Report for Aldington Parish Council

1. Planning Committee

Firstly, I welcome the establishment of a formal planning committee and congratulate the PC on taking this step- If properly trained, members will a clearer and more professional view of planning, that will ensure a better approach to all planning matters.

2. Planning- Neighbourhood Plan

With regard to planning, I have understood that the village is considering a neighbourhood plan. I would strongly caution against this – it is a very lengthy and costly process and once completed, has very little weighting at Council. ABC are not required to take the NP into consideration when deciding any planning decisions, so it merely works as a “village Wish list” The residents in Wye are currently being consulted on their plan that has taken more than 2 years to complete, and are being hit with the reality of its lack of weight in being an instrument to halt or control development.

3. Site Submissions and Core Plan

As discussed “ad nauseam” the only way to influence development in your area is to place clear planning arguments ATTHETIMEOF THE UPDATE of the CORE PLAN
My whole tenure as the Council has been focussed on building a strong case for Aldington, and I have had informal agreement that IFTHE RIGHT ARGUMENTS are placed Aldington could have a reprieve from any further large development in this update of the plan- i.e 2015-30 This does not mean there will be no building- as infill, windfall and exception sites may come up but it could mean, no additional large builds.
It could mean this – what needs to be done is as many comments and as much feedback lodged by residents individually as possible, and a clear submission by the PC and myself on key arguments against further development this time round, as that is what the majority of residents wish.

This time, development will be decided not by the hierarchy system hitherto used and contained in the Core strategy, but by the merits of the arguments placed. This means that Aldington’s arguments will be competing with those of other rural areas- who may also be arguing for no further development, and no longer based on being a tertiary development area.
I am compiling a report, with the arguments, I believe should be placed in order to get a firm commitment from ABC to grant Aldington a rest from development.

4. Housing 21 & Taylor Wimpey

There will be a meeting with ABC, Housing 21, myself and a PC representative on 17th March

TW deadline for compliance with all the planning application conditions is imminent and I am in touch with the officers and TW on developments.

6, War Memorial / Grant funding

An application was received for Grant funding, but needs to be far more specific- any request for public money, needs to be backed up with detailed quotations of works to be carried out and costs. Once I have this, I will be happy to agree the funding, although it is to be noted that Purdah kicks in at the end of March, and no further funding will be permitted until after the election, in accordance with Election rules.
Grant funding from the current ward member grant fund is now closed.

7. Solar Farm

This has been appealed and gone to the inspectorate.

I have written, as have ABC to the inspectorate, outlining reasons for the refusal to be upheld.
There is no representation possible and the Inspectorate decision will be final. All comments and objections for the original application have been sent on. I urge residents and the PC to add more comments individually.

8. Neighbourhood Watch

Mrs Montford contacts me regularly with information and I know that Andy Fear is very good at using Social Media to pass on any important messages- may I suggest the PC liaise with them, as theit infos would be most helpful to the village.

9. Knoll Hill

This is now open for single lane traffic excepting large tractors and overlarge HGV’s
The fibre optic repairs are ongoing and the road will remain as it is until these are complete.
Myself and Andrew Wickham, have robustly complained at a senior level about the lack of communication from KCC