30 June 2016
Borough ward boundary review & public consultation
The Local Government Boundary Commission has launched a public consultation on the arrangement of the borough wards in Ashford.
The Commission has also announced that it is minded to recommend that Ashford District Council should have 47 councillors in the future, which is an increase from its previous 43.
The Commission is now seeking information from people and groups across Ashford to help it to produce a new pattern of wards to accommodate 47 councillors. This phase of the consultation runs from 28 June to 5 September 2016.
This will be followed by publication of draft recommendations for new electoral arrangements in November 2016, followed by a further public consultation until January 2017. Final recommendations will be published in March 2017 and new electoral arrangements are due to come into effect at the local council elections in 2019.
SLRA will be considering this issue with a view to making a response. One pertinent issue is the recent decision by Ashford Borough Council to accept our proposal to realign the boundary of Westwell Parish Council and it may be sensible to consider realigning the boundary between Downs West ward and Bockhanger ward in a similar way. At present, this ward boundary runs down the middle of about half of Sandyhurst Lane. (The other half is entirely in Boughton Aluph & Eastwell ward).
More information on the review and consultation, including how to make a response, is available on the LGBC website here.
28 June 2016
Over 50s Social Club proposed
There is a proposal to start a new Over 50s Social Club. See our Members' notices page for details.
17 June 2016
Westwell Parish Council to hold public meeting on draft Local Plan
There will be a public information meeting on the draft Ashford Local Plan to 2030 at 11.00 am tomorrow, Saturday 18 June 2016, in Westwell Parish Hall. Come along and hear about the proposals in the Plan and how they are likely to impact on the parish. Full details are on the flyer, which may be viewed here.
15 June 2016
Ashford Borough Council launches public consultation on draft Local Plan to 2030
Ashford Borough Council has today launched an eight week public consultation on the draft Local Plan to 2030.
The consultation will run until 1700 on 10 August 2016.
Full details of the consultation may be found on the Ashford Borough Council website page: www.ashford.gov.uk/local-plan-2030.
The summary leaflet, frequently asked questions and the published draft Plan may also be viewed on the SLRA website by clicking on the links.
A series of exhibitions will be held by the Council during June and July, the first of which is at Sandyacres Sports & Social Centre on Tuesday 21st June 2016, from 1530 to 1930. The full list of exhibitions may be viewed here.
The SLRA Committee will be meeting this evening to discuss the draft Plan and the SLRA response to it.
3 June 2016
Planning permission sought for new front drive at
Greenlands, 358 Sandyhurst Lane
An application for planning permission has been made for the creation of new vehicular access on to Sandyhurst Lane and widening of existing access at Greenlands, 358 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 26 June 2016. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00776/AS).
1 June 2016
First draft of Ashford Local Plan to 2030 published
The first draft of the Ashford Local Plan to 2030 has been published as one of the papers for consideration by the ABC Cabinet on 9 June 2016. A copy may be viewed here.
Of the six ‘submitted sites’ falling within or near the SLRA area, only one has been included:
- The site formerly known as BBAE2 (Land at Eureka Park).
The following sites, which we have consistently opposed, have NOT been included:
- BBAE1 Ashford Golf Club
- DW9 Woodside, Westwell Lane
- DW12 Beechbrook, Maidstone Road
- BAE1 Lenacre Hall Farm, 393 Sandyhurst Lane
- BAE2 Former Sandpit, Sandyhurst Lane
Whilst we have also opposed the Eureka Park site, we have also been lobbying hard that, if it were to go ahead, vehicle access should not be via Sandyhurst Lane.
The part of the Plan dealing with Eureka Park specifies that:
- Vehicular access to the site shall be only from Trinity Road.
- There should be no vehicular access from Sandyhurst Lane other than for emergencies, although pedestrian and cycleway connections from the development to Sandyhurst Lane should be provided.
- At the western boundary of the site, there should be a generous landscaped buffer provided to reduce the impact and provide some visual separation to the properties on Sandyhurst Lane.
- Proposals for the site will need to be based around a comprehensive landscaping and open space strategy that incorporates attractive pedestrian routes through the site. The lake that lies in the centre of the development area should provide the focal point for the strategy with landscaped routes feeding out through the site from this location, including the existing wooded area to the north. An east-west route from the Eureka Place local centre to Sandyhurst Lane should also form part of the strategy.
- The site adjoins the Ashford Golf Club land to the south. The Club has indicated a desire to improve their facilities which may best be achieved by moving to a new location around the town. At the time of preparing this Plan, no firm proposals for relocation have come forward but it is reasonable to anticipate that this may occur during the Plan period. If a suitable site for relocation of the Club can be identified and the Club decide to vacate their current site, this land would form, in principle, a natural extension to the Eureka Park site. As vehicular access to the Golf Club land is from Sandyhurst Lane and thus heavily constrained, proposals for Eureka Park must ensure access to the golf club land is available via the development and where necessary access roads should be constructed to the site boundary.
Development proposals for the site shall include the following elements:
- New pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development with connections to Sandyhurst Lane and existing routes. The Public Rights of Way running through the site should be maintained and incorporated within the development
- Laid out and orientated so that the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers is preserved
One further site that may be of interest to Westwell residents is a proposal for a 5 pitch gypsy site at Watery Lane, beside the M20.
SLRA will be considering the proposals and responding to the forthcoming consultation to reflect the collective views of members.
15 May 2016
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Neighbourhood Plan Events announced
The latest Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Neighbourhood Plan newsletter gives details of three planned public events to discuss the recent survey of residents and businesses. The events are as follows:
Saturday 16 July, 11.00am to 2.00pm
Goat Lees Community Hall
Saturday 23 July, 11.00am to 2.00pm
The Iron Room, Boughton Lees
Sunday 24 July, 11.00am to 2.00pm
Sandyacres Sports & Social Club, Sandyhurst Lane
The survey had a good response, with 482 returns, representing close to half the households in the parish. The returns are being analysed by consultants, who will provide a report which will form the basis of discussion at the above events. For more information, or to sign up to receive the Neighbourhood Plan newsletter, please visit www.parishplan.uk.
29 April 2016
Planning permission granted for extension at 22 Hoads Wood Gardens
Planning permission was granted on 28 April 2016 for the erection of a single storey side extension at 22 Hoads Wood Gardens. There were no objections. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00392/AS).
16 April 2016
Message from Jason Matthews,
Chairman of Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council
Following the recent Annual Parish Meeting I’m now pleased to attach my 2016 Chairman’s Report.
If you are able to attend, I very much look forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting which will be the Annual Parish Council Meeting on Monday 16th May at The Iron Room Village Hall at 1930 hrs. At this meeting we shall undertake the process of electing the new Chairman / Vice Chairman as well as addressing other Agenda Items. In due course Martin [Martin Hopkins, Parish Clerk] will be leaving the Parish Council, and even though I intend to continue as a councillor, this will be my last meeting as Chairman to the PC. I would be delighted if you are able to join me for drinks at the Flying Horse following the meeting that evening,
With Kindest Regards
16 April 2016
Planning permission granted for extension at 332 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 15 April 2016 for a single storey side and rear extension, dormer to side elevation and use of roof space as residential at 332 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00234/AS).
13 April 2016
Planning permission granted for office conversion at Lenacre Hall Farm,
393 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission has today been granted for the conversion and restoration of an oast building to office use, rebuilding of the oast kiln and cowl and associated parking at Lenacre Hall Farm, 393 Sandyhurst Lane. This application received supportive comments from several local residents, the SLRA and Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 15/01214/AS).
13 April 2016
Updated guide on recycling and waste collection
Ashford Borough Council has updated its published guide on recycling and refuse collection. A copy may be viewed and/or downloaded here.
5 April 2016
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting of Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish Council is being held at Sandyacres Sports & Social Centre at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 13th April 2016. All residents are warmly invited to attend.
This meeting will include a summary from the Chairman of what has been happening in the Parish over the last 12 months and it is an opportunity for residents to interact with their representatives and raise any issues they wish.
Jason Matthews will be stepping down as Chairman of the Parish Council in May, so this will be his last Chairman's report.
5 April 2016
Good News - Beechbrook
Residents will be aware that there are, in and near the SLRA area, six potential development sites which were submitted to Ashford Borough Council for possible inclusion in the Ashford Local Plan to 2030, the first draft of which is now scheduled for publication next month, after lengthy delays.
Yesterday evening, at the Westwell Parish Annual Meeting, the Chair of the Parish Council, Christine Drury, announced that the Beechbrook site will NOT be included in the Local Plan. This is very welcome news, particularly as Beechbrook is by far the largest of the submitted sites in our area, for which over 3,500 dwellings were being proposed.
22 March 2016
Planning permission sought for extension at 22 Hoads Wood Gardens
An application for planning permission has been made for the erection of a single storey side extension at 22 Hoads Wood Gardens.
The closing date for comments is 14 April 2016. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00392/AS).
19 March 2016
Planning permission granted for extension at 98 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 18 March 2016 for the erection of a rear single storey extension at 98 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00041/AS).
19 March 2016
Update on Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Neighbourhood Plan
Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parish have taken the next step in the development of their Neighbourhood Plan with the launch of a survey which is being delivered to every house and business in the parish before Easter. SLRA members in the BA&E Parish are those in 198 to 404 Sandyhurst Lane, Lenacre Street, Watsons Close, Eastwell Grange and Faversham Road. Surveys should be completed by 17 April 2016.
The message from the Neighbourhood Plan team is:
We have all heard of plans to build 1000s of new homes in Ashford and to attract new businesses. Our Neighbourhood Plan will allow us to choose where we want new homes, shops and offices to be built, to have our say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided.
We can only make this happen with your input and support. We need as many of you as possible to fill in the survey. This will ensure that our Neighbourhood Plan is based on a proper understanding of our area and of the views, wants and needs of local people and businesses. We ALL have the chance to influence future development in our area and YOUR opinion counts.
Once adopted, our Neighbourhood Plan will become part of Ashford Borough Council’s statutory Local Plan to 2030 and will be used in making decisions on planning applications in our area. As a legal document it will carry real weight in planning decisions. Developers and local authority planners will have to take notice of it.
75% of households took part in a similar survey in Wye providing the essential information needed for their Neighbourhood Plan. Please help us to do just as well or even better here in our parish. Encourage family members, friends and neighbours to take part in the survey. We want to hear from all ages. The more responses we get the better we will be able to make our Neighbourhood Plan deliver the sort of future development that residents want and need.
Although the survey is being delivered in hard copy, residents are being encouraged to complete it online at www.parishplan.uk/2030.
6 February 2016
Planning permission granted for extension at Apple Cottage, 49 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 11 March 2016 for a single storey side and rear extension at Apple Cottage, 49 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00144/AS).
5 March 2016
Planning permission sought for extension at 178 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for planning permission for demolition of a conservatory and attached garage, re-erection of an attached garage, a single storey extension to rear and first floor extension to the existing bungalow at 178 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 28 March 2016. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00320/AS).
2 March 2016
Planning permission granted for extension at Tudor Cottage, Lenacre Street
Planning permission was granted on 1 March 2016 for the erection of a single storey extension at Tudor Cottage, Lenacre Street. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00027/AS).
20 February 2016
Planning permission sought for extension at 332 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for planning permission for a single storey side and rear extension, dormer to side elevation and use of roof space as residential at 332 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 14 March 2016. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00234/AS).
6 February 2016
Planning permission sought for extension at Apple Cottage, 49 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for planning permission for a single storey side and rear extension at Apple Cottage, 49 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 29 February 2016. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00144/AS).
1 February 2016
MP & Council responses to SLRA Operation Stack lobby
On 9 January, SLRA sent an open letter to all MPs and Councillors in our local area about the public consultation by Highways England on proposals for a lorry waiting area at Stanford, near junction 11 of the M20 (see news item 9 January). We urged them to support Alternatives 3 or 4 in order to provide facilities which would also alleviate the wider issue of the problems caused by widespread lorry parking in Ashford and throughout Kent. (Alternatives 3 & 4 both provide for overnight parking facilities in addition to relief for Operation Stack).
We have received several supportive responses, including:
> a letter from Damian Green MP (view here) supporting Alternative 3 and subsequent enforcement action against lorries parked irresponsibly overnight
> an email from Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, advising that the Council supports Alternative 3 at the Stanford West site
> acknowledgement from Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council; a KCC committee proposal supports Alternative 3 at the Stanford West site, subject to environmental issues
> a supportive letter from Cllr David Monk, Leader of Shepway District Council, which has subsequently resolved to support Alternative 3 (subject to further details) at the Stanford West site.
The consultation is now closed and we await analysis by Highways England.
27 January 2016
Ashford 10k race to close Sandyhurst Lane/Lenacre Street on 7 February 2016
The annual Ashford 10k race takes place on Sunday 7 February. The race starts at Sandyacres, progresses along Sandyhurst Lane to Lenacre Street and then goes to Westwell village and beyond before returning along the same route (for a map of the route, click here). This will entail closure of part of Sandyhurst Lane and all of Lenacre Street from 1045 am to 1200 noon. We are in touch with the organisers to try to avoid parking problems similar to those which occurred at the Marathon event last April.
26 January 2016
Planning permission sought for extension at Tudor Cottage, Lenacre Street
A planning application has been made for the erection of a single storey extension at Tudor Cottage, Lenacre Street. The closing date for comments is 18 February 2016. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00027/AS).
26 January 2016
Final Recommendations of the KCC Electoral Review
The final recommendations of the KCC Electoral Review have now been published and are available here.
No changes have been proposed affecting our area. Although we submitted a proposal that the boundary between Ashford Rural West division and Ashford Central division should be realigned in the same way as has now been accepted (subject to Boundary Commission approval) for the boundary between Westwell Parish and the presently unparished Bockhanger ward, the county division boundaries cannot be considered for revision until the Order has been made for the new Parish boundary.
The County elections scheduled for 2017 will therefore use the same division boundaries in our area as at present, but hopefully will be revised before the following County elections in 2021. (We are expecting the Parish boundary revision to be made in time for the Parish elections in 2019).
15 January 2016
Clean for the Queen campaign
Clean for The Queen is a campaign launched by Country Life magazine in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to clear up Britain in time for The Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016 (see website).
This was discussed at a recent SLRA committee meeting; whilst we support the campaign, it was decided not to try to organise, for example, school children to pick up litter in Sandyhurst Lane, for reasons of health and safety. However, residents are encouraged to ensure that the area outside their property is kept clear of litter, as many already do.
As previously advised, SLRA recently arranged for the road signs in the area to be cleaned, as they had become very dirty.
15 January 2016
Planning permission sought for extension at 98 Sandyhurst Lane
A planning application has been made for the erection of a rear single storey extension at 98 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 7 February 2016. Full details may be viewed here (search for case number 16/00041/AS).
14 January 2016
Kentish Express covers SLRA lobby on Operation Stack
Today’s Kentish Express carries editorial coverage of the SLRA lobby on Operation Stack and the problem of uncontrolled truck parking (page 7), together with publication of the letter sent by committee member John Faulkner on behalf of SLRA (page 10). The text of the letter is reproduced below (news item 9 January 2016).
9 January 2016
SLRA lobbies on Operation Stack proposals
Members will be aware that there is currently a public consultation by Highways England on proposals for a lorry waiting area at Stanford, near junction 11 of the M20 (see news item 13 December 2015).
SLRA sees this as a great opportunity to alleviate the wider issue of the problems caused by widespread lorry parking in Ashford and throughout Kent.
To this end, we have written an open letter to all MPs and Councillors in our local area, outlining our reasoning on this issue and urging respondents to the consultation to consider this wider issue of lorry parking. We have also copied the letter to nearby district councils (Shepway and Dover), the Leader of Kent County Council, Highways England and the local press.
The letter has been sent from John Faulkner, the SLRA committee member with 40 years experience running an Anglo/Continental trucking company and a former Chairman of the International Group of the Road Haulage Association.
The letter reads as follows:
Public Consultation on Operation Stack
As you are aware, Highways England is currently holding a public consultation on proposals to create a permanent lorry park adjacent to the M20 at Stanford. Whilst we welcome the Government’s commitment to find a solution to Operation Stack, we believe this is a great opportunity to provide a solution to several additional problems caused by random and uncontrolled truck parking throughout Kent.
We are therefore contacting MPs and Councillors to request that, in their own responses to the consultation, they press for a permanent 24 hour parking facility as a minimum (Alternative 3) and preferably for a fully equipped Truckstop (Alternative 4).
The A20 between Folkestone and Maidstone is beset by trucks parked in laybys, at the side of the road, on motorway slip roads and numerous industrial estates. We have every sympathy for these truck drivers, who are obliged to obey the tachograph rules now enforced by electronic technology. However, they create a nuisance of noise and garbage and represent a significant source of annoyance to local residents.
We therefore ask that once a truck parking facility is established, local parking restrictions are both introduced and enforced, to ensure that trucks parking overnight or for a weekend are directed to the new facility.
We are not suggesting a total prohibition on truck parking in laybys but a time limitation of, say 2 hours, which will enable drivers to take their obligatory break (45 minutes) in a local facility but avoid the problems caused by longer term parking.
The end product would be happier residents, less work for the Police, lower cleansing costs for the local authorities and trucks properly parked in a secure facility, fully equipped with facilities for the comfort of drivers.
We hope that, in your response to the current consultation, you will reflect these views, held by a large number of local residents.
News Archive for Jan-Jun 2016
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