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29 November 2019

BT telephone kiosk - gone

Further to our news item of 16 July 2019 (here), we can now report that the telephone kiosk at the junction of Sandyhurst Lane and Lenacre Street has finally been removed.

29 November 2019

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 26th December will take place on Saturday 28th December

Refuse (grey): Collection due on Thursday 2nd January will take place on Saturday 4th January

Recycling (green): Collection due on Thursday 9th January will take place on Friday 10th January

Normal Recycling, Refuse and Food collections will resume on Thursday 16th January.

Garden Recycling (brown): No collection on Thursday 2nd January. (The next collection after this will be 16th January)

The full schedule is shown here.

11 November 2019

Meet your Borough Councillor (Downs West ward)

Almost every member of the SLRA lives in the Downs West ward of Ashford Borough Council (all except a few members in Faversham Road). One of the parish councils in our area, Boughton Aluph & Eastwell, is providing an opportunity to meet the Downs West borough councillor, Larry Krause, at an event at the Flying Horse public house in Boughton Aluph on Wednesday 20th November 2019, 2pm to 3pm. Tea and coffee will be provided. A poster advertising the event is here.

This is a good opportunity to meet Larry in an informal atmosphere and to raise with him any issues you may wish to discuss. For those who may not be able to take advantage of this opportunity on a weekday, the parish council plans to hold another event next year at the weekend.

3 November 2019

Pumpkin disposal

For those with children who may now have the problem of disposing of a post-Halloween pumpkin, please note the following tweet today from Ashford Borough Council:

Don't forget you can leave your Halloween pumpkin on top of your food caddy. There will also be pumpkin drop off points at the below locations between the 31st October and 5th November:

  Waitrose in Tenterden
  Civic Centre by the rear door
  Vicarage Lane Car Park

26 October 20119

Road closures tomorrow

Tomorrow, Sunday 27 October, will see the 5 and 10 mile races organised by the Ashford & District Road Running Club. The races will be based at the Towers School and the routes will involve closure from 10.00 am of the whole of Lenacre Street and the part of Sandyhurst Lane between the A251 Faversham Road and Sandyacres.

KCC has issued a road closure notice which may be viewed here. Full details of the event are on the Sporting Events UK website here.

22 October 2019

Possible Brexit impact on bin collections

Ashford Borough Council have announced that times for bin collections will be extended from the beginning of November, due to possible disruption as a consequence of Brexit.

Bins should be put out by 6 am, rather than 7 am as at present, and there is a possibility that food caddies will be collected separately.

The statement reads as follows:

“Due to potential disruptions over the next few months, we are extending our bin collection times from the beginning of November.

Bins will need to be presented no later than 6 am on the morning of collection, if it safe to do so you can leave your bin out the evening before.

Collections are also being extended to take place later in the day so if your bin is not collected at the usual time please leave it out and our crews will get to you as soon as they are able.

There is a possibility that food waste may be collected separately from your recycling and refuse bins so please leave your caddy out if it hasn’t been collected.

We thank you all in advance for your co-operation and apologise for any inconvenience caused."

18 October 2019

Planning appeal hearing date confirmed

The date and time of the appeal hearing for the development of 21 dwellings on land on Lenacre Hall Farm have been confirmed. The hearing will take place at 10.00 am on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at the Civic Centre.

The full text of the letter from Ashford Borough Council is as follows:

Proposal: The development of 21 new residential dwellings, access, drainage, car and cycle parking and landscaping.
Location: Land at Lenacre Hall Farm, Sandyhurst Lane, Boughton Aluph, Kent
Appellant: Millwood Designer Homes Limited
Duration: 1 days

With reference to the above appeal, the Planning Inspectorate has now confirmed that the appeal is being dealt with by way of an informal hearing which will start at 10.00am on 19 November 2019 at the Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PL (location details enclosed and/or can be viewed on the application records on our website).

An Inspector has been appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions under paragraph 1(i) of Schedule 6 to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to determine this appeal.

As I indicated in my earlier letter, I have forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate and to the Appellants all comments that I have received from you or other people relating to the application for planning permission which has led to this appeal.

If you wish to see the Council's reasons for refusal of the application and the appellant's grounds of appeal, proofs of evidence, summaries and statement of common ground. These may be inspected online at: using the planning application search links inputting the following reference: 18/00413/AS or by enquiring at the Central Reception at the Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford.

Should you wish for any further information, please contact Alex Stafford on (01233) 330248.

You may attend the hearing if you wish and, at the discretion of the Inspector, take part in the discussion. The Planning Inspectorate have asked me to point out that a copy of the letter which sets out the final decision on the appeal and includes the Inspector' s reasons for reaching that decision, will only be sent to those who have previously asked for a copy of it.

Please note parking is available at Ashford Borough Council but it is now pay and display. There are designated disabled parking spaces in the Visitors Car Park at the rear of the Civic Centre and level access into the building. All parts of the building can be accessed by the disabled via lifts and non-fixed seating is available.

4 October 2019

SLRA submits response to planning appeal for land at Lenacre Hall Farm

The SLRA has submitted further objection comments to the appeal against the refusal of planning permission for 21 dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm. The comments draw on a new survey of members and refer to changes which have occurred since the original application was submitted, including the adoption of the Ashford Local Plan 2030. The SLRA submission may be viewed here.

Please note that the date of the appeal hearing has been changed from 12 to 19 November 2019.

20 September 2019

Operation Brock to be reintroduced on M20

Operation Brock is set to return in full to the M20 ahead of Brexit day, scheduled for 31 October. Operation Brock is likely to be reintroduced around 21 October. At present, the M20 London bound carriageway between junctions 8 and 9 remains split in two by a steel barrier, but only the London bound section is in use, with a 50 mph speed limit. The M20 coast bound carriageway is operating normally, with a 70 mph speed limit. When Operation Brock is reintroduced, coast bound traffic will use the second section of the London bound carriageway, allowing the normal coast bound carriageway to be used for parking and managing lorries en route to Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

The full implications of Operation Brock may be seen from the table below, which gives four phases of how goods vehicles will be required to operate. If phase 4 is reached, the coast bound M26 will be closed.

5 September 2019

Appeal lodged for development at Lenacre Hall Farm

One of the applications for planning permission for the development of land at Lenacre Hall Farm was refused by Ashford Borough Council on 18 July 2018. See our news item of that date here.

An appeal against that decision has now been lodged by Millwood Designer Homes Ltd. It relates to the application for full planning permission for 21 dwellings. (Note that another hybrid application, for up to 79 dwellings, is still undecided).

Full details of the appeal documents may be viewed on the Council’s website here (search for application number 18/00413/AS).

The appeal hearing is to take place on 12 November 2019.

3 September 2019

Overnight lorry parking ban confirmed

Further to our news items of 4 and 17 June (below), it is now confirmed that the permanent overnight lorry parking ban on the A20 between Charing and Drovers Roundabout, and certain other industrial estates, will be enforced from 16 September 2019 onwards.

The Department for Transport has now given permission for offenders to be fined on the first offence and to increase the wheel clamp release fee to £150. A contract has been placed with London Parking Solutions to carry out the clamping.

Ashford Truck Stop have reported that, since their facility was expanded by 200 places in April, there has been spaces available every night.

The Joint Transportation Board will receive a report giving full details at their meeting on 10 September 2019. That report may be viewed here.

24 July 2019

Herbicide drift leaflets

Following recent complaints about herbicide spray from local farms drifting on to domestic properties, Westwell Parish Council has been in touch with the National Farmers' Union (NFU). They have supplied two leaflets on the subject of Good Neighbour Initiative and Spraying Responsibly. The leaflets may be viewed here and here.

23 July 2019

Pedestrian/cycle path cleared

On Saturday 20 July, the SLRA reported to Ashford Borough Council that the pedestrian and cycle path which runs from opposite Sandyacres to Dunnock Road in Goat Lees was seriously overgrown with vegetation.

We are pleased to report that the Council has taken prompt action and cleared the pathway.

Pictures taken before and after are below:

20 July 2019

Annual Policing Survey for 2019

Matthew Scott was elected Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in May 2016. His role is to set policing priorities for the county, by consulting with the public and putting together a Police and Crime Plan. He then holds the Chief Constable of Kent Police to account for the delivery of that plan.

One way in which the PCC consults with the public is through the annual Policing Survey. Matthew Scott recently launched the 2019 survey, saying:

“PCCs are here to be a voice for the people they serve. I meet with local people and community groups all year round but my Annual Policing Survey, which I am formally launching today, provides me with a broader understanding of what matters most to the people of Kent. There are questions in there asking people how safe they feel where they live, and about their experiences as victims of crime.

‘I’m particularly interested to hear about the areas of work people would like to see police officers and staff to be focused on in future, and whether they would be willing to a little pay more for these extra resources through council tax.

The feedback I receive from the survey each year helps me to hold the Chief Constable to account and informs my decision-making around the council tax precept. I encourage everyone living in Kent to get involved by completing the survey. This is your chance to have your say about policing in your community.”

The survey is anonymous and takes only a few minutes to complete online here. Hard copies are also available by calling the PCC’s office on 01622 677055.

16 July 2019

BT telephone kiosk proposed for removal

In 2017, the SLRA tried to persuade BT to remove the telephone kiosk situated at the junction of Sandyhurst Lane and Lenacre Street. BT refused on the grounds that it was “relatively well used”, despite the fact that it was overgrown with vegetation and local residents had not witnessed any use at all. They refused to disclose to the SLRA the number of calls that were being made from the kiosk.

At that time, BT was earning revenue from advertising which was carried on the sides of the kiosk.The SLRA then made a formal complaint to Ashford Borough Council’s (ABC) planning department, that the kiosk contravened planning regulations which prohibit telephone kiosks from displaying advertising if they are located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). After some debate, ABC finally accepted that the kiosk was indeed located (just) within the Kent Downs AONB and in February 2018 issued a notice instructing BT to remove the advertising from the kiosk.

On 28 June 2019, BT submitted to ABC for consultation a list of 11 telephone kiosks in the Ashford area which they want to remove. The list includes the kiosk located in Sandyhurst Lane/Lenacre Street. Interestingly, they now quote the number of calls made from the kiosk in the year to 25 June 2019 – it is zero. This contrasts with their previous claim that it was “relatively well used”.

Unless objections are made by ABC, the kiosk will be removed after the consultation period, which ends on 26 September 2019.

Full details may be viewed on the ABC planning website here (search for application number 19/00971/AS).

2 July 2019

Planning permission granted for new garage at 400 Sandyhurst Lane

Planning permission was granted on 1 July 2019 for a new single storey garage at Old Orchard House, 400 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 19/00672/AS).

17 June 2019

Overnight lorry parking ban approved

As set out in our news item of 4 June 2019 (below), the Joint Transportation Board (of Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council) met on 11 June 2019 and one of the items discussed was the Proposed Permanent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) Ashford HGV Overnight Parking Enforcement. This was a proposal to prohibit permanently overnight lorry and HGV parking in various Ashford locations, including the A20 side road at Potters Corner and the entrance to Sandyhurst Lane. The minutes of the meeting have today been published and record the decision as follows:

That the implementation of the proposed time limited overnight waiting restrictions on the A20 between Charing and Ashford and four Industrial Estates in the Borough be approved.

Councillor Christine Drury, Chairman of Westwell Parish Council, addressed the Board in support of the proposal and the Road Haulage Association's Head of Licensing and Infrastructure, Mr Tom Cotton, spoke in opposition. The full minutes of the meeting may be viewed here (see item 26).

Whilst the TRO has been approved, its enforcement in the same manner as during the trial has yet to be agreed. Approval of the TRO is first step in formalising the process and Officers will be meeting with the Department for Transport shortly to discuss changes in legislation to enable offenders to be fined on the first offence and to increase the wheel clamp release fee.

15 June 2019

Possible congestion tomorrow

An event being held at Sandyacres tomorrow may possibly result in some traffic congestion, although the organisers are unable to estimate the likely attendance.

The event, which is in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind, is called the Great Big Doggie Fun Day. It runs from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at Sandyacres Sports & Social Centre. Details may be found on the website of Guide Dogs Ashford here or their Facebook page here.

On both these websites, the post code of Sandyacres is incorrectly given as TN25 4NT rather than TN25 4PE. We have asked the organisers to correct this common error (which seems to be perpetuated by Google) as we are aware that some members living in TN25 4NT (numbers 54 to 136 Sandyhurst Lane) get disturbed by SatNav users trying to find Sandyacres in the wrong part of the Lane.

11 June 2019

Possible traffic congestion

There are two football tournaments taking place at Sandyacres later this month. It is possible these may give rise to some traffic congestion in Sandyhurst Lane:

Saturday 22nd June & Sunday 23rd June: This is an inaugural football tournament hosted by Park Farm Rangers Football Club for 8 age groups from under 7 to under 14. The event starts at 9,00 am on both days and continues into the afternoon. Details are available here.

Sunday 30th June: A football tournament will be hosted by TSS Youth Football Club for under 7 to under 13s. Details are available here.

8 June 2019

Howard Preston - funeral arrangements

Further to our news item of 28 May about Howard Preston (below), we can now advise the funeral arrangements.
The service will be held at 11.30 am on Tuesday 9th July 2019 at St Mary the Virgin Church, Westwell. This will be followed by burial at 1.00 pm at Bybrook Cemetery. Full details may be found here.

4 June 2019

Lorry parking ban - decision next week

The Joint Transportation Board (of Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council) meets on Tuesday 11 June 2019 and one of the items to be discussed is the Proposed Permanent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) Ashford HGV Overnight Parking Enforcement. This is the proposal to prohibit permanently overnight lorry and HGV parking in various Ashford locations, including the A20 side road at Potters Corner and the entrance to Sandyhurst Lane.

The recent public consultation on the proposed TRO received 17 responses in support (including one from the SLRA) and only one objecting, from the Road Haulage Association. The paper to be considered by the Board, which may be viewed here, recommends that the TRO is made permanent. A decision is still awaited from the Department for Transport as to whether offenders may be clamped on the first offence and be charged more than the current statutory amount (£40), as was the case during the experimental trial which ran from 30 October 2017 to 30 April 2019.

28 May 2019

Howard Preston

It is with great sadness and regret that we report that Howard Preston passed away on Thursday 23rd May 2019.

Howard had an R&D career with ICI, Unilever Research Welwyn, and Food Industries. He moved to Sandyhurst Lane in 1982 and the issue of sand extraction below Molehill sparked the start of the Sandyhurst Lane Residents’ Association (SLRA).

Howard was a founder member of the SLRA in 1983, when he was responsible for printing and distribution. Following a period working abroad (1988 – 1996), Howard returned to Sandyhurst Lane and became synonymous with the SLRA, leading it as Chairman for 13 years, from 1999 until 2012. Since then he has been an Honorary Life Committee Member.

We shall, of course, pass on details of the funeral as soon as they are available.

17 May 2019

SLRA responds to consultation on
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Draft Neighbourhood Plan

The SLRA has submitted a response to the consultation on the Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Draft Neighbourhood Plan. The response may be viewed here.
Sandyhurst Lane
Residents Association

Protecting the rural character of Sandyhurst Lane and the adjoining area


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