Public Meeting Minutes 18th October 2016
18 October 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 9:05 pm
Members of public present: approximately 76
Michael Fisher (Chairman), Dianne Sandy (Clerk), Annabel Burden (Vice Chairman), John Ramsden, Max Thomas, Emma Fox & Anthony Aitken.
ABC Ward Councillor Larry Krause
Declarations of Interest
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced and ABC Ward Councillor Larry Krause and ABC Ward Councillor Noel Ovenden.
Background – Village Confines Report
Chairman Mick Fisher read out the following report:
Village confines are used to identify the area within which small scale development and infill may be acceptable in principle, although planning permission will obviously depend on detailed designs being appropriate.
As part of its response to the localism agenda and as a part of involving local communities in the review of the Core Strategy, the Borough Council invited the people and Parish Council of Challock to see if it is possible to redefine the built confines of the settlement as a line on a map.
Any line produced by the village would have to be fully justified in landscape and spatial terms and the process and outcomes would have to have the clear support of the local community if the Borough Council were going to be able to use the new boundary line as a material consideration in reaching planning decisions on new housing development.
Local people were invited to attend a workshop to explore the village confines and to share ideas on how they should be defined on a plan. The workshop aimed to build a consensus, if possible to create one.
A letter explaining the pilot scheme and asking for volunteers was distributed with the parish magazine, which is delivered to every household in Challock.
The letter was also displayed on the four village notice boards, on the village website and also advertised in the Community News section of the Kentish Express
The workshop group was drawn from across the community and came from various parts of the village; the group also included some Parish Councilors’.
The group welcomed the opportunity to have a say in defining the village confines boundary.
Local people extensively explored the village confines and shared ideas on how they should be defined on a plan.
The group has met on nine occasions with two of these meetings being with planning officers from the Borough Council and Ward Councillor, David Robey.
Parish Councillors’ have been kept fully informed as the Pilot Scheme has progressed and the Pilot has been discussed at every Parish Council meeting since the exercise commenced in October 2012.
The conclusion of this process is a locally generated interpretation of the village confines with accompanying notes giving robust and defendable conclusions.
There were two open events in the village hall where villagers could view and discuss the proposed confines with group members. The open workshops were again widely advertised and were very well attended. Booklets of the map and notes including a comment card were available for villagers to take away.
When the consultation period ended the workgroup met again to review the comments received.
The proposed confines received the clear endorsement of the Parish Council before it was formally submitted to the Borough Council.
On the 14th March 2014 the ABC Cabinet approved the Built Envelope Report on
Challock, which means that it will become a material consideration in judging
Planning Applications for houses in the village. Obviously, there will still be the
requirement to come forward with well designed, good quality proposals that meet
all other relevant ABC Policies, such as Parking and Space standards etc., and which
fit in with the ‘look’ of the neighbourhood.
There have been 50 planning applications consisting of approximately 70 new
dwellings. The building of 16 dwellings have commenced of which 50% are nearly
completed. We are still a long way off before the full effect of how the village will
Map of the Redefined Village Confines highlighted in yellow approved dwellings.
The majority of approved new dwellings consist of 4/5 bedroom detached dwellings.
Less than 6 dwellings are 3 bedroom & 2 bungalows.
On 29th September 2015 a feedback session took place with an excellent turnout of
60 parishioners. Overall the feedback was very positive; the main concerns were
not enough planning applications for 3 bedroom houses/bungalows.
One of the objectives was to provide housing for families who have a connection to
the village. Over 50% of new dwellings are for relatives/children of residents from the
The parishioners did not wish to see large scale housing developments in the village.
One drawback on this type of development are the S106 Developer Contributions do
not apply and therefore no investment into the village to provide improved amenities
i.e. outdoor play space. This is out of our control and the decision was made by
In conclusion the village confines project has been deemed a success.
Cllr Annabel Burden read out the following report:
Correspondence received from ABC regarding Omission Sites to be considered for inclusion in the Local Plan 2030 as follows:-
“You will be aware that the consultation on the draft Local Plan 2030 (Publication version) ended on 10th August. During the consultation period we received a number of representations (81) relating to sites that were not allocated within the draft plan. The representations are stating that the draft Local Plan 2030 has ‘omitted’ to include their sites and that they should be considered for inclusion as allocations in the final version of the Plan. For this reason, these sites are known as ‘Omission Sites’. Please note that these are not proposals for site allocations by ABC.
Most of these Omission sites have been received previously through the call for sites in 2013/2014 and were rejected through the SHELAA (Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment) or the SA (Sustainability Appraisal) processes which were published as background documents to the draft Local Plan.
However, 28 of the total Omission Sites are completely ‘new’ submissions or are larger areas than were previously submitted which we have never assessed. ABC will be undertaking/reassessing the site assessment work, in accordance with the processes carried out previously for the SHELAA and SA.
Please find attached summary details of all the Omission sites within your Parish for information. These have also been sent to the Ward member/s.”
ABC are in the process of undertaken site assessment work, and have not finalized their strategy for public consultation relating to these sites or any other changes to the plan. If significant changes are made or new sites entered in the Local Plan then ABC public consultation will take place with local communities in due course and the PCs will be contacted.
Challock Parish Council have been alerted to commence gauging parishioner’s level of feeling on the Omission Sites and for Challock Parish Council to propose their stance in preparation for possible consultation from ABC.
ABC can and do change their direction and ignore Parish Council comments as they have done in the past. There was considerable backing for the confines from ABC including Richard Alderton and they should also stand firmly behind the report as what would be the incentive for other Parishes to go through the process if it is not material consideration in reaching planning decisions.
Local Plan ‘Omission’ sites –
Challock Parish Council Proposed Response
The following is Challock Parish Council proposed response to ABC:-
The confines pilot scheme, proposed by Ashford Borough Council, allowed local people to play a key role in shaping the outcome.
The confines pilot feeds into Ashford Borough Council’s Local Plan for the borough.
The Local Plan sets out the land that needs to be provided in the borough to accommodate new homes and jobs up to 2030. This is a 15 year period.
It also includes the policies that will be used to help decide planning applications.
The village confines are used to identify the area within which small scale development and infill may be acceptable in principle within Challock, although planning permission will obviously depend on detailed designs being appropriate.
Local people extensively explored the village confines and shared ideas on how they should be defined on a plan.
The conclusion of this process was a locally generated interpretation of the village confines. The Borough Council can use the new boundary line as a material consideration in reaching planning decisions on new housing development and the Parish Council should obviously support this approach.
The confines pilot has fully delivered what it set out to do.
- The confines pilot came up with a clear vision for the slow long term growth of the village to maintain its unique character while allowing small scale growth that will help maintain its vital amenities.
- The agreed village confines is fair and caters for small scale development without any major impact on the village both aesthetically and environmentally but still allows the village to expand organically over the foreseeable future.
- Development has come forward on smaller infill sites as opposed to one or two larger sites.
- There is no identified need for large-scale housing development sites in the village, as the smaller sites within the village confines will easily deliver more appropriate scaled development.
The main purpose of the confines report was to clearly identify where development would be acceptable and avoid any uncertainty and ambiguity.
It gives the Parish Council absolutely clear guidance of where development may be appropriate until 2030.
Challock has more than contributed to the Local Plan objectives and any development proposals coming forward that are outside of the village confines should be refused on this basis. The confines map gives the Parish Council and the Borough Council clear direction. There was considerable backing for the confines from ABC and they should also stand firmly behind the report as what would be the incentive for other Parishes to go through the process if it is not material consideration in reaching planning decisions.
The confines report was a comprehensive study that took over two years to complete and it would be going completely against the community’s wishes to consider sites outside of its boundary.
Discussion regarding the percentage of new housing in the village; between 15% – 20% was estimated.
During the discussion the following comments were made:
“In the past too much ground cleared of woodland – on my land I have gone some way in redressing this by replanting. Village has gradually over the years destroyed some of the woodland. There are not enough starter/retirement homes in the village.”
“The confines is a solid process and there is no major reason to not reviewing the boundaries”
“Under Area 10 of the village confines my father was not consulted and felt it was a very narrow process.”
Chairman Mick Fisher responded that he had personally delivered notice of the village confines meetings to houses and stressed that advertising the village confines were posted on the village notice boards, website and Kentish Express Village Roundabout. The village confines were a long process cumulating in 9 meetings.
The Chairman Mick Fisher read out one of the Omission Site Squids gate Farm proposal for executive homes.
Proposed Brownfield Site for Executive Homes Submission – Squids Gate Farm, Gate Lane, Challock, TN25 4DR
- We are looking for this brownfield site of approx. 2.5 acres to be considered in the Local Plan for redevelopment to a small scheme comprising just 3 detached country homes.
- Aerial photo attached.
- The proposed location would not have a detrimental impact on the village; but would have a positive impact on the immediate surroundings, where there are 5 existing detached dwellings sited along this lane.
- It is reasonable to expect that families moving into these properties would support local shops and facilities.
- There is excellent existing road frontage and good, safe access to the Canterbury Road.
- Redevelopment of the site would aesthetically improve the local countryside and substantially reduce the number of vehicles using the lane on a daily basis (currently the existing livery yard attracts at least 18 car movements a day in addition to any commercial activities that could take place if B2 use was reinstated).
- Redevelopment would enhance the environment as a foot print of over 15,000 sq. of deteriorating barns would be replaced with a footprint of circa 6,000 sq.ft of distinctive new homes and almost 2.5 acres of hardstanding would be reinstated as a natural landscape with attractive environment features including trees and a pond.
- A tree planting scheme would be provided to the 1 acre paddock approx. located between the proposed site and Squids Gate Farm House.
- This small development would represent a rare opportunity for local families to reside in attractive new homes in a potentially beautiful countryside setting each with their own paddock.
- I appreciate the Parish Councillors’ views on sporadic development however; this proposal being the change of use of an ugly brownfield site would involve no loss of green belt land and would actually improve the environment for local wildlife as well as the local vista.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my reasons for putting my site forward and hope that given the above, you may be able to reconsider supporting me.
The following comments re Squids Gate Farm Omission Site:-
“Squids gate Lane road access is poor.”
“As a resident in Squids Gate Lane I would not be happy with Executive Homes being built.”
“Need to put in writing against the site.”
The following comments re Pony Park Omission Site:-
“There is concern regarding the site as it encompasses a large area consisting mainly of woodland, stretching down along Green Lane.”
“There are notably a number of woodland animals’ i.e. door mice, owls and bats.”
Pony Park’s response:-
“There will be no felling of trees and the site concerned is near the front of the area where there is redundant industrial units. Wish to build houses for families.”
It was agreed for further clarification to be sought from ABC regarding the site. Pony Park will make further enquiries with ABC and notify the Parish Council.
The following comments regarding Cox Developments Omission Site, Canterbury Road:-
“The confines project objective was to seek limited housing.”
“To allow any omission site should be considered on equal merit.”
“The response statement needs to be more robust and include percentage increase of new housing in the village, fight our case, protection of the red line.”
Endorsement of Parish Council Statement
The Chairman Mick Fisher requested a show of hands in favour of the Parish Council Statement to reject the Omission Sites.
Approximately 45 parishioners raised their hand in favour of the endorsement of the Parish Council Statement.
There were 6 parishioners who raised their hand in favour of supporting the Omission Sites.
Any Other Business
A parishioner new to the village asked the Parish Council if the village would one day have mainline gas.
The Parish Council responded an investigation into the possibility of having mainline gas took place approximately 3 years ago. The outcome was that it would be very expensive and would involve every household contributing £7000 for a gas mainline to be constructed.
Chairman thanked everyone for attending.
Meeting closed at 9.05pm.