Update: Swale Borough Council's response to Quinn's agents about the Environmental Statement - Use this link to read SBC Letter and the opinions of the Statutory Consultation bodies.
Filling in between Sittingbourne and Lynsted Parish
of SWALE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Dear Residents and Neighbours,
Last year, we saw a tactical withdrawal of the proposal to develop land to the south of the A2 that falls inside Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish boundary. Why "Tactical"?
- Developers will always step back from an outright rejection because that firmly closes the door;
- SBC Officials gave advanced notice of "likely rejection", knowing that their rejection would 'close down' this option for the future...... and SBC Officials had apparently encouraged the application in the first place.
- In short, the Lw/K Parish development is not yet entirely dead.
Agents working for Quinn Estates have lobbed a grenade into the Planning Department - I do not know if SBC Officials knew it was coming.
Quinn Estates have asked SBC to specify the scope and nature of an Environmental Statement (ES) in light of their massive development ambitions. To see their document, use the links in the right-hand column.
"Quinn Estates Kent Limited (hereafter known as ‘the Applicant’) is seeking to obtain planning permission for a mixed-use development including up to 11,250 residential dwellings, commercial space (circa 120,000 sq m), new infrastructure to create new junctions onto the M2 and A2 joined by a new relief road, new retail and health facilities, leisure facilities, educational facilities and community facilities at land to the south and east of Sittingbourne."
This is a very early "first step". The Planning Processes will begin to uncoil over the coming weeks and months.
If Quinn Estates keep going (they usually do), they will then have to develop detailed proposals on highways matters. KCC will lead on whether they feel the road infrastructure can support the proposals. SBC will have to unravel the balance 'harm' done to the local environment through the addition of traffic along the A2 and into the four AQMAs (Sittingbourne, Greenstreet, Ospringe).
At that stage, it will be really important to engage in either supporting or opposing the proposal.
For my money, the idea should fail AT THE VERY LEAST because:
- NONE of the land falls inside the Swale Borough Plan;
- SBC has no business considering a proposal that so obviously ignores 'due process' in the Borough Plan - they have no business diverting our very limited construction capacity away from the more balanced pattern contained in the Borough Plan;
- ALL the earmarked land is Greenfield - loss of significant high quality land;
- The net impact of so many households and businesses MUST mean we get more traffic along the A2 through four AQMAs (including Teynham & Lynsted or "Greenstreet"). There is no logical argument against this .... unless SBC or others really believe that ALL traffic will go to the M2 and nowhere else!
- Destruction of historic patterns of development in villages and hamlets affected.
You may have seen reports in the local newspapers where pros and cons are discussed.
If you want to refresh your memory of discussion points raised here on the Lynsted Parish proposal, follow this link. That page will remain on-line for now.
I plan here to tidy up this "Threats" home-page to focus more clearly on Quinn's idea of building on all the land between Sittingbourne and Bapchild, to the edge of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish and south to the M2!
Currently, for reasons that escape me, there are two copies of the same application on the Planning Portal - sneaky or incompetent? You decide! There is a map.
- Copy 1 has this link - 17/506492/ENVSCR - this has the most comments so far;
- Copy 2 has this link - .17/506551/EIASCO - fewer comments so far.
I hope Maidstone and Swale correct this obvious nonsense.
'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' – published 11th January 2018 by DEFRA
To give you an idea of whether you want to download an 11Mb PDF copy. There are some technical papers under this link too. You can also register yourself to receive updates as this policy uncoils....
“This 25 Year Environment Plan sets out government action to help the natural world regain and retain good health. It aims to deliver cleaner air and water in our cities and rural landscapes, protect threatened species and provide richer wildlife habitats. It calls for an approach to agriculture, forestry, land use and fishing that puts the environment first.
.... we will work with the Devolved Administrations as we leave the EU to uphold environmental standards and go further to protect our shared natural heritage. We will continue to work with the Devolved Administrations on areas where common frameworks will need to be retained in the future. This Plan does not pre-empt these discussions.
We will take action on a number of fronts, looking to join up policies in a way that maximises benefits and value for money. We have
identified six key areas around which action will be focused. These are:
• Using and managing land sustainably (chapter 1).
• Recovering nature and enhancing the beauty of landscapes (chapter 2).
• Connecting people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing (chapter 3).
• Increasing resource efficiency, and reducing pollution and waste (chapter 4).
• Securing clean, productive and biologically diverse seas and oceans (chapter 5).
• Protecting and improving the global environment (chapter 6).”
This makes interesting reading as background material when looking at the ideas proposed for 11,500 new homes and commercial and social sites!
What price our environment and the destruction of acres of greenfields....?
Swale Borough Plan "Bearing Fruits"
POLLUTION READING MATERIAL
- "So I Can Breathe" - BBC Blog Season - links with a range of associated topics.
31st October 2017: Developers withdraw their application after running out of arguments and evidence. On 1st November, SBC confirmed they are taking no further action.....
See see all the documents here - the Planning Portal page for Lynsted Lane development papers.
RULE No.2: DO NOT WRITE JUST ONCE!
Every change submitted by Developers
means the 'start gun' is fired again by the SBC Planning Department.
After all, if there have been changes, SBC may assume you have changed your mind if you don't react to each change.
The 11,500 homes proposal is no different.
- January 2018 may be a bit early to get too excited, as this is a technical document setting the ground rules for a fully developed Environmental Strategy;
- Next will be a proposal for the road layouts - which will have to go through KCC as well as SBC (for impacts on AQMAs) - that is the time to object on the grounds of AQMA impacts
- The full plan will be submitted in due course - if you have something to say, get stuck in! The whole process could take many months, but let's try not to be complacent!
WHAT IS "IN IT" FOR SWALE BOROUGH COUNCIL?
- Each new home-owning person or family brings another contribution to Council Tax and some additional spending in the community (less if they commute out of the local community).
- If this astonishingly large proposal was actually delivered - that lets Swale Borough Council Members and Officials off the hook; meeting the central government targets .... but it does not mean local construction capacity would meet the plan, nor can we be sure that all the "goodies" included in most major proposals will be honoured.
- Then there is something called the "New Homes Bonus" - this is paid by central government to Swale Borough Council. Every new home brings with it a 'bonus' equal to the Council Tax paid for six years. In theory, this money goes towards all those promised 'extras' such as schools, GP surgeries, and so on. I found this article that helps make sense of whether this 'bonus' works for us or against us.