Village Hall Committee opposes Windmill Lane housing planning application.

Hollingbourne Village Hall Committee is opposing the planning application to build 10 large detached houses in the field to the west of Windmill Lane which has a drive in close to the entrance of the Village Hall. EI Group PLC who are the landlords of the Village Hall have declined to renew the lease on the Hall which expired on 20th August 2016 until such time as Maidstone Borough Council make a decision on development in Windmill Lane. There is concern that the Hall could be lost if planning permission is given as a precedent could be established for more development on the Village Hall site. This would leave Hollingbourne without a Hall which is used daily by local organisations.

The proposal from Country House Homes has been opposed by Hollingbourne Parish Council and many local residents. Kent County Council has expressed concern about the access which is via a narrow public footpath and would also like the site excavated before any construction starts in order to establish if there are any archaeological items of interest as the site which is outside of the Village Envelope adjoins the Eyhorne Street Conservation Area.  There are limited public services to the site and the installation of a foul water drain and other services may result in the closure of the privately maintained Windmill Lane for some time which would restrict access to the Village Hall, the Windmill PH, and other local properties.

The text of the comments from the Village Hall Committee which have been sent to Maidstone Borough Council is as follows:-

HOLLINGBOURNE VILLAGE HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

                                                                                                Please reply to:

                                                                                                Toadflax Cottage

                                                                                                Pilgrims Way

                                                                                                Hollingbourne

                                                                                                Maidstone

                                                                                                Kent ME17 1UT

Ms K Altieri

Mid Kent Planning Support

Maidstone House

King St

Maidstone

Kent ME15 6JQ                                                                                                                                                                                                 31 July 2017

 

Dear Ms Altieri,

 

Planning Application for 10 new houses off Windmill Lane, Hollingbourne

Ref 17/503118

 

Thank you for your letter dated 30th June, please note my new address.

 Although the new application has reduced the number of houses to 10, the concerns of my committee remain the same. i.e.

  • Our car park is for the private use of hirers of our village hall and, although we allow villagers to park when the hall is not in use, we have very clear signs to leave it free when it is required which can be 4 or 5 times a week. Parking in this area is a continuous problem which will only be added to by the development.
  • It has been stated many times that Windmill Lane is not a lane but only a designated footpath with access to the Windmill and our car parks only established from long use. If the Windmill car park is full, there are no passing places and the sight lines mean you cannot see cars coming in the opposite direction.
  • The ‘Lane’ is extremely narrow where it passes the Windmill and not suitable for large vehicles.
  • The turn onto Eyhorne St is difficult with cars parked opposite and only possible at present if the owners of properties on both sides do not make use of the full parking rights.
  • One house in particular is far too close to the village hall which has been in existence for 50 years and is very well used.

 

Yours sincerely,

John Holley

Chairman

The closing date for comments is 7th August and these should be sent to planningcomments@midkent.gov.uk quoting 17/503118/FULL

More details are at http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/residents/planning/planning-application-search where you need to insert 17/503118/FULL