Further to the letter sent to Burlington Property Group (ATTACHED), we have now received a response from their Land Director.  He has confirmed that they will no longer be pursuing the site to the west of The Street - so won't be submitting a planning application.  Below is his letter:

 

Hi Julien

Thank you very much for your email and attached letter. We are grateful to you for undertaking such an extensive survey.

Having reviewed the content, I agree that the message is very clear.

As a Team, we believe that this is a real shame as our proposals represented an excellent opportunity of turning a locked off inaccessible field into a multifunctional accessible and usable amenity space for local residents, whilst also delivering much needed new homes and community facilities. We would also have investigated the potential for infrastructure upgrades for the benefit of the community.

As mentioned, without community support we will no longer be pursuing the site so won't be submitting a planning application.

I would like to thank you and Marion for your willingness to engage.

Many thanks

Nathan

Residents have voted overwhelmingly against plans to build houses on land west of The Street, opposite The Vallance.  The Parish Council conducted a survey following the presentation by Burlington Property Group in June.  
 
The results were emphatic, with 85% saying the plot should be left as it is.  There was little interest in the community hall, with 60% saying “none of the above” when given a long list of attractive-sounding facilities that could be included.

Four fifths of respondents didn’t want any houses built there at all or thought the number of houses was too many.  Nearly 90% said the landscape and appearance of Lynsted would be made worse, whilst 84% said their general enjoyment and quality of life in the Parish would deteriorate.
 
Burlington have stated they would only proceed if they had full support from the local community.  Given the findings of the survey, the Parish Council voted unanimously at an Extraordinary Meeting to reject the proposals.  We have now written to the developers requesting confirmation that they will not progress any further with plans for this site. You can read our letter HERE

Burlington Property Group presented outline proposals to over 50 residents on Saturday 24 June for land West of The Street in Lynsted.  This is the field where the village fete used to be held, opposite The Vallance.

The Parish Council has carried out a survey seeking resident feedback.  The questionnaire is attached HERE and the survey has now closed.  The results have been analysed and the findings will be published soon.   

A public meeting has been arranged this Saturday (24 June) so residents can discuss the plans for a new housing development on land West of The Street.  Drop in to Lynsted Church any time between 10am and noon.

At May’s Parish Council meeting, Burlington Property Group presented their outline proposals for the field where the village fete used to be held, opposite The Vallance.

They are planning eight or nine homes.  They say they are keen to work with the local community to address the concerns raised in 2015, when a similar scheme was put forward but not progressed.

They are looking to retain the green space facing The Street, making this an open area for use by residents.  They state the new houses to the west of the site would take into account the character and appearance of the area and nearby listed buildings.  There is also the potential for a community facility.

Please come along to find out more. 

The latest issue of the Parish Council newsletter is now out and dropping through the letterboxes of Lynsted and Kingsdown.  There are updates on the latest planning issues, including news of a drop-in session this Saturday (24th) at Lynsted Church between 10.00 and 12.00.  Burlington Property Group will be presenting their proposals to build houses on the old fete field, opposite The Vallance.

You can read the newsletter HERE

A full Ofsted inspection at Lynsted and Norton Primary School has underlined the “significantly” improved quality of education at the school since its last full inspection in 2021, where it was rated as ‘Inadequate’. The new rating is ‘Requires Improvement’, but Headteacher Catherine McLaughlin, who took on the role in September 2021, says the school is on the right path with clear actions of how to make further improvements.

In a letter to parents and carers she said: “We are really pleased that the inspectors recognised the progress that the school has made and have now taken us out of serious weaknesses.

“The inspectors could see that we all have a shared commitment to improving the quality of education at the school and the progress that we have made in developing the curriculum.” She thanked the staff, governors and Trust team for working so hard to enable the school to now be on such a positive journey.

Following the inspection carried out in March this year, Ofsted rates the early years offering as ‘Good’, stating “teachers and support staff have a clear and shared understanding of what children need to know and be able to do to be ready for Year 1”. They highlight the “nurturing environment’ across the school, but the report suggests that further improvements could be made: “While pupils now follow a broad and balanced curriculum, there is more to do to ensure that all pupils achieve well across all subjects.”

The school became part of Our Community Multi-Academy Trust in May 2021, and made changes to leadership and staff. Ofsted commended their new approach: “School and trust leaders, as well as those responsible for governance, share a clear and ambitious vision. They aspire to provide pupils with an excellent education in their village school. They want the school to be at the heart of the local community. Those responsible for governance provide leaders with strong support and challenge so that the school continues to make progress towards this shared vision.”

At our recent AGM, the Chairman presented his report on the Parish Council’s activities over the past year.  Once again, housebuilding dominated our agenda with applications off Lynsted Lane and Cellar Hill both being referred to the Planning Inspectorate.  We continue to work on analysis of pollution in the Parish and responded to the Government’s consultation on air quality - one of only four Parish Councils in the entire country to do so.  We’ve also been taking action to improve traffic safety in Lynsted and Kingsdown.  You can read the full report HERE

Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council was one of only four PCs in the entire country to respond to a national consultation about air quality.  One of the others was Teynham PC!  This just proves how worried we are locally about the dangers of increased pollution.   
 
More houses means more vehicle movements.   PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter) mainly originates from combustion emissions and causes asthma, lung failure and cancer.  
 
The encouraging recommendation from the government’s response is a proposal to incorporate PM 2.5 targets into the planning system, based on an emission prevention approach.  A reformed, streamlined system of environmental assessment that would enable informed planning decisions to support sustainable development.  
 
The London Road in Teynham and Lynsted is already way above the World Health Organisation’s PM 2.5 recommended limits.  
 
For example at postcode ME9 9PX on the London Road, the annual average of the pollutant PM 2.5 is 10.68mcg/m3. The WHO limit is 5mcg/m3.  So it’s more than double.  

Nearly a fifth of strokes are attributed to exposure (for a year or more) of PM 2.5 concentrations exceeding 10mcg/m3.

A consultation on delivering cleaner air in towns, cities and rural areas across England has been launched by the Government. Their revised Air Quality Strategy outlines how councils in England should use existing powers more effectively to deliver improvements to air quality.
 
Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council has responded to this consultation.  We argue communities should have open access to calculations of additional harm arising from every planning application.  Currently, developers can claim their housing plans have negligible impact when taken in isolation, so the cumulative impact is ignored.

We should also have access to real time measurements of the four key harmful pollutants.  This would enable residents to understand when small changes in behaviour might protect them from the worst harms.  For example, identifying routes and times best suited for work or outdoor activities, and enabling walkers or cyclists to take less polluted routes or choose times of lower pollution.

Ultimately, the most important focus should be ‘enforcement’.  Simple aspirational objectives are worse than useless.

You can read our full response HERE
Nominations closed on 4 April for residents wishing to stand for election to Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council.  All serving Councillors put their names forward for re-election.  The election was uncontested, therefore the Returning Officer at Swale Borough Council has announced that all candidates have been duly elected as Parish Councillors.  See the formal notice HERE
 
The positions of chairman and vice-chairman will be voted on by the Parish Council at its AGM on 15 May.