News Archive for Jul-Sep 2017
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 number 17/01225/AS).
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 response here).
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 email to email@example.com
- 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 invites views to be either posted on their website or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents 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 assets.
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 adoption.
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 be included.
“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 document.
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 follows:
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 http://www.parishplan.uk/potential-sites/.) When the draft Neighbourhood Plan is published, it will 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 permanent.
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 questions.
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 Square.
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.
Protecting the rural character of Sandyhurst Lane and the adjoining area
NEWS FOR OTHER PERIODS
Please go to our News archive index
HGVs will be prohibited from parking between 20.00 and 07.00
The trial will start on Monday 30th October 2017
Enforcement will be by clamping on the first issue of a parking charge notice (previous schemes have not permitted clamping until 3 unpaid parking tickets had accumulated)
The scheme will be widely advertised by KCC and at ports, Eurotunnel and nearby truck stops, etc
The scheme will be subsidised by KCC, because the current parking charge and release fees are insufficient to cover costs
Legislation would eventually be required to raise the clamping release fee to £250 to cover costs (the current release fee is £90)