Planning Application

The planning application has now been published on Shepway’s website and is now open for comments:

https://searchplanapps.shepway.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OV593HNZKSO00

The reference is Y17/1042/SH

 

The best way to comment is online via the Planning Application portal as then your comments will be available for other people to view and will count as objections in the total appearing on the page. If you are intending to submit a long comment we suggest you draft it in word first and then copy and paste it to the portal to avoid being timed out. Please note that you are limited to 2000 characters. If your comment is longer than this or you find the portal too difficult to use then you can email your comments to planning@shepway.gov.uk quoting the reference  or directly to the planning officer in charge robert.allan@shepway.gov.uk or put your comments in writing to the council:

Planning Dept
Shepway District Council
Civic Centre,
Castle Hill Avenue,
Folkestone,
Kent CT20 2QY

If you choose to comment by post or by email please make sure your comments are acknowledged.

Some people have reported problems submitting their comments via the online (public access) system. We have reported that to the council but if you have problems logging in please email in your response instead.

If you want to view the documents associated with the planning application then you need to click on the “documents” tab and then click on “view associated documents.” Unfortunately you then have to search through pages of documents to find the one you want. This will only get harder as more emailed comments are added .Ee have asked Shepway to start naming these comments but so far that hasn’t happened. If you click on the underlined heading at the top of each column it will sort the contents of that column into alphabetical or date order which might help a bit. Paper copies of the application are available in the council offices including Hythe & Sandgate. If you want to make a comment then you have to register using the button on the bar at the top of the page. Once you have registered you need to log in using the button on the same bar then use the search button  on the bar to find the Princes Parade planning application. Choose “Planning” from the drop down menu. The log in process is case sensitive.

The council originally quoted 12 October as the deadline for comments but one of the site notices gives a deadline of 26th October . However the public notice had to be reprinted in the Express as the original notice did not make clear that the application does not comply with the local plan. The new notice was published on 18 Oct so the public have 21 days from then to submit comments.

Please email a copy of your objection to our local MP Damian Collins damian@damiancollins.com

PLEASE STATE CLEARLY THAT YOU ARE OBJECTING TO THE APPLICATION.

Your comments need to be based on material planning considerations and planning policy not emotion.

Material planning considerations include:

National and Local Planning Policy

Relevant views of Consultees,

Factors on the ground,

Parking, Highway safety and traffic,

Effect on Scheduled ancient monuments (the Canal),

Layout and density of buildings,

Design, appearance and materials,

Nature conservation,

Disabled persons access

Previous planning decisions (previous Inspectors decision in 2004)

The following are not material planning considerations:

Impact on the value of property,

Damage to property,

Disturbance during building works

Other matters controlled by the Building Regulations or other non planning legislation.

PLEASE USE YOUR OWN WORDS – if we all submit exactly the same wording there is a risk it will be treated as just one comment.

The key issue will be whether the public benefits from the new leisure centre, so called improvements to the canal, open space and promenade and the new housing including affordable housing outweigh the harm to the setting of the canal and the loss of open space and the wonderful vistas.

Heritage

To get some ideas on the sort of thing you might say re the harm to the canal please read the information on our website including Historic England’s letter dated 2.6.16

http://saveprincesparade.org/english-heritage/

Open Space

Under the existing local plan Princes Parade is protected by two policies – TM8 and LR9.

POLICY LR9 The District Planning Authority will provide an adequate level of public open space for leisure, recreational and amenity purposes, by protecting existing and potential areas of open space and by facilitating new provision by means of negotiation and agreement.

Loss of open space
Areas of open space of recreation, leisure or amenity value or potential as identified on the Proposals Map will be safeguarded. Development proposals which would result in a net loss of such space will only be permitted if:-

a) sufficient alternative open space exists;

b) development does not result in an unacceptable loss in local environmental quality;

c) it is the best means of securing an improved or alternative recreational facility of at least equivalent community benefit having regard to any deficiencies in the locality.

Provision of new open space
In deciding planning applications for residential development within areas where an open space deficiency exists or will be created, the District Planning Authority will be guided by the following criteria:-

i) Sites of 25 or more dwellings should provide open space to the standard of 2.43 hectares (6 acres) per 1,000 population. Where full provision on site would not be appropriate or desirable the space needed may be met by commuted sum payment towards the provision or improvement of open space nearby on a scale related to the size and scale of the development;

ii) Sites for less than 25 dwellings should contribute towards the provision and improvement of open space on a scale related to the size and nature of the development.

POLICY TM8 Planning permission will be granted for recreational/community facilities on land at Princes Parade, Hythe as shown on the Proposals Map subject to the following criteria:-

a) The use should take advantage of, and enhance the appearance of, the Canal and the coastline

  1. b) The majority of the site should remain open
  2. c) Proposals should not adversely affect the character and setting of the Scheduled Ancient Monument
  3. d) Built development will only be permitted if justified as essential to the use, and should be small scale, low rise and of a high quality design.

The proposed development is contrary to both these polices – particularly TM8. For planning permission to be granted the applicant will have to show that the public benefit of the development justifies departure from the local plan.

(Note that these policies will not be included in the new local plan that Shepway is just finalising. They will be replaced by policy UA18 the latest version of which you can read on page 100 of this draft

 http://www.shepway.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s24195/Local%20Plan%20Part%201.pdf  

If adopted into the Local Plan this policy would permit development on Princes Parade – planning permission would almost certainly be granted. Hence the importance of taking part in the next local plan consultation which is likely to be in the autumn of 2017. )

When commenting on the open space aspect you might like to personalise your comment by talking about what the site means to you now and what impact it would have on you should the site be developed.

Other issues you might like to comment on include:

Impact on the wildlife
Contamination
Diversion of the road (but make sure that you are clear that this is not your only objection to the development)
Flooding
The impact of the lighting/loss of dark skies
Stability of the land
Design and height of the proposed buildings (again making it clear that you don’t think any building would be acceptable)
Financial viability of the leisure centre
Alternative site for the leisure centre

For all these points please refer to the detailed reports (including the Environmental Impact Report) which are included in the planning application to make sure that your comments are based on facts. Feel free to challenge observations made in these reports by the council’s consultants – they aren’t always right.

There are some complex points to be made about housing numbers/need. We will deal with them and any other technical points in our own personal submissions having taken advice from our Planning Aid volunteer.

You might also like to read the pre -application advice given to the land owning side of the council by the council’s planning department. Preapplication advice 20.7.17

Developments of this size are supposed to provide 30% affordable housing if financially viable. The housing part of the planning application is outline only so there is no commitment to the affordable housing at this stage. The council has not yet published a financial viability study. We have commissioned our own report using publicly available data. This report suggests that the proposals including a leisure centre are not financially viable. Read more here.

 

And if you haven’t already, please sign up as a member of Save Princes Parade. The more members we have, the more authority we will have when speaking in behalf of the group at meetings etc . You can sign up here.

What Happens Next?

The planning officer will read them all the comments as well as all the reports and summarise them in his report to the councillors who will sit on the planning committee. He will recommend that they refuse or grant permission but they can ignore that advice.The councillors could read the comments themselves but we’re not holding our breath. On the TV they said it would be decided early next year but the planning committee is due to meet on 28 Nov and 19 Dec so it could be at either of those meetings. Usually 3 members of the public will get 3 mins each to speak at the meeting. We will be asking the secretary of state to call in the application as it is of national importance (the scheduled ancient monument) and the council has too much of a vested interest to make this decision themselves.