TWM Solicitors LLP
65 Woodbridge Road
Surrey GU1 4RD
For the attention of Matthew Truelove 21st June 2018
Potential development of land to the west of Ham Lane, Jones Homes and Roger Ambrose.
I am writing in reply to your request for disclosure under Freedom of Information of certain matters relating to the above land.
Jones Homes made a planning application to develop the land in question (reference 14/502973/FULL) dated 21stAugust 2014.
The application was the subject of a planning appeal with the decision letter dated 24thJune 2016. Lenham Parish Council were a party to the appeal (See Decision letter paragraph 13 for example. The planning application was the subject of a unilateral undertaking dated 12thMay 2016 which was signed by Roger James Ambrose and others. Lenham Parish Council were not party to the undertaking.
The documentation relating to the planning application and the appeal is publicly available via Maidstone Borough Council under the above-mentioned reference and further details is not therefore given here.
A planning application for the erection of 67 dwellings on the land (Maidstone Borough Council reference MA/16/500229/FULL) was submitted on 27thJanuary 2016 and was withdrawn on 22ndApril 2016.
Lenham Parish Council made representations on this application in a letter dated 13thMarch 2016. The documentation relating to this application is publicly available via Maidstone Borough Council under the above-mentioned reference and further detail is not therefore given here.
A reserved matters application (Maidstone Borough Council reference 16/506608/REM) pursuant to the above appeal outline permission was submitted to Maidstone Borough Council on 26thAugust 2016 by Jones Homes and was refused by Maidstone Borough Council on 21stNovember 2016. Lenham Parish Council made representations on this application is a letter dated 3rdOctober 2016.
An appeal (reference APP/U2235/W/17/3176098) was submitted in relation to the refusal of reserved matters. Representations were made on behalf of Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Group in a letter dated 12thAugust 2017. The appeal was dismissed in a letter dated 26thSeptember 2017.
The documentation relating to this application and appeal is available via Maidstone Borough Council under the above-mentioned reference and is not therefore given here.
An application for approval of reserved matters was submitted to Maidstone Borough Council on 25thAugust 2017 (Maidstone Borough Council reference 17/504450/REM). Lenham Parish Council made representations in an email dated 11thOctober 2017 (19:05 p.m.) A further representation was made on behalf of Lenham Parish Council dated 7thDecember 2017.
A letter from PMC Planning to Mr David Stewart at Jones Homes was dated 10thDecember 2017 and is posted on the Maidstone Borough Council planning website under reference 17/504450/REM. The application was approved on 16thMarch 2018. The letter dated 10thDecember 2017 to Jones Homes was written to be publicly available and effectively summarises the Parish Council’s position.
The pre-Regulation 14 Consultation Draft of the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan was posted on the Lenham Parish Council website with the consultation commencing on 1stSeptember 2017. The draft Plan and associated documents are available via the Parish Council website and further reference is not therefore given here.
The Lenham Neighbourhood Plan is formulated through the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Group (LNPG). Similarly planning matters generally are considered at Lenham Parish Council Planning Committee Meetings as well as at meetings of the Parish Council itself. Minutes of Group meetings are posted on Lenham Parish Council Website and further reference is not therefore given here.
Meetings of the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Infrastructure Delivery Group were held on the following dates:
Wednesday 1stNovember 2017
Wednesday 6thDecember 2017
Wednesday 31stJanuary 2018
Tuesday 13thMarch 2018
Thursday 7thJune 2018
For convenience copies of the notes of these meetings are attached.
The next meeting of Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Infrastructure Delivery Group is to be held at the office of DHA, Eclipse Park, Maidstone at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday 2ndAugust 2018. All landowners and their representatives are invited to attend this meeting.
On 22ndNovember 2017 Richard Timms (Maidstone Borough Council) wrote to Lenham Parish Council as follows:
I write in relation to the Parish Council’s comments on this application, I note the concerns re. emerging Neighbourhood Plan, access, and A20 improvements (attached).
In relation to these issues, as you know the site benefits from outline planning permission for up to 82 houses with access onto Ham Lane, which was allowed by the Planning Inspectorate after a Public Inquiry. This allows the principle of up to 82 houses and access onto Ham Lane. As this is a reserved matters application pursuant to the outline, we cannot re-visit the location of the access or any mitigation/improvements as this was approved/considered at the outline application stage by the Planning Inspector. Therefore, I would ask the PC to re-consider their request to call the application to committee on this basis please, as these are simply not grounds we can object on?
Richard Timms MRTPI
Principal Planning Officer
Maidstone BoroughCouncil, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6JQ
On 7thDecember, Margo McFarlane wrote to Maidstone Borough Council in relation toapplication reference 17/504450/REM in relation to application reference 17/504450/REM in the following terms:
After further consideration, reference 17/504450/REM – Land West of Ham Lane Lenham, please withdraw the parish council’s request to call
the application into the MBC planning committee.
We are able to move forward with the new spirit of cooperation between the neighbouring developers.
The issue has been fully discussed by both the LPC planning committee and the Neighbourhood plan group and both are in agreement with the above decision.
Regards Margo McFarlane (Clerk & RFO to Lenham Parish Council)
13 Mercer Drive Harrietsham ME17 1AY
Telephone 01622 859682
On 3rdMarch 2018 Paul McCreery (Neighbourhood Planning Advisor to Lenham Parish Council) wrote to Mr David Stewart as follows:
I am writing to confirm the conclusion of our informal telephone conversation held on the morning of 2ndMarch 2018.
- Maidstone Borough Council hope to determine your reserved matters application by 16thMarch 2018. Because some local objections had been withdrawn this application does not need to go to Committee.
- Jones Homes understand that Countryside and Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Group wish to construct a new access to the A20 in association with the construction of some of the sites proposed for release in Lenham Neighbourhood Plan (September 2017 draft). There may be a land swap arrangement and the commercial terms of that arrangement will not be of any concern to Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Group or Lenham Parish Council.
- Jones Homes has two years from approval of the last reserved matter during which to begin the development. It may be possible to re-plan the scheme to accommodate the junction during these two years.
- The Infrastructure Delivery Group has commissioned ICOSA to undertake a drainage study. That study will look at the sewerage arrangements necessary to serve the committed 1,364 new dwellings at Lenham. Jones Homes may benefit from the outcome of that study if it produced a cost effective foul sewerage solution. SWS are committed to upgrading Lenham Wastewater Treatment Works to take the additional flows arising.
- Maidstone Borough Council has offered to fund a Transportation Study to provide an evidence base to underpin Lenham Neighbourhood Plan. As yet the Borough Council legal team has not been able to advise on the terms of any contract with qualified Transportation Consultants. My advice to Infrastructure Delivery Group is to commission its own independent study to understand the capacity and design of the new road and any new junctions. Such a study could be an input into any Maidstone Borough Council study as and when it can be produced.
- Lenham Neighbourhood Plan will continue to be drafted in parallel with the work on the Transportation Study. Lenham Neighbourhood Plan can only go so far before the outcomes of the Transportation Study are known.
- The next meeting of the Infrastructure Delivery Group is 10.00 am on Tuesday, 13thMarch at the offices of DHA, Maidstone. There will be a follow-on meeting to draft ICOSA on their study. It is hoped that Jones Homes will be represented at both meetings.
On 8thMarch 2018 Nick Osborne of Lenham Parish Council wrote to David Stewart as follows:
Further to our telephone conversation on Tuesday 6thMarch.
At the meeting of Lenham Parish Council the 7thMarch 2018 the Planning application Ref No 14/503973/FULL was discussed and it was decided not to object to this application.
Therefore, our response to Maidstone Borough Council is that Lenham Parish Councils decision is “no comment”.
In making this decision the Parish Council welcomed your assurance that Jones Homes would be willing to work with Countryside Homes and Lenham Parish Council to achieve
a new entrance onto A20 which will service the developments to the West and South of Lenham and conform to our emerging Neighbourhood Plan which is on course to go to
examination by the end of this year.
Lenham Parish Council
We believe the contents of this letter fully explain and document the actions of Lenham Parish Council in relation to this matter. If there is any further information which we can provide, and which may be of assistance please do not hesitate to contact us further.
Clerk to Lenham Parish Council