14 December 2011

Christmas and New Year refuse and Blue Box recycling collections 2011/12
(issued by Ashford Borough Council)

Collections will be as normal up to and including the 23 December 2011


















*Refuse and recycling to be out for 6am on these dates. Please note that if your refuse and recycling is not put out by the times specified we will be unable to collect it until your next scheduled collection date.

^Residents whose blue box would normally be collected on Friday 30th December will have a normal blue box collection on the 30th December.


Collections may be up to one day later than shown. Residents are asked to leave their refuse out until it is collected.



12 December 2011

Final Version of 'Ashford 2030 - A Framework' Published

Ashford Borough Council has now published the final version of 'Ashford 2030 - A Framework' and it may be viewed here.

Following adoption of the document, the Council's Cabinet will request Officers to draw up appropriate implementation proposals.



12 December 2011

Free Christmas Parking on Saturday 17 December
New Rents Toilets Saved from Closure 

Ashford Borough Council has made the following two announcements:

1.     Parking in the Council’s town centre car parks will be free of charge on Saturday, 17th December 2011. Traditionally this is one of the key Christmas shopping days and we hope that this measure will provide a seasonal stimulus to both retailers and shoppers alike.

2.     Much has been made in the media regarding the proposal to close the New Rents public toilets. The location of these toilets is such that they provide a vital social facility to shoppers, visitors and residents, and thereby these toilets also contribute significantly to the retail offer of the town centre. Consequently, the public toilet facilities at New Rents will not be closed.


8 December 2011

New Westwell Community Website

A new website has been created for the parish of Westwell, primarily to plan and manage fundraising for, and the celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee to be held in Westwell Parish in June 2012.

The site may be accessed from our 'Useful Links' page, or by clicking this link.



5 December 2011

Tender Invitation Issued for Provision of Waste Services

Recent press coverage has highlighted the poor performance of Ashford Borough Council in recycling domestic waste. On 2 December 2011, a tender invitation was issued for providing waste collection and street cleaning services in Ashford, Maidstone and Swale. The service provision will include household refuse collection and recycling services, collection and transportation of clinical-waste, street cleaning and sweeping services and the operation of a refuse site. Ashford Borough Council is hoping that, by combining with neighbouring District Councils, they will gain economies of scale and deliver an improved service, with a far greater degree of recycling. A brief by the Deputy Council Leader may be viewed here.


16 November 2011

Planning permission granted for conversion of one garage into a utility room
at 16 Hoads Wood Gardens 


Planning permission was granted on 15 November 2011 for the conversion of one half of a double garage into a utility room at 16 Hoads Wood Gardens (see news item 5 October 2011). Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/01160/AS).


4 November 2011

Proposal to Split the Parish of Boughton Aluph & Eastwell

Members of SLRA may be aware that there is a campaign, led by Rita Hawes (ex-parish and borough councillor for Boughton Aluph and Eastwell) and others, to split the Boughton Aluph & Eastwell (BA&E) Parish into two new parishes. The new parishes proposed are a "rural" part (Boughton Aluph and Eastwell) and an "urban" part (Goat Lees and Trinity). It is not clear whether the part of Sandyhurst Lane and adjoining roads falling in the present BA&E parish would be transferred to the new "urban" Goat Lees/Trinity Parish. The present BA&E Parish Council is opposed to the proposal.

A circular was sent to some BA&E parishioners earlier this year. Following this, a Public Meeting has been called. Details of this Public Meeting are contained in the following notice, which has been published in the BA&E parish magazine, under the heading "One or Two Parishes?":

The response to the circular on the question of the extent to which the present parish/ward boundaries can meet the different needs of "urban" Goatlees/Trinity Road and "rural" Boughton Aluph/Eastwell was simple and specific. Of the 60 responses received 59 saw the creation of two parishes as a necessary and realistic solution. In light of the fact that those 60 responses reflected the views of 86 individual residents A Public Meeting has been arranged for Thursday 17 November at 7.30pm in St. Christopher's Church Boughton Lees. The purpose of the meeting will be to explore the options available and to determine the way forward. Please come along - the greater the number of residents the greater the pressure that can be brought to bear on Ashford Borough Council to meet the needs of "rural" Boughton Aluph. YOU'RE NEEDED Rita Hawes Hugh Davies.

The SLRA Committee considered this issue at its most recent meeting, held on 6 October 2011. It came to the view that the SLRA opposed the proposal for several reasons, including opposition to the inferred proposal in the original circular to set up a new residents' association. The relevant minute of the SLRA Committee meeting is reproduced here:

A circular had recently been distributed by Rita Hawes (ex Boughton Aluph & Eastwell councillor) and others to residents in the BA&E ward/parish area. It included a questionnaire asking residents if they thought the parish should be split into two separate parishes for Goatlees/Kennington and Boughton Aluph/Eastwell. It also asked if a residents’ association should be formed as ‘the best way forward’.

The Committee discussed the proposal, including comments received from residents, and formed the view that there was little merit in such a split and the status quo was preferred. It appeared likely to increase costs for little benefit. The Committee was opposed to the proposal for a new residents’ association, since SLRA already existed for Sandyhurst Lane and the adjoining area.

If you have a view on this issue, particularly if you live in the BA&E Parish, please consider attending the Public Meeting to make your views known, whether you are for or against the proposal. It is important that the debate is balanced, with the views both of those opposed to and those in favour of the proposal being heard. If you have a view, beware of falling into a silent majority.

To check whether you live in the BA&E parish, go to our web page "MPs & Councillors"



18 October 2011

Planning permission granted for erection of a two storey side extension
at Crossways, Maidstone Road


Planning permission was granted on 17 October 2011 for the erection of a two storey side extension and dormer window to front elevation at Crossways, Maidstone Road (see news item 1 September 2011). Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00973/AS).



12 October 2011

Kent Highway Services replies to SLRA lobby on road safety
at the A20/Sandyhurst Lane Junction (Potters Corner)


Following the SLRA lobby letter sent to KCC Highway Services (see news item 7 October 2011), a reply has been received. Following the usual caveats about bedgetary constraints, the authority has indicated that, because of the serious accidents which have occurred in recent years at this junction, further investigation is warranted. They will, in conjunction with the police, examine the safety record in the area and then take whatever action can be justified, within the available budgets.



11 October 2011

Press release issued by M20 Noise Action Group

Following the meeting held on 29 September 2011 (see news item below) the M20 Noise Action Group has issued the following press release:

70 residents attended  a meeting organised to promote the campaign to resurface the M20 junctions 8-9. Richard Knox Johnston Chairman of Protect Kent, outlined the many issues associated with having a concrete surface. John Britt, Resident and organiser said “I am delighted at the response from residents who live with this dreadful noise. We are also affected by pollution and believe that it seriously affects the health of those residents like myself who live nearby. I am delighted the CPRE are working with us on this campaign”. The group agreed to establish a committee who will work with CPRE Protect Kent will be forming a strategy to promote resurfacing at the earliest opportunity. For residents who wish to know more about the campaign or get involved email Tom Sams co organiser, tomsams@maidstone.gov.uk or ring 01622 859412. The newly elected committee will be having its first meeting on Tuesday November 9th 7.30pm.


7 October 2011

M20 Noise - Revival of lobby group

The traffic noise from the M20 is a major cause of concern for many SLRA members; it was the third most important issue revealed in our 2009 survey - after planning issues and speeding. The M20 Noise Action Group (M20NAG) is a lobby group campaigning for the resurfacing of the M20 between junctions 8 and 9 and is supported by bodies and individuals from various locations between Maidstone and Ashford. Having been relatively dormant in recent times, it held a meeting on 29 September 2011 to explore the possibility of moving the issue 'up the agenda'. This was a positive meeting and it was agreed to re-form the Action Group. SLRA Committee member John Hobbs has joined the Group on behalf of SLRA and has provided a report of the meeting.



7 October 2011

SLRA lobbies Kent Highway Services on Road Safety
at the A20/Sandyhurst Lane Junction (Potters Corner)


Following concerns expressed to the SLRA by residents, we have started a lobby of Kent Highway Services to improve road safety at the junction of the A20 Maidstone Road with Sandyhurst Lane and Godinton Lane (Potters Corner). There have been numerous accidents at this junction in the last few years, with two serious injury accidents occurring in 2009 and 2010. We have submitted a letter to the highways authority, supported with accident data. One possible measure which SLRA is suggesting is the extension of the 40mph limit from the Orchard Heights roundabout to beyond Potters Corner.



5 October 2011

Planning permission sought for conversion of one garage into a utility room
at 16 Hoads Wood Gardens 

An application has been made for the conversion of one half of a double garage into a utility room at 16 Hoads Wood Gardens. The closing date for comments is 28 October 2011. Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/01160/AS).



27 September 2011

Planning permission granted for demolition of single storey attached outbuilding and chimney and erection of 2 storey rear extension with chimney
at Kingsland House, Kingsland Lane.


Planning permission and listed building consent were granted on 26 September 2011 for the above works at Kingsland House (see news item 10 August 2011). Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00943/AS and case number 11/00944/AS).


25 September 2011

M20 Noise Action Group - Public Meeting

One of the issues of concern to many members is the noise generated by traffic using the concrete section of the M20, between junctions 8 and 9 and the SLRA has lobbied in the past for it to be resurfaced. There is also a specific lobby group, the M20 Noise Action Group (M20NAG), which was formed in 2006  to explore what might be done to progress the resurfacing of that stretch of the motorway. However, it has been relatively dormant until recently, because the relevant authorities have shelved any plans for resurfacing.

However, there is now a move to re-open the M20NAG initiative to explore what might be possible if the campaign was given some new life. It is felt that unless some action is taken to push the issue “up the agenda” nothing will happen and those living with the disruption caused by the increased car and commercial vehicle traffic will continue to endure the noise.

To explore this idea, a public meeting has been organised: 7.30pm on Thursday 29th September in the Community Centre, Groom Way, Lenham. Richard Knox-Johnson, from the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the Chief Executive of Protect Kent will update everyone on the issues facing Kent and give his support to the M20NAG Campaign.

At least one SLRA committee member will attend and other SLRA members may also wish to attend. Should you wish to attend, please RSVP to Tom Sams on tomsams@maidstone.gov.uk or telephone 01622 859412.


14 September 2011

Retrospective planning permission granted for alterations and repairs to garden shed at Carnac, Westwell Lane

Retrospective planning permission was granted on 13 September 2011 for alterations and repairs to an existing garden shed which had suffered storm damage at Carnac, Westwell Lane. (see news item 3 August 2011). Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00900AS).


9 September 2011

Planning permission granted for construction of a garden room
at 374 Sandyhurst Lane


Planning permission was granted on 8 September 2011 for the construction of a detached room in the garden of 374 Sandyhurst Lane (see news item 16 July 2011). Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00832/AS).


2 September 2011

Appeal against planning permission refusal for erection of house to rear of 10 Sandyhurst Lane / Potters Close dismissed

Following the second refusal of permission to build a three bedroom house in the back garden of 10 Sandyhurst Lane (see news item 10 March 2011), an appeal was been lodged with the Secretary of State for the Environment. (see news item 25 May 2011). The SLRA, amongst others, opposed the applications and the appeal (see news item 12 July 2011). The appeal was decided on 1 September 2011 and was dismissed. Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00024/AS).


1 September 2011

Planning permission sought for erection of a two storey side extension
at Crossways, Maidstone Road

An application has been made for the erection of a two storey side extension and dormer window to front elevation at Crossways, Maidstone Road. The closing date for comments is 17 October 2011. Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00973/AS).


10 August 2011

Planning permission sought for demolition of single storey attached outbuilding and chimney and erection of 2 storey rear extension with chimney
at Kingsland House, Kingsland Lane.

An application has been made for planning permission for the above works at Kingsland House. Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00943/AS). As it is a listed building, listed building consent is also sought in application case number 11/00944/AS. Comments on both applications are due by 2 September 2011.


7 August 2011

New regulations for houses not on mains drains

The Environment Agency has brought out new requirements for homes that are not connected to the main drains. Such homes use cesspits/cesspools or septic tanks to collect and hold waste water etc, which is then emptied by one of the many operators in the area such as SCS, Sucklifts, Veolia. Some systems (septic tanks, mini sewage treatment or ‘package’plants) also discharge liquid to the land via a soakaway, or into a water course.

If you have a septic tank or a package sewage treatment plant then you will need to register for either an exemption or an environmental permit.

If you have a cesspool or cesspit, where there is no discharge to the environment and the tanks have to be emptied on a regular basis, then you will not require an exemption or an environmental permit.
The need for either an exemption or an environmental permit depends on how much you discharge per day, and whether you discharge to ground or to water. You may be eligible for an exemption if you discharge domestic effluent of:

5 cubic metres per day or less to a river, stream, estuary or the sea from a sewage treatment plant (this is equivalent to 31 people in 1 property); or
2 cubic metres per day or less to groundwater via a drainage field or infiltration system from a septic tank or sewage treatment plant (equivalent to 9 people in 1 property).

Registration can be done online - go to the septic tank registration page on the Environment Agency website, which also contains links to further explanatory information. Alternatively phone 08708 506 506 for a copy of the form.

You have until 31st December 2011 to register if you discharge to land, but this must be done immediately if it is into a water course. Registration is free and you only need to register once.

In some situations (such as properties close to a nature conservation area) an application must be made instead for a permit, for which there is a charge. Guidance is available online from the Environment Agency.


3 August 2011

Retrospective planning permission sought for alterations and repairs to garden shed at Carnac, Westwell Lane

A retrospective application has been made for alterations and repairs to an existing garden shed which had suffered storm damage. Comments are due by 26 August 2011. Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00900AS).


29 July 2011

RESIDENTS' COMPUTER SCAM ALERT

A resident has been phoned several times today by an English-speaking, Indian-sounding man called John, saying he was from PC Wizard and that there was a problem with their Windows 7 operating system. A Google search confirms this is a scam. Click here for a similar story. Residents are warned not to give their personal details to any such callers.


23 July 2011

Planning permission sought for the siting of a container at
Sandyacres Sports & Social Club

An application has been made for the siting of a container to house sport field machinery to replace an existing garage building at Sandyacres Sports & Social Club, Sandyhurst Lane. Comments are due by 15 August 2011. Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00857AS).
(This application was granted by the Planning Committee on 1 September 2011)


16 July 2011

Planning permission sought for construction of a garden room
at 374 Sandyhurst Lane

An application has been made to construct a detached room in the garden of 374 Sandyhurst Lane. Comments are due by 8 August 2011. Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00832/AS).


12 July 2011

Possible new Public Right of Way: Can you help?

Boughton Aluph and Eastwell Parish Council are seeking to adopt the 'TRACK' which runs from Sandyhurst Farm Cottage uphill to the rear of no. 250 Sandyhurst Lane (“ Molehill”) and then turns 90 degrees down to Upper Pemberton and to Trinity Road, but NOT where the new fingerpost for AE210 is sited.
In the early 1980s, the large field crossed by AE 210 was divided in two for lambing and we were asked by the farmer to use the track or Farm Access Track instead.
If walkers can show that they have walked the track for 20 years and can sign forms to this effect, this will support the case for Public Right of Way status. Even if less than 20 years, it may still be important. It is thought that many dog walkers have used the round route of AE 210 and the farm track.
So, if you have walked the Track, it would be very helpful if you could email the SLRA Chairman, Howard Preston, (howard.preston9@tiscali.co.uk) and let him know for how many years you have done so. An early response, and no later than 20 July, would be appreciated. Thank you.


12 July 2011

SLRA response to appeal against planning permission refusal for erection of house to rear of 10 Sandyhurst Lane / Potters Close

Following the second refusal of permission to build a three bedroom house in the back garden of 10 Sandyhurst Lane an appeal was lodged with the Secretary of State for the Environment (see news item 25 May 20112011). The SLRA has submitted a response which may be viewed here.


8 July 2011

Planning permission granted for installation of PV solar panels
at Lenacre Hall Farm, 393 Sandyhurst Lane

On 7 July 2011 planning permission was granted to install photovoltaic solar panels on a south facing roof at Lenacre Hall Farm (see news item dated 19 May 2011). Full details are available here. (search for case number 11/00493/AS).

























News Archive for Jul-Dec 2011

Normal Collection Day

Revised collection day

Monday 26 December *Wednesday 28 December
Tuesday 27 December *Wednesday 28 December
Wednesday 28 December *Thursday 29 December
Thursay 29 December *Friday 30 December
Friday 30 December *^Friday 6 January 2012
(refuse only)
Monday 2 January 2012 Tuesday 3 January 2012
Tuesday 3 January 2012 Normal collection
Wednesday 4 January 2012 Normal collection
Thursday 5 January 2012 Normal collection
Friday 6 January 2012 Normal collection


NEWS FOR OTHER PERIODS

Please go to our News archive index

HERE