20 December 2018
Further amendments to Lenacre Hall Farm planning application
The hybrid planning application for up to 89 dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm is still active and due to be considered by the Planning Committee of Ashford Borough Council.
Amended plans were published in September and there was a further consultation period. Now, a further set of amended plans has today been published and a new consultation period runs until 13 January 2019.
The SLRA committee will consider these amendments in due course and respond as appropriate.The amended plans may be viewed here (search for application number 17/01613/AS).
4 December 2018
Planning permission granted for outbuilding at Downsway, 35 Sandyhurst Lane
Permission has been granted for a single storey outbuilding for domestic use and use as an office for the householder's profession of accountancy at Downsway, 35 Sandyhurst Lane. Several residents and Westwell Parish Council submitted objection comments. The application was subsequently permitted following the submission of amended drawings. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 18/01466/AS).
4 December 2018
Retrospective planning permission sought for summer house/store
at Bears Corner, Westwell Lane
A retrospective planning application has been made for a summer house/store at Bears Corner, Westwell Lane. The closing date for comments is 27 December 2018. Full details are available here (search for application number 18/01729/AS).
4 December 2018
GPDE Application for extension at Ashdale, 364 Sandyhurst Lane
A General Permitted Development Extension application has been made for a larger single storey rear extension at Ashdale, 364 Sandyhurst Lane. As a larger extension it is subject to neighbour consultation. Full details are available here (search for case number 18/00022/GDPE/AS).
3 December 2018
Further update on Experimental Overnight HGV Enforcement and Clamping
The Joint Transportation Board (of Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council) meets on 11 December. One of the papers for this meeting is an update on the Experimental Overnight HGV Enforcement and Clamping Trial 2017, which includes the A20 between Charing and the Drovers roundabout, together with a number of Ashford industrial estates. The report states that, since the trial was introduced on 30 October 2017, there has been a 61% reduction in inappropriate parking elsewhere within Ashford borough. It also says that the Ashford Truckstop facility is at or near full capacity and a further 200 spaces are scheduled to become available there at the end of February 2019. The report may be viewed here.
15 November 2018
Planning permission sought for extension at Nyali, 354 Sandyhurst Lane
An application for planning permission has been made for a single storey side extension at Nyali, 354 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 8 December 2018. Full details are available here (search for application number 18/01658/AS). The application is retrospective, as work on the extension has already commenced.
15 November 2018
Lenacre Street closed by fly tipping
Following a serious case of fly tipping, Lenacre Street has been closed by KCC for up to seven days, to enable the road to be cleared. The road will be closed between the junctions of Sandyhurst Lane and Tumbledown Hill. The alternative route is via Sandyhurst Lane, Westwell Lane, Kingsland Lane and Lenacre Street.
The closure notice may be viewed here.
Hopefully the closure will be for less than the seven days for which the notice allows.
13 November 2018
SLRA responds to new planning application for the Sand Pit, Sandyhurst Lane
The SLRA has submitted detailed objection comments for the new outline planning application for 18 dwellings at the Sand pit to the south of 200 and east of 198 Sandyhurst Lane (see news item 25 October 2018). The comments, which represent the views of the overwhelming majority of members, are based upon a survey carried out for the previous, almost identical application. A check was made with members to ensure that the survey results were still applicable to the new application.
The SLRA response may be viewed here.
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council has also confirmed that it will oppose the application, following representations made at their meeting yesterday evening by the Chairman of the SLRA and by local residents.
8 November 2018
Christmas & New Year Bin Collections
SLRA members who normally have their refuse, recycling, food and garden recycling bins collected on a Thursday will have the following arrangements over the Christmas and New Year period:
Recycling (green): Collection due on Thursday 27th December will take place on Saturday 29th December
Refuse (grey): Collection due on Thursday 3rd January will take place on Saturday 5th January
Recycling (green): Collection due on Thursday 10th January will take place on Friday 11th January
Normal Recycling, Refuse and Food collections will resume on Thursday 17th January.
Garden Recycling (brown): No collection on Thursday 3rd January. (The next collection after this will be 17th January)
The full schedule is here, but there is no need to print it – Ashford Borough Council will be delivering it to households.
25 October 2018
New planning application for the Sand Pit, Sandyhurst Lane
Members will recall that an outline planning application was submitted on 26 October 2017 for 18 dwellings on the Sand pit to the south of 200 and east of 198 Sandyhurst Lane. This was eventually withdrawn by the applicant in June 2018.
The application has now been re-submitted, with exactly the same title as previously, namely:
Outline planning application with details of access and layout provided for developer-led custom-build residential development of up to 18 dwellings, open space and landscaping, wildlife habitat reserve, new access to Sandyhurst Lane, parking, engineering (including ground modelling) works and infrastructure, with appearance, landscaping and scale reserved for future determination.
The new application may be viewed here (search for application number 18/01554/AS). The closing date for comments is 17 November 2018.
For reference, the previous application was number 17/01636/AS.
16 October 2018
'SatNav problem' re Lenacre Street addressed by Eastwell Manor
Following numerous incidents of Eastwell Manor customers becoming 'lost' in Lenacre Street, apparently due to incorrect directions given by some SatNavs, we have requested Eastwell Manor to amend the directions and post code on their website and to advise their customers direct of the correct directions. The General Manager of Eastwell Manor has kindly taken immediate action to resolve this problem.
5 October 2018
Planning permission granted for extensions at Longfield, 390 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 4 October 2018 for a rear extension, extension to, and conversion of the existing garage at Longfield, 390 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (search for application number 18/00755/AS).
3 October 2018
Planning permission sought for outbuilding at Downsway, 35 Sandyhurst Lane
An application for planning permission has been made for the erection of a single-storey outbuilding at the rear of the garden for incidental and home-office use at Downsway, 35 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 26 October 2018. Full details may be viewed here (search for application number 18/01466/AS).
25 September 2018
SLRA responds to further consultation on land at Lenacre Hall Farm
The SLRA has submitted further objection comments to the hybrid application for up to 89 new residential dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm, following the further consultation period which closed yesterday. The comments submitted may be viewed here.
17 September 2018
Request re fields on Eureka Business Park
We have received a message and request from Jim Betts, the Estate Manager of Bidwells, which owns and farms the fields on Eureka Business Park, behind Sandyhurst Lane.
The message draws attention to the fact that, for the last few years, the fields that are planted up as part of the management plan for Eureka Business Park have been sewn with grass that was then used as silage. This has encouraged some people, with or without dogs, to walk around the periphery of the fields, effectively creating an unofficial footpath. In some cases, dogs have been allowed to roam over the fields.
This year the fields are to be planted up with winter wheat, probably next week depending on the weather, so the farmer, Peter Howard, his son Andrew, and Jim Betts have been asking people to kindly stick to the official footpaths and farm tracks that run through the Business Park.
We have therefore been asked to pass on the message that the fields have been planted out to the margins, and members of the public are requested not to walk around them, thus enabling the maximum yield possible from this and subsequent years’ crops.
Should you wish to see exactly which tracks in our area are Public Rights of Way, a map is available here.
13 September 2018
Local Plan Main Modifications consultation
Ashford Borough Council is now consulting on Main Modifications to the Ashford Local Plan 2030, following the hearing sessions of the examination and the post hearings advice note received from the Inspectors. The consultation proposes changes to the Ashford Local Plan 2030 Submission Version.
The consultation runs for a period of six weeks from Thursday 13th September 2018 until 5pm on Friday 26th October 2018.
The Main Modifications can be read in full online here or can be downloaded here.
Changes that are proposed to the policies map are included within the consultation documents above and can also be viewed on the Council's interactive map here.
Responses to the consultation may be made online, using the link provided on the Council’s website page here.
As previously reported, the Inspectors are proposing deletion of all the A20 corridor sites, including Policy S47, Land east of Hothfield Mill. There is also a small change proposed for Policy S20, Eureka Park, relating to ecological mitigation and enhancement measures.
The SLRA will review the Main Modifications at its forthcoming committee meeting and respond as appropriate.
13 September 2018
Drovers roundabout overnight closure
Following the cancellation of last week’s closure of part of Drovers roundabout, the work is now planned for tomorrow night:
A section of Drovers roundabout will be closed to traffic from 8 pm on Friday 14 September to 5 am on Saturday 15 September, to enable KCC to carry out lining works. The official notice giving details of the closure and diversion may be viewed here.
10 Septemberr 2018
Local Plan to 2030 - further consultation
Following the public examination of the draft Ashford Local Plan to 2030, which took place between April and June this year, the Inspectors issued a post hearing advice note which directs that a number of changes should be made to the Local Plan to make it 'sound'.
Ashford Borough Council is currently preparing a full schedule of the changes, which are known as 'Modifications'. Where the changes are significant (known as 'Main Modifications') the Council is required to consult on them publicly for six weeks. This consultation will run from Thursday 13th September 2018 until 5pm on Friday 26th October 2018.
The Council’s website page for this consultation is still in draft, but includes the statement that “the consultation will be focused only on the Main Modifications. The consultation will not not an opportunity to repeat or raise further representations about other parts of the Local Plan or to seek wider changes. All previous comments have already been considered by the Inspector.”
The SLRA Committee will review the Main Modifications, when published, and will respond i appropriate.
7 September 2018
Cancelled: Drovers Roundabout overnight closure
Please note that the overnight closure of Drovers roundabout (see item below) has now been cancelled (source: tweet from Ashford Borough Council).
6 September 2018
Drovers Roundabout to be closed overnight
A section of Drovers roundabout will be closed to traffic from 7 pm on Friday 7 September to 5 am on Saturday 8 September, to enable KCC to carry out lining works. The official notice giving details of the closure and diversion may be viewed here.
3 September 2018
Update on Experimental Overnight HGV Enforcement and Clamping Trial 2017
The Joint Transportation Board (of Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council) meets on 11 September. One of the papers for this meeting is an update on the Experimental Overnight HGV Enforcement and Clamping Trial 2017, which includes the A20 between Charing and the Drovers roundabout, together with a number of Ashford industrial estates. The report states that the total number of contraventions in all areas has now dropped to 5-10 per night. The report may be viewed here.
31 August 2018
Amended plans submitted for Lenacre Hall Farm planning application
There were two recent planning applications for the development of land at Lenacre Hall Farm:
1. Application number 17/01613/AS, submitted on 23 October 2017:
Hybrid application for up to 89 new residential dwellings consisting of a full planning application for the development of 21 new residential dwellings and and outline planning application for the development of up to 68 new dwellings.
2. Application number 18/00413/AS, submitted on 12 March 2018:
Full planning application for the development of 21 new residential dwellings.
The second of these applications was considered by Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee on 18 July and refused. The applicant may appeal this decision within 6 months.
The first of these applications (the hybrid application) is still valid and registered; a decision from Ashford Borough Council is awaited.
Today we have received notification that the applicant has submitted some amended plans and a revised Transport Statement for this hybrid application and these may be viewed on the Council’s website here (search for application number 17/01613/AS, click on the ‘Plans & Documents’ tab and scroll to the bottom).
11 August 2018
Planning permission granted for garage/workshop/gymnasium
at Forfar, 306 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 10 August 2018 for a detached garage/workshop and gymnasium following demolition of existing storage sheds, home office and workshop at Forfar, 306 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (search for application number 18/00718/AS).
4 August 2018
Planning application withdrawn for double garage at Ash Keys,
4 Eastwell Grange
The application for planning permission for a detached double garage at Ash Keys, 4 Eastwell Grange has been withdrawn by the applicant. Full details may be viewed here (search for application number 18/00888/AS).
31 July 2018
Official notification of planning decision: land at Lenacre Hall Farm
We have received the official notification of the decision by the Ashford Borough Council's Planning Committee to refuse the planning application for 21 dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm (see news item 18 July 2018). The letter may be viewed here. Following this decision, the likelihood of an appeal by the applicant should be borne in mind.
30 July 2018
Reminder: Consultation on rural transport
We have previously drawn attention to the consultation on rural transport being undertaken by KCC under the title “The Big Conversation”. This followed the announcement by KCC last November of a £4 million cut in bus subsidies, which was subsequently withdrawn.
This is a reminder that the consultation closes on 8 August. The SLRA is preparing a response, but individual members are encouraged to contribute to this consultation by answering a questionnaire online, (or downloaded and returned by email or Freepost), or by emailing their views.
Full details of the consultation and how to respond are available on the KCC website here.
26 July 2018
Successful lobby for NPPF in respect of ancient woodland
In May we made a submission to the Government consultation on the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), supporting the Woodland Trust’s campaign to secure better protection for ancient or veteran trees, as well as ancient woodland (see our news item 10 May 2018).
We are pleased to say that the Government has accepted this point and amended the recently published NPPF accordingly. The full document may be viewed here (para 175c refers) and the Woodland Trust’s website may be accessed here.
18 July 2018
Waterbrook Park lorry park expansion application permitted
At their meeting this evening, Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee unanimously voted to permit the planning application for expansion of the Waterbrook Park lorry park from 350 to 600 spaces. The SLRA had strongly supported this application on the grounds that good lorry parks are required as an alternative to 'fly parking' which has long been a problem in our area and elsewhere. We are mindful that the current overnight lorry parking ban on the A20 is a temporary scheme and may not become permanent if alternative parking facilities are not available.
18 July 2018
Lenacre Hall Farm planning application refused
At their meeting this evening, Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee unanimously voted to REFUSE the planning application for 21 dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm, Sandyhurst Lane. The meeting was attended by over 70 members of the public in the chamber and more in an overflow committee room. Members of the public made their opposition to the application very clear by applauding objection speakers (even though such applause is frowned upon at such meetings).
The strength of residents’ views was a major factor in deciding this application.
Both members of the SLRA members (and non-members) and the wider community of Boughton Aluph & Eastwell parish had made their opposition views very clear in surveys which underpinned written and verbal evidence submitted by the SLRA and by the Parish Council.
Prior to consideration of the application by the Planning Committee, a number of speakers addressed the meeting eloquently, objecting to the application. These included Bryan Biggs (SLRA), Cllr Nigel Bunker (Vice Chair, Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council), and Cllr Winston Michael (ward Member for Boughton Aluph and Eastwell). The developer’s agent spoke in favour.
Members of the Planning Committee then gave their views, starting with Cllr Larry Krause (Downs West) who vigorously opposed the application on a wide range of issues (mainly those which appeared in the SLRA’s written submission) and proposed that the application be refused. Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, then said that “windfall sites” such as this, even though not in the Local Plan, should not be refused without good reason. However, in this case he was persuaded by the strength of the views of residents and by the views of Cllrs. Michael and Krause. He said that planning polices existed for guidance, not blind obedience and that Ashford Borough Council needed to send a message that they do listen. He then seconded the proposal to refuse the application. Cllr Galpin was the only member to speak in favour of the application; Cllr Heyes supported refusal. The vote was then taken to refuse the application.
This result illustrates the importance of public opinion and the voice of the majority being heard through forums such as our Association.
We await to see whether the developer will appeal the Council's decision.
17 July 2018
Speakers at Planning Committee
The SLRA has asked to speak at the Ashford Borough Council Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday evening, 18 July 2018, at which the Lenacre Hall Farm application for 21 dwellings will be considered. Our representative is SLRA Committee member Bryan Biggs.
Please come along to support our opposition to this planning application if you can (7.00 pm at the Civic Centre).
Ashford Borough Council ward member Cllr Winston Michael will also be opposing the application. In addition, Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council will field a speaker objecting to the application.
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Neighbourhood Plan has tweeted:
The Vice Chair of the Parish Council will represent the views of residents at the Planning Committee meeting. 75% of respondents to the Neighbourhood Plan Survey, opposed development on Lenacre Hall Farm, Sandyhurst Lane. The most unpopular of the 7 potential sites in our parish.
The Vice-Chair is Councillor Nigel Bunker.
11 July 2018
Lenacre Hall Farm: Planning application to be decided on 18 July
At their meeting on 18 July 2018, Ashford Borough Council's Planning Committee will consider the application for full planning permission for 21 dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm. Despite numerous objection comments, the officer dealing with the case is recommending that the committee permits the application. The full report by the officer may be viewed here.
10 July 2018
Gladman Developments withdraw three planning appeals
On 3 July we passed on the news that, following the recent public hearings on the draft Ashford Local Plan, the Planning Inspectors issued advice to Ashford Borough Council that the “A20 Corridor Sites” should be deleted from the Plan. Part of their reasoning for this was that these sites were not needed to meet the revised housing requirement.
It appears that this reasoning may be influencing some other proposals outside the Local Plan, including three major sites submitted for planning approval by Gladman Developments. These were for 125 homes in Brabourne Lees, 110 in Biddenden and, most significantly, 245 in Charing (application number 17/00303/AS). All three applications were refused by Ashford Borough Council and all three went to appeal. However, Gladman Developments has now withdrawn all three appeals.
Charing Parish Council is relieved that the threat has been lifted and Ashford Borough Councillor Paul Clokie, portfolio holder for Planning said:
“The council cannot prevent applications being made on sites that are not allocated for development in its Local Plan, and any applications that may [be made] are considered on merit at that time. However the council will continue to take a Local Plan led approach, including consultation with local residents, to meet the development needs of the borough and we will strongly resist any inappropriate or unjustified development.”
Ashford Borough Council’s full announcement may be found on their website here.
6 July 2018
Disruption to M20 and A20
Highways England is proposing to install a scheme to enable the M20 London bound carriageway to be used in both directions in the event of Operation Stack being implemented, when the coast bound carriageway would be used to hold lorries. This is a “temporary” solution until the permanent solution of a lorry park or parks is realised.
In order to prepare for this, over the next 8 months work is to be carried out on the M20 which will involve lane closures, and some overnight complete closures, of the London bound carriageway, starting this Sunday, 8th July. This will increase traffic on the A20, which is a diversion route.
Highways England has made the following statement:
Highways England is developing a temporary traffic management solution on the M20 that will allow two-way travel on the London-bound carriageway between junctions 8 at Maidstone and 9 at Ashford, should disruption at the ports mean the coast-bound carriageway is required to manage port-bound HGVs.
To make the road safe for this temporary solution some minor works will be required to the safety barrier and hard shoulder. In addition to these works, routine repairs to the road surface are also planned. These works will commence in early July 2018 and continue through to March 2019. During this time sections of the road between Junction 8 and 9 will be reduced to two lanes on the London-bound carriageway.
In addition a full closure between junctions 9 and 7 of the London-bound carriageway is planned on the nights of 8 – 13 July 2018 between 10 pm and 6 am.
The diversion route for vehicles less than 4.7m is via A20 – A249 – M20 and for vehicles greater than 4.7m via M20 (south) – A20 – A2 – M2 – A249 A28 –M20.
Note: All closures will be subject to change and are weather dependent.
The diversion plan may be viewed here.
There will be further closures in August (date to be confirmed).
Please also be aware that there will be other works carried out on the M20 at Jn 3-5 and Jn10 during this period as part of our commitment to improve the Kent Corridor.
The M20 Temporary Solution Team
3 July 2018
Success! Inspector calls for DELETION of A20 corridor sites from Local Plan
The SLRA is delighted to announce a major lobbying success.
Members will recall that the Local Plan, submitted by Ashford Borough Council in December 2017, was the subject of public examination by two Inspectors from the Government’s Planning Inspectorate for England & Wales during May and June 2018.
We reported on the session held on 17 May 2018, when the “A20 corridor sites” were considered. These sites are:
S47 – Land East of Hothfield Mill
S48 – Land to the rear of Holiday Inn, Hothfield
S49 – Land at Tutt Hill, Westwell
Of particular interest and concern to the SLRA and its members was site S47, a proposed residential development of around 75 dwellings located adjacent to Potters Corner / Westwell Lane, opposite the existing dwellings in Westwell Lane. The SLRA lobbied hard against this proposed development with a detailed, 10 page submission following a survey of members, who strongly supported opposition to the development and some of whom helped to strengthen the submission with expert advice. Our submission, made in August 2017, may be viewed here. We supplemented this with verbal evidence at the hearing on 17 May.
The development, which would have endangered the urban/rural boundary which the SLRA has fought hard to establish, was also strongly opposed, both by Westwell Parish Council and individually by a number of our members and residents. We gratefully acknowledge their support.
We are now pleased to report that the Inspectors, in their Post Hearings Advice to Ashford Borough Council, are calling for the DELETION of all three A20 corridor sites. They do not consider that they are needed to meet the housing requirement. The relevant three paragraphs from their advice read as follows:
36. Sites S47, S48, S49 and S58* are poorly related to existing settlements of any size and have relatively poor access to services and facilities capable of meeting everyday needs. These sites would therefore be inconsistent with criterion a) of Policy SP1 in terms of focussing development in accessible and sustainable locations and with the provisions about development in the rural area in the fourth paragraph of Policy SP2. Tutt Hill and the communities of Westwell Lane and Sandyhurst Lane are also not listed in Policy HOU3a. Site S58 is located between High Halden and Bethersden and is not close to either. These locations would not normally be considered suitable for residential development when judged against Policy HOU5. In principle, these sites are not consistent with the Council’s underlying strategy or approach toward the sustainable distribution of housing.
*[S58 is a site in High Halden]
37. The sites are well related to the main road network and thus can ensure easy access to Ashford and other larger villages, particularly by car. While this might provide some economic benefits to these settlements, there is nothing to suggest their vitality is under threat to the extent that relatively large scale development in the open countryside is justified or necessary.
38. The limited benefits associated with these sites for a local employer and due to the use of a small area of previously developed land do not outweigh the negatives and none are exceptional or unusual in nature. It was clear from the hearings that the main benefit of these sites is their ability to be delivered in a reasonable timescale. Delivery is clearly an important factor, but we are satisfied that these sites will not be needed to meet the revised housing requirement. As such, development in these locations would be unsustainable and unsuitable and the allocations should be deleted.
The full Post Hearings advice document (ID/10 ALP Inspectors’ Post-Hearing Advice) and other Examination Documents may be accessed on the Council’s website here.
We are encouraged by this success and hope that this decision may encourage ABC to look even more critically at future large scale developments in the area which would endanger our rural character.
Protecting the rural character of Sandyhurst Lane and the adjoining area
NEWS FOR OTHER PERIODS
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News Archive for Jul-Dec 2018