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Fairfax wyke Gillingham
The proposed layout of the Fairfax development off Common Mead Lane, Wyke, Gillingham. Image: www.fairfax-gillingham.com

Property developers Fairfax have unveiled plans to build up to 88 new homes on a 3.8 hectare (9.3 acre) site off Common Mead Lane in the Wyke area of Gillingham.

The company has already begun an online consultation process with local residents which began on November 20 and runs until November 30.

A formal application to build on the site – which is behind The Mellowes care home – is due to be made to planning authority Dorset Council in December.

In their consultation with residents, Haywards Heath-based Fairfax describe the scheme as a ‘high-quality development that brings a range of benefits to the community’.

These include ‘the creation of new jobs during construction and support for local services once the development is completed’ and ‘biodiversity gains and a potential enhancement of existing public rights of way’.

Although no details are given of the homes at this stage the developers say that their layout plan shows how a ‘wide range of dwellings (from one to four bedrooms), including a number of affordable homes, can be successfully accommodated and integrated seamlessly into the local area without adverse impacts’.

The online consultation is being held in place of a physical one because of Covid restrictions. The company has set up a dedicated online page with a locator map and layout of the proposed development (see above and below) plus contact details for the public to make comments.

Although some local people have welcomed the idea of more affordable housing in the town, there is also a feeling of dismay that the town is facing yet another potential housing development when building has not even started on a single one of the 1,800 homes planned for the Southern Extension at the other end of the town.

Fairfax development Wyke
The site for the planned development off Common Mead Lane, Gillingham.
Image: www.fairfax-gillingham.com

In September representatives of Fairfax and their property consultants PCL Planning from Exeter held an online meeting with Gillingham Town Council’s developer engagement advisory panel – a group of staff and councillors – to hear about the town’s thoughts about the site off Common Mead Lane.

At that meeting Town clerk Julie Hawkins, who is on the panel, said they informed the developers and consultants that under Gillingham’s Neighbourhood Plan this site was designated as as ‘potential new sports area’ for the town, which currently has a shortage of such land.

They were also told that the Stour Valley Way path runs through the site, and that the land has historical significance.

‘Being located close to Thorngrove the site is also of historic interest as it was from Thorngrove that the medieval manor of Gillingham was administered and I believe that traces of a possible moated site have been discovered in the area,’ said Julie Hawkins.

She added: ‘Whatever happens to the field in the future we need to be aware of the prominent impact it could have on the landscape and we need to ensure that any proposal does not have a negative visual impact on the character and appearance of the area. The site is in an elevated position with views as far as Long Knoll Hill just south of Maiden Bradley.’

Fairfax describe themselves as having ‘considerable experience in delivering high-quality residential developments varying in size from individually-designed county homes through to multi-unit urban schemes throughout the South of England’.

They say their aim is to enhance areas by creating ‘meaningful legacies that benefit both current and future generations’.

The consultation web page is at: https://www.fairfax-gillingham.com/

Comments can be sent to [email protected] 

The consultation ends on 30 November.

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12 Comments

  1. Mrs Collings
    22 November 2020 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    Enough is enough. We have a decaying town let’s resolve the all ready started building site on the destroyed historic site on Queen Street. And a huge neglected empty supermarket ect ect. Please don’t strangle Gillingham any more.

  2. Jayme
    22 November 2020 at 12:49 pm — Reply

    Point blank object to these plans ! No more houses needed !!!!

  3. 22 November 2020 at 4:31 pm — Reply

    I have already emailed [email protected] and I suggest every single person who cares about this abhorrent development do so urgently. You only have until the 30th November to object to this development.

    Once they start, it can’t be undone and the potential here is for further development across those fields and we will end up with a sprawling cheap development of small houses and tiny gardens for the sake of a few houses and we have lost more countryside views.

    OBJECT as soon as you can, otherwise you only have yourselves to blame.

  4. DavidP
    22 November 2020 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    Just to add, please email your councillor who has your interests to heart. He and a couple of others make the decision, make sure YOUR voice is heard.
    Here is a link to his details:
    https://moderngov.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=221

  5. Ester Campbell-Hunter
    26 November 2020 at 1:59 pm — Reply

    I strongly object to this proposal !! We have too many houses already, what we need in Gillingham is to build facilities for young people, that is what we need. Freame way is the only descent housing state in Gillingham, so far left with countryside views, please do not ruin it!! I have been a resident of freame way for 25 years and it sadden me that we are allowed to spoil the only left green field in Gillingham!! Enough is enough, the field is too small to build 88 house ?? We are building another slum of tomorrow,,,, Insane!! It will create tremendous nightmare /chaos for resident of common mead lane or to nearby houses etc, no proper access to the site !! DO NOT allow this to happen!!

  6. Mrs Butler
    27 November 2020 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    The infrastructure in Gillingham is already struggling – in particular areas that Flood – the drainage system cannot cope with what is already here, and certainly not both more houses/roads and less green space for water to run off. The site at Common mead Lane already has Ponds and an old reservoir and although Wyke is on the hill, it is basically marshland and does not drain due to it being Clay. This site was also earmarked for future Sports use, which if the country’s obesity problems are to be seriously tackled, should be encouraged not brushed aside. Then there is the access, the roads in Gillingham are mainly small and there is already a pinch point near this site. Wyke is in a Conservation Area, which should count for something.

    • DavidP
      29 November 2020 at 12:34 pm — Reply

      You need to email them with your objections. They don’t read the Gillingham news.

      [email protected]

  7. 28 November 2020 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    If the planners allow this huge housing estate application to go ahead it will be another wrong decision they’ve made.
    Forty years ago Gillingham was thriving. Everyone knew one another. There was every type of shop required. Now look at it. Traffic lights, a dead high street and houses going up like there’s no tomorrow.
    This development will be catastrophic to the single country lane which takes you out of Gillingham. It can’t cope with the ever increasing traffic as it is.The only entrance is next to The Mellows so you can imagine 160 plus cars will be using it. The developers Fairfax claim it will bring in more jobs, yes of course it will when they’re building them but after they’re built and occupied 160 plus people will be looking for jobs.
    I live just outside West Stour now and I know this development will create so much more traffic past our house using the lane’s to get onto the A30 or A303.
    Planners, do not allow this application to pass.

    • DavidP
      29 November 2020 at 12:36 pm — Reply

      88 new houses in the 1st phase. Then there is another field about the same size to the north and another field to the east that is 3 times the size at least. So a lot more homes than people realise. Its on their website.

      Objections must in the first instance go to this email address as in the article.
      [email protected]

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