On the 16th September, an Extraordinary Full Council meeting was convened at the Civic Centre to discuss the Places and Policies Local Plan. The plan was approved 17 votes to 12 with 1 abstention. It’s… More
Time to shape your community.
Our post of 4th June expressed an urgency for you all to respond by 12th June to register to speak at the Core Strategy Review. We know that some of you are reluctant to speak in public so, we are now reminding you that you can send in a written statement to state your opinion on the Core Strategy Review, but you’d better be quick: the deadline is this coming Friday, 3rd July.
You must contact, preferably by email, Caroline Williams. Caroline is the Programme Officer based at FHDC and is very helpful. The guidance notes for residents to make written statements are set out below:
The Core Strategy Review Submission Draft is here:
And lastly, we understand that working through the above can be time consuming and daunting. Are we expected to follow the due process and respond in Council/Planning speke? We would say probably not. If you have concerns over a proposed development near you or can see that infrastructure is failing even before it starts, now is the time to raise those concerns. If you are having trouble following the process, please contact Caroline on 01303 853376 or email: email@example.com
Folkestone & Hythe District Council Planning Department has just published onto their website details of a Planning Application made by Gladman Developments for outline permission for 55 new houses on the currently open fields opposite the Dukes’ Head.
You might remember the leaflets they circulated around the village just as we were all going into lockdown and worrying about Covid-19 and how many toilet rolls we had.
The planning application was submitted and validated 4 May 2020, but has only just launched into the public arena. Please go on-line to the Folkestone & Hythe District Council website planning pages where you will find all the gory details under application reference 20/0604/FH:
We particularly recommend that you take a look at the Statement of Community Involvement. Respond with your thoughts about this application online, to the parish council, and of course to our District Councillors.. Please view the covering letter from Gladman to FHDC.
This is self explanatory. You have until Friday, June 12th to respond.
Please click on the link to view documentation. Yes, it is time consuming, but time spent now will be worth it in our quest to keep our district from becoming just another urban sprawl.
Folkestone and Hythe District Council – Core Strategy Review 2020
Document Reference: FHDC EX008
Friday May 22, 2020
Examination of the Folkestone & Hythe District Core Strategy Review
I wrote to you on 19 March 2020, to inform you that the examination of the Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) Core Strategy Review had commenced.
I can now advise you that the hearing sessions forming part of the examination are in the process of being planned.
However at this stage of the examination the Inspectors are unable to set the date for the opening of the hearing sessions and a specific timetable for each session. Given the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the public health safeguarding and social distancing measures in operation, the hearing sessions cannot currently take place in the form envisaged. The Inspectors will keep this situation under regular review and liaise with the Council as the situation evolves.
The Inspectors have published the following documents concerning the examination, including an indicative running order for the sessions:
- Inspector’s Guidance Notes (FHDC EX009)
- Inspector’s Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQ’s) (FHDC EX010)
- Indicative Running Order for Hearing Sessions (FHDC EX011)
The Inspectors’ Guidance Notes explain the procedures which will be followed during the examination. The document sets out the arrangements for submitting pre-hearing statements if you wish to do so and requires you to inform me in writing if you intend to participate (speak) at the hearings by:
5pm on Friday June 12, 2020.
Can you please confirm what session/sessions you wish to speak at following the guidelines from the Inspectors’ Guidance Notes?
The Inspector’s MIQ’s identify the main issues of soundness and legal compliance upon which the examination will focus, including during the hearing sessions once the dates are confirmed.
All written statements should be sent to the Programme Officer preferably electronically by the deadline of:
- 5pm on Friday 3 July, 2020.
Please refer to the Inspectors’ Guidance notes for their requirements.
All information and documentation relevant to the examination is currently available on the Folkestone & Hythe District Website and the latest information can be found at:
As soon as I have any further information regarding the date of the first hearing it will be added to the Council’s website. If you have any questions regarding the content of this letter or how to submit a statement for the hearing sessions please do not hesitate to contact me.
I trust you are managing in these very challenging times and thank you for your patience during the examination process.
Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue
Folkestone, Kent. CT20 2QY
Office: 01303 853376
In recent weeks there has been ongoing rumblings that the Shepway Green Party has, allegedly, sold out on the campaign to oppose the proposed Otterpool Park New Town development.
Recent videos from Shepwayvox have highlighted this sentiment with Councillor Lesley Whybrow taking the brunt of the critisism. But is it only The Shepway Green Party that has, allegedly, sold out on Otterpool? On the 6th August 2018 a video was produced by the Save Prince’s Parade (SPP) group opposing the Prince’s Parade development: ‘Prince’s Parade, Development or Destruction‘. We should say at this juncture that S&DRA has always supported this group, raising funds and generally supportive of the campaign.
Of all the demonstrations organised by S&DRA, invitations were sent to the SPP group to attend and take advantage of all our public gatherings which they readily did, and rightly so. We are still supporting their campaign.
Sadly, we find that during this video, Jim Martin (now a Green Party Councillor) and Val Loseby, a member of The Liberal Democrat Party and a member of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE, Protect Kent),referring to Otterpool, said this, respectively..
“Shepway District Council have a full pipeline of housing sites, in fact with Otterpool and with the Harbour Arm they’ve got an oversupply, a massive oversupply of housing sites available to meet housing need”.
“Now they (SDC) have Otterpool Park, which is a town of 10,000 houses; that’s going ahead; that’s been approved. I don’t see why they need 150 houses on Princes Parade to meet their target”.
From any point of view, the above statements suggest that both Martin and Loseby are throwing the Otterpool campaign under a bus to stop development at Prince’s Parade.
Moving on, the Shepway Green Party have already admitted that they will not fully oppose the campaign to stop the Otterpool New Town project and show no shame in publicising this heading on their website: ‘Why we cannot stop Otterpool’.
The reasons are, they say, housing need, as stated from central Government. Well hang on a minute. Let’s return to our video where Green Party Councillor Jim Martin says: In this particular part of Kent, we’ve got a massive supply of potential pipeline sites, so housing need as an argument really disappears.
And let’s not forget that Otterpool was set before FHDC as an Expression of Interest from central Government, no doubt assisted by Conservative MP Damian Collins. There was absolutely no directive from central Government to build a town; It was an invitation only. FHDC could have said NO THANK YOU. make no mistake that if this Council was anything other than a Conservative Council, Otterpool would not be happening.
Otterpool was set in motion as a vanity project from the leader David Monk and his, then, overwhelming Conservative majority cabinet. The true, local housing need has been assessed through the process of a local plan. The total number of homes required is 14, 560. That should be the end of the story. Anything above that number should be challenged, which we are doing.
For the local Green Party to roll over and accept a Government directive, ignoring real local environmental issues is, frankly, a disgrace.
And finally a message to Val Loseby from CPRE, Protect Kent, Charing Office, where Ms Loseby is a member:
“While we entirely support the principles of high quality, sustainable design and place-making, we strongly disagree that this is the right location for a garden city of this scale. The existing pressures for development in this area are extreme, not least with the region being categorised by the Environment Agency as being under ‘severe water stress’, and we question the wisdom of drawing even more housing in to a county and a region which is already struggling to accommodate the housing targets being generated in local plans. Dr. Hilary Newport.
More on environmental issues and overpopulation in our next post.
Assuming that those behind the Otterpool Development were born with average intelligence and an open mind, a thinking person is bound to wonder at the capacity they have developed while growing up (?) to ignore the unequivocal response of thousands of local people who have made clear beyond a peradventure that the Otterpool Development is neither needed nor wanted.
Of even greater significance is the almost complete absence of evidence of community support for the development, a statutory requirement.
No amount of artists’ impressions of roads full of cyclists, pretty flower beds, willowy trees and repeated references to ‘green spaces’ and ‘visions for future transport’ alters that fact.
That being the case our Local Authority has no mandate, no authority per se, to proceed with the Otterpool Development having jettisoned the once proud British ethos of public service wherein elected representatives and civil servants worked for the public good. Now they do as they please filling their boots in the process.
Who are these people and what makes them think that their warped opinions on the Otterpool issues trump those of ordinary people, some of whom they claim to represent? Here we characterise them, their backgrounds and their recorded opinions about the desirability and the need for the development.
Otterpool Developers are driven to assume political power through which to accumulate money from housing development and associated activities, in the case of the Reuben Brothers and others like them, through buying and selling land for which those with political power, the connivance of our corrupt and self-serving planning authority and supine members of Parliament, are attempting to grant development rights raping the open countryside surrounding Westenhanger Castle and Racecourse, Lympne Airfield, thousands of acres of farmland and for good measure any remaining plots big enough to contain two bedrooms and a handkerchief of garden centre plants.
The level of overpopulation in southern England manifest as ever smaller dwellings built on ever smaller plots of land is resulting in increasingly crowded ground space which lies at the root of our rapidly degrading natural environment, driver of the Coronavirus debacle and its current manifestation in the form of ‘Covid 19’.
The mess we are in.
The mess we are in following Coronavirus spp. having jumped ship to emerge as a zoonotic disease in late 2019 in the form of ‘Covid 19’ in live wild animal ‘wet markets’ such as that in Wuhan in China from where the virus almost certainly emanated, is of our own making.
It is a situation of grim portent threatening all human life, requiring considerable investigative research, effort and innate intelligence to comprehend which ability is noticeably lacking in our simple minded and self-important Prime Minister who consistently fails to address the problem appropriately. Being a politician his hollow words amount to no more than dancing on the head of pin as last Sunday evening’s incomprehensible diatribe demonstrated.
The title ‘Coronavirus’ derives from the characteristic ‘crown/halo like’ image of the virus covered with ‘docking spikes’ when viewed under an electron microscope and the term ‘zoonotic’ denotes animal diseases which have through enforced direct human contact become transmissible and capable of infecting humans. A classic example being rabies.
As with ‘Spanish Flu’ – an A(H1N1) virus, ‘Asian Flu’ – an A(H2N2) virus, ‘Hongkong flu’ and ‘SARS’ virus per se – the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome typical of zoonotic viral illnesses – remembered as occurring in 2003/4, ‘Covid 19’ results from human activity which has created the conditions conducive to the Coronavirus spp. emerging from the wild as a zoonotic disease.
The medical condition commonly presented by patients suffering from the Coronavirus family of viruses is pneumonia, symptoms including heavy, dry coughing, increasing difficulty breathing, rising temperature and headache, in terminal cases resulting in the patient drowning in the build up of liquid in the lungs. Hence the present international scramble for ventilation equipment.
Influenza pandemics have occurred at intervals over decades during the 20th century, the most severe of which was the so-called “Spanish Flu” caused by an A(H1N1) virus estimated to have resulted in 20–50 million deaths in 1918–1919. Milder outbreaks occurred in 1957–1958 known as “Asian Flu” caused by an A(H2N2) virus and in 1968 H3N2 “Hong Kong Flu” was followed by H5N1 ‘Bird Flu’ in China in 1996 and 1997 and the SARS epidemic per se of 2002 to 2003.
Other than its scale, our fight in Shepway is essentially no different to that going on throughout the world.
The election of Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency of Brazil whose environmental credo is to the right of Ghengis Khan, spells disaster for the people of the world on at least two counts. Major climate change globally and the proliferation of new zoonotic viruses resulting from large scale deforestation given life in the form of the pandemic we are currently experiencing.
Bolsanoro makes no secret of his desire to open up the Amazon to mining, timber and agribusiness interests and his contempt for conservationists’ efforts, which he sees as a impediment to economic growth from cattle ranching and palm oil cultivation in Brazil.
Climate change resulting from continuing and increasing combustion of the main fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas is being significantly exacerbated by the loss of huge swathes of the Brazilian Amazon and central African rainforests while directly threatening the existence of unique species such as mountain and lowland gorillas . The Congo Basin forests span six countries – Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
In all such areas encroaching human impact through urbanisation, road networks, the extractive industries such as logging and mining provide the circumstances for viruses to evolve zoonotically to emerge and migrate from wild animals where they normally reside without harming their hosts such as bats, to we humans who have no such immunity. Civet cats are known to have been a primary source of the SARS virus epidemic of 2003/4.
International condemnation of the Chinese practice of consuming all forms of wildlife from snakes to pangolins and bats has caused the Chinese authorities to attempt to ban the trade.
But while China’s State Forestry and Grassland Administration (SFGA) purports to oversee and control wildlife markets such as that in Wuhan, so great is the economic and financial value of the sale and consumption of wild animals that it comprehensively fails to do so and the transfer of animal diseases to humans continues more or less unabated.
Over the past few weeks we have been asked how the Covid-19 situation will affect the proposed Otterpool Park housing estate.
We are not Economsits but the very fact that output across the globe has rapidly declined will have a devastating effect on the supply chains across building and civil engineering sectors.
The latest information we have is that UK construction output saw its fastest fall for almost 11 years in March as the government’s coronavirus lockdown led to stoppages on building sites and a slump in new orders.
The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to 39.3 in March from 52.6 in February, against the neutral 50 reading and marking the steepest fall in output since April 2009. It should be noted that anything under 50 signals a contraction.
Emergency public health measures to halt the spread of the outbreak were overwhelmingly blamed for reduced activity.
All three broad categories of construction work saw output declining, with civil engineering activity seeing the steepest rate of decline. The residential reading came in 46.6.
Historically, it has always been the building sector that falls into recession first and always the last to come out.
Couple this with the fact that FHDC never recieved the £281 million from central Government towards infrastructure, requiring them to borrow £100 million from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) (which won’t even touch the sides of infrastructure), adding to a debt which may be a bridge too far if we see a recession turn to a depression causing permanent job losses and an ever increasing burden on the Councils Finances in dishing out housing support and associated benefits. Moreover, a reduction in Council Tax revenue would further dent the FHDC coffers.
The David Monk rhetoric that this will not be a piecemeal development has always been an absurdity, even more so now. And let’s not forget that the Core Strategy Review has to be set before an Indepedent Planning Inspector with all submissons from groups and Residents across the District taken on board before it even gets to the Otterpool application.
Hoops to be jumped for our beloved, crooked Council – Against a sea of troubles
In your Town, Village or Hamlet, have a peaceful weekend.
FHDC have bought up the racecourse land from the Reuben Brothers? Or have they?? Take a look at the link to find out more.
The news has only just hit us that Gladman Property developers have opened a primary consultation which ends on Wednesday, 1st April (No, it’s not an April fools day joke) to build 55 houses opposite Moorstock Lane in Sellindge. Please go the Consultation board on the Gladman website where you will find the flyer that was distributed around Sellindge today, 28th March, 2019:
With the lockdown now in place to tackle Covid-19, it would appear that Gladman is manouvering to dodge any opposition from local Residents to the proposed scheme. We would suggest that you contact your local Councillors as well as Gladman Developments to vent your opprobrium at such a deplorable attempt to sneak this under the radar at a time when Residents focus is litererally staying alive and caring for loved ones, neighbours and friends.
Mobile: 07887 918458
Bus. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
116A North Road
Phone: 01303 670561
Bus. email: email@example.com
Gladmans reputation precedes them. According to the Daily Mail, Gladman Developments bankrolled farmers seeking permission to build on their fields. Will they stop at nothing or stoop so low to turn a profit?
Just to put you in the picture about Gladman, here’s just a few reviews which are currently in the public domain.
More will follow as things develop.
UPDATE: WE WON – DEVELOPMENT STOPPED
Original review: Not at all impressed by the actions of this company or the sneaky tactics they employ: They are attempting to build homes on a Greenfield site, …More
Are spoiling our countryside for massive profits…
In light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic it’s heartening to see that local Parishes are taking the lead in offering local help for local people. Here is just one example of the Parish of Monks Horton taking the initiative and providing a community help line to ease the stress on our elderley and most vulnerable.
Monks Horton Parish Meeting.
Supporting our local commmunity through the Coronavirus COVID-19 Emergency.
Dear Residents of Monks Horton,
I imagine that each of us is aware of the dreadful Coronavirus COVID-19 that is having such a drastic and tragic impact on almost every country in the World at the moment. The purpose of this message is not to repeat the information nor advice that is available from many official sources but to see what we can do as good neighbours to support each other and to provide
practical help if needed.
Based on the Government advice of today (Tuesday 17 March 2020) it is clear that some members of our community will need to spend at least one or two weeks in social isolation at home and our older, vulnerable and pregnant residents may soon be advised to stay at home and to avoid all social contact for possibly at least 12 weeks. Such limitations on human contact may lead to practical needs, social isolation and emotional upset.
What some of us can do.
We should each try to be conscious of our neighbours’ situations, being particularly aware of those who may be more vulnerable and we should think about whether we are able to offer them any support. Such support could be, for instance:
• making contact with them by a phone call, regularly or now and again: “Hello, how are you – is there anything that you need?”
• perhaps leaving items of medication or shopping on the doorstep,
• or posting their mail.
Such simple acts of thoughtfulness and kindness can make all the difference and can be done
without putting either party at risk. Remember, sadly, this activity may need to continue for some months – it is a long time for people to have no social contact or to feel isolated and lonely.
If each of us is able to make contact in the next day or so with our nearby neighbours, sharing phone numbers and perhaps email addresses, we can get a practical support plan in place in good time as Government introduces these measures. Please see the attached forms.
It would be a sensible idea, where there are clusters of homes, perhaps to agree that one person volunteers to co-ordinate the contact arrangements, trying to make sure that no-one is forgotten.
Listed below are a number of organisations that are also able to offer assistance in what is going to be a difficult and challenging few weeks.
NHS 111 – Telephone 111 or visit the website https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Age UK Hythe and Lyminge – 63 Station Rd, Lyminge, Folkestone CT18 8HQ Telephone 01303 269602 – or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Silver Line – the helpline for older people
Call them ANYTIME on: 0800 4 70 80 90 or visit the website https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/
The Silver Line is a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They have a page on Coronavirus advice.
Please, try to help. If you have any other ideas about how the community could support itself please contact me Donald Broad Chairman, Monks Horton Parish Meeting 01303 814169. email@example.com
Many elderley or vulnerable people may be reluctant to answer the door during these most extraordinary times. May we suggest a simple note through the door similar to the one noted here:
My name is..
I live nearby at…
My phone number is…
If you would like me to keep in touch with you over the coming weeks of isolation due to the Coronavirus emergency please phone me and let me have your telephone number. You are not alone.
As for the selfish idiots queing outside supermarkets and stripping the shelves of near everything, our prayers will be for you and your greedy friends, acquaintances and accomplices tonight.
Take good care and may your God go with you.
The Corporate Director at Folkestone and Hythe District Council for Otterpool Park is John Bunnett. He will be holding the £100,000,000 to spend as he, along with Andy Jarrett, thinks fit. Is that a good move?
As we understand it, our good friends at Shepwayvox have been taking flak from certain Council employees for exposing the actions of senior Council staff.
Let’s face it, if any local Government employee being paid from the public purse kicks back against being scrutinised alarm bells should ring. Here’s what the Shepwayvox team has to say about Mr. John Bunnett:
And don’t forget to read the comments.
Well done Shepwayvox.