Most of the development will take place around the periphery. The surrounding area divides naturally into four quadrants: north, south, east and west. The west quadrant is the most problematic.
(a) It is cut off from the Town centre and from access to M2 junctions 6 and 7 by three conservation areas (Syndale, Ospringe and Faversham) that form an arc around the western side leaving a narrow gap at Ospringe (shaded in brown in the central map).
(b) There are only four crossings over the Creek and Westbrook, which act as ‘gateways’ through areas of high heritage value, including the Creek bridge (single lane) and the West Street/Napleton Road one-way complex (brick paviours and speed humps through narrow residential streets in a conservation area). The main gateway is through Ospringe along Watling Street, which is less than 2 lanes wide. Two lorries cannot pass through the bottleneck in opposite directions at the same time.
Together, these bottlenecks limit the extent to which the Town can be developed round its western flank – there is no spare capacity for movement to and from the Town centre or the M2. Further traffic growth would compromise a large section of Watling Street. Conclusion: development to the west is not a sustainable solution without a new link to the M2.
Similarly, the north quadrant has limited development potential because the only viable ‘gateway’ to the Town centre and to the M2 is via the Whitstable Road.
By contrast, the south and the east quadrants have reasonably free access to the Town centre and both have direct and unimpeded access to the M2, via junction 6 or junction 7.