Lodge Hill/Chattenden Latest
12/2/15 - The government have decided to call in the planning application - this means that a public inquiry will be held into the application
This will take time - it is likely that the public inquiry will take until the end of 2015 to be arranged. The inquiry is likely to take a few months and then the planning inspector will take months to assess the evidence before making a recommendation which will have to be considered by the minister.
. ______The recommendation may be refusal or approval with amendments or outright approval.
After a public inquiry there is no further appeal unless a flaw in the process can be identified and a case for judicial review by the courts is crroed out.
Approval of the Outline Application was granted by Medway Council at a Special Planning Meeting on Thursday 4th September, despite major concerns from residents, parish council, statutory bodies and others This however is only Outline and there are still some major issues to resolve before development can take place - including Nightingale Compensation Land.
Click here for the full report and recommendation that was discussed and approved with minor amendments.
A development of up to 5,000 houses and 5,000 jobs has been proposed for Chattenden for many years, however progress has been slow. The site is a key part of Medway Council’s Local Development Framework (local planning policy). There has been a lot of public consultation over many years to try and establish the design and layout of the site and the community facilities to be provided. I parallel with consideration on the LDF an outline planning application has now been submitted. Lodge Hill is less than a mile from the top of Cliffe Woods (on the other side of the Chattenden Woods).
However there are still concerns about the highways impact of this development on the A228 (Four Elms Hill and Roundabout), the Wainscott By-pass and local roads. There has also been concerns about the natural environment and one of the UK’s largest collection of nightingales has been found in the site - this has led to Natural History extending the current Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI). This will put some significant hurdles in the way of developing the site and there is some concern that developers will turn to other sites now that national planning laws have been relaxed.
For more information from the site developers click on www.lodgehill.info
For a copy of the new extended SSSI (extended towards Cliffe Woods and across the Lodge Hill site) Click Here
Outline Planning Application MC/11/2516 had stalled because of the SSSI implications but was revived in Februaryt 2014 with a fresh (Refresh) set of documents. Consultation on these plans finished of 14th April 2014. Members of the Parish Council attende both the Special Rural Liaison Committee (Medway Council) and the exhibitions at Lodge Hill. Concerns had not been addressed and the Parish Council objected. Our response was :-
Outline planning application with some matters reserved (layout, scale, appearance and landscaping) for the demolition of existing buildings and development of a mixed use settlement comprising up to 5000 residential units, up to 36,750 sqm GEA of B1 business floorspace, up to 7,350 sqm GEA B2 business floorspace, up to 3251 sqm GEA convenience retail floorspace A1, up to 2070 sqm GEA comparison retail floorspace A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, secondary school, 3 primary schools, community facility, healthcare facility, assisted living facility, nursing home, garden centre, two hotels, water bodies and associated infrastructure works including access, roads, informal and formal open space, pedestrian, cyclist and public transport infrastructure, utilities, car and cycle parking
The Parish Council raised a number of concerns with the original outline planning application, but these comments are based on the extensive list of refresh documents submitted recently. However the initial reaction is that little has changed, and further concerns have been identified. The summary is that the council wish to object to the application in its current form. Areas of concern are :-
Implications of not developing Lodge Hill
In summary we see very little benefit to our villages with this development and only a worse environment with congestion on routes to the A228 (Hoo, High Halstow, Allhallows, Kingsnorth, Stoke and Grain) and well as the Medway Tunnel and Medway City Estate (and to a lesser extent the Wainscott Bypass/A2/M2 and Cooling Road Strood/Rochester). The Parish Council therefore object to the plans in their current form.
More Information will be posted here as the development proceeds (or not!)
Mr Chris Fribbins
Parish Council Address
42 Quickrells Avenue
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