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Cliffe Trenport Land

Latest Update April 2024

The developer has met with Medway Council (and has agreed to meet with the Parish Council in May 2024). A Phasing Plan has been submitted that shows the proposed plan for developing the site and in response to the Parish and Medway Council have proposed that highway works are completed before the relevant house building phase can start.

The issues that this application would create in Cliffe and Cliffe Woods was put to the Planning Inspector by residents, the Cliffe Residents Group and the Parish Council (the latter two Rule 6 parties to the inquiry) at the Planning Inquiry, but Medway Council were put in a difficult position as their officers had recommended approval of the application and the developer was represent by a Kings Counsel (Planning Barrister). After a long delay the appeal against the Planning Application was upheld as permission granted.

The Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Neighbourhood Plan was supported by residents at a referendum just before the inquiry and was acknowledged, although was not fully adopted by Medway Planning until just after the inquiry.

THE PLANNING APPLICATION WAS REFUSED (unanimously) BY THE PLANNING COMMITTEE - but Trenport later appealed against the decision and a Public Inquiry was held May 2023

The planning application for the 250 homes has now been submitted, but is now submitted for decision (October 29th 6:30pm, St. Georges Centre, Chatham).


The Parish Council assessed the application (it is very detailed) and responded (as statutory consultees). 

In summary, the recommendation is disappointing, but not a surprise. It could be that councillors on the committee actually refuse it but the reasons for that refusal will need to be sound as it is almost certain that the applicant will appeal any refusal.

The case for approval would be unlikely to stand-up if our Neighbourhood Plan was in place (it has been delayed by Medway Council). If it is approved, I hope the opportunity to engage with the developer is not lost - there may be opportunities to get improvements that will benefit the Parish Council and its residents.

There will be common issues that residents are likely to be concerned about - especially the B2000, Schools, Doctors and the principle of developing green fields (this is not protected green belt). The only protections on the site were that it was prime agricultural land (but government restrictions have been relaxed and Trenport claim much is nit Grade 1 anyway), and that the land is outside the village development boundary of Cliffe (but lack of an up to date Local Plan also removes this constraint). The emerging Local Plan DOES NOT allocate this site for development, although it might be considered a 'windfall' site (an 800 site in Capstone Valley was recently allowed on appeal and would also be a windfall site). 

Residents will have their views and concerns about this development, but the planning assessment will be based on professional advice, The highway capacity will be a matter for the Medway Highways Department, Schools a matter for Medway Education Department (even if the school places are outside the parish) and the medical facilities will be a matter for the NHS professionals - often money is requested from the developers to mitigate the issues. 

There will be significant issues around local facilities and the generation of car traffic to access almost everything - a major sustainability issue for the proposed site (not traffic numbers).

A residents meeting was held on Tuesday 15th February 2022 at the Cliffe Social Club, Symonds Road, Cliffe. 

Further updates will be added to this page and further wider publicity will be considered.

Trenport Masterplan Trenport Masterplan


Trenport have dropped their earlier proposal for 500 homes, but have decided to progress with plans for 250 homes on a reduced site area (this does not prevent them for submitting further proposals in the future although they have indicated it would be to the East of the site (APCM Sports Ground side) and they would protect the western side). As is recommended by the planning process Trenport have liaised with Medway Council Planning and the Parish Council on a non-committal basis with rights reserved to object to their proposals. This has been followed by a Pre-Planning Exhibition at the Cliffe Bowls Club (29th September) and followed up with details on their website from 30th September to 14th October before submitting a planning application.

The Parish Council do understand the views of its residents and have been working to limit unsustainable development in the parish for many years. At present the Trenport proposals have not reached the planning stage so effectively there is actually nothing to oppose. The planning process recommends that larger development such as this consult with the local parish council and the planning authority (Medway) on a no commitment basis on both sides. Pre-planning consultation is then carried out (Bowls Club exhibition) and on their website  (30/9/21 - 14/10/21). This then advises Trenport and their planners and they have to be given the opportunity to overcome the issues. If they proceed to a planning application they may choose to submit a partial application that leaves issues such as design and landscaping for a later application, but number of properties, size, access and some other issues are agreed (or not) at this stage - there is a period of public consultation for all planning applications. If Medway Council refuse this application, the developer is allowed to appeal the decision to a planning inspector. If there is more detail to be decided, there is a further planning application and again if refused, the developer can appeal to a Planning Inspector (more details about the Planning Appeal process will be published by the Parish Council if necessary),

The Parish Council will keep residents informed  as this proposal progresses here and Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Alerts Facebook Page, with advice about the issues.

The Medway Council Planning Department are under extreme pressure to develop a large number of houses across the wider Hoo Peninsula (following consultation on the strategy to be adopted for their Local Plan and the housing numbers allocated by national government formula. If they do not have sufficient land allocated or are not building at the rate required to achieve that target, the may have to allocate and addition 20% buffer land and in the meantime developers can propose their own sites if they can establish they are 'sustainable'. (Trenport purchased a large amount of land in Cliffe from Blue Circle/APCM/Lafarge in the 60s/70s and have had an ambition to develop that land (see St Peter's Village in Wouldham)). Despite Trenport trying to get their land allocated in past Local Plans, this failed but Government changes to Planning have given them the opportunity to put their site forward again. The good news is the Draft Medway Local Plan will be published and consulted on at the end of October, November and December and the Trenport land will not be specifically allocated for housing, although there is a possible route for Trenport through the 'windfall sites' (non-specific sites that usually come forward during the life of a Local Plan) so we do need to find reasons for refusal on non-sustainable lines.

18/9/19 Members of the C&CW Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan steering group met with representatives of Trenport Investments in the afternoon. Trenport update the meeting on their plans for up to 500 homes on land they owned in Cliffe, Plans continue to follow the expected plans although some housing could be located between the Telephone Exchange and the Play Area/Allotments.

Their plans are being finalised and (seasonal) information for the Environmental Impact Assessment is being collected. They are planning a public consultation exercise (via leaflet to all households in the parish). Comments raised will be considered before an Outline Planning Application around February 2020. Outline details will be the access points and potential layout of the site - details of the properties and the full detail of their proposal would follow after (if outline is approved, of not they are indicating an appeal on the basis of the lack of housing sites in the Medway Local Plan will be a key factor for their appeal.

At the moment there are still no actual planning to support or object, that will come later. The parish council has been made aware of the views of many residents and will bear them in mind when considering their response to the planning application.


24/6/19 Trenport Investments have filed a 'Scoping Opinion' for a development of 500 homes on land to the east (school side) of Cliffe and seeking to know if they need to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment and what it should contain. A sample document with the chapters is now available (see below for a copy)

It is expected to involve moving the APCM ground over the road (Memorial Hall side) into expanded facilities running from the Telephone Exchange to behind houses in Buttway Lane. A new road would serve the development from Station Road, across Cooling Road and into the development. There could be some land transferred to St Helens School for expansion/additional green field. Financial contributions would be expected for Medical and Educational needs - they will liaise with the Doctor's Surgery and the Educational Authority (Medway Council)/Academy Trust and other organisations such as Highways. Detailed consultation is expected with Medway Council, the Parish Council (and Neighbourhood Plan team) and public exhibition/s in Cliffe to discuss the details.

At this stage there are not enough details to object or support and this will follow later. Developments will be tracked and this website updated - Facebook (Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Alerts, Cliffe Kent and Cliffe Woods Kent) will be linked in as appropriate.