LENHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
INFRASTRUCTURE DELIVERY GROUP
Note of Meeting held on Wednesday 31stJanuary at 10.00 a.m. at the offices of DHA, Maidstone.
Present: Paul McCreery, PMC Planning for Lenham Parish Council
Toby Hudson, Countryside
Chris Hawkins, DHA for Countryside
Tim Dean, for the Barr family
Guy Dixon, Savills for Knight
Peter Court, PCA for Russell
Andrew Lawrence, for Russell
Barry Chamberlain, Wealden
Richard Greenwood, Chair Lenham Parish Council
Nick Osborne, Lenham Parish Council
Apologies were received from David Stewart of Jones Homes. The Meeting noted this was the second consecutive meeting that Jones Homes had not attended.
- Lenham Parish Council had signed the Agreement to Cooperate Notice circulated on 31stDecember 2017. The Council was in the process of appointing local surveyors/valuers to assist in the evaluation of William Pitt Field which the Parish Council had agreed could be released for development.
- David Knight had also signed the Agreement to Cooperate and was in the process of appointing Masterplanners to produce a joint scheme for the land south of the Railway.
POST MEETING NOTE: a meeting was arranged to be held at 10.00 a.m. at Lenham on Thursday 8thFebruary to discuss the Masterplan. All invited.
- The Towers/Eastwood interest had not signed the Agreement to Cooperate but had agreed to jointly appoint Wates to represent them through a Promotion Agreement.It was anticipated that Wates would sign the Agreement to Cooperate on behalf of the family.
- Countryside had signed the Agreement to Cooperate.Countryside had concerns that the draft Lenham Neighbourhood Plan showed an access to their land through land controlled by Jones Homes. It was noted that Jones Homes did not yet have a reserved matters approval for their scheme granted in outline at appeal in 2016. It was agreed that Lenham Neighbourhood Plan needed greater clarity on the Jones Homes position. It was also noted that an alternative (but not preferred) means of access could be delivered by an improvement to Ham Lane and its junction with the A20. Paul McCreery to seek a meeting with Jones Homes to clarify their position.
- Tim Dean (Barr’s) had signed the Agreement to Cooperate and were progressing discussions with Southern Water to secure a foul drainage connection for their site which was relatively free standing.
- Brian Chamberlain said Wealden had signed the Agreement to Cooperate and could also come forward independently of any new highway or drainage network.Wealden were happy to cooperate however with the joint drainage study if it helped the Neighbourhood Plan to progress.
- Andrew Lawrence for Russell said he had recently been appointed and would wish to consider the situation and take instructions.
POST MEETING NOTE: Paul McCreery met with Andrew Lawrence on Friday 2nd February at which time Andrew Lawrence verbally agreed to cooperate but declined to sign the Agreement to Cooperate. At the meeting Andrew Lawrence expressed concern that the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan should progress on a no betterment (i.e. no ransom) basis as the value for each site was only created by the Plan. Landowners should be justly compensated for the cost providing additional infrastructure on their land if needed to bring other sites forward but any site should not be holding other sites to ransom. Paul McCreery said he would take instructions on this point and hoped that Lenham Parish Council would take the lead on this no betterment basis.
- Lenham Parish Council had met with Kent County Council to discuss a brief for the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Transportation Study.Kent County Council had suggested a draft Scope of Works (Brief) which Lenham Parish Council would consider on 6thFebruary 2018. Lenham Parish Council had a meeting fixed with Maidstone Borough Council (Mark Egerton) for 2.00 p.m. on Thursday February 8thto discuss and agree the Brief and other Lenham Neighbourhood Plan matters. Any Transportation Study should consider the implications of potential bus routes and the Network Rail position.
- ICOSA Water had submitted a fee proposal for water and waste water solutions for the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan Developments.It was agreed that ICOSA should be instructed to proceed. Paul McCreery to produce a fee breakdown excluding Lenham Parish Council (because of their cost contributions elsewhere).
POST MEETING NOTE: Wates will be invited to fund the study in due course. Andrew Lawrence (for Russell) declined to contribute at this stage. Tim Dean agreed to produce a travelling draft of an ownership plan for the project. Paul McCreery agreed to produce a build program. Both are items requested by ICOSA.
- Masterplanning is required for Lenham Neighbourhood Plan arising from Maidstone Borough Local Plan.As noted in Point 2 above, the Masterplanning for the land south of the railway was progressing.
POST MEETING NOTE: We need to understand the Countryside position on Masterplanning the land to the north of the Railway and west of Ham Lane, and whether a more complete and updated version can be circulated before the next meeting. The Masterplanning for the Barr proposal has been completed to the satisfaction of Lenham Parish Council.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
- The SEA was progressing through AECOM in a project for Lenham Parish Council funded by DCLG.Lenham Parish Council were currently commenting on draft Reports and the material would be given wider circulation in due course.
Any Other Business
- Paul McCreery/Nick Osborne confirmed Network Rail (NR) had requested £25,000 as an advance payment to even begin to consider the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan.Lenham Parish Council had advised Network Rail that this was not acceptable or feasible. Network Rail had yet to reply to the letter from Lenham Parish Council seeking clarification of their position.
- One issue was who would maintain any extended footbridge over all three railway lines providing access to the station from the south.Network Rail had declined to maintain such a bridge on the basis it carried ‘mixed’ foot traffic, i.e. some people walking over the bridge to access facilities in Lenham but not using the railway as customers. At a recent meeting Kent County Council had confirmed they would not maintain any such footbridge.
POST MEETING NOTE: Paul McCreery to write to Kent County Council seeking confirmation of their position on this issue.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
- Paul McCreery confirmed Lenham Neighbourhood Plan would be implented after Maidstone Borough Council introduces CIL in October/November 2018.It was anticipated by Maidstone Borough Council that 1000 houses at Lenham would raise CIL funds of circa £6.0M. There was general agreement that this was less than the amount normally collected under Section 106. Lenham Parish Council to raise issue of a CIL update with Maidstone Borough Council. With Lenham Neighbourhood Plan in place, Lenham Parish Council would get 25% of CIL for local parish infrastructure projects. Lenham Parish Council had a long list of candidates for this investment of potentially £1.5M which would be included in the next version of the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan.
- In terms of a programme Paul McCreery said the programme for publication of the Regulation 14 Draft Lenham Neighbourhood Plan would be delayed because of the need to agree and the contract for the Transportation Study funded by Maidstone Borough Council (see 8 above).For Countryside Toby Hudson said they would not progress any separate smaller Transportation Study if it would be subsumed within a larger Maidstone Borough Council-funded Study.
Date of Next Meeting
Next meeting to be held at 10.00 a.m. on Tuesday 13thMarch at DHA.