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Lowfield Street Press Release 30th April

  • DARTFORD LABOUR WARN OF “TESCO Mark 2” ON LOWFIELD STREET
  • NO PROGRESS ON DEVELOPMENT DESPITE CONSERVATIVE ASSURANCES THAT WORK WOULD BEGIN MONTHS AGO
  • OVER A YEAR HAS PASSED SINCE TORIES STRUCK DEAL – LABOUR DEMAND COUNCIL HOLD DEVELOPERS TO ACCOUNT FOR DELAY AND INACTION

Labour Councillors in Dartford have warned that complacency and inaction from the Conservative Council is risking “Tesco mark 2” at Lowfield Street.

Despite planning permission being granted back in March 2017, progress has yet again stalled on the plans for housing and retail facilities on the Lowfield Street, which has been subject to unfulfilled promises of regeneration for over fifteen years.

The Conservative administration have serious questions to answer about the lack of progress. Residents were assured that construction would begin at the start of 2018, but all we have seen is delay, excuses and Lowfield Street continues to be an eyesore in the centre of our community

The delay will seem worryingly familiar to residents to how Dartford was treated by Tesco and the Conservative Council in 2015 regarding the same site, where the Conservatives allowed Tesco to delay, stall and finally break their promise to develop Lowfield Street.

Dartford Labour Deputy Leader Josh Jones, who represents Princes ward which includes Lowfield Street express concerned about the delays;

“When the Conservatives announced the new plans for Lowfield Street we were told it would be a fresh start – but instead we’ve seen the same delays, the same excuses and same lack of progress. It feels like Tesco all over again and Jeremy Kite has got questions to answer. Why has work been delayed again when he promised that construction would begin at the start of the year? Why is more pressure not being put on Meyer Homes to deliver when he promised that he would not developers off the hook again? Why can his council still not give a firm date when work will begin? This is not good enough for Dartford. The Tories have already allowed affordable housing completion at the site to be pushed back to 2020 – does this delay mean it’s pushed back even further? “

Dartford Labour Leader Jonathon Hawkes said;

Dartford desperately needs re-generation to get off the ground but once again Lowfield Street proves that we cannot trust the Conservatives to deliver.  It is worryingly similar to the Tesco debacle – a glossy PR launch, warm words from Jeremy Kite and then inaction from the developer and complacency from the Council. We need to see quick action if Dartford is to avoid ‘Tesco 2’ but there is no sign of it from the Conservatives. The Tories are yet again letting developers off the hook. A Labour Council would get tough with developers and we would not be afraid to hold them to account if they don’t deliver for Dartford.”

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