The weather was fine without a cloud in the sky for the Westenhanger Otterpool exhibition, but where were the masses of the Silent majority that support the building of a commuter, dormitory town as espoused by deputy leader Jenny Hollingsbee?

It was PR company ‘Pillory Barn’ headed by Managing Director, Miranda Chapman that were on site to meet and greet local residents as they slowly drifted in to see the wonderful world of Otterpool – an experience that lived up to be, well, probably the worst one of the four exhibitions to date.

Surprisingly, there were no feedback cards to hand back with residents comments and little real expertise on site; just the usual lightly briefed mouthpieces espousing the usual diatribe for the Monk cabal. Is it worth mentioning that Miranda Chapman is also a Director of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce!

And if you’re wondering where the onsite FHDC representatives were, there were none. It’s true that a number of Councillors visited the exhibition but their visit was fleeting compared to our team that pitched up at 1pm and left at 7.45pm.

To get to the crux of the matter the exit poll revealed the following:

Of the 164 people canvassed, 38 offered no comment on the development, 9 people were in favour and 117 people were against the development.

Calculated in percentage terms, only 7.69% of people attending the exhibition were in favour of Otterpool Town. The 38 people that offered no comment are not included in the calculation.

Please don’t forget that the clock is ticking on the planning application date for comments to be registered. Your comments must be in by 27th May.

If you want to comment on the current planning application you can do this directly through the on-line system, but there are limitations on the number of characters/words you can use, and the system does time out without saving so that could be frustrating.

You might find it easier to simply send your thoughts in an email to

…and we would find it helpful if you would send a copy of your email to us ( at the same time, and we can see and collate what issues are the most important to you.

Start your email with the application reference number,


And say either

“I object to this application.”

Or if you really feel this way,

“I support this application”

and then go on to say what you want to say in more detail.



This is a list of common aspects that are considered relevant, but it is not exhaustive.  The most important thing is that you should say simply and clearly just what you think about it.

A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision.

Material considerations can include (but are not limited to):

  • Overlooking/loss of privacy

  • Loss of light or overshadowing

  • Parking

  • Highway safety

  • Traffic

  • Noise

  • Effect on listed building and conservation area

  • Layout and density of building

  • Design, appearance and materials

  • Government policy

  • Disabled persons’ access

  • Proposals in the Development Plan

  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)

  • Nature conservation

However, issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not material considerations……. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t say it, ….and the impact on views into or out of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a material consideration, … just say what is in your heart!

Until the next time.


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