REPORT OF THE LENHAM PARISH COUNCIL PLANNING COMMITTEE HELD IN THE COMMUNITY CENTRE MONDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2017 AT 8.15pm
Cllr. N Osborne, Chairman presiding.
Cllrs. M Ballard, M Cockett & A Walmsley.
Mrs. M McFarlane (Clerk)
25 members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed the members of the public who previously had the opportunity to look at the plans on show in the Appleton room for the proposed development on land north of Old Ashford Road Lenham.
Cllr. Osborne gave a brief outline of the history of the planning application thus far, the land was identified on the MBC call for sites two years ago, the MBC Local Plan inspector recommended the site suitable for development and cut the numbers of dwellings from 155 to 145 to be completed by 2021.
Residents were particularly concerned with possible flooding issues, especially as some dwellings on Old Ashford Road were not on mains drainage. Inadequate soakaways added to the flooding threat and raised issues with possible pollution of drinking water supplies; foul drainage facilities would be under extra pressure. Southern Water considers the facilities large enough to cope and does not consider this an issue at present, however, concerns were also voiced about noise from the pumping station and smells from the holding tank venting.
The congestion from the 679 additional daily traffic movements using an inadequate road with poor sight lines and two dangerous bends, would only worsen problems with speeding. The lack of adequate parking provision both on the new site and Groom Way will only exasperate the problems. The main issue being the entrance and exit to the proposed development joining Old Ashford Road, which is the main route from Ashford to Headcorn. The traffic would cause a bottleneck in the already over used Square and cause congestion on the four routes off the Square, which would affect the whole village.
A request to challenge the MBC planning department decision to not allow access from the site to the A20 will be taken up by the LPC and the question asked about the provision of a five-metre barrier between the site and A20 will be asked.
The provision of play areas and open spaces was raised and questions concerning the extra school spaces and doctor surgery facilities were discussed, also the importance of affordable local needs housing provision.
A request that parishioners write to MBC planning department outlining their concerns with as much detail as possible and to encourage neighbours to write also.
The Neighbourhood Plan Group prefer that LPC write to extract the best possible mitigation from development and extract the maximum benefit with the least possible damage and not simply submit blanket objections.
For clarification of the present situation relating to the proposed development, Cllr. Osborne read out the extract from the planning inspectors report which is available on the LPC web-site.
The Chairman thanked the residents for attending and opened the meeting at 8.55pm
- TO ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr. R Greenwood (holiday) Cllr. M Michaelas (work commitment)
- DISCLOSURES AND CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
No disclosures or confidential items on the agenda.
- PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
17/500357/HYBRID 15th February
Hybrid planning application comprising full application
Erection of 49 dwellings and associated infrastructure, landscape and open space Outline application – Erection of 102 dwellings (access, layout and landscape to be sought)
Land north of Old Ashford Road Lenham.
Cllr. Cockett stated the benefit of accepting LPC are unable to stop the development and we should not oppose the application but ensure the inspectors provisions are thoroughly investigated before the
permission is granted. A copy of the inspector’s report is attached to the signed copy of these minutes. Cllr. Cockett highlighted the three main areas for consideration, the housing numbers, the vista from and to the cross on the North Downs, and the drainage issues.
Cllr. Walmsley highlighted the drainage, sewage and surface water issues which in the past had caused considerable damage to Old Ashford Road. He suggests the planning department re-look at the soakaway construction in view of photographic evidence submitted by LPC.
Cllr. Ballard asked for clarification of the inspector’s comments relating to a likely suitable engineering solution to the ground water and surface water issues. LPC would require evidence of the solution before planning permission was granted.
LPC should ask MBC planning department to reconsider the decision not to allow access from the site directly onto the A20.
Parking within the development should be adequate so as not to over burden the surrounding area which is already congested through lack of adequate parking provision. There should be ample parking for the developer’s vehicles on the site during construction.
LPC should ensure a substantial contribution is made towards a children’s play area, not necessarily on the site but close by.
In summary, the planning committee refer back to the inspector’s report and will recommend to full council that LPC do not object to the application, providing the points above are reflected in the final
decision of the MBC planning committee and the questions relating to the provision of extra school places and improved medical centre facilities are considered in the overall infrastructure delivery.
Cllr. Cockett proposed, Cllr. Walmsley seconded and it was RESOLVED to recommend the above to full council on Wednesday 1st March.
4 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN REPORT
The report will be presented at full council on 1st March.
- CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED
The meeting closed at 9.17pm