News Archive for Jul-Dec 2014
23 December 2014
Planning permission sought for extension at 65 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for the erection of a first floor extension, single storey rear extension, side infill extension and front porch at 65 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 15 January 2015. Full details may be viewed here (if necessary, search for case number 14/01588/AS).
20 December 2014
Highway feasibility study
Earlier this year, Boughton Aluph and Eastwell Parish Council (BA&E PC) commissioned a highway feasibility study of various roads within the parish, including a traffic survey of Sandyhurst Lane (about half of which lies in the BA&E parish). The part of the study on Sandyhurst Lane looked, in particular, at the Lane’s use as a ‘rat run’ between the A220 and A251.
The initial report and recommendations, which were publicised in October by public presentations at Sandyacres and the Iron Room, have now been published by BA&E PC and can be viewed here.
We shall be discussing traffic and road safety further at our AGM on 25 March 2015.
19 December 2014
Planning permission granted for extension and conversion to two storeys at Hayleigh, 328 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 18 December 2014 for the erection of a single storey rear extension to accommodate garage and first floor extensions to form a two storey dwelling at Hayleigh, 328 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be viewed here (if necessary, search for case number 14/01401/AS).
2 December 2014
Christmas & New Year waste and recycling collections
Ashford Borough Council have published the Christmas & New Year schedule for waste and recycling collections.
For SLRA residents who normally have collections on Thursdays, the changes are as follows:
Thursday 25 December changed to Saturday 27 December (waste)
Thursday 1 January changed to Saturday 3 January (recycling)
Thursday 8 January changed to Friday 9 January (waste)
Full details may be viewed in the leaflet here.
22 November 2014
SLRA Notice Board
As an update to our news item dated 6 November 2014, we are delighted to say that we have now received full compensation for the repairs to our damaged notice board.
15 November 2015
Free parking before Christmas
Recently we passed on information about free parking at certain times in certain car parks in Ashford and Tenterden (see news item dated 29 October 2014).
In addition to this, Ashford Borough Council has now announced that there will be free parking in ALL Council run car parks on the following three Sundays in the run up to Christmas:
Sunday 7 December
Sunday 14 December
Sunday 21 December
There will also be free parking in all Council run car parks in Tenterden from 2 pm on Friday 5 December.
15 November 2014
Hothfield Common Visitor Centre
At their October Cabinet meeting, Ashford Borough Council agreed plans for a visitor centre and café at Hothfield Common (replacing the run-down toilet block currently in place). The subsequent announcement says:
The new visitor centre and café at Hothfield Heathlands will provide facilities for residents and visitors, as well as create a new small business opportunity. It will also help to address anti-social behaviour and provide an effective solution to managing the existing building which is becoming no longer fit for purpose.
The beautiful reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and contains one of the UK’s few remaining lowland valley and heath bogs. It is a popular spot with ramblers, dog walkers and leisure visitors and therefore is in need for this type of facility.
The visitor centre will include glass and timber cladding to complement the natural environment and to give it a warm and welcoming appearance. The café will have indoor and outdoor seating with toilets accessible from inside the café and externally via a covered walkway and will be available when the café is open.
The plans are endorsed by the Hothfield Regeneration Group and parish council.
Cllr Jessamy Blanford, portfolio holder for environment and open spaces, said: “In my view this café and improved facilities will be a great addition to the locality, adjacent to our enlarged visitor car park and supporting visitors to the heathlands as well as the many people travelling along this part of the busy A20.”
The cost of the project is estimated to be around £327,000 and is likely to open in summer 2015.
8 November 2014
Planning permission sought for extension and conversion to two storeys at Hayleigh, 328 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for planning permission for the erection of single storey rear extension, single storey side extension to accommodate garage and first floor extensions to form a two storey dwelling at Hayleigh, 328 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 1 December 2014. Full details may be viewed here (if necessary search for case number 14/01401/AS).
4 November 2014
SLRA responds to KCC consultation on Community Warden Service
Kent County Council currently operates a Community Warden Service. According to the website, these wardens are out between 7.30am and 10pm every day in 128 Kent communities. The website page for “Ashford Wardens” shows that there are currently 9 wardens and 1 supervisor covering ten areas of “greater Ashford” [our expression], from Wittersham in the south-west to Chilham in the north-east, from Charing in the north-west to Aldington in the south-east. This is an area in the region of 250 square miles [our estimate]. The nearest area to us is “Charing and Hothfield” but no specific warden is currently assigned to it.
Kent County Council is now undertaking a consultation on their proposals to restructure the Community Warden Service in the light of budget cuts. The existing service across the whole of Kent employs 79 community wardens under 12 supervisors and 3 area managers with 4 administrative support posts. The KCC proposal is to reduce this to 40 community wardens under 6 supervisors and 2 area managers with 1 administrative support post. KCC proposes to use this smaller number of wardens as a “centralised service” with no distinct district responsibilities, that responds to community needs as and when they occur across the county.
SLRA has made an online response to the KCC consultation on the Community Warden service.
The response is summarised below:
KCC: Do you support the proposal as set out in the Consultation Document?
KCC: If no, please tell us why:
SLRA: None of our members has reported any involvement with the Community Warden service. We feel there is little point in reducing the staff in the existing service; they are already so thinly spread that it would be better to disband the service and put the resources into more visible services such as the uniformed Police or Police Community Support Officers.
KCC: Do you support the proposal for less focus on geographic boundaries, so that Wardens can be quickly and easily deployed to where they’re needed most?
KCC: If no, please tell us why:
SLRA: Moving from a district based service to a centralised service would defeat the object of a “community” based service.
KCC: If these proposals were implemented, what could be the impact upon you / your organisation?
SLRA: No impact.
KCC will publish the results of the consultation on www.kent.gov.uk/communitywardensconsultation.
29 October 2014
Free parking in Ashford and Tenterden
Ashford Borough Council are now operating free parking in certain car parks at certain times in Ashford and Tenterden. You may need a superhuman memory to remember the somewhat confusing differences in times and places, but here they are. They are also shown on the poster available here.
Edinburgh Road multi-storey car park: After 3 pm Mon – Sat, All day Sundays and Bank Holidays
Flour Mills: All day Sundays and Bank Holidays
Station Road: After 3 pm Sundays and Bank Holidays
(Edinburgh Road multi-storey is the one near Wilkinsons & Park Mall, Flour Mills is at the bottom of East Hill, opposite Ashford School and Station Road is the car park behind the bowling alley)
Bridewell Lane: All day Sundays and Bank Holidays
This information can also be viewed online here.
Note also that all car parks run by Ashford Borough Council are free after 6pm
17 October 2014
Update on planned works on M20
We have today received further information from the Highways Agency about the planned retexturing and grooving of the M20 Kondon bound carriageway between junctions 9 and 8 (see news item dated
9 October 2014). The Highways Agency do not anticipate an increase in traffic noise levels as a result of the work. However, they will welcome feedback on any impact residents feel the works have on noise levels.
The works will be caried out on just two stretches: from the start of the concrete at junction 9 to Watery Lane and from Fairbourne Lane, Harrietsham to Chegworth Lane.
17 October 2014
Hothfield Common Toilet Facilities
Visitors Hothfield Common will be familiar with the present toilet facilities, located near the car park, which leave a lot to be desired.
At the end of August, Ashford Borough Council lodged a planning application, with its own planning committee, for the partial demolition of the existing public toilet block and extension and change of use to create a new visitor cafe with new toilet facilities. The application is due for decision later this month (target date 23 October).
Whilst not universally supported, the application has several supporting comments and, if approved, may bring much needed improvement to this area. The planning application may be viewed here (if necessary, search for application number 14/01109/AS).
9 October 2014
M20: Planned works and closure
The London bound carriageway of the M20 between junctions 9 and 8 is to be ‘retextured’ in works beginning on 20 October. This will involve overnight closure of the motorway on weeknights.
The following information has been issued by Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald on behalf of the Highways Agency:
On behalf of the Highways Agency, we will be retexturing the M20 Londonbound carriageway between junction 9 and 8, near Ashford, Kent. Over time, the existing surface has become smoother resulting in a higher skid risk. We need to retexture the carriageway and install grooves so we can maximise the skid resistance.
When will work start and how long will it take?
Work is due to start from Monday 20 October to Friday 31 October, weather permitting. Work will take place between 8pm and 6am, weekday nights only.
Why do we want to do this work?
The work will improve skid resistance levels and increase safety for road users.
How will we carry out this work and how will it affect you?
In order to carry out this work, while maintaining the safety of road users and our road workers we will need to close the road. There will be a full carriageway closure in place on the Londonbound carriageway between junctions 9 and 8, including the entry slip road at junction 9 and the exit slip road at junction 8. Road users will follow a fully signed diversion route starting at junction 9 that follows the A20 to junction 8 where motorists will rejoin the M20. On approach to the closure there will be a 50 mph speed limit in place.
All diversions will be clearly signed. We have looked into various options for this scheme and have chosen this approach to minimise disruption to road users and residents. These diversions are suitable to carry all vehicles and have been agreed with Kent County Council and Kent Police.
Work of this nature does generate disruption, and inevitably a certain amount of noise. Efforts will be made to reduce this wherever possible. We appreciate your understanding and tolerance until they are completed.
We would advise you to follow the diversion signs and not any satellite navigation systems as they may not be aware of roadworks; it is advisable that you plan your journey and allow extra time.
This news may be unhelpful in the context of our long-standing campaign for noise reduction of the M20 through re-surfacing. It is not clear what effect the retexturing and grooving of the surface will have; we fear that it might even increase noise levels.
We have therefore written to the contractors/Highways Agency seeking clarification of the effect of the work on traffic noise levels.
8 October 2014
Planning permission granted for extension at Segarron, 63 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 7 October 2014 for a two storey side extension incorporating an integral garage and single storey rear extension at Segarron, 63 Sandyhurst Lane. Full details may be found here (if necessary, search for case number 14/01068/AS).
30 September 2014
Planning permission granted for garage conversion and extensions at
Bear Corner (Marlow), Westwell Lane
Planning permission was granted on 29 September 2014 for a garage conversion and extension, first floor extension over garage and single storey rear extension at Bear Corner (formerly Marlow), Westwell Lane. Full details may be found here (if necessary, search for case number 14/01052/AS).
10 Septemer 2014
We have recently received several reports of increased dog fouling in the SLRA area. For example:
“As a regular walker in Hoads Wood Gardens it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the dogs' mess on the pavements. With regard to the number of dog walkers, I don't think it can all be blamed on the resident foxes!
A little consideration (i.e. scooping poop) would go a long way. Surely there should be no need for a sign to remind people, in this sort of area?”
We feel that the culprits are unlikely to be SLRA members, but it may be worth pointing out that dog fouling is a reportable offence and can result in a fixed fine. So, in the interests of keeping our streets clean, you may wish to report any instances you witness, using the form provided by Ashford Borough Council’s dog warden service, which is available here.
The following is an extract from the Council’s information on this issue:
We provide enforcement and education services in respect of dog fouling issues. In all instances where evidence is obtained formal action will result, including the issue of on the spot fines (Fixed Penalty Notices).
We provide free poop scoop bags which are available from the Civic Centre in Tannery Lane, Ashford Gateway Plus, Church Road, Ashford, Tenterden Gateway and other locations throughout the borough.
28 August 2014
Planning permission granted for extension at Longfield, 390 Sandyhurst Lane
Planning permission was granted on 28 August 2014 for a rear single storey extension at Longfield, 390 Sandyhurst Lane (adjacent to Watsons Close). Full details may be viewed here (if necessary, search for case number 14/00878/AS).
28 August 2014
Planning permission sought for extension at Segarron, 63 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for a two storey side extension incorporating an integral garage and single storey rear extension at Segarron, 63 Sandyhurst Lane. The closing date for comments is 20 September 2014. Full details may be viewed here (if necessary, search for case number 14/01068/AS).
27 August 2014
Electricity power outages - repairs completed
Several members reported long power cuts which took place on Bank Holiday Monday, 25 August. This was because UK Power Networks were replacing the broken insulators which have been causing short power outages whenever it rains (see news item dated 18 August 2014).
UK Power Networks have today telephoned SLRA to confirm that the work was completed on Monday – so the problem should now be solved.
UKPN asked us to pass on to residents their apologies for the inconvenience that the numerous power outages caused and their thanks for your patience while the problem was fixed.
22 August 2014
Planning permission sought for garage conversion and extensions at
Bear Corner (Marlow), Westwell Lane
An application has been made for a garage conversion and extension, first floor extension over garage and single storey rear extension at Bear Corner (formerly Marlow), Westwell Lane.
The closing date for comments is 14 September 2014. Full details may be found here (if necessary, search for case number 14/01052/AS).
18 August 2014
Electricity 'outage' problems in Sandyhurst Lane
For the past week, we have been investigating reports of short power 'outages' which seem to occur whenever it rains. This has been causing great inconvenience for many residents. The area affected is from around 170 Sandyhurst Lane to around 400 Sandyhurst Lane and Lenacre Street.
We have been in correspondence with the electricity network operator responsible (UK Power Networks) and they have now found that the overhead line serving part of Sandyhurst Lane has some broken insulators which are likely to be the cause of the problem. UKPN are planning to replace these insulators, with work starting in about a week's time. The information they have provided is as follows:
"I can confirm that I have now heard back from the team in your local area with a solution to the problems that the residents of Sandyhurst Lane are suffering.
Our engineers have identified a section of overhead network leading to Sandyhurst Sandpit that has broken insulators on which we believe to be the main cause of the problem, these will need to be replaced. Due to the amount of problems with this spur of network our engineers are also going to install additional fusing so that if there are any intermittent problems, the circuit breaker trip will only affect approximately 20 customers in the immediate vicinity instead of over 300 in the area.
The engineer dealing with this matter hopes to commence repairs in approximately one week.
I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to the residents of Sandyhurst Lane, and I hope you find this further information useful."
25 July 2014
Planning permission sought for extension at Longfield, 390 Sandyhurst Lane
An application has been made for a rear single storey extension at Longfield, 390 Sandyhurst Lane (adjacent to Watsons Close). The closing date for comments is 9 September 2014. Full details may be viewed here (if necessary, search for case number 14/00878/AS).
25 July 2014
Planning permission granted for a new patio at
Sandyacres Sports & Social Centre
Planning permission was granted on 24 July to Sandyhurst Sports & Social Centre to re-lay the existing patio area to a (modified) level finish, with hand railing and balustrade guarding. The existing patio slopes down from the clubhouse at an angle of about 5°; the new patio will be level with a surrounding picket fence 1100mm high. Full details of the application may be found here (if necessary, search for application 14/00611/AS).
15 July 2014
Sandyhurst Lane re-opens
Sandyhurst Lane re-opened to traffic at the A20 junction at 6.30 pm this evening.
15 July 2014
Sandyhurst Lane road closure ends today or tomorrow
We are pleased advise that Southern Gas Networks have told us that the closure of Sandyhurst Lane will end today or tomorrow.
Please see below for the full text of their message:
We will be completing the works outside the houses on Maidstone Road today and looking to re open Sandyhurst Lane by the end of the day or first thing in the morning. We were hoping to open the road yesterday afternoon but there were concerns from the traffic management company about traffic exiting Sandyhurst Lane having to stop and give way by the last stage of our works and then pulling out in front of fast approaching traffic, although there is a speed restriction in place this as I am sure you are aware is not observed by all, therefore the decision was made to keep the road shut until today for the safety of all concerned.
Now that the new mains have been installed we will shortly be carrying out the final stage of disconnecting the old mains, this will consist of one excavation approximately where the works started last summer. This will be only one days work and may require two way traffic lights depending on the location of existing mains and a further one days work on Maidstone Road close to where we are working at present which will require minimal traffic management.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Sandyhurst Lane for their patience and cooperation during these essential gas mains replacement works.
10 July 2014
Westwell Lane: Road works completed
Road works in Westwell Lane are now complete, holes filled, tarmacked and even white lined. The barriers have been repositioned and the refuse collection is taking place today as normal and emergency vehicles can get unrestricted access. We understand that the recycling collection, which was missed last week because the collection vehicle could not access Westwell Lane, will take place next Thursday, when extra recycling in cardboard boxes or the old blue boxes will be collected.
9 July 2014
Mobility scooter access to the A20
Southern Gas Networks have advised that the junction of Sandyhurst Lane and the A20 remains open for pedestrians and mobility scooters with a dedicated walkway.
8 July 2014
Fire service access to Westwell Lane
With the current restricted access to Westwell Lane, at least for large vehicles, SLRA Committee member Tony Bartlett has been in touch with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) to alert them to the potential problems of accessing properties in Westwell Lane.
KFRS have responded positively by examining the situation and are keeping it under review (see below).
We have just driven by the junction to Westwell Lane from the entrance to Sandyhurst Lane joining from the A20 end. At the moment we can get an appliance down Westwell Lane to the houses that you have referred to from this direction, but you can not get there from the Faversham Road end as this route has been made one way and the turning is too tight for Westwell Lane from this direction.
I think that the situation will require monitoring by watches in case the route is totally blocked by the gas works.
We will arrange to visit the area again over the next few days, but if you are at all concerned please contact me directly.
The above response was received before today’s total closure of the junction, but Tony has advised them of this new development, so that they can take it into account in further assessments.
7 July 2014
Sandyhurst Lane closed in both directions at A20 junction
Following the widespread abuse of the one-way system in operation for the past week at the junction of the A20 and Sandyhurst Lane, the road will tomorrow be closed in both directions for the duration of the road works. Matters were brought to a head by drivers not only breaking road traffic law but also by behaving aggressively towards pedestrians and residents and, in one case, assaulting a pedestrian.
It is regrettable that the actions of these thoughtless and selfish drivers have brought further disruption and inconvenience to the majority of law-abiding residents. Sadly, the law breakers cannot be described as a 'small' minority; we received reports of dozens of vehicles blatantly ignoring the 'No Entry' sign near the end of the Lane.
The Police have yet to respond to our request to them to intervene.
The new KCC Traffic Order may be viewed here.
6 July 2014
Sandyhurst Lane road closure: SLRA asks Police to step in
Following a week of chaos and danger caused by drivers ignoring the KCC Traffic Order prohibiting exit from Sandyhurst Lane on to the A20, the SLRA has now called on the Police to intervene. We have made numerous appeals to Southern Gas Networks and KCC Highways to improve control of the junction, but nothing appears to have been done. We are receiving growing numbers of reports of vehicles travelling the wrong way through the 'no-entry' sign in Sandyhurst Lane and meeting law-abiding drivers head-on, coming the other way.
Matters have now come to a head with reports of drivers being aggressive towards residents and one incident of reported assault by a driver on an elderly resident. We have therefore asked the Police to intervene.
The SLRA Notice Board, located next to the post box opposite the footpath to Sandyhurst Farm, was severely damaged on 15 August 2014 by a hedge cutter operating in the adjacent field, owned by Eastwell Estate. This was only eight months after it was installed.
We are pleased to say that we have now had the notice board repaired and it has been re-installed.
Sadly, however, we have so far been unable to recover the cost of repairs; telephone messages and recorded delivery letters to the Estate Director have been ignored.
The damaged notice board The repaired notice board
6 November 2014
SLRA Notice Board replaced after damage
NEWS FOR OTHER PERIODS
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