18 February 2018
Thanks to members in the area, we have become aware that the Highways Agency have recently installed
noise monitoring equipment next to the M20/Sandyhurst Lane. We have therefore written to the Highways
Agency, copied to Damian Green MP, (see email below), stating that the resulting measurements will not
be representative of the normal traffic noise levels and should not be used to attempt to justify any
delays or cancellations of the implementation of noise abatement measures.
From: Sandyhurst Lane Residents' Association
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2019 3:51 PM
To: Highways England
Cc: Damian Green
Subject: M20 noise
I am writing on behalf of Sandyhurst Lane Residents’ Association which represents approximately 1,000 residents in and around
Sandyhurst Lane, Ashford. This Lane intersects the M20 motorway just to the north-west of Junction 9. We have for many years been
campaigning for noise reduction measures on the M20 in the vicinity of this area.
We are aware that Highways England have recently installed equipment to monitor noise, for a period of about 5 days, on the
premises of one of our members living adjacent to the London-bound carriageway of the M20. Whilst we are not aware of the
precise purpose of this noise monitoring, we wish to point out that the results will far from correctly represent the normal level of noise
generated by traffic using this part of the M20. This is principally because there is currently a speed limit of 50 mph on the London-
bound carriageway which is widely observed, due to the use of average speed cameras. It is also arguable that the traffic volume
during the later part of the monitoring period will be reduced as it occurs in the school half-term holiday.
We trust, therefore, that these measurements will not be used in any attempts to justify further delays or cancellation of any plans to
install noise reduction measures, such as resurfacing of the carriageways.
Sandyhurst Lane Residents' Association
16 February 2019
Emergency stroke services
After five years of deliberation, the Stroke Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups yesterday
reached unanimous agreement on the future of emergency stroke services in Kent and Medway and has
made the decision to implement the preferred option to establish hyper acute stroke units at the William
Harvey Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital and Maidstone Hospital. The official letter giving details of the
decision may be viewed here.
14 February 2019
Refill scheme for Ashford
On 31 January 2019, Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, launched the Government’s “Year of Green
Action”. Amy Casey, Ashford Borough Council’s Waste & Recycling Education Officer is leading locally on a
year-long events plan, with each month having an event/campaign/initiative.
A big plastic/waste reduction campaign is scheduled for the summer. Part of this campaign is to
implement the Refill scheme in Ashford. Refill is a nationwide scheme providing a network of points
offering the general public free tap water. The aim is to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles
used, reduce litter of single-use plastic bottles and increase the availability of drinking water. The public
can find which businesses have signed up to the scheme through a smart phone Refill app or by seeing the
The more people involved, the better the outcome will be and the more impact it will have. Therefore
Amy is looking for volunteers who are willing to help in this project. It will consist of an initial meeting
and then a series of ‘action days’ (probably 2 or 3) to canvass businesses in the borough and persuade
them to join the fight. These action days will take place between March and June 2019.
If you are interested in helping, or know of anyone who would be interested, please contact Amy Casey at
14 February 2019
Planning permission granted for extension at Nyali, 354 Sandyhurst Lane
Retrospective planning permission was granted on 13 February 2019 for a single storey side extension at
Nyali, 354 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details are available here (search for application number 18/01658/AS).
9 February 2019
M20 noise: Response from Damian Green MP
Following our letter to Damian Green MP (see news item of 30 January 2019, below), we have received a
helpful reply from Damian Green MP, promising to pursue the case for resurfacing the M20 between
junctions 8 and 9.
The reply from Damian Green may be viewed here.
1 February 2019
SLRA to install a defibrillator
The SLRA has recently successfully bid for one of 70 free redundant defibrillators from Kent Fire and
The defibrillator, which is in full working order, is to be installed in a purpose-made external cabinet
outside the Hare & Hounds, Sandyhurst Lane. It will be a “Public Access AED” (Automated External
Defibrillator), available at all times. The cabinet will be heated (to keep the equipment in good working
order in all weathers) and locked and alarmed (to discourage theft and vandalism). The code for the lock
will be available by dialling 999 and will also be sent to all SLRA members and will be also available
from the pub when open.
The SLRA defibrillator will add to the growing number of such devices which are available locally. These
include defibrillators at:
- Westwell Village Hall (unlocked, available at all times)
- Ashford Golf Club (available when the premises are open)
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council have recently decided to install 4 new defibrillators at the
- Sandyacres Sports & Social Centre (to replace the existing one, to be available when the premises are
- Goat Lees Community Hall (unlocked, to be available at all times)
- Boughton Lees Cricket Pavilion (unlocked, to be available at all times)
- The Iron Room, Boughton Lees (to replace the existing one, to be available when the premises are open)
Please note that there is currently no availability at the above 4 sites; existing defibrillators at
Sandyacres and the Iron Room need maintenance and are out of service.
The new defibrillators at these 4 sites will have screens to facilitate use by all, including those without
English as a first language.
30 January 2019
SLRA again calls for M20 noise abatement
The SLRA has once again written to the Rt Hon Damian Green MP seeking help in persuading Highways
England to bring forward their long term plans to re-surface the M20 in our vicinity with 'quiet' tarmac.
This initiative was taken following the recent publicity that Highways England has generated for their
programme of noise reduction measures which they are rolling out to over 1,000 motorway and major A
road locations, supported by a special £39 million fund.
The letter and attachments from the SLRA Chair, Tony Bartlett, may be viewed here and the recent
government press release about the Highways England programme may be viewed here.
27 January 2019
Charging for non-household waste a step closer
Following the consultation which ran from 6 September to 1 November 2018, Kent County Council’s
Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee met on 17 January to consider proposals to introduce
charging for disposal of non-household waste (soil, rubble, hardcore and plasterboard) at KCC waste
disposal sites. The proposals are to charge £4 per bag of soil, rubble or hardcore and £6 per bag of
plasterboard. Asbestos disposal will remain free of charge.
The committee heard that 10% of visitors to KCC waste disposal sites bring this type of waste and that
there is a problem with “cross border” traffic now that neighbouring authorities in Bromley, Surrey and
East Sussex have introduced charging. There has been typically a 75% reduction in this waste being taken
to council sites which charge; people switch to commercial disposal such as hippo bags, skips etc.
The committee heard that the public consultation received 2,841 responses, 85% of which disagreed (66%
strongly disagreed) with the introduction of charging. The most common comment was the perceived
increase in fly tipping that would result. However, the KCC officers claimed that this was not a valid
objection because 12 authorities which had introduced charging reported “little or no” increase in fly
tipping and a further 4 authorities reported an increase “in line with national trends”.
At the end of the debate, the vote to endorse the Policy to adopt charging for non-household waste
materials at Household Waste Recycling Centres was carried by 9 votes to 2, with 5 abstentions.
In view of the high level of public opposition and the the significant degree of opposition and abstention
by the committee, despite the vote to endorse, the Cabinet member responsible was asked whether this
would make any difference. He said that he would “take all of that away and consider it carefully”
before making decision, though another committee member could be heard saying “I think this decision
was made 6 months ago”. The final decision will be made by KCC in February, but there seems little
doubt that it will be to introduce charges.
The full debate is available as a video on the KCC website here.
26 January 2019
Road closures for 10k run, 10 February 2018
Confirmation of the road closures for the 10k run on 10 February has now been published by Kent County
Council. As expected, Sandyhurst Lane itself will not be closed, but it will probably be very busy
between Faversham Road and Lenacre Street as participants make their way from the base at Towers
School to the start/finish in Lenacre Street.
Road closures will officially start at 1030 (though the organisers have said 1015 as the race starts at
1030) and end by 1230 at the latest. Roads affected include the entire lengths of Lenacre Street,
Kingsland Lane, Eastwell Lane (Tumbledown Hill), Gold Hill and the following parts of Westwell Lane:
- Between the junctions with Eastwell Lane and Gold Hill
- Between the junctions with Gold Hill and Watery Lane
- Between the junctions with Watery Lane and Kingsland Lane
The official road closure notice may be viewed here.
We are aware that some residents wish to access the church in Westwell village for the service at 11.00
am and/or the Wheel Inn afterwards. We have been in touch with the organisers who have assured us that
they will be mindful of this situation, which will be discussed at their next committee meeting with a
view to ensuring that they have adequate coverage by marshals to facilitate access.
24 January 2019
Appeal against Lenacre Hall Farm planning application refusal
The recently amended ‘hybrid’ planning application for up to 79 dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm
(including full planning application for 21 of these dwellings) is awaiting decision by Ashford Borough
Council (ABC). This is application number 17/01613/AS.
There was another, separate, full application for the 21 dwellings which was refused by ABC at their
planning committee meeting on 18 July 2018 (application number 18/00413/AS).
The applicants, Millwood Designer Homes, have now lodged an appeal against this refusal. This can be
seen on the website for the application here (search for application number 18/00413/AS), though there
are, as yet, no appeal documents to view.
19 January 2019
Retrospective planning permission granted for summer house/store
at Bears Corner, Westwell Lane
Planning permission was granted retrospectively on 18 January 2019 for a summer house/store at Bears
Corner, Westwell Lane. Full details are available here (search for application number 18/01729/AS).
14 January 2019
SLRA responds to third consultation on Land at Lenacre Hall Farm
The SLRA has submitted a third set of objection comments to the hybrid application for residential
dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm, following further amendments to the application. The comments
submitted may be viewed here.
8 January 2019
GPDE decision for extension at Ashdale, 364 Sandyhurst Lane
A General Permitted Development Extension application, made for a larger single storey rear extension at
Ashdale, 364 Sandyhurst Lane has been decided as 'Prior Approval not Required'. Full details are available
here (search for case number 18/00022/GDPE/AS).
7 January 2019
Ashford Local Plan to be adopted
After several years of preparation, the Ashford Local Plan 2030 is now ready for adoption.
The final stages of preparation were the public hearings by independent Inspectors last summer followed
by the Main Modifications consultation in September and October 2018. The Inspectors have now issued
their post hearing report which concludes that, subject to Main Modifications, the Plan is sound and
capable of adoption.
The SLRA and many of its members contributed to all stages of public consultation. Of the 7 development
sites in the SLRA area originally submitted for inclusion in the Plan, only one (Eureka Park) was eventually
included. One of the Main Modifications is the deletion of 7 unsuitable sites, which include the A20
Corridor sites, one of which is Land East of Hothfield Mill.
The full text of the Inspectors’ report may be viewed here.
6 January 2019
10k run to have new venue
The annual 10k run is scheduled to take place on Sunday 10 February 2019.
Last year the event was taken over by new organisers, Sporting Events UK, and this year they have
decided that, after 25 years of the event being held at Sandyacres, it will now be based at the Towers
We have written to the organisers asking for details of road closures but it appears from the published
- the race will start and finish at or near the junction of Sandyhurst Lane and Lenacre Street
- the whole of Lenacre Street will be affected
- apart from the start/finish point, the race will NOT be routed along Sandyhurst Lane
Details of the event on the organisers’ website may be seen here.