It has been in discussion throughout the past few months that the plans for the new dwellings being built across Cliffe and Cliffe Woods are coming together and the village will be expanded by approximately 25%. There are many people who believe that the new housing will be beneficial and useful to those hunting for their new homes - however there are also many reasons why adding more accommodation to the rural, tranquil village is may not be favourable and why the residents of Cliffe and Cliffe Woods are against the plans in progress...

Cliffe and Cliffe Woods is on a cul-de-sac meaning that the only way to enter and exit the village is via the B200. Adding more dwellings to the villages would trigger greater traffic build ups and make this road more prone to car accidents as well as making the journey into or out of Cliffe and Cliffe Woods very hectic - which is obviously is extremely inconvenient for the residents and other people who go into Cliffe or Cliffe woods. It is also important to note that it is not only the roads that cannot satisfy the amount of new residents that could potentially move into the new housing - it is also the doctors surgery and the school. These facilities are an essential and in order to be maintained to the standards that they currently have, they would have to be physically adapted of given a larger amount of money to accommodate more people. Also, the loss of green space is quite distressing to some of the residents across Cliffe and Cliffe woods, meaning many residents are against building the new housing because of this.

Although, the new dwellings across Cliffe and have a lot of benefits too. Chris Fribbins, the Clerk of The Parish Council said “there is a housing shortfall and people are unable to move or get on the housing ladder” so having  access to affordable dwellings can be beneficial for people searching for affordable, quality houses because at least 20% of the dwellings have to be “affordable properties”. Additionally, the area where the new housing is going to be built will be expected to provide electric car charging points as well as sufficient parking - which will hopefully reduce emissions that contribute to global warming. The dwellings to be built will take on a variety of sizes and forms - such as varied sized houses however not necessarily bungalows. So people looking for housing around Cliffe and Cliffe Woods will hopefully find something perfect for them. As well as a variety of homes, Cliffe woods has already started to cut down its woodlands opposite the recreational space.

Plans for the housing expansion are moving swiftly as draft version will be published by Christmas and hopefully adopted after a local referendum in the Spring or early Summer. But can expanding Cliffe and Cliffe Woods exactly what these villages need or the elimination of their rustic charm?

Grace Whittley

The Hundred of Hoo Academy