Residents protest against proposed development on former Wheatsheaf pub site in Swanscombe High Street

Residents protest against proposed development on former Wheatsheaf pub site in Swanscombe High Street

Residents in Swanscombe High Street are up in arms over the latest plans for the site of the former Wheatsheaf pub. The proposed development, which includes a cafe and seven flats, has now almost doubled in size.

The controversial plans have sparked outrage among locals who are concerned about the lack of allocated parking and increased traffic in the already congested area.

Annette Livie, a resident of neighbouring Stanhope Road, expressed her frustration, stating, “It’s a bad idea. We are already struggling to find parking spaces due to the extra traffic caused by the landslide. The area is being overdeveloped and it’s becoming unsustainable.”

Richard Stone, another resident of Swanscombe High Street, echoed these sentiments, saying, “The original plan was potentially viable, but to double the size of occupancy without any provision for parking is unsustainable. The town cannot sustain residential buildings with no parking provision, especially with the current lack of parking in the area.”

Many residents have also raised concerns about the strain on local schools and medical facilities with the addition of more residents. They are also worried about the use of the high street as a “rat-run” and the impact it will have on the already overwhelmed infrastructure.

The collapse and closure of nearby A226 Galley Hill Road has only added to the pressure on the area, particularly when problems on the A2 force traffic to be diverted down the narrow residential streets.

The original plans for the flats and cafe were approved in December 2022, but the new application has caused a stir among locals who feel it will only exacerbate the existing problems in the area.

The town council will be discussing the latest proposal on July 10, and residents are encouraged to voice their objections.

The former Wheatsheaf pub has already been demolished in preparation for the new development, leaving pub-goers without a single watering hole along Swanscombe High Street.

The area has been subject to multiple development plans in recent years, with plans to convert the last remaining empty pub in the High Street into a pizza parlour being rejected a number of times.

Residents are now urging authorities to stop the overdevelopment of the area and address the existing issues before introducing more residents into the already strained community.

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