Possibly invalid planning application for Windmill Lane? – UPDATED

Local Borough Councillor Patrik Garten met about 20 Hollingbourne residents today in Windmill Lane to hear their views on a proposed development of 12 houses alongside the Lane with a site entrance close to the Village Hall. A planning consultant engaged by the Village Hall Committee suggested that the present application is invalid as it does not include a Transport Statement or a Flood Risk Assessment. UPDATE on 6th January – The closing date for comments is now 27th January.

Windmill Lane is a privately owned and maintained Public Footpath (PROW KH199) and the single track section from Eyhorne Street to the development entrance is 55 metres long with no passing places and no space for pedestrians. The Village Hall Committee has been advised that the 12 houses should under normal circumstances generate about 100 vehicle movements a day which will add to the traffic jams in Eyhorne Street especially at the point where the single track Lane joins Eyhorne Street which is usually single track because of the car parking spaces on the other side.

Councillor Garten also learnt that the Site Access Plan assumed the demolition of a fence alongside the Lane and the use of a private garden without any consultation with the property owner.  At the this point the Site Access Plan shows a width of 4652mm while the actual Right of Way is just over three metres including a private grass verge that has shrunk from a mower’s width to less than a foot over the last four decades.

The meeting was also attended by Mr Steve Andrews of South Eastern Water who explained the difficulties of installing services under the Lane and connecting them with the main services under Eyhorne Street which would mean a major closure of the B2163/C603.

It was also explained to Councillor Garten that a major part of the Windmill Lane Public Footpath is owned by Enterprise Inns PLC who have not been consulted over the development. Legal advice received by local residents has confirmed that no development can take place without their consent. It is understood that Enterprise Inns PLC have instructed solicitors to write to the Country House Developments Limited, the developers, and to Maidstone Borough Council in order to confirm this.

Councillor Garten will be meeting MBC Planning Officer Ms Kate Alteri next week to discuss the above issues and other concerns of local residents. He is keen that the Planning Application should be properly validated with a Transport Statement and a Flood Risk Assessment which could mean that a revised application will need to be prepared which will mean that the closing date for comments will be deferred from the present date of 13th January (now 27th January please see UPDATE above). Councillor Garten has indicated that he plans to “call in” in the application so that it is considered by the full MBC Planning Committee.

For more information including comments to date please go to http://pa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/centralDistribution.do?caseType=Application&keyVal=OI4GQCTYLYI00

If you would like to make a comment please quote 16/508436/FULL and send them to planningcomments@midkent.gov.uk

Pictured below are (left) are some of the Hollingbourne residents with Councillor Patrik Garten in the yellow jacket and (right) Parish Councillor John Cobbett and Village Hall Committee member Graham Wood measuring the c3 metre width of the Lane watched by Parish Councillor Alan Bennett. According to the Site Access Plan the available width is 4.7 metres at this point. 

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