2011 News

Green Lung Campaign loses Crab and Winkle Way Fight (from The Whitstable Times)


Page 19 of Whitstable times 23rd June 2011


Front Page of Whitstable times 17th March 2011

by Nerissa Blower

Crab and Winkle given Green Light

Split council finally agrees to controvensial bridges plan

THE Crab and Winkle footpath and cycle way is to get its multimillion-pound “missing link.”

Planners agreed on Tuesday to allow cycle charity Sustrans and the Crab and Winkle Line Trust to build two bridges over the main London to Ramsgate railway and across Old Bridge Road and Teynham Road.

These will mean that for the first time since the 1960s walkers will be able to use the link all the way from Canterbury to Whitstable Harbour without having to leave the path and cross busy roads.

But the decision was touch and go when members of the city council’s planning committee saw designs for the new bridges.

Five objected: Councillors Julia Seath, Jenny Samper, Ian Thomas, Evelyn Bisset and Ida Linfield.

Liberal Democrat Ms Linfield, who normally supports the Crab and Winkle Line, said: “I went to the meeting thinking I was going to vote for it but actually the bridges are huge.

“When I saw the first plans in 2008 they showed modern lightweight bridges but the updates show the bridge as solid and overbearing in nature.

“The bridges are too big, overbearing and will be a hotspot for graffiti. They will be very detrimental to the life of residents. The people living in bungalows will have a whopping great bridge next to them.”

But councillors were split and 10 eventually pushed the controversial plans through.

Lib Dem councillor Nick Eden-Green said: “There will be some overlooking of the immediate housing but you have to balance out the overall benefit to the community.

“The advantage is that it will promote alternative transport and it will open up a route for locals and cyclists.

“We want to encourage tourism in the district. There are a lot of cycle tourists in east Kent. They book expensive hotels so this is a good way to get people to spend more money in the area.”

Planning officer Nicola Hughes said: “The need for safety clearance across roads and railway would result in the bridges being quite prominent, higher than the existing ground levels of the former embankments.”

Marcial Boo, chairman of the Trust, said: “This has been a long time coming but it is a great step forward. The Crab and Winkle Way is a piece of Whitstable’s history. This will not only help us celebrate our past but will benefit current and future residents.”

The 12-mile Canterbury and Whitstable railway line – later dubbed the Crab and Winkle line because of its initials – was opened in May 1830 to link Canterbury with Whitstable Harbour.

Sustrans is part-funding the Whitstable scheme with £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

There were originally 42 letters of support, including a 679-name petition, and 24 objections.


Whitstable Bridges (from 2010 News)

The planning applications for the new bridges in Whitstable was submitted in August and subsequently validated. The consultation period ends on the 26th November and we hope that the planning application will be considered by the planning committee in January 2011. At the time of going to press we are unable to ascertain whether this will be the case. Please keep a watch on the local press for up dates on the progress of our application. We shall of course be ensuring that we have the maximum of three speakers to have their three minute spot to speak in support of this flag ship project, which has wide support in Whitstable and the area as a whole.