Chilham Square
Check out our what we are doing page to find out what we are doing to improve pedestrian safety and parking in the Square
 
 
 
The parish council wants to keep as many people as possible informed regarding the planning application process for the Sawmills development and the associated development in Station Approach so they can continue to contribute with their comments and concerns now the ABC Planning Committee has met and approved the application.
 
  It hopes this will ensure all issues raised by the local community are adequately considered so that the parish is not left with legacies that are difficult or not possible to address.  
  It will use this page to provide relevant information regarding the planning application process for the proposed developments and collect comments and concerns so they can be included in the parish councils response to the proposed developments.  
  You can find out more about these applications via the ABC website using the following links:  
  Sawmills application  
  Station Approach application  
     
  LATEST NEWS: CPC meet with the developer to understand future plans in respect of the management scheme and provide feedback on the management plan and current usage of parking spaces.  
  On 4th December 2014, Cllrs Kennett and Lincoln met with the developer's agent with the developer in attendance. A number of issues were discussed and a letter was sent to the agent who subsequently agreed it was an accurate reflection on the discussions.  
  During the meeting, the question about alleged letting of spaces to a local business was raised, as this had been raised at a parish council meeting. The developer totally refuted this claim.  
  SVE confirmed their plans to implement the approved scheme but agreed to review its costings with a view to reducing the annual charge.  
  It was agreed that the meeting was helpful in establishing a dialogue with the developer and his agent and that further such meetings should be sought.  
  LATEST NEWS: ABC approve Station Car Park management scheme  
  In March 2014, ABC approved a scheme proposed by Stour Vally Estates (SVE) which identified an annual charge of 430 p.a. for each of 10 available spaces let to subscribing individuals. A further 5 spaces would be provided free of charge on a daily basis by prior arrangement. A Management Company has been established to manage and oversee the whole operation. Click here to view the approved scheme.  
  The parish council has argued the case that it believed all 15 spaces would be provided free of charge for a period of 99 years subject to ABC not levying Business Rates. Those councillors who attended the ABC planning committee in August 2012 came away from that meeting believing that free parking had been secured. However, this is not reflected in the approved minutes of that meeting and ABC have contested that such an agreement would not be legally enforceable.  
  A point has now been reached where ABC has approved a scheme which clearly does not have the support of CPC. At its November 2014 meeting, CPC considered its position with regards to the New Station Car Park and the following questions :-
1(a) Should CPC continue to pursue zero priced parking for all 15 spaces on offer
1(b) If the answer to 1(a) is Yes, then how should it present its case
OR
2(a) Should CPC accept that zero pricing is not achievable given the circumstances in this case
2(b) If the answer to 2(a) is Yes, then does it accept that 430 p.a. is a reasonable price for season tickets at the car park or should it be at a lower price.
 
  It agreed that Cllrs Lincoln and Kennett should meet with the developers agent in order to understand future plans in respect of the management scheme and provide feedback on the management plan and current usage of parking spaces.  
  LATEST NEWS: Parish Council sets up regular meetings with developer  
  The parish council believes it is important to forge a good relationship with Orbit (the site developer) and the chair and vice-chair met 2 representatives on 4th February 2014. Points which came out of that meeting were:  
  External and Internal Designs – little change from the planning application;  
  Affordable Housing units would be spread rather than clustered together, some would be shared ownership and the rest rented;  
  Work on site is planned for late May to July period;  
  Target completion date is December 2015;  
  Electricity and Water would be sourced from the opposite side of the A28;  
  Work would commence around 730am each day. Standard machinery will be used to keep noise levels as low as possible;  
  Delivery vehicles will be managed on and off site to avoid problems on the A28;  
  There will be a wheel wash facility on site;  
  Orbit at that time still had 2 conditions to meet in respect of drainage;  
  CPC will be given site contact details for reference purposes;  
  It was confirmed that use of the developer’s contribution was a matter for discussion between ABC and CPC.  
  Further meetings have taken place and it has been established that:
1) There had been no progress on the site due to slow worms.
2) The Environment Agency had approved a summary of surface water arrangements submitted by Orbit.
 
  LATEST NEWS: Site Name of Bagham Place agreed.  
  During September 2013, ABC consulted the parish council on an application to name the site Old Sawmills Place.
The parish council requested an extension to the one month statutory consultation period for the street name application to allow a full consultation with the local community and a parish council response at the November meeting but only a one week extension had been granted moving the deadline to 17th October. The council agreed that this extension did not allow sufficient time for a full consultation with the community.
The clerk had already publicised the opportunity for locals to contribute suggestions in Parish News and had also emailed over 70 parish contacts advising them of the proposed name of "Old Sawmills Place" and asking for comments and 10 contacts had responded.
At its October 2013 meeting, the parish council agreed to base its response based upon this feedback and decided to suggest an alternative name of "Bagham Place" as the site had a stronger historical link with the name Bagham and this name has been accepted by ABC and the Developer.
 
  LATEST NEWS: Parish Council strongly objects to Station Car Park Management proposals.  
  At its August 2013 meeting the parish council considered a planning application from the developer to discharge the planning conditions requiring the provision of a Station car park, click here to view.  
  The planning application was based upon a Management Statement for the provision of the Station Car Park that included a proposed annual management charge of 150 for season ticket holders.  
  In August 2012, ABC approved the development plans for the Sawmills site and the associated s106 agreement included the following statement:
STATION CAR PARK - The Owners covenant jointly and severally with the Council as follows:
Not to Commence Development nor to allow the same until the Council has approved in writing pursuant to this deed a Station Car Park including a scheme for controlling the use and management of the car park
Not to occupy any of the Dwellings nor to allow the same until the approved Station Car Park has been completed in accordance with its planning permission and is available for public use
 
  The Design and Access Statement submitted as part of the approved development plans included the following paragraph:
2.14 Station car parking is an integral part of the planning policy for this site and a separate application is submitted on a site off Station Approach which will deliver this development. A total of 15 car parking spaces are shown to be located on land immediately adjacent to the station. The car parking spaces shown will be made available without charge and the area maintained by my client on behalf of the local community subject to the conditions set out in paragraphs 6.18-6.25
 
  The parish council unanimously agreed to object strongly to the application making the following observations:
1) there should be no charge for parking and no management or administration fees - a requirement of the s106 agreement
2) priority for season tickets should be given to those who live within the parish of Chilham (not just Chilham)
3) the parking spaces currently in use in along Station Approach would be lost.
It was also agreed that Cllr Lincoln and Kennett would compose a response to the ABC planning officer drawing on these points, click here to view.
 
  LATEST NEWS: Parish Council consulted on Station Car Park Management proposals.  
  The planning permission granted by Ashford Borough Council for the housing development at the Old Sawmills site included a condition that requires the submission of a scheme for controlling the use and management of the new Station car park for users of the station to ABC for its approval.  
  ABC has received a planning application to discharge this condition and has consulted the parish council. The application will be considered at the August 2013 meeting.  
  Click here for more details on the proposed management scheme.  
  LATEST NEWS: Working Group meets to to establish the scope of the influence the parish council (through this working group) can have on the remainder of the Sawmills and Station Approach developments.  
  A working group meeting was held on 26th November 2012 to consider the scope of its role during the remainder of the developments.  
  It was agreed that all Highways issues now established by the planning decisions in August as outside the scope of the developments should be progressed by the parish council.  
  The scope of influence was identified with help from officers from ABC and this will be considered at the December parish council meeting. The main areas of influence were Design and Layout of the Site, Developer Contribution and Parking Provision in Station Approach.  
  The parish council has taken advice from CPRE Kent on these issues and been advised that its current approach (ie keeping up the pressure on Kent Highways by making them and our borough and county councillor aware of local concerns) is the right one.  
  Working Group Meeting Notes  
  LATEST NEWS: Working Group reconvenes at request of Parish Council and agrees next steps  
  The September 2012 council meeting thanked the working group for its contribution to the parish council response to the Sawmills planning applications and requested it reconvene to :-  
  1) identify key issues (eg environmental, road safety and pedestrian safety) to be reviewed with ABC, the developer and other agencies as the development progressed  
  2) agree an approach for working collaboratively with ABC, the developer and other agencies  
  The working group met on 17th September and proposed a course of action that involved meeting the developer and ABC and this was approved at the October parish council meeting.  
  Working Group Meeting Notes  
  LATEST NEWS: Cllr Kennett addresses ABC planning committee on behalf of CPC objecting to both applications but the applications are approved  
  Cllr Kennett addressed the ABC planning committee meeting on 15th August 2012 providing them with a summary of the views of the local community following wide consultation with local people.  
  This drew upon the issues raised in the formal response sent to ABC on 1st August.  
  In respect of the plans for the Sawmills site he raised concerns regarding design and layout of site; site access, road safety and rat runs; speed limits; disposal of surface water and drainage; availabiltiy of school places; developer contribution.  
  In respect of he raised concerns regarding number of parking spaces and HGV access.  
  Despite these views and those raised by Boro Cllr Marriott, the ABC planning committee approved both applications.  
  The parish council is now considering whether any further action can be taken to ensure local concerns are properly addressed.  
  Cllr Kennett's address to ABC planning committee  
  Final Response to ABC  
  LATEST NEWS: Working group consider response from ABC and amended planning application and respond with further questions  
  A working group meeting was held on 16th July 2012 to consider the response form ABC on 14th May and the amended plans. Further questions were raised and these were submitted to ABC on 18th July.  
  Response from ABC  
  Working Group Meeting Notes  
  Response to ABC  
  LATEST NEWS: Working group consider response from ABC and respond with further questions  
  A working group meeting was held on 2nd May 2012 to consider the response from ABC on 16th April, further issues were raised and these were submitted to ABC on 9th May.  
  Response from ABC  
  Working Group Meeting Notes  
  Response to ABC  
  LATEST NEWS: Parish Council approves proposed response from working group and submits it to ABC  
  The April council meeting endorsed the working group response and it was submitted to ABC requesting answers to the questions raised before the applications are considered by the ABC planning committee.  
  Response to ABC  
  LATEST NEWS: Working Group Meeting held on 2nd April 2012 proposes response to ABC  
  The working group considered the results of the traffic survey and finalises its proposed response.  
  Working Group Meeting Notes  
  LATEST NEWS: Working Group Meeting held on 26th March and Traffic Surveys  
  The working group considered the issues raised and decided on a course of action for each.  
  Working Group Meeting Notes  
  Traffic Surveys around Bagham Junction were carried out on 29th and 30th March 2012.  
  Traffic Survey Results  
  LATEST NEWS: Deadline to comment extended  
  ABC have accepted the parish councils request that it does not need to comment until important traffic assessment information requested from Kent Highways regarding Bagham Junction has been received and properly considered and have advised that the earliest date for comment will be the end of March.  
  LATEST NEWS: Inital comments produced by Parish Council following open meeting  
  The planning committee met following the open meeting on 23rd February 2012 and produced the following paper to summarise its findings.  
  Initial Planning Committee Comments  
  LATEST NEWS: Traffic Assesment Data obtained  
  As a result of concerns raised regarding traffic around Bagham junction, the parish council have obtained the following traffic assessment data produced for previous planning applications in order to better understand some of the background behind the Kent Highways view that the impact of the developments is acceptable.  
  Traffic Assessment - Savell Axon & Bird - 2007  
  Traffic Assessment - Jacobs - 2001  
     
  HOW TO GET INVOLVED:  
  The parish council has set up a Sawmills Update subscribers email list.  
  It will use this email list to send out updates and relevant information regarding the planning application process for the Sawmills development and the associated development in Station Approach and collect comments and concerns so they can be included in the parish councils response to the applications.  
  If you would like to join this email list please use the feedback form on the how are we doing page to register your interest.  
     
  STORY TO MARCH 2012:  
  ABC have conducted a number of community consultations in recent years to collect views on its development plans for the parish. These plans are described in the Tenterden and Rural Sites Development Plan Document (DPD) adopted in October 2010.  
  In November 2007, ABC held a Rural Community Workshop in Chilham Village Hall to collect initial views on its plans. Around 40 parishioners attended.  
  In January 2009, a further workshop was held to collect local views on the site selection process carried out by the planning team at ABC.  
  Several sites in and around Chilham village had been considered for residential and employment development. The ABC planning team gave their views on each of the sites explaining what might be possible and the issues that would need to be resolved and asked for views from the 30 or so locals attending.  
  Whilst there was no firm consensus on preference, sites at the Old Sawmills, Branch Road, Bagham Lane (near the old telephone exchange) and Mountain Street appeared to have more potential than the others although all had serious issues that would need to be resolved.  
  The next step was for the ABC planning team to collate the output from this workship with that from similar workshops in other parishes and feed this into further planning that will result in a detailed proposal for developing 190 homes across 8 rural parishes between now and 2021. These plans were open to public consultation later in the year and the Tenterden and Rural Sites DPD was adopted in October 2010.  
  In April 2011, ABC advised that developers wished to put forward an application to develop the Old  Sawmills site. Around 20 people attended a pre-application workshop in St Marys Church to enable the parish council and residents to inform the early stages of site design and layout as well as identifying the main highway and access issues and this was documented in the notes of the workshop produced by ABC.  
  In February 2012, ABC received planning applications for the Sawmills site and Station Approach and notified the parish council. An open meeting to collect local comments was arranged in Chilham Village Hall. The meeting notes can be viewed by clicking here.  
  In March 2012, As a result of concerns raised regarding traffic around Bagham junction, the parish council obtained the following traffic assessment data produced for previous planning applications in order to better understand some of the background behind the Kent Highways view that the impact of the developments is acceptable, but this confirmed that the last survey was in 2007.  
  Traffic Assessment - Savell Axon & Bird - 2007  
  Traffic Assessment - Jacobs - 2001  
  Following an invitation to all in the parish, a working group was set up to consider a response to the applications.  
  Two working group meetings were held and a traffic survey conducted around Bagham Junction (including the Branch Road and Bagham Lane rat runs) to provide current evidence of traffic volumes. The survey showed that traffic during peak hours had increased by up to 5% and that queues from Ashford often reached over 20 vehicles.  
  As a result a proposed response to ABC was drawn up raising a number of important questions to address parishioners concerns. This included:  
  - a request for a more recent traffic survey to be conducted  
  - why has a central reservation and ghost island not been considered as proposed in a previous planning application for industrial use?  
  - why does the footpath from the new houses terminate at Bagham Lane and not extend into the village?  
  - why is a proposal for 40 houses packed closely together and the space issues this causes being considered when the original plan for 30 allowed sufficient space to properly address play area and parking requirements?  
  - why is the play area designed for older children who are likely to be old enough to make their own way to recreation facilities in the village rather than younger children who would need to be accompanied by an adult and be at increased risk crossing the A28?  
  - we accept that a school role forecast had been done but ask how the 10 extra primary places forecast could be provided given limited scope for extending Chilham School?  
  The April council meeting endorsed this response and it was submitted to ABC requesting answers to the questions raised before the applications are considered by the ABC planning committee.  
     
     
     
 
The Tenterden and Rural Sites Development Plan Document can be viewed by clicking here and puts the development plans for the Sawmills site in context with the plans ABC have for other rural areas in the borough.
 
The parish councils comments on these plans can be viewed by clicking here and were the conclusions drawn from the workshop held in January 2009.
 
The notes from the open meeting held in St Marys Church in April 2011 can be viewed by clicking here. These were compiled by ABC and made available to prospective developers.
 
The Sawmill Site planning application can be viewed by clicking here and includes all the documentation supporting the application.
 
The Station Approach planning application can be viewed by clicking here and includes all the documentation supporting the application.
 
The Traffic Assessment submitted with the application that is behind Kent Highways view that the development would have an acceptable impact on traffic around Bagham junction can be viewed by clicking here - sections 5 and 7 contain the pertinent details.
 
The Chilham Parish Design Statement can be viewed by clicking here and includes design guidelines that new developments in our parish should follow.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Chilham Parish Council - serving Chilham, Old Wives Lees and Shottenden