20 October 2017
Damian Green MP lobbies Highways England on our behalf
The Rt Hon Damian Green MP has kept his promise to support our M20 noise campaign (see news item 21
September 2017). He has written to the Highways Agency in parallel with our own approach and has now
sent us the reply he has received from the Highways Agency. Whilst this is in a similar vein to that which
we received ourselves, Damian's intervention gives it significantly greater weight and we have at least
extracted a date for the works (2021/22) which, in Damian's words "we can try to hold them to".
Damian Green's letter to us, together with the reply he obtained from the Highways Agency, may be
20 October 2017
Planning permission sought for new property at Braehead, 198 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for outline planning permission for the erection of a single 4 bed detached
chalet bungalow with access and a double garage/carport at Braehead, 198 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing
date for comments is 12 November 2017. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number
12 October 2017
Kent Express publicises SLRA M20 noise campaign
The Ashford edition of the Kentish Express today carries, on page 14, an article highlighting the SLRA
campaign to persuade Highways England to address the noise generated by traffic on the M20 in the
vicinity of Sandyhurst Lane. Interviewed by a Kentish Express reporter, SLRA Chair Tony Bartlett pointed
out that there is a map showing that we are in one of the worst areas in the UK for high noise levels. (The
map is produced by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and may be viewed here). He
went on to say that the volume of traffic had risen dramatically and the number of lorries had increased
by 135% since 2000. He also said that there were 600 residents living within 500 metres of the M20 in and
around Sandyhurst Lane and a further 200 could be added if the Local Plan includes new developments
The report also includes details of our recent correspondence with Highways England (see news item
26 September 2017, below)
26 September 2017
Highways England responds to our lobby on M20 noise
The SLRA wrote to Highways England on 21 September on the subject of the noise generated by the M20
motorway, asking when re-surfacing may take place (see news item of 21 September below).
We have now received a reply. As in previous campaigns on this issue, we are told that the concrete
surface is in good condition with an estimated lifetime of 40 years from when it was laid in the early
1990s. The reply refers to possible works in 2021/22, when the concrete could be overlaid but this is
“subject to funding” and we are well aware of the changeable nature of funding as Government policy
varies, so we are not getting our hopes up for a possible scheme four years hence. We have had similar
‘promises’ in the past which have failed to come to fruition.
Nevertheless, we shall continue to exert pressure wherever possible to keep the issue alive and we shall
be contacting the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to see what information they have
on the noise levels from the trunk roads in our area.
The reply from Highways England may be viewed here.
23 September 2017
Planning permission granted for extensions at 64 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 22 September 2017 for the erection of a single storey rear, two
storey side extension and front porch at 64 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (case
21 September 2017
SLRA lobbies Highways England on M20 noise
The SLRA has, for many years, been campaigning to reduce the noise suffered by residents from the M20
motorway, preferably by its re-surfacing with 'quiet' tarmac. The prospects of success have been very
limited, given the Government funding cut-backs. In fact a coalition of interested parties (the M20 Noise
Action Group) has now become dormant.
However, even if the prospects of success are small, we consider that it is important to keep the issue
'alive' by continuing to lobby. To this end, we have today written to Highways England, pointing out that
around 600 residents in this area live within 500 metres of the M20 and that, if the proposals in the draft
Local Plan come to fruition, this number will rise by a further 200. We have also copied our letter to
Damian Green MP, who has promised to support our case (see news item 24 June 2017 below).
The letter to Highways England may be viewed here.
12 September 2017
Overnight lorry parking to be banned
After many years of campaigning by residents, organisations such as the SLRA and local parish councils,
KCC are introducing an 18 month trial scheme for banning the overnight parking of HGVs and lorries.
The good news is that this pilot scheme, which is intended as a pre-cursor to a county-wide scheme, will
cover the A20 from Charing to the Drovers roundabout, including parts of adjacent roads. This area has
been specifically chosen because of the identified road safety problems at Potters Corner.
This means that HGVs will no longer be able to park overnight in the vicinity of Potters Corner, including
the “lay by” (actually still technically a road), nor in the vicinity of the Hothfield A20 junction with Cades
Road, or anywhere else between Charing and the Drovers roundabout.
The key points are as follows:
Full details of the scheme are available in the paper prepared for this evening’s meeting of the Joint
Transportation Board, which may be viewed here. (Note: the appendices are not yet available).
31 August 2017
SLRA responds to consultation on the Main Changes to the Ashford Local Plan
The SLRA has submitted three responses to Ashford Borough Council's public consultation on Main Changes
to the draft Ashford Local Plan 2030. The responses are on
1. the proposal to include a new development site "MC90: Policy S47 - Land East of Hothfield Mill, A20",
which is for 75 dwellings on land between the A20 and Westwell Lane (see SLRA response here)
2. the proposal to increase the number of residential dwellings from 300 to 375 in the Eureka Park
development "MC26: Policy S20 - Eureka Park" (see SLRA response here)
3. the proposal to introduce a new policy "MC85: Policy SP7 - Separation of Settlements" (see SLRA
31 August 2017
SLRA responds to consultation on Ashford Heritage Strategy
The SLRA has submitted a response to Ashford Borough Council's public consultation on the draft Ashford
Heritage Strategy, which identifies significant parts of the SLRA area as “Areas of Archaeological
Potential". The consultation document may be viewed here and the SLRA response may be viewed here.
17 August 2017
Commenting on the Main Changes to the Ashford Local Plan
Further to our news item of 7 July, this is a reminder that there remain only two weeks in which to
respond to Ashford Borough Council’s public consultation on the Main Changes to the Local Plan 2030.
The Main Changes which are likely to be of of particular interest to SLRA members are are those for the
Eureka Park development MC26: Policy S20 - Eureka Park, where the number of residential dwellings is
increased from 300 to 375 (see consultation document here) and the introduction of a new development
site MC90: Policy S47 - Land East of Hothfield Mill, A20, which proposes 75 dwellings on land between
the A20 and Westwell Lane (see consultation document here). This is the site previously referred to as
Woodside, Westwell Lane, when it was originally submitted for consideration.
Comments may be made on the Main Changes (and only the main changes) in three ways:
- online; this is the Council’s strongly preferred method and includes the facility to upload documents.
- by post, using the form which can be downloaded here
To respond online, either start at the consultation portal here or go direct to the links above for Eureka
Park and/or Land East of Hothfield Mill, and then click on ‘Make a Comment’ at the bottom of each
document. You may then need to register, or log on if you are already registered.
The process of commenting is fairly intuitive, but guidance is available, if required, in a specially
prepared document which is available here.
17 August 2017
Planning permission sought for extensions at 64 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for planning permission for the erection of a single storey rear, two storey
side extension and front porch at 64 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 9 September
2017. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 17/01225/AS).
2 August 2017
Update on Neighbourhood Plan for Boughton Aluph & Eastwell
The Steering Group developing the Neighbourhood Plan for Boughton Aluph & Eastwell (BA&E) has issued
an August 2017 newsletter, updating the progress being made.
They have confirmed five potential development sites which will not be considered for land allocation in
the emerging Plan, including Lenacre Hall Farm within the SLRA area. They also report that the Parish
Council has decided that the site at Braehead, Sandyhurst Lane has limited potential to match the
identified housing need.
However, the Parish Council has yet to take a decision on the Former Sandpit, Sandyhurst Lane and
may wish to take this opportunity to express their views on this site, details of which are on the
Neighbourhood Plan website here, together with links to the site assessment report and the
developers’ submission to Ashford Borough Council.
By the end of the year the Steering Group expects to have a draft Neighbourhood Plan ready and will ask
for views. The Plan will be scrutinised by Ashford Borough Council and by an Independent Examiner,
before being put to a Parish Referendum.
If approved by majority public vote, the Plan will become part of the Council’s statutory Local Plan 2030
to be used in making decisions on planning applications in the BA&E area. The newsletter says that “as a
legal document it will carry real weight in planning decisions. Developers and Local Authority Planners
will have to take notice of it.”
28 July 2017
Consultation on Ashford Heritage Strategy
As well as the current public consultation on the Main Changes to the Ashford Local Plan (see news item
of 7 July, below), Ashford Borough Council (ABC) is also holding a concurrent public consultation on the
Ashford Heritage Strategy. The consultation document (here) provides a fascinating review of the heritage
assets of Ashford and its surrounding villages.
ABC has today issued the following reminder:
Have your say on the draft Heritage Strategy
Residents are being reminded they still have time to have their say on the draft Heritage Strategy.
The consultation period for the strategy began on Friday 7th July and runs until 31st August 2017. You can
read the consultation document and share your views by visiting the public consultation portal here.
The draft Ashford Heritage Strategy focuses on protecting, and enhancing the borough’s cultural heritage
Last month, Ashford Borough Council’s cabinet members agreed to the draft Heritage Strategy which sets
out the council’s aims and objectives to safeguard Ashford’s historical assets and develop the borough’s
cultural offer for the enjoyment of Ashford’s residents and visitors.
The strategy outlines the aspirations of the council and stakeholders, including local historic and
community groups, Parish Councils and statutory bodies, to strengthen the local heritage offer and
support the tourism potential that heritage can provide.
It is hoped that the final strategy will be then be considered by the cabinet at its October meeting for
The importance of the borough’s heritage is reflected in the fact that Ashford has more listed buildings
than any other in Kent. The borough has a total of 2,395 listed buildings (and counting) and boasts 42
scheduled monuments, 43 Conservation Areas and 6 Registered Parks and Gardens.
The strategy supports the emerging Local Plan 2030 and the Council’s Corporate Plan, specifically Priority
4 Attractive Ashford: Countryside and Townscape, Tourism and Heritage of Ashford’s Corporate Plan 2015-
2020. The strategy also intends to provide a useful guide for and support the work of local heritage
groups across the borough.
Cllr Mike Bennett, Portfolio Holder for Culture, said: “The current Ashford Heritage Strategy is a work in
progress and will be developed further to provide a foundation for the recognition of local heritage. The
document is out for public consultation and I urge all Town and Parish Councils, forums, local heritage
groups and individuals to read it carefully and voice their views, as I believe there may be more that can
“All views will be considered and additions will be included in the final document for October cabinet.
“Ashford has a rich variety of heritage assets, and it is important we identify, promote and protect the
significance of these valuable sites for future generations.”
Cllr Paul Clokie, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Development, said: “The Ashford Heritage Strategy will
underpin the Local Plan to 2030’s heritage policies, providing a useful evidence base. It outlines the
council’s approach to the sustainable management of the borough’s extensive heritage offer, and
provides the basis for enhancing and capitalising on our rich resource.”
28 July 2017
Environmental Impact Assessment not required at Lenacre Hall Farm
Further to our news item of 11 July 2017 (below), it was yesterday decided by Ashford Borough Council
that it will not be necessary for an Environmental Impact Assessment to be carried out in a future
planning application for development of the site at Lenacre Hall Farm. Details are available here (search
for application number 17/00005/EIA/AS), though there does not appear to be a specific decision
11 July 2017
Lenacre Hall Farm
An application has been made to Ashford Borough Council, on behalf of Millwood Designer Homes, to
check whether it would be necessary to include an Environmental Impact Assessment in a future planning
application for development of the site at Lenacre Hall Farm, 393 Sandyhurst Lane.
This is not a planning application (which would be separately required), but it does refer to a proposal as
The proposed redevelopment seeks planning permission for up to 99 dwellings with associated access,
infrastructure and landscaping, including 40% affordable housing.The proposals would provide for a mix of
1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom properties. These properties will be predominantly houses with a small number
of apartments. Development will be predominantly in the form of two storey properties with some two
and half and three storey units. The development will be of high architectural quality, reflecting and
respecting the local vernacular and will consist of terraced, semi-detached and detached properties.The
proposals would include significant areas of public open space, ecological buffers to areas of ancient
woodland and further ecological enhancement areas such as green corridors.
Substantial further information is provided in the application, which may be viewed here.
7 July 2017
Ashford Local Plan 2030 - new consultation
Further to ournews item of 4 July, members will recall that there was a public consultation on the draft
Ashford Local Plan 2030, which ran from 15 June to 10 August 2016. Following their consideration of the
comments received, and updated population projections, Ashford Borough Council (ABC) have today
published proposed Main Changes to the Local Plan 2030 and a further consultation period (on these
changes only) will run from today until 31 August 2017. Full details are on the Council's website here.
The SLRA will be making a response and invites members to let us have their views on relevant proposed
changes, so that we can represent the collective position as accurately as possible. Members may also
wish to make their own responses via the ABC Consultation Portal here. There is also a ‘Frequently Asked
Questions’ document which may be viewed here.
Ashford Borough Council will be holding a series of 11 exhibitions on the Main Changes in July and August;
these may be viewed here. In addition, Westwell Parish Council is holding a drop-in event in Westwell
Village Hall from 12 noon to 4 pm on Sunday 16 July 2017.
The most important changes so far identified which are relevant to the SLRA area are those for the
Eureka Park development (Policy S20), where the number of residential dwellings is increased from 300
to 375 (see document here) and the introduction of a new development site (Policy S47 - Land East of
Hothfield Mill, A20), which proposes 75 dwellings on land between the A20 and Westwell Lane (see
document here). This is the site previously referred to as Woodside, Westwell Lane, when it was
originally submitted for consideration.
The previously proposed Park & Ride scheme at the Warren has now been deleted.
Please note that, although not currently mentioned in the draft Local Plan, it is understood that sites
including Lenacre Hall Farm and the Former Sandpit, Sandyhurst Lane are the subject of consideration by
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council within the context of their Neighbourhood Plan (see
also undergo a public consultation.
6 July 2017
Confirmation: Footpath AU1 is extinguished
Further to our news item of 25 May, we have received formal confirmation of the Kent County Council,
(Public Footpath AU1, Ashford), Public Path Extinguishment and Definitive Map and Statement
Modification Order 2017.
This means that footpath AU1, which ran through 12 properties in Sandyhurst Lane, is formally
extinguished. This will avoid potential problems for residents in those properties if they should choose to
sell their homes.
The SLRA has been involved in discussions about this footpath for at least 20 years, but credit must go to
the resident who has generously paid for the formal extinguishment process.
The formal confirmation documents may be viewed here. Until 25 August 2017, it is possible to challenge
the Order, but only on the grounds of correct legal process having been followed. Thereafter, the Order is
4 July 2017
Forthcoming consultation on Main Changes to Ashford Local Plan 2030
Further to our news item of 9 June, Ashford Borough Council’s public consultation on the Main Changes to
the Ashford Local Plan 2030 will run from this Friday, 7 July 2017 until 31 August 2017. The ‘Main
Changes’ document will be published on 7 July.
The Council has issued a ‘FAQ’ sheet on the Plan and the Main Changes; this may be viewed here. There
will also be a series of 11 exhibitions held by the Council on the ‘Main Changes’ consultation. The nearest
exhibitions to our area are those at Hothfield Village Hall on Friday 21 July (1600 - 1900) and Park Mall,
Ashford Town centre on Tuesday 8 August (1200 - 1400). The full list of exhibitions may be viewed here.
In addition to the exhibitions by Ashford Borough Council, Westwell Parish Council is holding a drop-in
event in Westwell Village Hall on Sunday 16 July (1200 - 1600). There will be a display of what the latest
version of the Local Plan says about Westwell Parish and Parish Councillors will be on hand to answer
We shall provide a further update on 7 July, when the ‘Main Changes’ document is published.
1 July 2017
Bockhanger Square improvements
The following media release has been issued by Ashford Borough Council:
Residents invited to find out about Bockhanger Square improvement works
Ashford Borough Council will soon be carrying out some improvement works to freshen up Bockhanger
This will be funded by Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council ward members - all of whom are
making substantial contributions from their ward members’ grants.
Council officers have put together some preliminary designs and costings for the improvements to smarten
the area and are now inviting residents and traders to a drop-in session to look at these proposals and
comment on them.
The event takes place on Saturday 8th July 2017 between 11:00 and 12:00 at St Mary’s Church,
Kennington in the hall. (Address St Marys Church, Church Road, Kennington, Ashford, Kent, TN24 9DQ).
Depending on the outcomes of this event, the work will be carried out as soon after that as possible.