13 March 2018
Threat to local bus services removed
KCC has announced that proposed reductions to subsidised bus routes in Kent have been drastically scaled
back following “positive talks” with bus companies. Following these talks, KCC has decided to reduce the
required savings from £2.25 million to £455,000 in this coming financial year.
It appears that this will remove, at least in the immediate future, the specific threat made last
November to the bus services 666, 123 and 10X which operate from each end of Sandyhurst Lane. The
statement, which may be viewed here, identifies changes to some bus routes in other parts of Kent (not
Ashford) and goes on to say that “The council is clear that no further changes to the subsidised bus
network are proposed”.
It is expected that a public consultation will be held in April for the routes which are affected and the
Council will launch “The Big Conversation” to better understand what communities want from their public
transport services and how they could be better organised to meet that need.
The proposals are due to be discussed by KCC’s Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on
Tuesday, 20 March.
Our local KCC Councillor, Charlie Simkins, will be attending our AGM on Tuesday 20 March and will
be prepared to update us on this issue.
12 March 2018
Closure of Watery Lane
If you use Watery Lane, Westwell/Hothfield, please note that it will be closed overnight in phases along
its entire length for up to 3 nights from Monday 19th March. KCC is carrying out resurfacing work.
The Public Notice may be viewed here.
10 March 2018
Prior approval not required for demolition at Sandyhurst Farm
Further to the news item of 15 February, Ashford Borough Council has decided that prior approval is not
required for the demolition of three redundant agricultural buildings at Sandyhurst Farm, Sandyhurst
Lane. One of our members pointed out that, contrary to a statement in the application, the site is
adjacent to a public right of way (footpath), which is a concern because the buildings to be demolished
are believed to contain asbestos. The Officer's Assessment Sheet notes that, after requesting further
details from the applicant, confirmation has been received that any asbestos is to be removed by a
Licenced asbestos removal contractor.
Whilst the isolated location of the site does not mean that restricted working hours are mandatory, the
decision notice nevertheless includes:
Suggested working hours:- 07:30-18:00hrs Mon-Fri 07:30-13:00 Sat with no works on Sundays or Public
Holidays. The applicant having regard to the Institute of Air Quality Managements Guidance on the
assessment of dust from demolition and construction. The employment of "best practicable means" for
reducing noise, in accordance with the Control of Pollution Act 1974. Ashford Borough Council's "code of
practice for construction sites" contains much of this information, which may be of assistance and can be
found using the following link:
Full details of this case are available here (search for case number 18/00180/AS).
6 March 2018
Report on overnight lorry parking ban
For their meeting on 13th March 2018, the Joint Transportation Board (of Kent County Council and Ashford
Borough Council) has issued a report on the Experimental Overnight HGV Enforcement and Clamping Trial
which is currently in place on the A20 between Charing and the Drovers Roundabout and in several
This includes the prohibition of overnight lorry parking in the vicinity of Potters Corner which has been in
force since 30th October 2017.
Some key points in the report include:
- Prior to this trial, enforcement of parking restrictions had limited success. The current pilot scheme
involves clamping on the first offence under an experimental scheme developed with the Department for
- The DfT has also recently allowed the clamping release fee for this scheme to be increased from £40 to
£150, to allow Ashford Borough Council to cover the costs incurred in removing each clamp.
- The numbers of HGV’s parking on the A20 and all other areas continue for the most part to be less than
before the commencement of the trial.
- Weekend parking in all locations has been significantly reduced and there is an increased uptake in
parking at the Ashford Truck Stop especially at weekends.
- The total clamped up to 2nd March 2018 is 987, of which 414 have been on the A20.
The full report may be viewed here.
1 March 2018
Update on bin collections
Ashford Borough Council has now tweeted the following message:
BIN COLLECTIONS - Residents are now advised to bring their bins in as the next refuse collection will take
place on the week commencing 12 March. Don't forget, you can take your waste to the tip or bag it up
and put it next to your grey bin upon your next refuse collection.
1 March 2018
Bin collections suspended
The following message appears on Ashford Borough Council’s website:
Due to safety concerns and impacts on traffic there have been disruptions to the refuse collection
services. Residents that have not had their refuse bin collected today/this week and have a full bin are
asked to bag additional waste and place it next to their grey bin on the next refuse collection.
We ask residents to try and minimise the amount of waste created and would like to apologise for any
inconvenience caused. Whilst we have an adverse weather forecast we hope to resume services as soon as
possible, and we hope recycling collections will be running as normal from next week.
The Ashford Borough Council Facebook and Twitter accounts will be updated with the latest news and
updates on the service.
21 February 2018
Ashford Local Plan - Public Examination
The next stage in the progress of the Ashford Local Plan to 2030 is the independent public examination by
the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State. Details of this examination have now been
The examination will be of the ‘Submission Version’ of the Ashford Local Plan to 2030, which was
submitted by Ashford Borough Council on 21 December 2017. A copy is available here. The examination
will be conducted by two officers of the Planning Inspectorate, David Smith BA(Hons) DMS MRTPI and
Steven Lee BA(Hons) MA MRTPI. It will take place at the Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, commencing at 9.30
am on Wednesday 11 April 2018 and will include up to 14 Hearing Days over a period of approximately 10
weeks, ending on 21 June 2018.
The hearings for the sites of greatest interest to the SLRA (S20 - Eureka Park and S47 - Land East of
Hothfield Mill) are scheduled for 10 am on Wednesday 16 May 2018 and 10 am on Thursday 17 May 2018,
The Inspectors have issued a number of documents which are available on the Ashford Borough Council
website here. These documents are also available directly on the SLRA website by clicking on the links
A Guidance Note (ID/1) containing further information about the hearings and how
representations should be progressed and details about appearing at the hearings and submitting
a written statement in advance
19 February 2018
Mayor's Sky Dive Appeal
Winston Michael is the Ashford Borough Councillor for Boughton Aluph & Eastwell ward, which includes a
large part of the SLRA area. He is also currently the Mayor of Ashford. As one of his Mayoral projects,
Winston is undertaking a Sky Dive to raise funds to benefit special needs schoolchildren. He has sent us
the following message:
On 19 April, I together with four young people Antonio, Ella, Cameron, and Oliver will Sky Dive from 15k
feet with a free fall of 60 seconds before pulling the chute. We are doing this to raise money for Wyvern
School, a special needs school, to buy the children a much needed bus. To find out more and how you can
The target is £25k so we need all the help we can get and if you would be so kind to pass on details to
all your friends and contacts on social media and email we shall be eternally grateful.
Thank you so very much.
16 February 2018
Planning permission sought for single garage at 1 Potters Close
An application for planning permission has been made for construction of a single detached garage at 1
Potters Close. The closing date for comments is 11 March 2018. Full details are available here (search for
application number 18/00195/AS).
16 February 2018
NHS stroke services public consultation
A new public consultation is being held on stroke services provided by the NHS. The following message
has been received, giving details:
The NHS wants your views on proposals to establish new 24/7 hyper acute stroke units which have been
shown to save lives and reduce disability in other areas where they have been set up.
We also need your views on the potential locations for the units. The proposals recommend creating three
hyper acute stroke units in Kent and Medway, and give five different options for where these three new
units could be located. If the proposals go ahead, urgent stroke services would not be provided in other
hospitals in Kent and Medway.
The shortlist of possible locations is:
1. Darent Valley Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
2. Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
3. Maidstone Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
4. Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
5. Darent Valley Hospital, Tunbridge Wells Hospital and William Harvey Hospital
Each of the proposed hospitals would continue to give patients expert specialist care after the first 72
hours and support their recovery until they are ready to leave hospital, and will have a specialist clinic for
assessing and treating transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs or mini strokes).
There is an event in Ashford where people can find out more and have their say.
· Wednesday 4 April 2018, 10:00 to 12:00 am, Singleton Environment Centre
To find out more about the consultation and to book a place at an event, please visit
People can book their place at an event online, by calling 0300 790 6796 or by emailing
There is more information online, and in GP surgeries and hospital waiting rooms, and there will be
outreach road shows, so if your group is having a meeting and would like someone to attend or some
information to share please let us know.
by post. A list of all events for the consultation across Kent, Medway, Bexley and the High Weald area of
East Sussex is also available.
The SLRA strongly supports having one of the stroke units at the William Harvey Hospital and is pleased
to see that this is a feature of all the proposed options. The consultation, which runs until 13 April 2018,
looks at these options in terms of the number of stroke units, their accessibility to patients (travel time),
costs, staff recruitment & retention, etc. Respondents to the online questionnaire are asked to rank the
various options and the criteria for their selection.
15 February 2018
Notification of demolition at Sandyhurst Farm
Notification has been lodged for the demolition of three redundant agricultural buildings at Sandyhurst
Farm, Sandyhurst Lane. Full details are available here (search for case number 18/00180/AS).
8 February 2018
Planning permission sought for extension at 56a Sandyhurst Lane
An application for planning permission has been made for a single storey extension to the front and oak
framed open porch; conversion of garage, sunpipe to rear at 56a Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for
comments is 3 March 2018. Full details may be viewed here (search for application number 18/00175/AS).
2 February 2018
SLRA succeeds in preventing advertising in the local telephone kiosk
Following a long negotiation, we are pleased to report that we have now convinced Ashford Borough
Council (ABC) that the telephone kiosk at the junction of Lenacre Street and Sandyhurst Lane lies within
the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and they have corrected an error in their
mapping system accordingly. Planning regulations prohibit all advertising in telephone kiosks in AONBs
and BT have been advised that they may not use this kiosk for advertising purposes. The former
advertisements, which many residents considered unsightly, have already been removed.
A copy of the letter received from ABC may be viewed here.
2 February 2018
Update on 10k run, Sandyacres, 4 February 2018
Further to our news item of 22 January, the organisers of Sunday’s 10k run have now amended the
instructions to participants on their website in respect of car parking. As in previous years, there will now
be no parking at Sandyacres. There are two car parks in Upper Pemberton and Nicholas Road, accessed
from Trinity Road, with pedestrian access only via the footpath opposite Sandyacres.
Details are available here.
22 January 2018
10k run, Sandyacres, 4 February 2018
The annual 10k run is scheduled to take place at Sandyacres on Sunday 4 February 2018, with the usual
road closures. This year the event has new organisers, Sporting Events UK, and their website giving
details of the event may be found here. In order to try pre-empt any problems of the sort we have
encountered in some previous years with the previous organisers, we have written to Sporting Events UK
I write as Chair of Sandyhurst Lane Residents’ Association, which represents residents living both in
Sandyhurst Lane, Ashford and all its immediately adjacent roads.
I understand from your website that Sporting Events UK is the ‘new management’ organising this year’s
10k run at Sandyacres Sports & Social Centre on Sunday 4 February. I am making contact in order to try to
ensure that the event goes smoothly, not only from the athletes’ point of view, but also from the point of
view of local residents.
Let me start by saying that we are fully supportive of the event and want to see it go off successfully.
The purpose of writing to you now is to try to help ensure success by avoiding one or two problems that
we have experienced in past years, both at the 10k run and at other sporting events. I hope that with
good planning this will be possible. I offer the following comments:
Traffic and Parking
It is not clear from your website where the ‘Free Car Park’ is located. Last year, it was Brake Brothers
car park in Nicholas Road (off Trinity Road) and participants were instructed not to drive to Sandyacres.
This worked very well and avoided unpleasant scenes which occurred, for example, at the marathon and
half marathon in 2015, when cars were parked across the access to residents’ properties and some
residents were subjected to verbal abuse from inconsiderate drivers.
Hopefully parking will this year again be away from Sandyhurst Lane, but if your intended free car park is
at Sandyacres itself, then it will require expert traffic management to avoid major traffic jams in
Sandyhurst Lane, as happened with a football tournament last year. The entrance to Sandyacres is slow
to negotiate, especially if vehicles are going in both directions; it is not designed to handle large volumes
of traffic. Any parking in Sandyhurst Lane aggravates the problem and can quickly lead to gridlock.
We fully appreciate that the event will create a lot of discarded rubbish such as drink containers, etc.
This is not a problem as long as arrangements are in place to clear it up completely as soon as the event
is over. Last year, some residents in Lenacre Street were left to clear up rubbish in their driveways and
on the road after the organisers had allegedly cleared up.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any information about the day which it would be useful
to share with residents. I hope you will keep us informed of any issues so as to avoid any problems and
ensure a successful event.
Sandyhurst Lane Residents' Association
We shall keep you informed of any further developments.
22 December 2017
Ashford Local Plan 2030 approved for submission
Further to our news items of 30 November and 6 December (below), both the Cabinet and the full
Ashford Borough Council have now met and approved the submission version of the Ashford Local Plan
2030. The Plan will now be submitted, on or before 31 December 2017, to the Planning Inspectorate (on
behalf of the Secretary of State).
The formal minute approved and adopted by the Council reads as follows:
That (i) the Council authorise the Head of Planning and Development to submit the Local Plan to 2030,
attached as Appendix 1 to the report (and as amended by the further minor amendments at Appendix 3
to the report), to the Secretary of State for independent public examination.
(ii) the Council grant delegated authority to the Head of Planning and Development to: -
(a) make any further modifications he considers necessary or desirable before or during the Examination.
(b) ask the Inspector to recommend modifications to the draft Local Plan under Section 20 (7C) of the
Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, if such modifications are considered necessary to make the
Plan sound and/or compliant with legal requirements; and,
(c) take any action he deems necessary to progress the draft Local Plan through the examination process.
The Appendices referred to are available to view via the links in our news item of 6 December (below).
Public examination of the Plan is expected to start in April 2018.
18 December 2017
Further update on threat to our local bus services
In our email of 30 November on the threat to local bus services, we stated that the SLRA had written to
our KCC Councillor (Charlie Simkins), objecting strongly to the likely impact on all the bus services serving
We have today received a reply from Charlie, which echoes some of the statements made by Paul Carter,
Leader of Kent County Council, in the local press recently. The reply is reproduced below:
Thank you for your email expressing your Chairman’s concerns regarding funding for socially necessary bus
subsidies.and in particular the apparent threat to local services in our area on which so many people of
all generations depend.
While bus subsidies are among the potential savings for consideration in the coming budget, KCC fully
understands the importance of these to Kent residents. We are having ongoing dialogue with bus
companies in an endeavour to deliver better value for money to our tax payers as well as investigating
and working on implementing alternative lower cost transport options including; ‘Click and Ride’ taxi
share schemes, community minibuses and the Kent Karrier Service that could potentially significantly
reduce the number of affected routes in advance of the planned public consultation starting on 18th
January. It was premature to release the list of published routes and I apologise that this has caused such
I am sure you are aware of the financial constraints in which Local Government is operating with the
amount of money available from central government decreasing while demand and cost for council
services has been increasing. We continue to lobby central government for additional funding and are
currently awaiting the Local Government Settlement which is expected in the next few days.
I would like to assure you that no decisions regarding potential changes to bus subsidies have been made.
A full Equalities Impact Assessment has been prepared and will be continually updated to ensure that we
meet our statutory duties under the Equalities Act. The responses to the consultation will be a key factor
in our decision making.
In addition to the above, Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, has announced his personal pledge
to handle the forthcoming programme of negotiations with the bus operators to try to persuade them to
keep a significant number of routes going without subsidy. As your local member I am particularly
concerned over the possible threat to services which run through my Division (the 123 2A and 10X services
are of particular concern) and I will be lobbying the Cabinet Member specifically to emphasise the
importance of these services to local residents.
I would ask you to participate in the forthcoming consultation expressing your views loudly and clearly.
I will keep you informed as the situation develops and may I take this opportunity of wishing you and your
family a merry Christmas.
KCC Member for Ashford Rural West
The SLRA will be responding to the public consultation (17 January to 27 March 2018) and encourages
members also to do so.
In addition to the 123 and 10X services which Charlie mentions (and which serve Potters Corner), we are
also concerned about the 666 route which serves the Faversham Road end of Sandyhurst Lane.
6 December 2017
Ashford Local Plan 2030 - Submission version
Further to our news item of 30 November, the appendices have now been published to the paper on the
"Submission Version of Ashford Borough Local Plan 2030" to be considered by Cabinet tomorrow evening.
These appendices are:
1. the Submission Version of the Local Plan
2. Responses to representations made in the proposed “Main Changes” consultation
3. Schedule of minor amendments to the Plan
4. Equality Impact Assessment
The appendices may be downloaded from the Cabinet agenda page here (item 13). We have also
downloaded a copy which is available on our website here.