Friday, November 24, 2006

Feedback from PUBLIC MEETING

John Balcombe and Dave Smith would like to thank the 120+ residents of Aylesford who attended the Public Meeting on Thursday 23rd November to express their views about the proposed development by Barratt at the Somerfield Depot site on Station Road.

The main points arising from the meeting are summarised below:

*Congestion and road safety
*Lack of medical facilities
*Over-crowding of local schools
*Increased noise and pollution
*Threat of flooding due to changes to the flood plain
*Problems with the water pumping unit at Sedley Close
*Unattractive building design / not appropriate for Aylesford Village
*High density and poor quality of housing
*Lack of youth facilities
*Insufficient provision of parking spaces

Aaron Hill, a Planning Officer from TMBC, explained the legal position regarding planning permission and explained many of the rules governing such developments were now laid down by the South East Regional Assembly and the Department of the Deputy Prime Minister. However, all the above points were valid concerns which would be considered by the planning authority.

It was stated that guidelines on density INDICATED BETWEEN 30 - 50 UNITS PER HECTARE. However, it was confirmed that the upper limit could be increased in certain circumstances (for example, if the proposed development was located within a "sustainable community" with good access to public transport, shopping and community facilities etc.)

NB: Barratt's proposals for 450+ units are equal to 150 per hectare. 3 times the recommended maximum.

Ms Cariaga, representing Barratt Kent, tried to answer the points raised by residents. She said the final design had yet to be agreed. She explained that the height of the proposed development was partly due to the ground floor being used for car parking with the flats built above (due to threats of flooding). The issue of land contamination also needed to be addressed. It was also confirmed that Barratt Kent have not yet purchased the land and that an official planning application has yet to be lodged with TMBC.

Aaron Hill confirmed that if / when a planning application is officially received local residents would be notified of the proposal. He encouraged residents to write in with their views and to attend the planning meeting where they would each be allocated a 3 minute slot to address the committee about their concerns.

Aylesford Conservatives will continue to campaign against the present proposals from Barratt Kent and will do all we can to support residents in their opposition to this scheme.

The next stage will be to form a non-political Resident's Action Committee to co-ordinate the campaign. Details of this will be published in the next edition of our regular community newsletter "IN TOUCH" which will be delivered to every home over the next 2 weeks. If you would like to join this committee and help with the campaign please phone Dave Smith on 01622 715487 or John Balcombe on 01622 718175.

If you have not yet signed the petition please contact either Dave or John on the above numbers. Alternatively, you can now sign the petition on-line by following this link:
Click HERE to sign the petition on-line.


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