News Archive for Jan-Mar 2018
28 March 2018
Planning permission granted for extension at 56a Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 27 March 2018 for a single storey extension to the front and oak framed open porch; conversion of garage, sunpipe to rear at 56a Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (search for application number 18/00175/AS).
27 March 2018
Presentation to Westwell Annual Parish Meeting
Yesterday evening, the SLRA Chairman, Tony Bartlett, made a presentation about the SLRA to the Westwell Annual Parish Meeting. The text of the presentation may be viewed here.
27 March 2018
SLRA responds to lorry park planning application
The SLRA has submitted a supportive response to the planning application to expand the lorry parking facility at Waterbrook from 350 to 600 places. The response may be viewed here.
24 March 2018
Our Annual General Meeting, held on Tuesday 20th March 2018, was well attended both by members and local councillors. A wide range of local issues was discussed and the evening concluded with interesting talks from two speakers (Ian Rickards of the Kent Wildlife Trust and Mike Moulang of the Kent Gliding Club). The minutes are available for viewing here.
24 March 2018
Update on new planning application for land at Lenacre Hall Farm
Further to the news item of 22 March, the planning website for the new application for the development of land at Lenacre Hall Farm has now been updated to include a closing date for comments (16 April 2018) and a list of consultees, many of whom are SLRA members.
22 March 2018
Ashford Civic Awards
First held in 2012, the Civic Awards were Ashford’s opportunity to honour local people who had helped others in a voluntary capacity, in their own way, at a local level. Six years later, the Council has decided to host the Civic Awards again – to find out who today’s community ‘heroes and heroines’ are, and to make sure that they are acknowledged and get the civic recognition they deserve. The Civic Awards 2018 are sponsored by local companies, as well as Ashford Borough Council working together with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.
So the Council is asking citizens to think about people who live within their area: people whose actions have made a truly positive impact in the community, or on the borough as a whole; people who show caring and devotion for others; people who are shining examples of community spirit, giving selflessly of their time and their talents to support and help individuals within their communities.
Anyone aged 16 or over, who is either a resident or who serves Ashford’s communities but lives outside the borough, can be nominated. Essentially, the dedication of those people nominated must shine through as an example to others and their personal efforts must inspire those around them.
Full information, including nomination forms and guidance notes, are on the Council’s website here. Nominations are now open until Monday 21st May.
22 March 2018
New planning application for land at Lenacre Hall Farm
A hybrid planning application was made in October 2017 for the development of land at Lenacre Hall Farm (application number 17/01613/AS).
The application was for up to 89 new residential dwellings and comprised a full planning application for the development of 21 new residential dwellings and an outline planning application for the development of up to 68 new dwellings. The SLRA and many individual members made responses to this application.
Now, a fresh planning application has been made for the development of 21 new residential dwellings on land at Lenacre Hall Farm. Full details may be found here (application number 18/00413/AS).
The SLRA committee will be meeting in the near future to consider this application.
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 industrial estates.
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 Transport (DfT).
- 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 published.
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, respectively.
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 below:
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
A list of issues for the examination (ID/2)
List of issues and questions (part 1) which are to be addressed during the examination (ID/3)
List of issues and questions (part 2) which are to be addressed during the examination (ID/4)
A Hearings Programme
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 donate please go to www.gofundme.com/helpmayorwinston.
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 www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke.
People can book their place at an event online, by calling 0300 790 6796 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
You can read the consultation document and complete the questionnaire which can be returned online or 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 as follows:
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.
Protecting the rural character of Sandyhurst Lane and the adjoining area
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