LENHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
INFRASTRUCTURE DELIVERY GROUP
Note of Meeting held on Thursday, 7thJune 2018 at 10.00 a.m. at the offices of DHA, Maidstone.
Paul McCreery, PMC Planning for Lenham Parish Council
Toby Hudson, Countryside
Matt Woodhead DHA for Countryside
Tim Dean, for the Barr family
David le Lacheur, Land Sales Support for Towers/Eastwood
Peter Court, PCA for Russell
Andrew Lawrence, for Russell
Barry Chamberlain, Wealden
Richard Greenwood, Chairman, Lenham Parish Council
Nick Osborne, Lenham Parish Council
Mike Cockett, Lenham Parish Council
Stephen Bradley, Chief Exec, icosa Water (part)
Robin Bishop, tds (part)
Apologies were received from David Stewart of Jones Homes
The Meeting started with a general update on planning matters. It was noted that MBC had delayed its Call for Sites in relation to the forthcoming review of MBLP until April 2019. It was therefore highly unlikely that MBC would achieve the deadline of a Local Plan Review by the date of 2021 which had been imposed by the Government Inspector at the last Local Plan Inquiry. It was noted that MBC was no longer pressurising LPC to produce the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan but there were significant advantages to all concerned if LNP could proceed with all possible haste to avoid being caught up with the inevitable confusion which would result from the publicity associated with the Review of the MBLP. The meeting speculated as to whether a new Garden Village of circa 5000 dwellings would be imposed in the Charing Heath/Lenham Heath area in order to meet housing land requirements which had increased by approximately 40% as a result of the new methodology for calculating housing land requirements imposed by central government.
PMC noted there would be some delay in the production of LNP as a result of the requirement (backed by funding) of MBC to produce a comprehensive Transportation Assessment to underpin the evidence base of LNP.
PMC agreed to produce a summary note setting out the stages of production of the Neighbourhood Plan together with a best-case programme to achieve a made plan by mid-2019.
The ownership plan produced by Dean Lewis Estates was circulated and agreed.
- Foul Sewerage
icosa attended the second half of the meeting at noon and presented comprehensive results of their study. The study demonstrated that with cooperation from the various landowning groups considerable savings could be delivered to the construction industry arising from a well-managed Neighbourhood Planning Process. PMC noted that the icosa study demonstrated that all sites in the Draft Plan were capable of being serviced within reasonable cost constraints. The meeting noted that although after 1stApril 2018 sewerage and water supply issues could be resolved by a number of providers (including icosa) it would still be essential for SWS to take the necessary action to deliver significant increased capacity at the waste water treatment works to serve the levels of development envisaged in LNP.
MBC had offered LPC a grant of £75,000 to fund a Transportation Assessment of LNP. The contract to produce this study by the end of August 2018 had been let to Peter Brett Associates (PBA). The Parish Council had concluded upon the review of all the submissions that the one provided by PBA was very clearly preferable in terms of the clarity of what would be delivered through the study.
It was agreed that PBA would be invited to attend the next session of IDG in order to present and discuss their preliminary conclusions.
Further discussion with KCC indicated to LPC that there was not sufficient justification in planning terms for LNP to identify a 2.1 hectare site for a two-form entry Primary School (2FE). The existing Lenham Primary School site was large enough (in the opinion of LPC) to deliver Primary Education needs during the lifetime of LNP. Peter Court helpfully suggested a consultant (Heather Knowles) who may assist in this matter. Education Contributions would be dealt with by CIL in any event and not by S106 contributions. There was a discussion as to whether LNP would be vulnerable to formal objection by KCC if this issue could not be resolved. PMC acknowledged this risk but said the Examiner of LNP could, if he or she felt it appropriate, make a recommended modification to the Plan showing where a site for a new primary school could be located should it be needed at some stage in the future. It was felt to be unnecessary to show this site at this stage because it would weaken the position of LPC. The Examiner would have material in his/her possession (LNP 2017 draft) which would describe the location of the school.
PMC noted that the CIL money calculated to be needed for Medway’s growth was approximately twice that calculated by Maidstone on a per-dwelling basis. Maidstone’s calculation of CIL was £6M to serve 1000 dwellings of which £1.5M would go to LPC to provide locally sourced service requirements such as significantly enhanced playing pitch provision. MC noted that if LNP was to survive at Referendum it would be necessary for the Plan to demonstrate some local community advantages. PMC noted that the budget required by KCC for a new 2FE primary school was £6/7M which was well in excess of the £4.5M calculated by Maidstone as necessary to meet all service requirements including transportation.
Countryside had agreed to update their Masterplan, excluding the site for the Primary School. A Masterplan had been produced for the sites South of the Railway. PMC indicated that subject to fine tuning (and confirmation of deliverability) the Masterplan was going in the right direction. PMC noted that, with cooperation from all relevant landowners, it was a requirement of MBC/MBLP that LNP shows comprehensive Masterplanning of all proposed development sites. It was self-evidence that the Masterplanning would need to show several sites to show the best arrangement for open space and road layout. If LNP is to remain on target for Regulation 14 Draft to be published in August/September 2018 then agreed Masterplans will need to be available well in advance of that date.
A Project Brief for the SEA had been produced by AECOM. Work was ongoing with AECOM to identify and test various alternative strategies for delivering 1000 dwellings.
- Network Rail
PMC has prepared and circulated a Technical Briefing Note on the difficulties with securing assistance from Network Rail. That note has been circulated to KCC and the local MP in a bid to secure greater cooperation.
BC noted that if Network Rail were to be persuaded to cooperate it would be necessary to institute a very positive campaign of engagement. PMC felt that this would be more appropriate to be achieved by the landowners to the south of the railway at planning application stage. LPC did not have funds to pay NR £25,000 as an initial deposit to fund their technical studies. The new rail crossing footbridge would be a candidate for CIL funding and al the Neighbourhood Plan needed to do was make sure that the eventual provision of the crossing was facilitated.
- AOB – CIL Contributions.
PMC to write to MBC setting out the concerns expressed by LPC that the CIL contributions would not be sufficient to generate enough infrastructure to meet the needs of the proposed growth at Lenham.
AOB – Work Programme
PMC to produce a draft work programme for LNP. It was noted that the publication of Regulation 14 draft LNP would need to be put back to August 2018.
- Next Meeting
10.00 a.m. Thursday 2ndAugust 2018.
Paul McCreery, 10thJune 2018