Judge backs 800-home Kent approval despite EU habitats regulations breach

Plans for 800 homes on farmland near Herne Bay in Kent have won the backing of a High Court judge despite recognition that the secretary of state had breached European law habitats and species regulations when granting consent for the scheme.

Proposals for the Strode Farm site have caused a storm of local opposition and Canterbury City Council has fought them tooth and nail. But now Mr Justice Dove has opened the way for the scheme, handing victory to developers Hollamby Estates (2005) Limited.

The council said millions would have to be spent on improving the local highway network to accommodate 1,900 new residents. Concerns were also raised about the environmental impact on protected sites, including the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay special protection area.

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