That’s the planning done: Now get ready for years of building work

Large parts of Canterbury will become building sites

Last night’s planning committee in the Guildhall was the most significant for the city of Canterbury for the more than one year since planners approved the Mountfield Park development.

The fourth A2 slip road connecting coastbound traffic to the A28 at Wincheap is a goer – as is a 194-bedroom student block on the former Dairy Crest site in Military Road.

And then at the start of the meeting, we had the big one: the Kingsmead rejuvenation project.

People living in the square of roads behind Dairy Crest will see disruption with the noise and vehicle movement and anyone using the A28 or A2 where they intersect at Wincheap will have to endure such things as lane closures and other delay causing restrictions.

But it will be at Kingsmead where the city will notice the mightiest disruption. As anyone who lived in Canterbury through the first 10 years of the 21st century can attest, the major schemes take ages.

Each of the Whitefriars and Tannery redevelopments were some five years in the process.

Cranes and temporary buildings will spring up behind hoardings designed to shield us from the ugliness, noise and mess within.

There will be the relentless movement of workers and materials to and fro. Those buildings fronting the Kingsmead Roundabout and the portions of Sturry Road and Kingsmead which form part of it will almost certainly have to be built with the temporary loss of pavements.

Drivers will have to sit in traffic as the heavy goods vehicles swing in and out of the site.

Kingsmead is a huge project. It comprises student flats, a multiplex cinema, shops and restaurants. It will take years to complete.

A large part of Canterbury will look very unsightly for a long time to come. That is the price for development.


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