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