Woodcut Farm Public Inquiry delayed until February 2018.

Hollingbourne Parish Council has today learnt that Public Inquiry into the proposed development of warehousing and distribution complex on Woddcut Farm at Junction 8 of the M20 will now start in February 2018. Various schemes for development on the site have been proposed over the last 25 years and have been opposed by all local Parish Councils, Kent Council, CPRE, Leeds Castle, Maidstone Borough Council, and thousands of local residents. The Inquiry was due to start in October 2017. Please see below for the text of today’s letter from Mid Kent Legal Services on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council.

Dear Councillors

Please be advised that the Planning Inspectorate have revised the start date for the above planning appeal which is being heard by way of a Public Inquiry. The Inquiry will now commence on Tuesday 6th February, 2018 and will sit for 4 consecutive weeks.

The Inspectorate’s reasons for this change are detailed in their email shown below. I have attached the revised Bespoke Programme for your information.

The Inspector has also considered the submissions from the appellant regarding the possible substitution of a revised Building Areas Parameter Plan and new s106 elements, apparently aimed at compliance with the latest Proposed Modification to Policy EMP1(5).  The proposed amendment would result in a reduction in the quantum of commercial floorspace proposed.

In considering the position, the Inspector has applied the principles set out in Bernard Wheatcroft Ltd v SSE.  The Inspector considers that the reduction in the scheme would not deprive those who should have been consulted on the changed development, of the opportunity of such consultation.  The reduction would therefore not result in prejudice to any party as a result of the amendments.

The appeal will therefore proceed on the basis of the revised scheme.

I understand the Council are trying to secure the Town Hall as a venue for the Inquiry. This will be confirmed by letter in the usual way.


Kind regards

Jo Smith | Lawyer (Planning)

Mid Kent Legal Services | Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RS

Tel: 01622 602 122

The timetable appears below.

Woodcut Farm Planning Inquiry Programme 2018.