Note of Meeting held on Tuesday 9th July 2019 at 1.00 p.m. at the offices of DHA, Maidstone.
Present: Tim Dean – Dean Lewis Estates
Mark Bewsey – Countryside
Barry Chamberlain – Wealden Homes Ltd
Andrew Lawrence for Towers/Eastwood
Richard Greenwood, Chairman, LPC
Nick Osborne, LPC
Andy Ratcliffe, LPC
Paul McCreery, LPC
1. Apologies were received from Jones Homes (David Stewart and Will Simons) due to late notification of the meeting date. Apologies also from Toby Hudson, Tim Mitford-Slade and Mark Presland.
2. Paul McCreery referred to a Report on Agricultural Land Quality produced by Land Research Associated (12th February 2019) which had been circulated to the Group on 9th July and which would be shared with MBC as part of the evidence base supporting the Plan. Paul McCreery had circulated a July update for LNP which contained an updated list of those documents which will comprise the Plan. It had been agreed that Tim Mitford-Slade would complete and circulate his viability report in mid-August to meet the end of August submission deadline.
3. A pre-app meeting had been held at the offices of MBC on Thursday 4th July. Tim Dean reported a degree of scepticism on behalf of MBC towards the Neighbourhood Plan process and the evolution of the Lenham broad location proposals through the Local Plan Inquiry.
4. The planning application will make an offer of open space to accord with the necessity test. The balance of the open space will be part of the application but will not weigh in the planning balance in support of the application.
5. Dean Lewis Estates did not like the proposed local landscape designation to the east of Lenham. Dean Lewis Estates suggested that a Heritage Impact Assessment on the Conservation Area/Listed Buildings might be more appropriate.
6. Dean Lewis Estates to write to LPC and set out the basis of the offer in support of the application. The application would deliver:
I. A single senior football pitch for use as soon as possible;
II. A trim trail and children’s play area;
III. Car Park
IV. Site for a changing room building which would be large enough to accommodate a squash court.
Additional land will be provided for facilities not weighed in the planning balance;
V. A second senior football pitch;
VI. A junior football pitch.
7. The second senior football pitch would be the site of a proposed 4G all-weather pitch to be funded by others (LPC). The pavilion should be located to overlook this pitch as a requirement of Sports England.
8. Andy Ratcliffe said he had been in consultation with Sports England regarding the proposal and hence the request that another sport (squash?) be included in the offer.
9. Andrew Lawrence (Site 2) had met with David Knight (Site 3) and the Russell’s (Site 4). There was general agreement between the landowners to support the road infrastructure required to allow adoption by KCC as a bus route. The three landowners to issue a position statement.
10. Andrew Lawrence represents two of the three Towers/Eastwood family members. Paul McCreery and Richard Greenwood had met with the third family member and the general consensus was that, with the agreement now expressed in paragraph 9 above, this land was available and deliverable for development.
11. Work was progressing on a jointly agreed Masterplan for Sites 2, 3 and 4. Paul McCreery said this Plan could be included in the Regulation 16 Plan and he would ideally receive some notice of the agreed Masterplan before the end of August deadline for the new Plan.
12. Agreed to working on a Masterplan to be produced by Clague. Paul McCreery said he would be seeking for one large area of open space to be provided on Site 3 which should be suitable for a variety of organised sports. The Masterplan should allow LPC to understand the area of open spaces on offer so that the largest areas could be shown on the Revised Lenham Local Policies Map.
13. The Masterplan would provide for each ownership to show its own access onto Headcorn Road. In the case of Site 4 this could be achieved through the Old Goods Yard committed site. The key was to have the smallest width of road possible which KCC would approve for adoption and facilitate a two-way bus route.
14. LNP Regulation 16 would contain a requirement for Sites 2 and 4 to facilitate an access to Site 3 which in turn would be required to facilitate an access onto Old Ham Lane.
15. Paul McCreery said it was not part of the Neighbourhood Plan process to facilitate commercial arrangements between landowners. All the Plan needed to proceed was confidence that the land was available and deliverable whilst meeting the minimum infrastructure requirements set out above.
16. Countryside had held a pre-app meeting with MBC on Thursday 13th June.
17. Matt Woodhead agreed to resend Paul McCreery the Countryside Presentation from that pre-app so that it could be shared with other members of the IDG. This could also be placed on the LPC website.
18. Countryside were consulting with Network Rail regarding their surface water outlet under the railway.
19. Countryside to send to Paul McCreery their contact at Network Rail who might be more in tune with the Neighbourhood Plan consultation process.
20. All landowners to be invited to display presentations at the next LNP exhibition at Regulation 16 submission stage currently scheduled for late September 2019.
21. Paul McCreery said there was a need for a second community focus to the west of Lenham as an annex to Lenham Community Centre to the east. This could serve brownies, cubs, beavers etc and other community uses such as a youth club. LPC to make a case of need for such a facility to Countryside and MBC. Andy Ratcliffe said a community hub could include a small employment user such as ‘We Work’ to allow rental of offices on an hourly basis and other facilities by people working from home.
22. LPC wish to market William Pitt Field through Mark Presland at Sibley Pares.
23. Any planning application at WPF will need to be coordinated with the availability of a replacement sports pitch facility such as that on offer at Site 1.
24. Wealden Homes had been subject to a resolution to grant planning permission but the Section 106 Agreement had not yet been concluded and the application was therefore not yet determined.
25. Barry Chamberlain said there had been some difficulty regarding consultation with the police. There had been a suggestion that a judicial review might occur.
Any Other Business
26. Andy Ratcliffe said he wished to compile a single composite plan for Lenham. All landowners agreed to send Andy Ratcliffe a copy of this plan provided it was used on a ‘read only’ basis.
27. Paul McCreery to circulate letter from KCC dated 13th May 2019 which confirmed that the Local Highway Authority objection can be removed.
Date of Next Meeting
28. Tuesday 13th August 2019 at 10.00 a.m. at the offices of DHA Maidstone.