response rate of just under 40% and this feedback will be used to shape our design plans ahead of the next phase of consultation which will form part of the official planning process. 86% of those who responded were in favour of investment in the area.”

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