Swale Borough Council has decided not to submit the Local Plan Review to the Government Planning Inspector.
Instead, they will go back a stage and launch a new Regulation 18 consultation which allows residents more say over the contents of the Local Plan.
The draft document that will now be scrapped contained proposals to build around 1,400 houses in Lynsted and Teynham - plus a bypass south of the London Road in Lynsted Parish.
These plans attracted major opposition from local residents and Parish Councils. There were a total of 734 individual comments on the Teynham Area of Opportunity (TAO) - of which 93% were clearly opposed.
The summary of issues raised in the consultation, prepared by the Council’s officers, noted the perceived lack of compliance with SBC’s Statement of Community Involvement and the absence of evidence such as air quality and transport modelling to support the Lynsted bypass.
Other concerns included insufficient infrastructure plans, harm to the natural and built environment, and lack of clarity with no defined sites or boundaries.
A high number of residents were angry at the amount of development proposed on greenfield sites, particularly agricultural land.
Kent County Council had also noted that critical highway evidence was either missing or inaccurate, and that there had been limited opportunity for residents to influence the type and scale of growth in Teynham.
"Lynsted residents are highly relieved that the weight of argument against the Local Plan has been acknowledged. By going back to a Regulation 18 document, the community can properly debate the issues and options, instead of only being allowed to comment on technicalities such as soundness and legal compliance,” comments Julien Speed, Chairman of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council.
"We will have to wait and see what the new plan contains. We fervently hope Swale Council has now recognised that the TAO is undeliverable and that it will be removed from the next iteration of the plan.
“SBC rejected garden villages in the earlier draft plan on the grounds of residents' objections, but the numbers arguing against the TAO were far greater. To exclude the TAO from the new plan would carry no shame. On the contrary, it would be democracy at work”.
The new timetable is for the Issues and Options (Reg 18) consultation to take place in October and November, with a revised draft Local Plan (Reg 19) to be published in February of next year.
Julien Speed adds: “Swale Council can legitimately argue for lower housing targets based on need and deliverability. We would like to see them challenge the Government and make the case for fewer new houses”.
After a Covid-induced break last year, we're all looking forward to the Lynsted fete this Bank Holiday Monday. Weather is set fair! There's lots going on: BBQ, tea and beer tent, games, live music, tombola, stalls and much more. The Parish Council will also be there, so come and meet your councillors to discuss what else we could be doing to improve life in the Parish. Lynsted Park 1pm to 4pm. READ THE FLIER
An application has been submitted to fell to ground level four poplars in The Vallance, off The Street in Lynsted. Problems identified include loss of light to neighbouring properties and significant seed-tuft fall that causes blocked drains, slippery road surfaces and footways. Some residents are unable to open doors and windows between May and July because the seeds float in and are difficult to remove. The Parish Council has written to local residents outlining the alternative options to clear felling.
Developers wanting to build initially 10, but ultimately 50, houses off Lynsted Lane have re-submitted their application - apparently because of an error on the original documentation. The revision is of a minor, non-material nature. However the Parish Council has re-submitted its original objections. Read here
Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council has submitted a letter of objection to an application for planning permission to build, initially, 10 houses off Lynsted Lane - which ultimately would become an estate of 40-50 houses. Read our letter
Residents can submit their own comments on the Swale Planning Portal here:
There are 705 comments about the Teynham Area of Opportunity (TAO) on the Swale consultation portal. That's over 30% of all the comments on what is a borough-wide plan. Analysis shows 93% of respondents object to the TAO, 4% are neutral and 3% in favour (mostly developers). See media report in the Kent Messenger. Read the article
Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council has instructed a firm of solicitors to lodge a formal objection to the draft Swale Local Plan 2021. The Council objects to the plan as a whole because it is based on a flawed and inappropriate growth strategy which is unjustified, not supported by evidence, is predicated on an unlawful use of Supplementary Planning Guidance to allocate development, and is mutually inconsistent with the Plan’s own settlement hierarchy and other policies within the plan.
It has not been informed by a sustainability appraisal that meets the relevant legal requirements and will not be effective, because the growth strategy selected - which includes the “Teynham Area of Opportunity” - is not deliverable.
It has also not been consulted upon in accordance with the legal and procedural requirements set out in the Local Plan Regulations.
In addition to the above, and specifically, the Parish Council objects to the inclusion of the Teynham Area of Opportunity which is entirely unjustified and unsound, unsupported as it is by proportionate evidence.