Village Hall Committee strongly opposes Windmill Lane development

A Planning Consultant engaged by the Hollingbourne Village Hall Committee has today sent a strongly worded and detailed set of comments to Maidstone Borough Council regarding the planning application for 12 new houses adjacent to the Village Hall in Windmill Lane. The comprehensive letter criticises the scheme from Country House Developments Limited on a number of counts including the fact that proper procedures have not been followed and that the application is invalid.

In particular the following points are made by Ms Jackie Ruaux on behalf of the Village Hall Committee:-

1. The application is invalid for a number of reasons including the fact that none of the required Notices have been served on the owners of Windmill Lane. These include Enterprise Inns PLC.

2. Not all of the required documentation has been submitted including a Transport Statement or Assessment, a Flood Risk Assessment, a Landscape Statement, and a Landscape Management Plan. Additionally the application describes the Lane as a Byway when it is merely a Public Footpath.

3. A number of  the Drawings submitted appear to be inaccurate including the ones relating to the width of the Lane which is only 3.5 metres wide at the narrowest point which includes a privately owned grass verge (pictured below left) which has been partly covered in tarmac over the last four decades. It was originally wider than it is today and the submitted Site Access Plan shows Lane extending by about a metre beyond a fence into the privately owned garden of Stable Cottage (pictured below left and right).

4. The cramped design is overdeveloped and poor with insufficient parking provision.

5. Concern is noted regarding the Planning Policy Context which relies upon an unscrutinised emergimg Local Plan.

For the full text of the three page letter please go to here

For more information about the scheme and the latest public comments please go to http://pa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OI4GQCTYLYI00

Hollingbourne Parish Council is due to consider the application at the Monthly Meeting on Monday 9th January at 7.30pm in the Cardwell Pavilion. 

The closing date for public comments has been deferred to 27th January 2017 and these can be sent to planningcomments@midkent.gov.uk quoting Reference 16/508436/FULL. If MBC accepts the points made on behalf of the Village Hall Committee the closing date may be further deferred.

On 4th January local Maidstone Borough Councillor Patrik Garten met with some 20 local residents in the Lane and he is due to meet Ms Kate Altieri, the MBC Planning Officer for the Scheme, next week. He has indicated that he plans to oppose the Scheme and will ask for it to be considered by the full Maidstone Planning Committee.

Pictured below (left) is the grass verge and Stable Cottage fence at the narrowest point in the single track Lane in the summer of 1981 when it could be cut with a mower and (right) is the Eyhorne Street entrance to the Windmill Lane Public Footpath where vehicles attempting to enter the Lane often have to wait on the privately owned forecourts on either side of the Public Footpath (PROW KH199). The side of the Windmill PH and the fence are often hit by large vehicles attempting to use the Footpath which has only a 25 to 35 mm deep tarmac surface which is not designed for heavy or large vehicles.

Windmill Lane verge Summer 19810002 dscf0585