We’ve been told for months it was nothing more than an idea for civilised discussion, and certainly not a plan. Now save-wye can prove this charade to be the gross and indefensible lie we’ve suspected all along. Today we publish extracts from the secret report that went to Imperial College’s management board on June 12, almost two months ago, which discussed the detailed blueprint the college had already assembled by that stage, one which would mean the death of the Kent village of Wye forever.
Click on the thumbnail to the right and you will see the enormity that Imperial wishes to visit on the village, and all so that it can fill its coffers to pay for more facilities in London… not Kent at all. This is the detailed plan Imperial College, Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council hoped you would all never see until it was too late and the destruction of Wye so insidiously ingrained into the local development process that only a miracle could stop it. The reality would be as bad as anyone could have feared… a sprawling mass of offices, scientific buildings and houses that would quadruple the size of the present village, wreath the area in construction work for years and end Wye’s heritage as a historic rural jewel of east Kent once and for all.
And just to rub it in Imperial hopes, as it has promised, to skip construction in the Area of Special Scientific Interest — for now anyway — but plans to send the bulldozers beyond it, to build new housing on land it owns in the village of Brook too. It is a vast and cynical exercise in property development that would cause a furore anywhere in the country. But the idea that such a plan could be visited on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is simply breathtaking… and explains the extraordinary lengths to which the college and its placemen in Kent’s local authorities have gone to hide the truth from the very people this gigantic scheme would affect, economically, socially and culturally for years to come.
Today we can throw off a little of that shroud of secrecy. Click on our summary on the right to get a brief overview of the spin machine that has been foisted on the Ashford area for the past nine months. In separate longer articles below you can find out how…
- The detailed plans for the village and outlying area would involve construction across huge swathes of beautiful countryside and stretch halfway to the village of Brook
- The prospect of BP going to London instead of Wye has thrown a huge question mark against the project, and turned it instead into a potential moneyspinner to pay for college development in London
- The publicly quoted costs for the project of £1 billion to £1.5 billion bear no relation to the real and much smaller estimates used in private by Imperial, quotes that appear to include the college taking £100 million in ‘profits’ for work in London the moment it goes ahead
- Imperial’s own private documents boast about how local politicians have helped them formulate their plans… with potentially dire consequences for those involved
- Imperial assesses the risks it believes could bring its overweening ambition crashing to earth
These are the most detailed revelations about Imperial’s ambitions and the way it has played fast and loose with the public to date, and they tell the story, for the most part, from the college’s own secret internal records. We hope to bring you more of the same in the future. If you wish to send us more documents anonymously, please use the special e-mail address in the sidebar.
A two-page printable overview of these revelations is available below. Please distribute as you see fit. We are working on a more detailed four-page printout. If anyone can help with printing this, say with an A3 laser colour printer, please get in touch urgently since we have limited facilities and budget for colour printing.