Prince William set to continue father's plan to build 2,500 home 'garden city' despite environmental concerns
The 'Faversham Project' is reportedly planned for development on Kent farmland, with plans for the location to host 2,500 new homes
Prince William is set to continue his father's plans to build a 'garden city,' despite concerns from activists.
The 'Faversham Project' is reportedly planned for development on Kent farmland, with plans for the location to host 2,500 new homes.
The Duchy of Cornwall insists the project will be fully sustainable amid fears over the 320-acre project's impact to the environment.
William became Britain's biggest landowner after taking over the Duchy from his father, King Charles III.
Plans for the new neighbourhood consist of a new school, cricket pitch, shops and offices built alongside housing, as Britain grapples with a shortage of homes.
Scheme backers claim the plan could create 2,500 new jobs, while also connecting residents with nature.
Despite this, some critics of the scheme feel the plan could have a detrimental impact on wildlife.
Faversham resident Mark Sewell told The Mail: “I've emailed and written to Prince William but I haven't had a reply.
“He is a younger and more modern royal who may be more sympathetic to the environmental damage that will be caused if this development continues. But I haven't had a response.
“The farmland is so rich in biodiversity and this scheme will destroy habitats. So many protected species will be lost - there are bats, lizards, butterflies and wild orchids. It's so sad.”
A website for the Faversham Project said: "Our surveys confirm that most of the ecological features of importance within the site are restricted to its boundaries, and the long history of intensive agricultural management has hollowed out the interior.
Some farmland birds use the interior of the arable fields and bats use the buildings and trees for roosting.
"A suite of survey work, starting in 2018 and still ongoing today, followed industry guidance and the scheme has been designed to benefit the existing populations of invertebrates, reptiles, birds, dormice, bats and badgers.
New habitats, such as flower-rich chalk-influenced grassland, and green corridors will be kept dark to maintain foraging areas for nocturnal mammals. Impacts to bat roosts will be avoided, when this is not possible, it will be mitigated for."
A Duchy of Cornwall spokesperson said: "The Duchy of Cornwall is a responsible land owner committed to sustainable land stewardship and ensuring that land use meets local needs and creates positive, long-term value for communities.
"The proposed development at Faversham will deliver much-needed sustainable, affordable housing alongside community facilities and natural spaces that will create jobs, achieve net-zero carbon and enhance biodiversity in the area.
"The plans are in direct response to Swale Borough Council’s invitation to put forward proposals to answer the lack of housing in the area, with the Duchy land having been identified as the most sustainable location for the growth of the town.
"We are committed to working in consultation with the local community to ensure any development complements the local area and benefits Faversham and its residents."