The Planning Committee met in early February, the first meeting since early December. This bulletin therefore contains news relating to applications dealt with and decisions handed down over December and January as well as items up for review at the February meeting.
REPORT OF LPA DECISIONS WHERE WKPS HAS COMMENTED
14/01479/AS - Field at grid ref 587945/140639 south of Omenden Lane, Smarden TN27 6HT - change of use of land for the stationing of 2 mobile homes & 2 touring caravans, etc. WKPS objection. ABC REFUSED
14/01529/AS - Land south of Gilham Farm known as Lot 3, Buckhurst Lane, Smarden - change of use of land for the stationing of one mobile home for a gypsy family, etc. WKPS objection. ABC REFUSED
14/01513/AS - Palmerston, Ashford Road, High Halden TN26 3LY - Erection of a chalet style bungalow. WKPS objection. ABC APPROVED.
14/00902/AS - Land between 82 - 120 Front Road, Woodchurch - Erection of 10 detached houses, etc. WKPS objection. ABC REFUSED.
14/01290/AS - Residential caravan site next to Jesmund House, Charing. WKPS objection. ABC REFUSED
14/01482/AS - Land SW of Dargate, Egerton Road, Charing - change of use of land for mobile home and touring caravans, etc. WKPS objection. ABC issued an order to vacate the site within 6 months but this is now under APPEAL.
14/01132/AS - Land at rear of The White House, 65a High Street, Charing - new build.
WITHDRAWN by applicant.
14/01382/AS - Pickenden, Stumble Lane, Kingsnorth TN23 3EY - Erection of a single storey side extension and alterations to garage. ABC APPROVED.
14/505162/FULL (MBC) - Land to the north of Lenham Road, Headcorn TN27 9TU - Erection of 48 dwellings, etc. WKPS objection. MBC REFUSED.
REPORT ON SUBMISSIONS BETWEEN IN DECEMBER 2014 AND FEBRUARY 2015
14/01089/AS - Land west of Haffenden Quarter House, Omenden Lane, Smarden TN27 8QW - Erection of building comprising 2 loose boxes, tack room and hay store. WKPS objected. ABC REFUSED. Applicant APPEALED. WKPS comments to Inspectorate submitted 10/12/2014.
Inspectorate decision on 29/1/2015 appeal DISMISSED.
KCC/AS/0063/2014 - Glebe Farm, Duck Lane, Shadoxhurst TN26 1LT - Change of use to storage and processing of scrap metal, etc. KCC invited WKPS to comment. Comment submitted on 6/1/2015 citing road issues.
14/504926/FULL (TWBC) - 2 Four Throws Cottages, Conghurst Lane, Hawkhurst TN18 5DZ
Retrospective - erection of a close-boarded fence to replace a hedge. PA brought this to our
attention. A general comment was submitted regarding urbanisation of rural areas
14/01582/AS - Land adj. 24 The Street, Hothfield - Erection of a terrace of 3 no 3 bed dwellings. WKPS supported the proposal.
14/01611/AS - The Meadows, Sandy Lane, Great Chart - increased number of gypsy pitches. WKPS objection.
PLANNING ITEMS FOR COMMENTS
15/00051/AS - Land east of Badgeworthy, The Moat, Charing - Erection of a new dwelling -
cramped site, access poor,dangerous bend, TPO on Yew tree which will be mutilated to
accommodate the house, negative visual impact due to poor design. Objection to be submitted.
15/500326/FULL (MBC) - Land adjacent to Vine Cottage, Pye Corner, Ulcombe ME17 1EF -
Change of use of land to 7 no. gypsy/traveller pitches and associated works including 7 no. static caravans, 7 no. touring caravans, package treatment plant and hardstanding. Note: identical to MA/14/0470 - for 20 pitches to which WKPS objected and refused by MBC. Our objections this time: good agricultural land, no amenities, no infrastructure, 10% of Ulcombe’s housing stock being caravans, 45% of pupils in the school are gypsy children. Objection to be submitted.
15/00074/AS - Land north of 17 Silver Hill, Tenterden TN30 6NE - Application for approval of
reserved matters (access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) for construction of a pair of detached dwellings following outline approval 14/00211/AS. Concern about access onto this dangerous section of the A28; on a bend, busy main road, no pavement, site dips away from the road. Query no highways comment from KCC before submission of comments.
15/00070/AS - Tenterden Vineyard, Smallhythe Road, Tenterden TN30 7NG - Display of the
Chapel Down name with internally illuminated individual letters fitted on steel frame and display of 2 no. internally illuminated post and panel signs. In AONB. No complaints from neighbours, no overlooking, but it is a very large sign and possibly too intrusive. Permission was granted a few months ago - why new application? Contact ABC for clarification before comment.
15/00073/AS - Westholme, Hornash Lane, Shadoxhurst TN26 1HX - Side extension and roof extension. Agreed that the side elevations are ugly and the new roof line is messy. Comment to be submitted - would like to see an improvement to the treatment of the two flank elevations.
14/01486/AS - Land between Arthur Baker Playing Field and Ashford Road, Charing - 66 unit extra care home. (RT) Amended drawings have been received by ABC. Car parking spaces have been increased by reducing the bungalows from 7 to 5 and building height reduced by 2 metres. Safety of road - busy A20. However, the building is out of scale in the existing landscape and inappropriate in this village outskirts location. Further comments to be submitted.
14/506621/FULL (TWBC) - Land adj. The Old Parsonage, Balcombes Hill, Goudhurst – Large development of C2 housing with care for the elderly, 2 and 3 storey flats (12 no. flats), 5 no. 2 bed bungalows, 4 no. 2 bed houses. Located within AONB and Goudhurst Conservation area but surrounded by development and there appears to be little local opposition. Our assessment is that it could be absorbed and would fit in with the village. Informed local advice to be sought before submission of comments.
14/505434/FULL (TWBC) - Lillesden Park, Hastings Road, Hawkhurst TN18 4QG - Grade II listed - derelict former school. Conversion to 14 apartments plus new build of 20 dwellings. Query materials to be used for the new houses - appearance and quality to be ascertained. Also ask LPA what steps will be taken to ensure that project as a whole is completed.
The Government has announced a fund to assist LPAs fight unauthorised developments. According to Kent on Sunday published 17/1/15:
‘The Government have set up a new ‘planning enforcement fund’ to help pay for legal action. For anyone involved in the planning process on councils in Kent, the issues of the unscrupulous building without the correct planning permission is nothing new. Build and the chances are you’ll be granted retrospective permission - too late of course for any local objections to be lodged - or face a lengthy legal battle which can hoover up thousands of pounds of local taxpayer money.
The government announced a new pot of cash for councils – the Planning Enforcement Fund – which will help to pay up to £10,000 per case to challenge development which ‘seriously’ flouts planning rules. It hopes to tackle everyone from those adding unauthorised home extensions to building much larger developments.
The fund is very small relative to the size of the problem. By one estimate, it is sufficient to help with fighting 90 cases a year - not much with c 300 LPAs in England alone.
It hopes to tackle everyone from those adding unauthorised home extensions to building much larger developments. While this happens across the county, the decision over which cases to pursue is becoming a tougher call to make with central government funding constantly eroding the local authority’s public purse.
This has been due to the added cost which councils incur fighting unauthorised developments – the legal costs of getting a court injunction can easily consume up to £13,000. And it doesn’t always guarantee the council will win. All of which means this new envelope of money has become of greater significance to cash-strapped local authorities.
Eric Pickles the minister for communities and local government – which announced the new fund – said that the fund would put the power in council’s hands.
He said: “Residents rightly expect fair play in the system and for their council to take action when people flout the rules. “This new £1 million fund gives councils the tools they need in the fight against unauthorised development, so they should not be afraid to go through the courts to tackle serious breaches of planning law.
“We believe in putting power back in the hands of local communities and empowering councils to take action against those who do not play by the rules. “Councils should not be afraid of using court injunctions for serious planning breaches and this new £1 million enforcement fund gives councils extra resources in the fight against unauthorised development.
“The public rightly expects fair play in the planning system. Law-abiding residents follow the rules and obtain planning permission so they find it galling to see others who don’t. That’s why we set up this new fund to help councils act swiftly to stop unauthorised development.”
But while many are celebrating the funding, others point out that the pot is relatively small and the ability to access the funding only when a court injunction is necessary - normally the very last resort in the most serious of cases. “The sum will fund 90 such cases nationwide for a year so it’s spread across 300-plus local authorities. So, less than one apiece.” said a Kent LPA spokesman.
A spokesman for Ashford Borough Council said it was unlikely to influence its actions: “The council will take whatever action was required in any event regardless of whether such grant support was available.”