Dear Residents,

A little breezy, but overall, the weather was kind to us last Sunday, with a turnout of around 250 local residents and friends, taking part in the Great Hythe Walk.

The event organiser’s, the Sellindge & District Residents Association, representing the Otterpool group, made it a day to remember for all Residents from every corner of Shepway and beyond.  The fact that the event was only advertised on our website and Social Media, demonstrates the power of  the internet, which we intend to exploit in the months and years ahead.  Our membership is growing daily, promoting transparency on the issues that face us all, here in Shepway.

Struggling against the wind, our speakers were in attendance updating us on recent events:

The coming together was both heartening and encouraging on all fronts, from the organiser’s team, made up from all four groups. Walking and talking together, our Residents showed grit and determination against the loss of democracy in our part of East Kent.

A massive thank you to all who took part, raising in excess of £1,700. This will be distributed among the four groups; Lorry Park, Otterpool, Fisherman’s Beach and Princes Parade, funding banners, posters, flyers, expert and legal advice. It could well be that funding a Judicial Review is in the offing which will require in excess of £30,000. Digging deeper and working harder is a scenario which we are all prepared for in the coming months.

It wouldn’t have gone unnoticed that Kate Chesterman walked the walk on stilts, (or should that be stilted the Stilt) alongside our new recruit, Paul, who collected almost £100 in his bucket. WELL DONE KATE AND PAUL – Stars of the day.

Kate and Paul

It’s these events that bring ‘thinking’ people together to make a stand against SDC who are intent on destroying our communities.

Congratulations to Michael, Carol, Alison, Steve and Joan who won the five prizes on offer in our free raffle. Well done you.

More events are planed in the New Year. In the meantime, S&DRA and our associates will be working hard behind the scenes to keep our District a decent place to live and work. Please look out for announcements very soon.

Many thanks for all your support.


Otterpool Charter – your thoughts count. We need your help!

We need your help, urgently! 
You have an opportunity here to make your own suggestions and you should take this chance firmly in both hands and tell Shepway what your vision is of a development at Otterpool Park. The consultation ends on the 17th Oct 2017. Please read below for details.

Shepway District Council have published a document titled ‘A Charter for Otterpool Park‘. On the cover page it describes itself as a “Consultation Draft”.

This is the first document emanating from the Otterpool Park stable that actually uses the word ‘consultation’. It just doesn’t seem to have been put out into the public domain to allow for it to be responded to in a convenient or conventional manner. But, as a document, it does look as if in the future it will be lent on heavily as evidence of the authorities seeking community input.

As a document, it falls somewhere between a promotional brochure filled with estate agent wording, alongside some oddly detailed references to very specific and current legislative requirements for disabled access and the like.

The document promotes “good design”, “flexibility”, and several other issues that are just screamingly obvious. These things are givens, nobody would promote bad design. There are of course aspects that can be supported. Opening up vistas to Westenhanger Castle and taking a very positive approach to managing and enhancing the landscape would be very hard to argue against. Improving and building in bridleways, cycleways and footpaths, in preference to roadside pavements, might be seen in the same way. But, the document also talks of a Combined Heat & Power plant supplying the development; would this presage a resurgence of the application for the Biomass plant at Link Park, and all that that would entail?

What has the document omitted as things that should be provided in this new idyllic place to live and work?

The scale of shopping and public transport facilities is shaded; perhaps this is where new sports facilities should be located, rather than on Princes Parade? You have an opportunity here to make your own suggestions and you should take this chance firmly in both hands and tell Shepway what your vision is of a development at Otterpool Park, much of it on our land.

The purpose of the document, and its future use by Shepway, is not explained, but we do recommend that you should read it, and then comment on it. You should send your observations very quickly to Shepway.

There is no specific procedure or form provided for this so we suggest that you should email your District Councillors:

  • North Downs district that would be Jenny Hollingsbee, who will be attending the cabinet meeting or email to otterpool@shepway.gov.uk, and copy it to jenny.hollingsbee@shepway.gov.uk
  • or to your favourite District Councillor.

If you are commenting, you might want to begin by saying whether you are in favour of developing Otterpool Park or against it in principle. If you are against, even if the juggernaut will not be stopped, you still have the right to say what you would expect to see within any development. Whatever you have to say to them, please copy us in with your submissions because we genuinely want to know what as many people as possible across Shepway think of this proposal.

The document can be viewed here – A_Charter_for_Otterpool_Park_Consultation Draft


Furthermore, On Thursday, 5 October 2017 Shepway District & Parish Council’s Joint Committee met and received a presentation of the document. This meeting was attended by a small number of parish councillors from the parishes directly contained within multiple park or abutting it. A minute of that meeting has been published by Shepway.

On Tuesday 10 October 2017, the overview and scrutiny committee of Shepway District Council met and heard much the same presentation.

We haven’t seen much publicity attached to this ‘consultation’ and do wonder if they have simply forgotten to mention it to anyone.

Shepway Vox were in the public gallery and have posted their note of that meeting. These few lines summarise their conclusion, which S&DRA endorse.

“…most importantly there is currently a consultation underway, where you, the public, can offer up your suggestions on how Otterpool ought to be developed. The consultation ends on the 17th Oct 2017 and all comments should be sent to: otterpool@shepway.gov.uk

There is no guarantee Otterpool will go ahead. However, in the event that it does, we believe your voices in shaping the community which may be built there, will help shape the community for generations to come. Therefore, we urge you to read the Charter Consultation and email Shepway DC with your thoughts.”

On Wednesday 18 October Shepway are holding a Special Cabinet Meeting when the document, possibly with some amendments, will be put to the cabinet for agreement.

The meeting at 5:00pm in the Council Chamber will be open to the press and public, it would be great to see as many of you there as possible.

HYTHE WALK, 10.30 am 29th October, 2017.

The Hythe Sponsored walk is taking place on Sunday, 29th October and is a chance for ALL Shepway residents to participate in, whether they be from the main groups of SOS Kent -Lorry Park, Fishermans Beach Association, Save Princes Parade, No Otterpool Town or any other action group across our region.  This is a gathering of like minded people who are sick and tired of being bullied by our rotten Council and its glorious Leader, David Monk. Although the route is about 5 miles, we don’t expect everyone to walk the full the distance. Stop off for a coffee just a few hundred yards from the start and wait for us to return; the choice is yours. But what this event is really about, is raising funds to challenge the lies and hidden agendas that are now common place within SDC. There’s a free raffle with great prizes to all who the pay the minimum sponsorship fee of £5.00. Click here to download and print your sponsorship form.            Various speakers will be present to end the day, so bring your family, friends and neighbours. In a wheelchair, mobility scooter? No problem. The route is wheel friendly with not an incline in sight. Enjoy the beauty and open vista of Princes Parade alongside our open coast line. Bring your banners, whistles, flutes and drums. Let’s band together and walk the walk, along our promenade.

We plan to have a great day with all of our friends. See you all on the 29th, 10.30am.

Thank You

Dear Residents,

Those residents who attended the Open Garden event last Sunday at Upper Otterpool, were treated to a beautiful venue with good company and a beautiful garden,
The Morris family put on a marvelous show for local residents to admire, set in a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere. Teas were served alongside home made cakes and local seasonal produce to purchase, which many residents donated – Thank you.
All in all, a fantastic day in the company of like minded people, intent on stopping the annihilation of our beautiful countryside by our rotten Council.
The T shirt campaign got off to a good start – NO TO OTTERPOOL NEW TOWNLOCAL HOMES FOR LOCAL PEOPLE catering for most sizes, even XXXL. 
Monies raised was much appreciated and added to our general S&DRA fund. 
It just leaves us to say a huge THANK YOU to the Morris family and their volunteers for all their hard work in putting on such a wonderful event. Bless you all.

Timetable To Develop Westenhanger into Otterpool Railway Station.

Dear Residents,

Our S&DRA team have joined forces with Shepwayvox to bring you the latest article set out here.
The biggest question to ask yourselves is: If Otterpool Park is for local people, why does Westenhanger station need to be developed into a Parkway Station, ferrying Otterpool residents to London at high speed?
Moreover, If (and it’s a big ‘if’) Westenhanger does eventually serve the utopian dream of Otterpool Park, property prices will increase to suit the London market.
So, is it disingenuous for Monk, Hollingsbee, Collins and Co to tell us that these are houses being built for our children and grandchildren? It doesn’t take a lot of working out.




How long cannes Monk stay in office?

Dear Residents,

Our friends at Shepwayvox have outlined the problem with rising house prices and the affordability factor. Please take the time to read and decide for yourselves whether Leader Monk is a peddler of inaccurate detail or not.
Just to point you in the right direction, wasn’t part of the criteria to build a New Town supposed to have local support from Parishioners. Did Leader Monk tell a porky to Central Government? If he did, isn’t that deception?

Doing the Can-Can in Cannes

Dear Very Angry Residents,

Our friends at Shepwayvox have followed up on their recent article on the Riviera trip for our Council Leader Monk and chum. Are they ashamed that they are spending our money on such an unnecessary trip; probably not. Would they rather we knew nothing about it; of course.
This was evident when at a meeting at the Civic Centre last night. Andy Jarrett, head of strategic developments at SDC (You’re having the New Town, no question) said that SDC would be looking at international markets to promote / build the New Town at the MIPIM event. He was very careful not to mention that it was being held in Cannes. It wasn’t until Ian Meyers (UKIP) pointed out to all in the Chamber and in the public gallery that it was being held in the celeb’s playground of Cannes that Andy Jarrett conceded that, that was the case. So there we have it; not actually a lie, not in the league of a cunning stunt, more of being economical with all the facts. Are we surprised. It’s the same old story. Or as they say in sunny Cannes; C’est toujours la meme histoire.

Consultation results of community engagements

Dear Angry Residents,

Following on from the Otterpool New Town Sham Consultations, or Conmunity Engagements of June 22nd, 23rd and 24th, we can now publish our poll of polls. 
It should be understood that not all residents were interviewed simply because we couldn’t keep up with the flow of residents entering or exiting the Lympne, Sellindge and Hythe events.
On this occasion we will break it down into venues just to highlight the interest generated in venues furthest away from the Sellindge/Lympne areas.
                                INTERVIEWED                AGAINST.                   UNDECIDED.                 FOR.                               
HYTHE                              21                                19                                   0                                2 
LYMPNE                            14                                13                                   0                                1
NEW ROMNEY                  7                                   2                                   5                                0
SELLINDGE                      18                                17                                   1                                0
FOLKESTONE                  11                                 10                                  1                                0
All New Romney and Folkestone Residents visiting the venues were interviewed as both of these ‘consultations were very poorly attended. Our team were polite on all occasions.
It must be stated that at the Lympne, Sellindge and Hythe venues, Residents anger was very much in evidence. If, as Deputy Leader Jenny Hollingsbee states, that the Otterpool Town proposal is supported by the silent majority, we would like to know where they are. 
Does she mean the majority of the Council Cabinet? If someone at SDC could provide us with the evidence that there is majority support for Otterpool Town, we will publish it. Until then, we will openly state that our so-called representatives; Monk, Hollingsbee, Carey et al, are misleading the Shepway electorate together with Central Government.

Leaders Monk and Hollingsbee are correct

Dear Residents,

We at S&DRA think that Leader of SDC, David Monk and Deputy Leader, Jenny Hollingsbee are actually telling the truth when they say that building a new town in and around our communities would ensure that houses would be available for their Grandchildren.
Of course they would.

If most working class people had a property and/or Land portfolio like our Council leaders to pass on as inheritance, their Grandchildren would be ‘sitting pretty’ and would be able to afford the outrageous South East prices that’s so detrimental to our young families and lowest earners in securing a home.

If we are to accept that ‘Everything is relative’ we have no argument against the likes of Monk and Hollingsbee given that a fiscal helping hand would be available to the few. But if we were to adopt the same principle of ‘Everything is relative’ to our lowest paid workers and residents whose chances of an inheritance windfall is zero, the average price of a mid terrace house is way out of reach.

So when we hear the term ‘affordable homes’ should we laugh, cry or despair?

So far, we have heard nothing from our Council that would convince us that the majority of our children or grandchildren would ever enjoy setting up a home that they could call their own, either being rented or purchased.

There are many options available to Councils when considering homes for our lowest paid residents. One of them is CLT’s: Community Land Trusts are being initiated and developed globally and provide the alternative to the mainstream PLC developers, like Taylor Wimpey (TW), whose only raison d’etre is to accumulate profit for themselves and their shareholders (according to Digital look, the prospective end of year yield or dividend for TW is 7.5%).

For a simple explanation of how a Community Land Trust operates, please click here.

Having heard and seen the sham Consultations last December and June, 2017, it is obvious that between Shepway District Council and Cozumel Estates (based in the Offshore, British Virgin Islands), the overriding reason for foisting a 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town upon us is MONEY.
Money for Cozumel and SDC.

If the 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town gets the go-ahead, investment would be drawn away from all of the other Shepway areas to the detriment of non Otterpool Residents, leading to services in their own areas being drastically reduced. Moreover, services would be concentrated in one area area of Shepway, leading to massive congestion in and around the villages of Lympne, Newington, Sellindge Stanford, Westenhanger.

So if you’re living in an area where you think a 12,000 dwelling commuter Town won’t affect you, think again. This isn’t a case of ‘Not in my backyard’. Given that the Shepway population increase would be over 40% (8,000 homes in the Local plan, plus 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town), we should ALL be saying NOT IN EAST KENT.


Community engagements

Dear Residents,

The second round of so-called Community Engagements are now behind us. So what have we learnt from them? Of course, we all know that the only Consultation/Engagement that would have any legitimacy would have been for SDC to ask the question: Do you want a Garden Town in and around your Rural Communities?

Shepway District Council, being what they are, have not sincerely engaged with local Parishes, and when they did, (7th June, 2016) we all told them that there is no local support for such a monstrous development.

Within 24 hours, (8th June, 2016) the SDC Cabinet then took a vote to go ahead with the ‘Expression of Interest’ to Central Government for their support of the New Town (12,000 dwellings) along with a £750,000 grant.
There are many Residents who think that what SDC did was illegal and/or corrupt. We have listened to all their comments and will post more on this issue as times goes on.

In the meantime, we are attending and listening to Kevin Murray and Cozumel Estates at the so-called Community Engagements. The first round of these engagements produced a stream of negative comments, based on real concerns for the environment which SDC have chosen to ignore.

On the issue of the public relations company; Kevin Murray, S&DRA’s view is more or less in line with David Plumsteads’ comments set out below, but let us not forget that many of the ‘experts’ employed by Kevin Murray are not experts at all as highlighted and exposed at the Lympne Village event when their Water ‘expert’ appeared clueless when questioned on Affinity’s Water projected figures and the water usage of an additional 12,000 plus homes. The problem is, individuals, on a one to one basis are believing what these so-called experts are saying.

David Plumsteads’ view:

Kevin Murray is in my view genuinely working to record people’s views and concerns. His small company of associates is expected to comply with his professional ethos of objectivity, accuracy and impartiality.

We are not fighting Kevin Murray and his staff. Most of the heat generated in the Q&A session in the Sports and Social Club arose from general public mistrust and detestation of Leader of SDC, David Monk & Co. It came close to a question of shooting the messenger.

Kevin Murray is broad shouldered and used to it, but I did notice that consistent shouting tended to confuse/deafen his staff, getting in the way of their writing down what was being said.
I believe we are winning the ‘Consultations’ with hard unarguable evidence. We descend into rowdy name calling against the wrong people at our peril.

Please keep an eye out for more posts on the lies and deception that we have now come to expect from our District Cabal.