Council Turncoats.

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 interesting to note that 3 of the votes ‘For’ came from 3 members that locals would describe as ‘turncoats’. Voting alongside the Conservatives, Cllr. Wimble (Ind), Cllr Meyer and Mullard (both UKIP) showed their support for the plan to swing the vote to the Conservatives, led by Cllr. David Monk. The electorate put their faith in these 3 Councillors at the last election to curb the seemingly rampant developments across the District, halting the Tory stronghold within the cabinet. Our friends at Shepwayvox reported on the meeting in great detail here:

FHDC pass Local Plan and Central Govt propose 1043 homes per year for our district.

S&DRA

STANFORD NO GO – SENT TO MOJO

Yesterday afternoon it was announced that a 27 acre clearance facility/Lorry Park is to be buit at Junction 10A, just off the M20 at Ashford.

You may remember that the site at Stanford West was earmarked for a Lorry park which was heavily supported by Conservative MP, Damian Collins (FHDC) and Dover MP, Charlie Elphicke. Local Councillors Hollingsbee and Carey (both Conservative) also gave weight to the development stating that it was of national importance and therefore could not be stopped. Well, it was. Mr. John Forge of Westenhanger Castle set about with a Judicial Review and won the day. Thanks to the Government and the apparatchiks mentioned above, 15 million quid was lost from the public purse on consultants and exploratory works – taxpayers money.

Residents of Stanford and surrounding villages cited many reasons for not building the worlds biggest Lorry park between tiny Kent villages and, from our own research found that it would have caused more congestion along the M20 and local roads given that Junction 11 would have been closed at the time of  operation. In the end, Highways England conceded that it would have never worked.

So, here we have the story from The Guardian Newspaper.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jul/10/vast-brexit-customs-clearance-centre-to-be-built-in-kent

More confirmation that Stanford et environs will be spared the industrial onslaught that our sio-disant representatives had in mind for us all.

Have a good weekend.

S&DRA

Sellindge, Kent – Mini City of the future.

Dear Residents and friends of Sellindge and surrounding Villages,

 

Please read all comments below after the article.

 

Cast your minds back just 5 years. Look at us now. Would you have ever imagined that our rural scene and way of life would would be under such attack by our own District Council, hand in glove with developers; and rotten ones at that.

We are all aware of the thousands of homes in the local plan and the unwanted and unneeded Otterpool Town that Leader Monk and his cohorts want to foist upon us. As locals we are aware of the back stories of the 250 Taylor Wimpey houses and the Bucknell Trust land proposal for 180 houses. Now we have Gladman Developments. A developer whose reputation preceeds them. We’ll say no more on that subject for now.

The long term plan is to build 170 houses along the South side of the A20, Main Road, Sellindge, with the first phase of 55 around Grove House and Fieldhead. More details on the link here:

https://folkestonehythedc.force.com/pr/s/planning-application/a1n2o00000313PEAAY

Please click on the link above and go to ‘Comments’ heading to have your say.

We would encourage you all to comment on this application as early as possible. The cut off date to comment is Wednesday, 8th July.

To date, there have been 10 residents who have taken the time to comment. For your guidance, we are publishing them below with names and related property names redacted.

 

S&DRA.

 

25/06/2020

The proposed development of land off Ashford Road, Sellindge, opposite the Duke’s Head public house. We wish to register our total opposition to this totally unnecessary development and the further rape of our one-time delightful little village. Our reasons are: Our failing health centre due to massive over-subscription, and that is before the current developments are even fully occupied. The school is also oversubscribed. This land owner has over the years, with various partners, tried to persuade and cajole adjacent land owners to take part in a much larger development, which thankfully have been thwarted. To endeavour to make the development on this parcel of land a more attractive proposition for the developer, 30 odd semi-mature trees have been cut down before preservation orders could be served on them, should this development go ahead many more trees and areas of shrubland would also be vandalised. We cannot allow this to happen. The developer is well aware that no building permission would be considered on the part of the parcel of land which adjoins Bulls Lane and the area behind Grove House and Woodlands, so has come up with a blatant bribe to the village and the planners to construct a play area, outdoor gym and other amenities. Should this ever come to fruition the on-going costs for any equipment with regular inspections, maintenance and refurbishments, and particularly insurance, would be a massive drain on the resources of the village or the District Council for recreational areas, of which we already have 2 in the village. The idea of having a footpath entrance/exit into Bulls Lane is foolhardy and would be dangerous for children, mothers with prams , etc. The existing statutory footpath can be easily and safely accessed at the top of Bulls Lane, along the boundary with Rothergate. The idea of a footpath along the secluded strip of land between Grove House and Woodlands would be a magnet for antisocial and criminal behaviour, when it seems that police resources are stretched in policing the community we already have, further problems should not be contemplated. The prospect of extra pedestrian traffic in Bulls Lane is too dangerous to consider. The Lane is approximately 2.4m wide with no foot way. Quite apart from normal traffic to the properties at the top of Bulls Lane, e.g. delivery vans, gas and oil delivery trucks, etc, the local farmer using this lane to access Rotherwood Farm, whose equipment, for instance a mower 3m wide, stock trailer 2.7m wide, as can be seen, this would be a total recipe for disaster. This proposed development would be on the highest point of land in the Parish of Sellindge so this modern development would be seen from all around the village, and outside. The overview of our once delightful village from places like Farthing Common would be spoilt by this development which would stick out like a carbuncle in the midst of just one more part of destroyed beautiful Kentish countryside. We are appalled with information that has just come to our notice that this development company, with a possibly dubious reputation, in conjunction with the land owner, appears to be trying to subvert public opinion with some people being threatened with legal action if they speak out against, or object to, this planning application. This is morally, if not legally wrong, and a Local Authority administration that prides itself on being “government by the people for the people” should immediately dismiss this application. Name redacted. copies of this email sent to Local parish council Ms Carey Ms Hollingsbee Sellindge Residents Association Sellindge Community Facebook Page

25/06/2020

The proposed development of land off Ashford Road, Sellindge, opposite the Duke’s Head public house. We wish to register our total opposition to this totally unnecessary development and the further rape of our one-time delightful little village. Our reasons are: Our failing health centre due to massive over-subscription, and that is before the current developments are even fully occupied. The school is also oversubscribed. This land owner has over the years, with various partners, tried to persuade and cajole adjacent land owners to take part in a much larger development, which thankfully have been thwarted. To endeavour to make the development on this parcel of land a more attractive proposition for the developer, 30 odd semi-mature trees have been cut down before preservation orders could be served on them, should this development go ahead many more trees and areas of shrubland would also be vandalised. We cannot allow this to happen. The developer is well aware that no building permission would be considered on the part of the parcel of land which adjoins Bulls Lane and the area behind Grove House and Woodlands, so has come up with a blatant bribe to the village and the planners to construct a play area, outdoor gym and other amenities. Should this ever come to fruition the on-going costs for any equipment with regular inspections, maintenance and refurbishments, and particularly insurance, would be a massive drain on the resources of the village or the District Council for recreational areas, of which we already have 2 in the village. The idea of having a footpath entrance/exit into Bulls Lane is foolhardy and would be dangerous for children, mothers with prams , etc. The existing statutory footpath can be easily and safely accessed at the top of Bulls Lane, along the boundary with Rothergate. The idea of a footpath along the secluded strip of land between Grove House and Woodlands would be a magnet for antisocial and criminal behaviour, when it seems that police resources are stretched in policing the community we already have, further problems should not be contemplated. The prospect of extra pedestrian traffic in Bulls Lane is too dangerous to consider. The Lane is approximately 2.4m wide with no foot way. Quite apart from normal traffic to the properties at the top of Bulls Lane, e.g. delivery vans, gas and oil delivery trucks, etc, the local farmer using this lane to access Rotherwood Farm, whose equipment, for instance a mower 3m wide, stock trailer 2.7m wide, as can be seen, this would be a total recipe for disaster. This proposed development would be on the highest point of land in the Parish of Sellindge so this modern development would be seen from all around the village, and outside. The overview of our once delightful village from places like Farthing Common would be spoilt by this development which would stick out like a carbuncle in the midst of just one more part of destroyed beautiful Kentish countryside. We are appalled with information that has just come to our notice that this development company, with a possibly dubious reputation, in conjunction with the land owner, appears to be trying to subvert public opinion with some people being threatened with legal action if they speak out against, or object to, this planning application. This is morally, if not legally wrong, and a Local Authority administration that prides itself on being “government by the people for the people” should immediately dismiss this application. Name redacted.  copies of this email sent to Local parish council Ms Carey Ms Hollingsbee Sellindge Residents Association Sellindge Community Facebook Page

25/06/2020

I am totally appalled that the council is even considering granting permission for more development in the village of Sellindge…… if you can still call Sellindge a village! The people of Sellindge have been subjected to a living nightmare during the last year and a half at least with the continuous traffic issues due to the lorries having to use the village as through road. Enough houses have gone up directly opposite the school. The doctors surgery cannot cope, the school cannot cope and the road cannot cope. I believe there has been enough development before the risk of Sellindge no longer being a village

22/06/2020

The village has many new properties and The amount of houses proposed for this site is unrealistic for the size of the plot.

22/06/2020

Sellindge is currently undergoing a transformation from a typical Kentish village to a sprawling town with no thought given to traffic flow and basic amenities such as increase in doctors or indeed schooling above primary. If this and other developers are allowed to continue to ransack our countryside for nothing other than profit for both them and the council then all quality of life will be forever lost.

22/06/2020

Without knowing the impact of the houses currently being built, how can further houses be planned? The village is already lacking the infrastructure required for the new houses opposite the Co-op, the houses currently being built will add further strain, so an additional 55 houses built on green belt land are neither required or wanted. The character of the Village is being destroyed by overdeveloping. I strongly object.

21/06/2020

We currently don’t have adequate facilities (doctors etc.) for existing residents and any more housing at this current time is not appropriate. This particular location needs to be given extra thought as it’s close to houses currently being built we need to see their impact before adding any more.

20/06/2020

As very close neighbours of the proposed site we have a number of concerns. Of particular concern is the surface water drainage of the immediate area. I sent the following request for information to Gladman during their consultation period, but have received no reply nor the coutesy of an acknowledgement. ” With regard to your development proposals for the land off the A20 in Sellindge, I would like to ask how you intend to deal with the disposal of surface water/rainwater. We live in House name redacted. which is situated on the main road just to the West of the proposed site. Our house is lower than both the road and the land behind us. In periods of persistent rain the existing field (The Site) drains towards the road and the water runs West, regularly resulting in a small river which collects around our house as it cannot flow past the access road to the West of us. With continued rain the level rises, and would ultimately reach the level of the road before draining. This would put our house at least 30cm under water. Currently we are protected somewhat by the fact that the land absorbs much of the rainfall, and with general occasional rain we have no issues. If the area is converted to almost all roadways, hard standing, roofs etc., our position would be potentially be a lot worse. Could you confirm that there will be adequate provision by either main drainage, dedicated soakaways, pumping systems, or any other means to ensure the land drainage situation is not made worse. Could you also confirm what means will be employed to achieve this.” We are also very concerned about the potential traffic hazard caused by the single access road for 55 houses joining the A20. The junction is in a 40mph speed limit which is not enforced, and continually broken by through traffic which is not local, but avoiding the motorway due to closures, accidents or just taking the scenic route. The pedestrian route for children walking to the local school is inches from 40 tonne lorries travelling at 40+mph. Cycling is definitely not a great option, with many cyclists already taking to the pavement for safety, the A20 is just not wide enough. Could serious consideration be given to making future developers contribute to a by-pass for through traffic, before any further developments are completed, in order to provide a safe environment for the existing and new residents, and maintain some semblance of village life.

19/06/2020

With the horror of Otterpool Park on our doorstep do we really need 55 houses built in a Village? There is no local need for them. With Otterpool and various other proposals being squeezed into every tiny space available and also the 250 Taylor Wimpy houses in progress at the moment, Sellindge is losing its village status. We believed Folkestone &Hythe Council when told the 250 Taylor Wimpy homes would be all Sellindge will be asked to suffer. Obviously this was not true. Shame on you. The A20 cannot cope with the traffic at the moment let alone the traffic that this and other developments will cause. The air quality In the Village already suffers from traffic fumes spewed out by continuous artic lorries thundering through the village. Please reject this proposal, it is not wanted and it is not needed.

19/06/2020

As our homes are already blighted by Otterpool and plagued by Motorway closures do we really need more homes?You have approved more by the railway and at the top of Barrow Hill yet will do nothing regarding a bypass.We do not need more housing in the village until you sort out the access for the current residents who are prisoners in their own homes due to the volume of traffic. Our lovely village will become a Town and that is not why we moved here.

Deadline to have your say – 3rd July.

Dear Residents,

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:

https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/media/2557/FHDC-EX009-FHDC-Core-Strategy-Review-Guidance-Notes-from-Inspectors-21-May-2020/pdf/FHDC_EX009_FHDC_Core_Strategy_Review_Guidance_Notes_from_Inspectors_21_May_2020.pdf?m=637257487650170000

The Core Strategy Review Submission Draft is here:

https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/media/2234/EB-01-00-Folkestone-Hythe-Core-Strategy-Review-Submission-Draft-2020/pdf/EB_01.00_Folkestone___Hythe_Core_Strategy_Review_Submission_Draft_2020.pdf?m=637206487608870000

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: programme.officer@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

S&DRA

 

“Time to be happy that the Gladman is coming?

Dear Friends,

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:

https://folkestonehythedc.force.com/pr/s/planning-application/a1n2o00000313PEAAY

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.

Covering letter Gladman

 

 

 

URGENT ACTION NEEDED. PLEASE VIEW.

Dear Residents,

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

Dear Representor,

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:

https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/core-strategy-review-2020/news-and-updates

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.

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Williams

Programme Officer

Caroline Williams

Programme Officer

Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue

Folkestone, Kent. CT20 2QY

Office: 01303 853376

Email: programme.officer@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Website: www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Environmentally Green or Green as Grass?

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.

S&DRA.

 

Otterpool Newtown and Otterpool Developers,

Dear Residents,

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.

willowy trees otterpool

 

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.

Background

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.

David Plumstead
14/05/2020

Otterpool – To be, or not to be.

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.

 

S&DRA