FRINDSBURY EXTRA PARISH COUNCIL

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MINUTES OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 9 AUGUST 2007

AT THE MEMORIAL HALL, HOLLY ROAD, WAINSCOTT AT 2.30pm

  

P/08/07/1-8

 

PRESENT:

Cllr David Coomber

Chairman

 

 

Cllr Trevor Archer

 

 

 

Cllr Mrs Valerie Archer

 

 

 

Cllr Mrs Pam Coomber

 

 

 

Cllr Gary Etheridge

 

 

 

Cllr David Miller

 

 

 

Cllr Geoff Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Roxana Brammer

Clerk

 

 

 

 

Action point

 

1

 

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

 

 

 

All present

 

 

2

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

None

 

 

3

 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS OF AN URGENT NATURE

 

None

 

 

4

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12 JULY 2007

 

It was proposed by Cllr Miller, seconded by Cllr Mrs Coomber and agreed that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2007 be signed as a correct record.

 

 

5

 

APPLICATIONS

 

 

 

a

MC2007/1294 : Sandacres, Upnor Road, Upnor Application for approval of reserved matters [layout, scale and appearance] pursuant to outline application MC2003/2051 for the construction of nine 5-bedroomed detached dwellings with associated parking

 

After discussion, it was agreed the Council respond as follows:

 

The Parish Council recognises that outline permission has been granted for a development of 9 detached dwellings with the retention of the existing house, “Sandacres”. It supports that application's mention of part of the site as a nature reserve. It also understands from local knowledge that there are bats, a protected species, in "Sandacres" itself and the retention of this house will minimise disturbance to them. It remains however concerned about the access onto Upnor Road .

 

The Parish Council supports the applicant's comments in the Design Principles and Access Statement document that there is “a need to maintain the character of the area in which the site is set”, and “need to retain the tree screen around the site maintaining the rural nature of the area”; that “detached housing in this location is entirely in keeping with the area”; that “The nine units represents a density of 7 units per hectare including the existing house...but with the permission in place and given the tree coverage on site and the levels variation across the site represents a reasonable use of the available land.”

 

The Parish Council however contests the applicant's statements on access.

 

Lower Upnor is approached by a narrow, twisting country lane with no adjacent footway and subject to the national speed limit of 60 mph. Much of this would have to be walked before being able to join the public right of way that leads to Wainscott by means of a footbridge over the A289, a dual carriageway with a 70 mph speed limit.

 

The closest railway station is indeed Strood Station, but even if it were 2km by road (which councillors doubt, but have not measured), the local road system is one where most people would find it too dangerous to walk. It is considered not many people would make use of the local public rights of way network to walk to the station.

 

There is a bus that serves Lower Upnor but it is only a few times a day. Other buses are available in Wainscott and the combination of buses in the area do not run every ten minutes as the applicant suggests. As indicated above, walking is not easy or convenient and in some places dangerous. Residents of Lower Upnor say they live in an area of poor public transport. The recent development of over 100  dwellings in Lower Upnor adjacent to the site has not had any effect in improving existing public transport.

 

The applicant states: “The site is located in close proximity to the high street which has a post office and general store to cater for day to day needs.” Which high street is the applicant talking about? High Street, Upnor, which is pictured in the Design Principles and Access Statement, has no shops at all. There is a Co-op in Wainscott Road , Wainscott. The Post Office in Wainscott Road closed down about five years ago. The nearest post offices would be in Hoo St Werburgh or Strood.

 

The Parish Council considers that Wainscott Primary School  and Chattenden Primary School are nearer to the site than Hilltop Primary School , however competition for places at local primary schools is great and when families started moving in to the adjacent new development, children were having to go as far away as St Mary's Island . As walking to either Chattenden or Wainscott would involve use of public footpaths, it is very unlikely that any primary school children would be allowed to use these to walk to school and they will all in fact be transported by car. Hilltop did have a walking bus scheme, but it did not include Upnor and has folded due to lack of volunteers.

 

The final statement says “...the use of modes of transport other than the car has been an inspiration of this development.” The Parish Council totally disagrees with the final sentence “The immediate access to public transport links make this a realistic aim.”

 

In summary the Parish Council has no objection to the design and layout of the nine dwellings as shown on the drawings with this application. The layout is slightly different from that indicated on the drawing that accompanied the outline planning application, but the layout is a reserved matter following outline consent. The Parish Council is aware that the Upnor Residents' Association would prefer the indicated layout submitted with the outline application. However, the Parish Council draws both the applicant's and Medway Council's attention to the inaccuracies in the access statement.

 

 

6

 

DECISIONS

 

The decision as listed on the agenda was noted.

 

 

7

 

APPEALS & OTHER MATTERS

 

 

 

i

Sandacres, Upnor Road, Lower Upnor

 

Councillors had attended the public exhibition arranged by Taylor Wimpey about their proposed development on the land occupied by “Sandacres”. Their original application had been for 43 houses and these were now reduced to 38. No fresh planning application had been submitted. There had been a lot of interest and many people had attended. It was considered the Taylor Wimpey representatives staffing the exhibition had not been well briefed about the locality and had not been able to answer questions satisfactorily, especially about the trees and the nature reserve. It appeared that the majority of residents in Galleon Way had not been informed about the exhibition. The Upnor Residents' Association was setting up a sub-committee to deal with the development.

 

 

 

ii

254 Brompton Farm Road

 

A letter had been received from the resident of 254 Brompton Farm Road, outlining the problems he was having over his garden hedge with a resident of Hawkenbury Rise. It was agreed this was a neighbour dispute and the Council could not get involved, but a reply would be sent suggesting the resident contact his Medway councillors.

 

 

8

 

MANOR FARM

 

Nothing to report.

 

 

9

 

LICENSING APPLICATIONS

 

No applications received.

 

 

The Chairman closed the meeting at 3.10 pm

 

Signed ………………………………………………………..Chairman

 

On the ………day of ……………………..2007

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