Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council has submitted a report to Swale planning officers on the air quality impacts of the Highsted Park housing application.  This development, together with the Northern site on land to the West of Teynham, would result in 8,400 new homes being built in our community.

This report is the first in a series and is the result of collaboration with Teynham, Tonge and Doddington Parish Councils.

You can read the air quality appraisal HERE

Defib Kingsdown
 
A third defibrillator has now been installed by the Parish Council, this time in Kingsdown.  It is located in Kingsdown Road, on a garden wall opposite Kingsdown House, in a secure cabinet.  You ring 999 for the code to unlock it.
 
A defib gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone in cardiac arrest and can be a life saver.  
 
We’re looking at organising another of our highly successful ‘Heart Start’ courses, run by Lynsted resident Simon White.  If you’d like to participate, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get your name added to the list, together with an indication of the most convenient days/times for you.  Simon very kindly gives up his time voluntarily, but we do ask for a £10 donation to the British Heart Foundation.
 
The Parish Council installed another defib machine last year in the garden of the Black Lion, to add to the one outside Swaleside vets on the London Road.  

Lynsted Community Kitchen herb garden opening

Julien Speed (right), Chairman of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council, cuts the ribbon of the new herb well-being garden with Trevor Sharp, the landscape architect who designed the garden.

A new herb ‘well-being’ garden was officially opened on Saturday in Lynsted.

The dedicated area has been designed as a haven to celebrate the culinary and health benefits of herbs.

It sits in the heart of the fruit and vegetable plot at Lynsted Community Kitchen Garden.

This collaborative food growing project was set up in 2021 and has already achieved local and national recognition.

It won Silver in the Wilder Kent Awards, organised by the Kent Wildlife Trust.  This recognised their work towards climate-resilient approaches to growing and gardening.

The Community Garden also won an Achievement Award in the 'Growing Together Award 2023 for Community Gardening' run by BBC's The One Show and the Royal Horticultural Society.

“We have planned an attractive, relaxing area with sections of timber raised beds, at different heights, to allow everyone to access and experience the textures, tastes and aromas of the herbs,” explains Founder, Vanessa Ross Russell.  

“It’s a place to explore their sensory benefits.  We hope to create an exchange of ideas around all aspects of herbs - including health, diet, cooking workshops, biodiversity and gardening.  

“We are very grateful to the BUPA Foundation Community Green Grant and My Society charity for funding”.  

The opening ceremony was conducted by Julien Speed, Chairman of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council.

“I’m immensely proud that Lynsted has been at the forefront of such an innovative approach to gardening.

“The herb garden will be an important local sanctuary space for mental well-being, with its Hazel dome structure and areas for quiet contemplation,” commented Cllr Speed.  

“The Community Garden has also planted 500 hedgerow whips and 120 trees this year - despite the challenges posed by rabbits, slugs and endless days of winter rain".

For more info or to join the Lynsted Community Kitchen Garden:  https://www.lynstedkitchengarden.com/about-us

 

A litter pick has been arranged for Saturday 27 April.  We will meet outside the Co-op on London Road at 10am and head towards the centre of Lynsted, ending up with a well-deserved drink at the Black Lion...!  Last year we collected 35 sacks of rubbish. 

This year we expect to pick up even more, given the current problems with overflowing bins and windy conditions.  

All Lynsted residents are welcome to join us.  See poster HERE

Lynsted Community Kitchen Garden invites you to a free open morning on Sat 13th April between 10.30 and 12.30. This local group comprises about sixty enthusiasts of all ages who grow veg, fruit and herbs together - in a big shared patch - with two polytunnels and a greenhouse.
 
They keep bees too, and have won a couple of awards for both sustainability and community action.  They're located just outside Lynsted village in a lovely field that can be accessed via Tickham Lane or the road between Lynsted and Doddington.
 
If you are interested in joining they’d love to show you around.  No skills required.  In exchange for lending a hand (different jobs sowing, planting, weeding, biodiversity checks, all sorts of different things - something for everyone regardless of mobility or ability), you can pick fresh seasonal fruit and veg whenever you need it. 
 
For details of the community garden's free events in 2024 see HERE
A retrospective planning application has been lodged with Swale Borough Council for a change of use of the former barber’s shop at 65-67 London Road, including structural alterations.  At last night’s Parish Council meeting, councillors resolved to file an objection.  This can be read below. 
 
 

The building is located within the Rural Local Service Centre of Teynham, classified as Tier 4 in the Swale Retail Hierarchy.

Policy DM3 of the Swale Local Plan is intended to protect the rural economy and provides that "planning permission for residential development will not be permitted where this would reduce the potential for rural employment and/or community facilities unless the site/building is demonstrated as having no demand for such purposes or its use would be undesirable or unsuitable".

Clearly those mitigating factors do not apply here, as the building has been in commercial use for over 100 years.  It has variously been a florist, hat shop, wedding shop, cycle store and, latterly, a barber’s shop which was very well frequented by local residents.

The application is therefore in contravention of Policy DM3.  

Customers of the barber’s shop now have to rely on the private car to access hairdressing services in higher order settlements in the Borough.  This is contrary to the environmental objective of the National Planning Policy Framework (as set out in paragraph 8) which requires the planning system to facilitate the delivery of sustainable development and move towards a low carbon economy.

Further, the building is located in the Cellar Hill and GreenStreet Conservation Area, the majority of which lies within the boundary of this Parish.  

We draw your attention to the Character Appraisal (currently in draft form).  Para 4.3 states:

"The conservation area review also revealed that unauthorised alterations to buildings carried out without planning permission (or listed building consent) pose a significant threat to the character of the conservation area. One very recent example is the unauthorised removal of the historic shopfront on the corner of 65 and 67 London Road which was noted in the 2000 appraisal as a significant feature.  An essential component of any conservation area management strategy is an effective planning enforcement strategy which prioritises enforcement action relating to heritage conservation”.

There has, to date, been a conspicuous absence of planning enforcement regarding this development.

The alterations to the external appearance of the building, including the removal of the corner doorway and the addition of white render, are out of keeping with the character of this conservation area.  

We note that no planning application was submitted in advance of the works being undertaken, either for change of use or for the structural alterations.  In the light of the above comments, we consider it likely that permission would have been refused.  We believe the same criteria should be applied to this retrospective application.  Developers should not be allowed to flout the rules and get away with it.

Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council considers that the building should revert to business use and that the historically-important frontage should be restored. 

Residents wishing to comment on this application should visit the Swale Planning Portal and search for reference 24/500512/FULL.  

The initial recommendation of the Cellar Hill/Greenstreet review was to preserve its status as a Conservation Area with a few minor boundary changes.  However, following discussions with Historic England and the Conservation Officer at Swale Council, it has been decided to look at extending the Conservation Area westwards from Station Road to just beyond the Lynsted Lane junction.  This would encompass an area northwards to Frognal Gardens and south into Lynsted Lane - including a cluster of eight listed buildings and others which characterise the development of Greenstreet from a farming community to a commercial centre during the 18th and 19th centuries.  This is important as the aim of conservation area designation is to protect historic places and to assist in positively managing change - so that their special character is safeguarded and sustained.  A further site visit will be arranged later in January, following which there will be a second public consultation on the proposed extended area.

Swale Borough Council has initiated a review of the Cellar Hill and Greenstreet Conservation Area.  It is vital that we preserve Cellar Hill as a location of special architectural and historic interest.  The public consultation can be found here:

https://swale.gov.uk/news-and-your-council/consultations/cellar-hill-and-green-street-conservation-area-consultation

The deadline to respond has been extended until Tuesday 2 January 2024. 

The Parish Council's response can be read HERE

The Cherry Orchard Group in Lynsted has put out an urgent call for new volunteers.
 
Some members will be stepping down at next February’s AGM after years of service, leaving key positions vacant.
 
Lynsted residents are invited to step forward to ensure the programme of activities can continue.  

The Park Farm Community Cherry Orchard Group was set up to organise events to celebrate the local history of traditional cherry growing, as well as wildlife associated with the orchard habitat.

Regular events in the calendar include Blossom Day in April, Cherry Day in July and a Halloween party in October.  The group also enjoys early morning dawn chorus walks, music events and wildlife teach-ins.

Anyone interested should contact Lizzie Spilman on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
More info can be found HERE