Swale Council has put its Local Plan for the Borough on hold.  The Policy & Resources Committee have agreed a recommendation by officers to "postpone Regulation 19 consultation until the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill gains Royal Assent or there is greater certainty regarding national policy direction in relation to the local plan system”.

The draft Local Plan, which attracted overwhelming opposition from residents, would have meant the construction of up to 1,400 extra new houses on greenfield sites in Teynham and Lynsted - an area lacking in facilities and infrastructure, as well as suffering from high levels of traffic congestion and poor air quality.

It is expected to be delayed for 12-18 months.  The report by Council planning officers highlighted that any consultation taking place during the next 12 months or so is likely to need to be re-done to take into account revisions to national policy.

Cllr Julien Speed, chairman of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council, welcomed the move:

“I called for the Swale Local Plan process to be halted as long ago as October last year in view of expected changes to Government planning policy.  Yesterday, new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed his commitment to a strategy of brownfield-first.  

“None of the five options in their most recent consultation would have delivered the right development for the Borough.  It would have meant submitting an unsound plan to the Government's inspector, with little chance of it being approved.

“We now face ongoing uncertainty around Swale Council’s emerging thinking on development plots and planning strategy.

“During this hiatus, we need transparency on their evidence base and assessment criteria - with a programme of engagement to bring the community with them as opposed to presenting us with a fait accompli.

“In the meantime, the Council needs to resist speculative planning applications across the Borough.  All out-of-scale developments should be refused until the picture becomes clearer”.  
Trees for Farms will be in the Parish of Lynsted with Kingsdown on 19th and 20th November, planting around 370m of native species hedgerow.  Trees for Farms is a local initiative based in Swale, which aims to enable the local community to work with farms to plant new hedges as a way of creating a species-rich habitat for many kinds of wildlife and thus increasing local biodiversity. 
 
Trees for Farms have created 1000m of new hedgerow in the local area since 2020 - with another 500m planned this season.  This equates to a total of 7000 trees!
 
If you’d like to get involved, click HERE for their contact details.  You don’t need specialist knowledge and you don’t even have to be able to dig.
The Parish Council notice boards in Lynsted and Kingsdown have been given a rub down and fresh coat of paint.  Click HERE to see the ‘before’ and the ‘after’…  
 
We have three notice boards in the Parish - on the Lynsted side of London Road, opposite the Black Lion and in Kingsdown.  The agendas for monthly Parish Council meetings are posted up on these boards, as well as newsletters and other helpful information.  

Our Annual Parish Council Meeting will be held on Monday 26 September at 7.30pm at Lynsted Church. Speakers include Parish Council chairman Julien Speed and Cllr Alastair Stewart who will talk on water quality. All residents of Lynsted and Kingsdown are welcome.  Free refreshments will be provided. See more details HERE

 

It is with great sadness that we join the nation in mourning the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.  A Book of Condolence has now been placed in Lynsted Church.  When the Church is locked, the Book will be left on a table in the porch - so residents can pay their respects at any time of day or night.

Books of condolence are also now open at Swale House, Sittingbourne and at Teynham Community Hall.  Alternatively, you can write your tribute in the online book of condolence at:
 

Long Live The King!  
We learnt yesterday evening of the passing of our sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and prayers are with King Charles III and the Royal Family.

Any parishioner wishing to pay a floral tribute can do so at Sittingbourne War Memorial.

A book of condolence is now open at Swale House, Sittingbourne.  Alternatively, you can write a message in the online book of condolence at:   https://www.royal.uk/
 

A planning application has been filed to build 380 houses on land to the west of Church Road in Tonge.  We consider that far too many new homes are being built in this part of the borough.  The infrastructure cannot cope and the extra traffic generated would have a detrimental effect on air quality, which is already a problem.  Read our letter of objection HERE

The hugely popular Lynsted Village Fete returns on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August.  In this Platinum Jubilee year, we’re inviting you to grace us with your presence as Quintessential Queen or Dapper as a Duke…!   There’s live music, games, races, face painting, BBQ, bar - and even a Parish Council marquee.
 
All are welcome to join in the fun at Lynsted Park ME9 0JH - from 1pm to 4pm.  See poster HERE

The Lynsted Community Kitchen Garden is holding an 'Open Morning' this coming Sunday 7th Aug between 10.30 and 13.30.  The group grows seasonal fruit, veg, herbs and cut flowers.  They follow the 'no dig' approach with the aim of improving soil health and increasing biodiversity.

If you are interested in growing your own fruit and veg, this event is for you.  Growing together shares the tasks, is really rewarding and produces a lot of food.  No gardening experience required.  Practical and hands on, with a Q&A session.  Entry is free. 

For more info, visit:  https://www.lynstedkitchengarden.com/events

 

The Director of Primary Care for NHS Kent and Medway has responded to the Parish Council’s letter regarding the re-location of the Medic Care practice in Teynham to the Memorial Hospital in Sittingbourne – which will leave the entire Teynham & Lynsted ward without a GP surgery.  You can read the letter below.

Dear Mr Speed,

Thank you for your letter.

Firstly may I apologise that you and your colleagues on Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council were not invited to the stakeholder event. We tried to make sure that as many patient representatives as possible were invited, so I apologise for this oversight.

The Medic Care practice has to move following the retirement of the previous partner, Dr Kumar, who owned the building. This is not a decision taken either by the practice or by NHS Kent and Medway.

We understand that this move will cause difficulty for some patients and are supporting people with specific issues.

Patients have been engaged at the earliest opportunity. Contract deadlines on the building meant the practice had a six-month notice period to find alternative accommodation. 

The only available option which met the necessary criteria for running a safe and clinically-effective practice was at Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital. 

We informed patients as soon as we had confirmation of a new location for the practice and ran a survey between 26 May and 20 June for patients to be able to raise any concerns or ideas. The public meeting was also an opportunity to get feedback from patients, all of which will be reviewed and used to inform future plans. 

Regarding the question of a covenant on the existing surgery building, there is no evidence that a covenant exists. The building is owned by Dr Kumar and the decision regarding future availability of the building has not been made by Dr Nilan or NHS Kent and Medway.

The priority for the practice at the moment is to get into a safe and clinically effective building. We will continue to work closely with the practice to support development of plans for them to move back to the area, taking into account local health needs and other planning and development in the area and all exploration of potential options and sites for a medical centre.

Thank you for your location suggestion. The owner of the building has also been in touch with the practice and it will be considered, along with other suggestions, as part of the process when looking at site options. 

Yours faithfully

Sukh Singh
Director of Primary Care 
NHS Kent and Medway