WATER,WATER EVERYWHERE?

That’s the impression that our beloved Folkestone & Hythe District Council, along with their development bedfellows and apparatchik consultants and PR sidekicks would want us all to believe.

The fact of the matter is, there’s not enough water to support major development in the Folkestone and Hythe area over the coming years.

These are the facts: Affinity Water (AW) our local water company, the experts in delivering water to our taps, are concerned, very concerned that the existing infrastructure will not be able to deliver anything near the amount of water to supply a new town of 12,000 homes. In fact a figure of 1000 homes from AW has already been quoted. (Please see the link below if you think that upgrading the infrastructure is the solution).

AW supply water to 160,000 people in the Folkestone and Hythe area, known as the Dour region. The projected housing figure, excluding the proposed Otterpool New Town, for the area is a further 24,000 homes. This equates to an additional 57,600 people, given the average figure of 2.4 people per household, making 217,600 people. Moreover, no allowance has been made for industry or commercial enterprise. So you wouldn’t have to be a mathematical genius to calculate that with a limited supply of the wet stuff, blanket building in the area would be an environmental disaster.

So what has our Council and their blanket building chums said that will convince us that a 12,000 ( or is it 10,000, 8.500 or 5,500) New Town will have enough water to drink, bathe in and flush our loo’s. In a nutshell, this is what they are saying:

They will install the type of infrastructure that will supply water to Otterpool Town whereby, instead of each resident using the average of around 155 litres each day, they can get it down to 80 litres per person each day.  How? They say that they will be using, through their preferred infrastructure developer; Albion water, a system of ‘re-use’. This could be a combination of grey water (basin, sink, bath shower) and/or rainwater being redirected via a treatment unit, to serve the flushing of WC’s. This would require ‘over and above’ the usual amount of water infrastructure, adding to the cost of each house. Let us not forget that the infrastructure housing fund that was in the offing for Otterpool has been pulled by central Government. And let us also not forget that there is a cost in operating a re-use system that some local residents may well not be able to afford. And what of rainwater use? If the holding reservoir becomes depleted due to a lack of rain, potable water WILL be used to serve the properties.

So, for the moment, let us all agree that residents will be using 80 litres of potable water each day. This would be a saving of 75 litres per person each day. Now, given that our Council can’t make up its mind that the New Town will be 12,000 or 5,500 houses, lets assume an average figure of 8,750 houses. AW have already stated that over the coming years they would be adding an additional 57,600 customers to their base, making a total water output to residential properties of 32.64 million litres of water each and every day.

The total saving of potable water usage at Otterpool New Town, if each house was fitted with a re-use’ facility, and if it rained enough to keep the bulk reservoirs filled, would be 1.575 million litres each and every day. Not to confuse matters, if Otterpool Town (of 8,750 houses) was included in the projected 24,000 homes this would add a further 1.68 million litres to the 32.64 million litres making a grand total of 34.32 million litres.

With developers and FHDC talking as if this scheme was the ‘be all and end all’ to conserve water, we can see that the scale of proposed water saving (if achieved)  across the Dour region is minimal.

The proposal set out to conserve water on this scale is nonsensical and is another exercise in hoodwinking a planning inspector to approve a development that, in environmental terms, really is a ‘bridge too far’.

With our climate changing, we will have to ensure that development is appropriately managed and sited in areas more able to cope with population growth and migration.

To conclude, we are including a submission to the draft FHDC Core Strategy made by Parish Councillor Les Barratt that pretty much sums up the state of play regarding water issues and development in the Folkestone and Hythe area. It is a ‘long read’ but well worth a look.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=f3d29dce98&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-a:r1659225245353016218&th=164b6af7e01021cf&view=att&disp=safe&realattid=f_jjtovsgp0

If you’re interested in how the water savings will be made by Folkestone & Hythe District Council, please visit the site in 30 years time. If you’re not sure where the water recycling plant is, don’t worry, you cant miss it. It’s right next door to the Unicorn Farm.

Have a nice weekend.

S&DRA

 

 

Parliament’s bubble is still firmly intact.

Mondays (9.7.18) session in Parliament was an illustration of how distanced the current Prime Minister is about our communities, whether it be through fault of her own or her MP’s.

Set out below is the transcript from Hansard where Dover MP, Charlie Elphicke, still under police investigation from early November 2017, scores another hit espousing the importance of delivering the Lorry Park in the event of a ‘No deal’ Brexit.

In the PM’s response it was both gut churning and sickening to hear “He (Elphicke) champions the rights and needs of his constituents very eloquently in this House”.

Parliament’s bubble is still undented by the Judicial review or local residents opprobrium toward the biggest, unworkable, global Lorry Park sited between our Kentish Villages. Even more reason to view our previous posts and fill out the Highways England survey:

Photo of Charlie ElphickeCharlie Elphicke Conservative, Dover

I welcome the Prime Minister’s statement that no deal preparations will be stepped up. What are those preparations; how will they be stepped up; will they include new money; and most importantly, will they include the delivery of the lorry park on the roads to the channel ports that was promised two years ago but that has not yet been delivered by the Department for Transport?

Photo of Theresa MayTheresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

As I said earlier, £1.5 billion has already been allocated, and the Chancellor has made £3 billion available over two years for the various preparations, which include the no deal preparations. The new Brexit Secretary will take on the task of ensuring that we step up those no deal preparations. I know from previous discussions the concern my hon. Friend has about the potential lorry park in Kent in relation to the port of Dover. He champions the rights and needs of his constituents very eloquently in this House.

 

Have your say on the Lorry Park. Part 2.

If you haven’t been along to a Highways England, Lorry Park consultation yet, they have now ended, but don’t despair. You can still make your views be known by taking the online survey, but it will end on the 22nd July. The online survey is relatively simple but if you need guidance, a copy of David Plumsteads’ (The Shepway Environment and Community Network) survey form is set out below. Needless to say, our views are mirrored by David’s. Here are the relevant questions and answers.:

6 Are you responding on behalf of an organisation? (optional) Yes

7 If yes, please provide details of the organisation The Shepway Environment and Community Network a non-party political voluntary group of which I am the coordinator.

8 How often do you travel on the M20/A20?  Weekly

9 How often do you travel on the M2/A2?  Rarely

10 For what reasons do you travel on the M20/A20 and/or M2/A2? (Please tick all boxes that apply). Local resident

11 How does traffic congestion caused by an activation of Operation Stack during periods of cross-Channel disruption affect you? (Please tick all boxes that apply). As a local resident, As a local road user, As a motorway user

12 Operation Stack addresses congestion caused by lorries during periods of cross-Channel disruption. To what extent, do you agree or disagree with the need for an alternative solution? Strongly agree

13 To what extent do you agree, or disagree, with the idea of developing a lorry holding area solution that reduces the need to activate Operation Stack during periods of cross-Channel disruption? Strongly disagree

14 Taking account of the identified benefits and disadvantages set out in the brochure, do you have a preference for any of the following lorry holding area solutions? I don’t agree with lorry holding areas

15 Where do you think that any new lorry holding areas should be located? (Please tick as many as appropriate). I don’t agree with lorry holding areas

16 If you agree with a lorry holding area solution, do you have specific suggestions about where lorry holding areas could be located? If yes, please provide details below. : N/A

17 How serious a problem is illegal or inappropriate lorry parking in Kent? Serious problem

18 To what extent do you agree, or disagree, with the need to provide more everyday 24-hour lorry parking facilities in Kent? Strongly disagree

19 Where should any additional lorry parking for everyday 24-hour use be provided? (Please tick all boxes that apply). I don’t agree with lorry holding areas

20 Did you attend a public information exhibition? No

21 If you attended an exhibition, please specify the location or locations attended. (Please tick all boxes that apply).

22 How did you hear about this public information exercise? Local community group

23 How helpful have you found our public information exercise at explaining the existing traffic issues and our proposed approach to address them? Helpful

24 Do you have any further comments about this public information exercise? : Yes. It amounts to public misinformation. Throughout this Questionnaire – you, Highways England – have been addressing the symptoms resulting in our overcrowded road network and have failed to confront the disease. Since starting to campaign against the expansion of road capacity in 1987 we have steadfastly maintained that doing so simply encourages and results in greater and greater volumes of road traffic – cars and trucks. Unless and until the absurd political oxymoronical mantra requiring the ‘need for economic development’ to qualify every pronouncement on ‘sustainability’ is jettisoned, every new mile of roadway will continue instantly to be taken up by cars and trucks, road traffic will everlastingly be subject to Operation Stack conditions and there will be no ‘sustainability’. In our society wedded to everlasting economic development, only a catastrophic collapse in air quality and far more serious loss of natural environmental health on which we all depend for our existence will halt the proliferation of cars and trucks. Human beings have yet to develop the capacity to eat, drink and breath money.

David Plumstead 6th July 2018

25 Is there anything else you want us to take into account.

Yes. The negative effect of society’s and Government’s collective irresponsible behaviour towards the statutory/legal requirement and absolute necessity to reduce emissions of C02 and other compounds.’ Politicians are renowned for a preference to ignore the elephant in the room and successive Governments fixated on the outcome of the next general election and the retention of power are able only to repeat the quote ‘Its the economy, stupid!

Please go online and take the survey here:

https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/solutions-to-operation-stack/consultation/

If you don’t take the time or trouble to allocate 10 minutes of your time to fill out the survey, you could end up with the worlds biggest Lorry Park on your doorstep. You have been warned.

S&DRA

Editors note: For those of you who think that a 3,600 truck Lorry Park would cure the problem of congestion on the M20 at times of French Ferry Operators strike or inclement weather, think again (including you Mr. Damian Collins MP and Councillor Jenny Hollingsbee). In the summer of 2015 there were 9,000 lorries stacked on the M20. If the proposed lorry park was full at Stanford West, there would be 5,400 stacked on the M20. Moreover, Junction 11 would be closed due to the 2 Km slip road rule, thereby making travelling in the locality worse, a lot worse. Get those thinking caps on.

 

 

Deja vu au Chateau

Same old, same old. That was the story as angry residents streamed out of the Otterpool (Offshore) Park exhibition hosted by ‘out of town’ folk hired by FHDC.

Residents told us of ‘experts’ describing Stone Street as Stone Road with other ‘experts’ pleading with angry residents to stop the barrage of questioning, simply because they didn’t have the answers. All in all, it wasn’t a lot different from the two previous public, tick-a-box consultations.

We said on our previous, Watch this space,  post, that questions would be answered from a leaflet handed to residents as they entered the consultation. Here they be:

  1. Why build a New Town when all of our housing needs have been met for the next 20 years? Why indeed. This proposed development was the brain child of Leader David Monk and his close associates within FHDC. It has nothing to do with Planning and is totally cash driven to bolster Council income. 

  2. What public consultation was there before FHDC (SDC) decided to build an new town amidst our villages? None.

  3. How many houses will there be in the new town, 12,000, 10,000, 8.500, 5,500? Many figures have been banded about in an attempt to confuse us all. Obfuscation is just one of the feeble weapons in the FHDC armoury that we have grown accustomed to.

  4. How can water supply for the district be guaranteed when Affinity Water say they can only supply enough for 1000 new houses at Otterpool Park? This is a subject that has to be investigated in detail. We will dedicate one of our forthcoming posts purely on Water Resources within the Dour (F & H) region. It is true that Affinity Water can only supply 1000 houses (we have the evidence) via the existing, limited infrastructure, given that water is available.

  5. How many houses at Otterpool Park will be ‘affordable’? Put simply, will an average Shepway salary be enough to secure a home for a local resident? – NO. With the average income of around £23,000 pa, there would be no way that a local person would be able to secure a home on Otterpool Park.  Even with a combined salary of £46,000, purchasing a new property would be out of the question. Moreover, the saving for a deposit of typically £12,000 would be near impossible if an individual or a couple are already renting at exorbitant rates.

  6. What changes will FHDC make to plans for Otterpool Park now that the anticipated £281,000,000 Government Housing Infrastructure Fund has been refused. Fewer community facilities?, Lower quality landscaping?, Less Green space?, Fewer and less affordable houses?, Scrap the high speed station at Westenhanger? It stands to reason that the less money available for non profitable features of a development, the more likely it is that they will be pulled. We see it on a regular basis where developers promise 30% ‘affordable’ homes on a section 106 agreement but halfway through a development, 30% becomes 10% because the developer says there isn’t enough money left in the pot. Moreover, Council Leader Monk and his team have already stated that services in the district would be cut if Government financial support wasn’t forthcoming (see KM, F&H Express 26th July 2017 – More Government cash needed or key services will take the hit) to build Otterpool Park. 

  7. Is it now time to cancel the Otterpool Park Park project? Even though FHDC have already wasted thousands of pounds of our Council Tax money on consultants of many shades overseeing the promotion of what would be a dystopian nightmare for us all, we are sure that you would all agree that cancelling the Otterpool Park project is the only option. Looking to the future, with land in Council ownership (which in effect is our land), a coming together of all local residents to agree and decide on the future for our communities, our children and grandchildren is the way forward. The only way, of course to do this, is to rid the Council offices of the incumbents that hold power. May 2019 is the date to set in your diaries. Only we can do it, but it is up to each and everyone of us to spread the word. More on this soon.

A better than expected turnout was a surprise to us all thanks to our own teams, alongside local press. Recording residents comments is always helpful in assessing the level of support for Otterpool Park which we have done on the previous two occasions. Many of the comments are not printable but lets just say that the one word expletive that repeatedly filled the air was the term used for fairly warm waste from a cattle herd, useful in agriculture after composting.

Out of 146 residents interviewed, 130 were opposed to Otterpool Park, 10 supported it and 4 were undecided. No doubt FHDC will put their own spin on the consultation, but the facts can not be denied. This is supposed to be, as set down by Government, community led. It really is nothing of the kind.

A final word to all those residents who have signed up to our website – a big thank you. It is only through information sharing that change will happen. We have already heard about two families that have recently moved into the area not knowing anything about a new town on the cards, even though a thorough search was carried out by their solicitors? Why didn’t FHDC disclose such information?

Please keep your emails coming in to us, we’d love to hear from you.

S&DRA.

 

 

 

Watch this space

Dear Residents,

For all of us Residents attending the Sham, Tick-a-box Consultation at Westenhanger Castle today, seven questions will need to be answered – More on this when you arrive.

We can be sure that the PR company hosting the event will have a template answer fed to them from FHDC but watch this space over the next 48 hours to get the real and honest facts.

S&DRA

Sham at the Castle. 20.6.18.

Dear Residents,

If you thought that Westenhanger Castle was promoting a Sham 69 Concert with Jimmy Pursey banging out  ‘Hurry up Harry’ as an encore, you’d be very much mistaken. However, it will be an event to get your blood pressure increasing to stratospheric levels, as it has to a lady who has contacted us today.

Comments are coming in, thick and fast about the Sham Otterpool Town Consultation being held at Westenhanger next Wednesday, 20th June. Below is a comment (unedited) that we feel fully justified in bringing to the attention of all Shepway Residents.

“Everybody needs to cross out all options for the new town and just write across it….NO DEVELOPMENT WANTED…..WE WANT OUR GREEN SPACE AND FARMLAND LEFT AS IT IS !! Then they will know that we don’t want their disgusting newtown……perhaps we could add that they could build it next to where they live !!”

We would like to thank the author of the above article for taking the time and trouble to write to us.

We would love to hear from other Residents, on all issues, whatever their views.

S&DRA.

Sham, Tick-a-box Consultation 20th June.

On Wednesday the 20th June, Folkestone and Hythe District Council (SDC) will be presenting us all with the third and final consultation on Otterpool Park New Town at Westenhanger Castle between the hours of 2 pm and 8 pm.

If you ‘re hoping to go along to voice your opinion on why we really need such a new town, given that we already have 14, 560 proposed homes in the local plan to meet local housing needs, forget it.

Cast your minds back to the previous consultations and you will recall that we have NEVER been asked whether we want a new town on our doorstep or not. Indeed you will also recall that Andy Jarrett has already stated in an interview last Summer:

REPORTER.
Those people that aren’t happy with the plan, they just have to put up with it then?

ANDY JARRATT
(Even bigger sigh)
While they have to…they have to put up with it, or they have to try and work with us to shape it.
What we are not entering into is a dialogue about it not happening.

So if you’re in the camp of 98% of residents that have already told our beloved District Council to shove it, based on environmental, economic and health concerns, what’s the point of attending the so called Consultation? Only you can decide that. We would neither discourage or encourage you to attend, but if you are in agreement with Councillor Monk and FHDC that we do need a new town, irrespective of the fact that Affinity Water can only supply 1000 dwellings (given that we are not in a drought situation) with potable water and GP’s are in short supply, then go ahead and tell FHDC’s PR company that you would like to see blue tarmac on the roads and taking the fresh Otterpool air, walking along a tree lined riverside promenade with all the other healthy Otterpool Park residents would be conducive to your longevity, living a life of total contentment, spiritually uplifted, in an eco friendly, high spec, ever so affordable home, then you will be shaping the utopian FHDC dream.

And lets not forget about attending the multi faith halls (see FHDC’s master plan) of religions on the sabbath or whatever day suits the multicultural, autonomous, dormitory, Otterpool community.

Let’s face it, this is another tick-a-box exercise for the benefit of Monk, his cohorts at FHDC and Cozumel (offshore) Estates just to say that all public consultations have been carried out in their feeble attempt to hoodwink a Planning Inspector later this year.  And will they ever issue the true results? Of course not.

Perhaps we’ll see you all on the 20th.

S&DRA

 

 

 

 

 

The quest for a solution to Op Stack gets underway (from KM Kent Online)

Plans for a permanent solution to Operation Stack are to come under the spotlight for a second time as part of a public consultation that will get underway next week.

The government recently announced that it would implement a contra-flow system along the M20 between Junction 8 and 9 as an interim measure in the face of possible delays when Brexit takes effect.Now Highways England is to invite views on finding a permanent solution – for the second time – which could involve one or more lorry parks to prevent the M20 being closed completely when delays happen.A six-week “listening exercise” will take place from next week, with a series of exhibitions and meetings across the county.These will be the start of a longer-term consultation process aimed at identifying permanent improvements to how freight traffic is managed when there is disruption to cross channel services in future.

 People will be asked whether they would prefer to have an on-road or off-road lorry holding area; or a combination of both on either single or multiple sites.

The government has emphasised that it has no sites in mind for lorry parks and is open-minded about its options. But it says the consultation will seek views on whether everyday 24-hour lorry parking should be considered as part of a lorry park solution. Approximately 900 lorries park illegally or inappropriately across Kent each day.

Graphic (2422688)

Highways England project director John Kerner said:

“The disruption that people in Kent experienced in the summer of 2015 underlined the need for improvements to how traffic is managed when services across the English Channel are interrupted.

“We now have an opportunity to take a completely fresh look at what a permanent solution to Operation Stack could be, and understanding people’s views will be vital in making sure we can identify the most appropriate outcome.

“I encourage anyone with an interest to get involved.”

The government was forced to scrap a planned lorry park off the M20 near Folkestone last year ahead of a Judicial Review.

All meetings to take place from 2pm to 8pm except Dover and Maidstone when the times are 12noon to 6pm.

FORTY TOWERS

In last weeks local KM newspaper a story hit the front page; Just a green dream that was termed as ‘exclusive’ about the promised 40% green space for the proposed commuter Town (Otterpool). The headline read: Emails reveal council and landowner agreed to scrap 40% green space Otterpool pledge.

To be clear, the KM are not talking about local landowners or farmers who may, or may not about to be compulsory purchased by FHDC. The land owner in question described above is Cozumel Estates, aka The Reuben Brothers, based in the ‘offshore’ British Virgin Islands.

Far from being an exclusive, this story was revealed by our friends at Shepwayvox back in April:

The green space is now just an ambition. It is known that Cozumel representatives wish to reduce or even eradicate the 40% green space. They went as far as asking FHDC to remove the figure of 40% of green space.

Are we surprised to learn of the deception surrounding open space? Is the Pope a Catholic? The point being, if they are prepared to deceive us on this, what else are they deceiving us on? We already know that the Leader of the Council will readily lie to further his dystopian dormitory Otterpool dream, not only in print, but also on BBC radio: a true votarist.

The “unrealistic target of up to 40%” evidence is set out below in an email dated 24th May, 2016 from Stephen Higgins to Susan Priest at SDC (FHDC). This document, described as Confidential, was obtained through a FOI request and is now in the public domain.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=f3d29dce98&view=att&th=1631b2be670191c8&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_jgnid49v0&safe=1&zw

Less than a week ago more than 50,000 homes received the FHDC publication, Spring/Summer edition of ‘YOUR DISTRICT TODAY, where on page 11 it clearly states that ‘outdoor space will make up over 40 per cent’.  Why is this figure still being bandied about? Could it be that low density housing will become flats or even towers to accommodate the outdoor green space to ‘emphasise healthy living and wellbeing’. For whatever reason, we would respectfully ask FHDC to desist from using such misleading information.

In the same magazine and on the same page we are told of another re-run of the public exhibition being held at Westenhanger Castle, 20th June, between 2pm and 6pm. A six hour window for us all to be told how wonderful the Otterpool dream is going to be for us all. 12,000?, 10,000?, 8,500?, 5,500? dwellings that all of our children and grandchildren will be able to afford, living healthy lives with  great transport links, cycling to heritage sites, riverside walks, medical centres, schools, multi-faith halls of worship. What is there not to like about Otterpool Offshore Park New Town? The list is endless.

We’ll see you all on the 20th June.

S&DRA.

GOING DOWN.

If you have ever questioned the intelligence of our Councillors or MP, your thoughts are justified. We recently witnessed the complete farce of attempting to build the worlds biggest lorry park at Stanford West, supported by Damian Collins MP, along with Monk, Hollingsbee and Carey, only to find that it thankfully fell at the first hurdle, purely because our MP and Councillors were too lazy and arrogant to work out that disregarding the Environmental impact and protocol is an avenue never to be explored. A Judicial Review was duly launched against Highways England and the rest, as they say, is history. Stanford West remains part of the arable landscape.

We now have a similar situation with a commuter town, planned to obliterate our villages, which our beloved Council are calling Otterpool Park. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you would know that we live in the most water stressed area in the UK, so the very idea of building a town of 12,000 dwellings makes no sense at all. Moreover, with some 24,000 other dwellings planned for the area, you wouldn’t need to be a hydrologist or water industry expert to have an inkling that the development of a town may just be a bridge too far in terms of providing a potable water supply to each and every home. Enter Councillor Monk and his ‘Expression of Interest’ to build a town.

Monk devious look
Council Leader Monk.

The original intention was to build 12,000 dwellings, then it was 10,000. After a conversation with the local water company it’s now 5,500. We believe that it won’t stop there. Here’s the email dated 23rd January, 2018 sent from Chris Lewis at FHDC (SDC) to Affinity Water (AW):

“For clarification, the current position is that the policy requirement is for a minimum of 5,500 homes over the Core Strategy Local Plan period until 2037, with development capacity within the red line of 8000-10,000 homes (subject to detailed masterplanning) drawn from evidence base work providing opportunity for growth beyond the plan period.”

It should be noted that a meeting took place last December (2017) where AW announced that capacity exists for only 1000 dwellings, but after that, major infrastructure upgrades will be necessary. Let’s not forget that the Governments Housing Infrastructure Fund of £281,000,000 destined for FHDC amounted to nothing.

Have a nice weekend.

S&DRA.