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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Public inquiry into park scheme
Central Park
The scheme would see a road built through Dartford's Central Park
Multi-million pound plans for hundreds of homes and a new supermarket in a Kent town centre are the subject of a public inquiry opening on Tuesday.

The government ruled earlier this year that the plans for Dartford town centre should go to a public inquiry.

The scheme includes proposals to build a two-lane road through Dartford Central Park, new homes and a Tesco.

The plans were approved by the council but the inquiry was called for due to the size and scale of the proposals.

Some local residents had fiercely opposed the scheme, particularly the plans to build on the park land.

Council disappointed

In June 2004 about 500 protesters marched through the park to show the impact the road would have and a 13,000 people signed a petition protesting against the plans, handed to the council.

Other people argued a large Tesco superstore would harm other traders in the town.

The council approved the scheme in August 2004 but in May this year deputy prime minister John Prescott ruled the public inquiry would have to take place.

Councillors said they were disappointed in the decision because the proposals had been based on government guidelines for housing and regeneration schemes.


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