Maidstone Borough Council has ignored local concerns and have granted planning permission for a major development on the North Downs at Bicknor although no HGV’s are expected to travel via Hollingbourne to the A20/M20 as the approved route to the A249 and M2/M20 motorways is via Stockbury. Despite strong objections from Hollingbourne Parish Council, the Bicknor Parish Meeting, MBC Borough Councillor Patrik Garten, and local residents Maidstone Borough Council granted planning permission on 29th November and the Minutes of the meeting are reproduced below.
It is understood that no HGV’s will use the B2149/C603 through the narrow Hollingbourne Conservation Areas and this had been one of the concerns prior to the Planning Meeting. How this is enforced is not presently clear as work on the M2 / A 249 interchange may restrict traffic on the A249 which could mean that traffic might use the B2149/C603 through Hollingbourne.
209. 18/501312/FULL – PROVISION OF A COLD STORE, CONCRETE HARDSTANDING, IRRIGATION LAGOON AND ASSOCIATED ENGINEERING OPERATIONS (INCLUDING LAND RAISING/EARTHWORKS) AND THE UPGRADING OF AN EXISTING TRACK AND ACCESS WITH STRUCTURAL LANDSCAPE ENHANCEMENT AND SCREENING – SWANTON FARM, BICKNOR ROAD, BICKNOR, KENT PDF 122 KB
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• 18/501312/FULL – Report , item 209. PDF 98 KB
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• 18/501312/FULL – Appendix 1 , item 209. PDF 187 KB
• 18/501312/FULL – Appendix 2 , item 209. PDF 26 KB
• 18.501312 Swanton farm- urgent update , item 209. PDF 43 KB View as HTML (209./6)14 KB
• Webcast for 209.
The Chairman and Councillors Harwood, Munford, Round and Wilby stated that they had been lobbied.
The Committee considered the report and the urgent update report of the Head of Planning and Development.
In presenting the application, the Interim Major Projects Manager advised the Committee that he wished to amend the final sentence of paragraph 2.07 of the report to read:
The scheme should therefore not have the suggested condition 19 imposed from the 6 September 2018 agenda.
Mr Wainman, an objector, Mr Ogden, for the applicant, and Councillor Garten (Visiting Member) addressed the meeting.
The Chairman drew the Committee’s attention to a note which he had received from Mr Peter Moore of Bicknor Parish Meeting apologising for not being able to attend the meeting and making reference to a representation from Payne’s Stores, a local business, raising objections to the vehicle movements and pointing out that there is a need for the road infrastructure to be in place before the application is determined.
RESOLVED: That subject to:
(a) The prior completion of a S106 legal agreement in such terms as the Head of Legal Partnership may advise to provide for the Heads of Terms set out in the report; AND
(b) The conditions and informatives set out in the report, as amended by the urgent update report, with the addition of the following:
• The amendment of proposed conditions 18 (Landscaping) and 19 (Landscaping Implementation) to specify that any trees or plants which within a period of ten years from the completion of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species etc.;
• The amendment of proposed conditions 2 (Plans) and 18 (Landscaping) to change the species mix from 30% Holly to 20% Holly and 10% Yew; the change to be negotiated by the Head of Planning and Development acting under delegated powers;
• An informative suggesting that there may be opportunities arising from the surface water drainage scheme to address existing flooding issues; and
• An informative encouraging the applicant to endeavour to reduce noise from HGV refrigeration units by using plug-ins;
the Head of Planning and Development be given delegated powers to grant permission and to be able to settle or amend any necessary heads of terms and conditions in line with the matters set out in the recommendation and as resolved by the Planning Committee.
Voting: 12 – For 0 – Against 0 – Abstentions
A report about an April 2018 meeting in Bicknor that was attended by the late Parish Councillor Alan Bennett is at http://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/bicknor-residents-come-out-strongly-against-swanton-farm-development-above-hollingbourne-on-the-north-downs/
The Planning Application Number is 18/501312/FULL and more information is at the Maidstone Borough Council Planning Portal at https://pa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/
A plan of the site appears below with the road on the right leading to the B2149.