Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council are very keen to hear the views of local residents on the bypass proposed in the Swale Local Plan Review 2021.  

This bypass currently has no confirmed route, but is expected to run south of the A2 London Road through Lynsted.  

Please take three minutes to complete our survey.  Many thanks for your time.  

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S2CQBFB

 

View the map...

Our illustration shows what we understand to be the location of the proposed new homes in Lynsted and Teynham.

We calculate that it's a total of 1,457 houses.

Put another way, approximately 15% of the requirement for the entire Borough.

We've sent this map to Swale Borough Council and asked them to confirm that our calculations are correct.

However we believe that SBC themselves should be producing maps like this, in order to explain to residents the precise implications of their Local Plan Review.  We've had to extract the information from complex documents. 

Please find link below to a petition launched by a resident of Lynsted, in protest at the plans to build a bypass through Lynsted and over 1,400 new houses in Teynham & Lynsted Ward.

This petition has already attracted over 1,000 signatures. 

http://chng.it/5FRyVbcjVC

Dear Residents

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the prospect of 1,400 new houses being built in Teynham and Lynsted, plus a bypass that would carve up our historic Parish, developers have amended and re-submitted their application to build 86 houses off Lynsted Lane.

The way the planning system works is that, if you objected previously, you must submit an objection again.  The planners won’t take your earlier comments into account.  

It seems the developers are relying on ‘objection fatigue’.  They keep re-submitting this application with minor changes that don’t address the major concerns raised the last time round – in the hope that people won’t bother to comment again, or don’t realise they have to.

The illustrations below will remind you of the site being proposed for development.  

Below the maps, you will find guidelines on how to submit your comments.  If you wish to object, we have made suggestions for some of the points that you might like to make.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Please feel free to add your own views.  You can also read on the planning portal the comments that other residents have made – if you agree with them, include them in your own submission!

The deadline for comments is 18 February.

Yours sincerely

JULIEN SPEED

Chairman

 

210205a

210205b

 

POINTS TO CONSIDER

To view the latest application, visit:

https://pa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PZ0FP4TYJ4L00

At the top of your objection (if you are writing in or emailing) include the application number and site address:

19/505036/OUT | Outline application for the erection of up to 86no. residential dwellings, including 50% affordable housing (Access being Sought), as amended by drawings received 28th May 2020 and further amended by drawings information and drawings received 18/11/2020 and 26/01/2021. | Land South Of London Road Teynham Kent ME9 9QJ

Begin with a simple statement of objection eg. “I strongly object to this proposal.”

If you have previously objected, you could simply add:

“Nothing material has changed in the planning application. My previous objection(s) dated …………………………. remain valid and unchanged.    [You can cut and paste the previous objection into your current one if you so wish]

Additionally you could remind SBC:

I draw your attention to (a) the KCC Highways and Transportation letter of 30th June 2020 that has advised refusal of this application; and (b) that SBC’s Senior Environmental Health Officer recommended refusal in his memorandum of 25thJune 2020.

 

Other valid planning OBJECTIONS you may want to raise include:

Lynsted Lane is simply not wide enough to support a development of 80+ houses.  The junction with the London Road narrows greatly, with parked cars often on both sides, and a further 100+ car owners trying to use this at peak rush hours is just not practical.

The Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Design Statement (2002) has identified the importance of a “sensitive edge” defined immediately behind the historic linear pattern of development to the south of Greenstreet (A2).  This “Sensitive Edge” should also be preserved to retain ready access to open countryside from Greenstreet and Teynham Village to the north, with all the benefits this offers to physical and mental wellbeing.

Loss of Best and Most Versatile (BMV) Agricultural Land.  Across the whole Borough, this is the most fertile land available.  This is important if we are to reduce the carbon footprint of food production.

Protecting residents and workers in Air Quality Management Area No5 (Greenstreet/London Road).  The development site is next to AQMA5 feeding into Lynsted Lane.  The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Guidance obliges SBC, when looking at development proposals, to make sure pollution inputs are reduced.  In AQMA5, any housing development will inject additional traffic pollution into AQMA5 and increase the harm we experience every day.

Car ownership in rural areas is higher than any other setting and more car trips are made by those living outside towns.  We have poorer access to GPs (Swale has the largest Patient Lists and is unable to recruit GPs), one dentist, inadequate shops for weekly food shopping, distant secondary schools, and a train station without car parking - this pushes residents into commuting from the better served town stations.  There are also low levels of local employment opportunities unless you are able to drive to work. 

New homes in this location can only worsen traffic congestion, more dangerous junctions and lack of lines of sight. 

 

CHECKLIST

All comments must be made in writing – verbal comments cannot be accepted.

You can submit your comments:

  • Online:Use the link above.  If you haven’t already, you need to register on the Swale portal in order to submit your comments online
  • Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Write to:Andrew Spiers, Mid Kent Planning Support, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone ME15 6JQ

Your comments must:

  • Be dated  
  • Provide your name and address. Anonymous comments will not usually be considered
  • State the application number and site address

Submit your comments before the deadline of 18 February 2021.

Below is a letter sent by Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council to every Swale Borough Councillor on 1 February 2021
 
Dear Councillor 
 
I am writing to you on behalf of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council.  We urge you to vote against the Swale Borough Local Plan Review at the Council Meeting on 3 February 2021.  The proposal contained therein for building a bypass and over 1,400 new houses in Teynham & Lynsted Ward is unsound for the reasons summarised below.
 
1.  There has been a total lack of consultation with Parish Councils on the proposed Local Plan.  This plan, if progressed, would irrevocably change the characteristics of both Teynham and Lynsted Parishes.  We believe that democratic and representative debate has been stifled throughout this process. 
 
2.  For the Local Plan Panel Meeting of 19th January, the idea of a “Southern Link Road” was buried in a dense 688 page report.  By the time of the meeting of 26th January, this tome had grown to 972 pages.  Previous discussion of a bypass took place on 29th October 2020 under item 223 of the Local Plan Review Site Selection.  To residents and Parish Councils, this is burying of bad news, not democratic engagement.  There was ample opportunity ahead of 29th October 2020 and again ahead of 19th January 2021 for SBC officials to explore local issues with the Parish Councils.  They failed to do so.  
 
3.  The plan contains and repeats fundamental errors that, if left uncorrected, will mislead Council Members, Planning Inspectors and the Secretary of State.  For example, reference is made to “a southern link road… taking the main through traffic away from Teynham high street” which would "divert traffic away from the central village centre of Teynham along the A2”.  This section of road has NEVER been Teynham’s high street, nor is it the central village centre.  The entire South side is in the very rural Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish, and the road forms the border between the villages of Teynham and Lynsted.  It is of grave concern that SBC’s uninformed grasp of local geography and conditions on the ground has influenced its thinking.  We urge SBC to re-visit all of the proposals contained in the documentation to ensure it is factually correct for all Parishes and Wards.  
 
4.  The Local Plan proposes building 305 homes and a bypass in and towards the 14th century village of Lynsted, on the most valuable agricultural land in the Borough.  The bypass threatens to carve up the Parish, dividing the community.  The housebuilding plan directly contravenes the Lynsted Parish Design Statement, adopted as policy by SBC, which identified a 'sensitive edge' South of the A2 with development limited to ‘one building deep’.
 
5.  As part of its review of the Local Plan, SBC called on Parish Councils to put forward nominations for local green spaces.  Two of the four sites nominated by LKPC - ‘Coffin Pathway’ and ’The Gallops’ - are likely to be devastated by the proposed bypass and/or housebuilding.  The minutes of the Local Plan Panel meeting on 29 October 2020 state:  “It had not been possible to review all the suggested new sites, due to time constraints and resources which had to be focused on the Local Plan Review”.  It would therefore appear that SBC was pre-occupied with plans for a bypass, but failed to notice that its likely route was through two green spaces nominated by the Parish Council.  The minutes also confirm that the designation of green spaces was intended to afford “significant protection for green areas which were of particular importance to local communities”.  
 
6.  There is already a serious air pollution problem in this area.  Building a bypass and 1,405 new houses will only exacerbate this problem.  New roads attract more traffic, even without new homes in the equation (CPRE Study).  Under the terms of the latest National Planning Policy Framework and Guidelines, SBC is the body responsible for taking measures in its planning decisions to manage traffic in AQMAs, specifically to avoid “cumulative impacts” arising from several planning approvals. While we are concerned that SBC has completely misread the situation in AQMA5, the fact is that the combined effect of measures already taken and proposed will severely damage the populations (residents and workers) around East Street AQMA and Ospringe AQMA.  The three AQMAs are linked by decisions to expand development to the east of Sittingbourne and west of Ospringe village.  These concerns have been raised at Local Plan Panel meetings but a satisfactory response has not been forthcoming.  
 
7.  Particulate Matter (especially PM2.5) presents the greatest pollution threat to residents and workers.  SBC only measures one of the dangerous pollutants (NOx) identified by Government - ignoring PM2.5, PM10, Ammonia and Volatile Organic Compounds.  Even the measurement of NOx by SBC is flawed.  Unreliable single diffusion tubes positioned far above head height (and in some instances missing completely) were used to measure exceedances until January 2019 when the error was acknowledged by SBC officials.  SBC is relying on suspect air quality data to support the case for building a bypass.  That will not in any event relieve AQMA5 because road pollution disperses widely, north and south depending on weather conditions, to approx 1km beyond the roadside.  
 
8.  Harm from absorbed PM2.5 particulates contributes to widespread organ damage - eg. glaucoma and macular degeneration, and damage to hearts, lungs, brains and other vital organs.  Children are more vulnerable to damage and they experience denser pollution because they are shorter, and babies in buggies are closer still to tailpipes.  SBC is therefore putting at risk the health of residents if they proceed with the building of a bypass.
 
9.  The Government abandoned its algorithms of housing numbers last December and informed all local authorities that house-building targets will be re-assessed.  The indication is that distribution of housing will be moved away from the South-East and into areas of investment in the Midlands and North of England.  There is also emerging evidence that original calculations of housing need will have changed because of more flexible working patterns, growth of online business, vacant office space and the loss of 1.3 million Europeans in the UK - all because of Covid and Brexit.  SBC is not responding to these seismic shifts in our socio-economic demands.  Instead it is pressing on regardless, with unseemly haste, to build a very large number of new houses across the Borough - which could result in the revised housebuilding targets being exceeded!
 
10.  The bypass and housing proposals are framed as a fictional “Teynham Area of Opportunity”.  There is no clarification of what this actually means and there has been no consultation with, nor input from, the local community.  This spurious smokescreen masks a change of direction by SBC against Government priorities that make clear housebuilding should be focussed on towns and cities, and brownfield sites.  
 
11.  SBC is proceeding to a Regulation 19 consultation with no agreed transport strategy.  Can this be a sound plan with no identified route for the bypass, and no agreement from either KCC Highways or landowners?  
 
12.  A six week public consultation after the plan has been rubber-stamped is inadequate engagement with residents.  It comes far too late in the process and is too short a period for a plan as complex and important as this.  Because of Covid, there can be no public meetings and no viewing of paper plans at the Council’s offices or libraries.  Lockdown limitations and postal delays make the delivery of informational literature difficult.  The pandemic is being exploited to deliberately undermine or avoid democratic procedure.  It is wholesale disenfranchisement of voters over a matter of Borough-wide importance.
 
13.  It is not clear what action SBC will take after the proposed public consultation ends.  We are concerned that SBC will parcel up resident/consultee comments and forward to the Planning Inspector without proper scrutiny or further consultation with all those raising objections - yet these are the functions and responsibility of SBC as the executive body.
 
14.  There are numerous examples of Local Plans being rejected or withdrawn in 2020 - notably in St Albans, Uttleford, Wealden, Eastleigh and Warrington.  Grounds cited by the Planning Inspector included:  lack of consultation;  excessive building in garden communities;  destruction of unique heritage and landscape;  failure in legal duty to co-operate with other bodies;  process by which the chosen site was selected;  failure to take into account the economic recession, Covid-19, emergence of new brownfield sites and climate change. We believe that SBC is at serious risk of the Local Plan being overturned on these and other grounds.  This would be at a very high cost to ratepayers, for which Councillors would be accountable.  Councillors are put on notice that this letter will form part of an audit trail.
 
 
In summary, the entire Local Plan should be put on hold until residents can fully engage.  In the event that the Council votes the motion through, we reserve the right to take further action including, but not limited to, referral to the local government ombudsman on the grounds of maladministration and a call for a vote of no-confidence in Swale Borough Council.
  
Yours sincerely
JULIEN SPEED
Chairman
Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council