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Friday, 18 August 2017

ALL CHANGE, ALL CHANGE.

Dear Residents,

Our S&DRA team have joined forces with Shepwayvox to bring you the latest article set out below. The biggest question to ask yourselves is: If Otterpool Park is for local people, why does Westenhanger station need to be developed into a Parkway Station, ferrying Otterpool residents to London at high speed? Moreover, If (and it's a big 'if') Westenhanger does eventually serve the utopian dream of Otterpool Park, property prices will increase to suit the London market. So, is it disingenuous for Monk, Hollingsbee, Collins and Co to tell us that these are houses being built for our children and grandchildren? It doesn't take a lot of working out.........S&DRA.




Scope Of Work Timetable To Develop Westenhanger into Otterpool Parkway Railway Station.


Westenhanger_5

Just Yesterday, our Man About Town, (London Town) Damian Collins MP, spoke about Network Rail in his weekly column, in the Folkestone Herald. One of his pet projects which he endeavoured to write about back in Oct 2014 was Westenhanger Station  (pictured) and how he wanted to turn it into a Parkway Railway Station.

Now Otterpool Park is not just about houses, water in and out, or doctors, it is about the redevelopment of Westenhanger Station too.

As a result of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to Network Rail (NR) it has become clear that Shepway District Council (SDC) have for some time been in contact with NR about upgrading the facilities at Westenhanger Station to support Otterpool Park.

And as far as we can see, SDC had their first meeting with Network rail in Oct 2016, as can be evidenced in this document  → Shepway – NR Duty To Co-operate

There are three sets of emails between SDC and NR which have been released and can by downloaded – start at the bottom of emails and work up

email 1   email 2  email.3

More importantly, amongst the documents provided by NR, there are two key pieces of information:

A draft Scope of Work that NR would undertake for SDC;

An outline timescale of the proposed Scope of Work, all relating to Westenhanger Station.

Westenhanger Station schedule V2 DRAFT 06-04-2017 (1)-page-001

You can download the full Westenhanger Station schedule

Although work appears to be well in hand – the timescale shows a "kick-off" meeting on 28 August – Just 10 days away, the FOI response covering letter indicates that SDC have not yet contracted NR to undertake the work, so things may not be progressing to plan.

The important thing to understand is that this is preliminary work, an initial feasibility study which will then be submitted to the Department for Transport for approval. It will be one among many and the success rate is not great, but we are sure with the Reuben Brothers behind it, along with Damian, approval will be a walk in the park.

All of the above aligns with Shepway's MP's views, expressed in his article back in Oct 2014 as we said earlier.

Two overriding questions arise:

If Otterpool Park is local housing and local jobs, why is a High Speed link to London needed?

What would be the future for Folkestone stations?

If you have any questions you can contact

wpba0c03e1

david.monk@shepway.gov.uk (pictured above)  – (SDC Leader)

download

ann.berry@shepway.gov.uk  (pictured)  –  Cabinet Member for Transport

hi-vix-damo

damian.collins.mp@parliament.uk  (pictured) or Network Rail

The Shepwayvox Team.

Monday, 14 August 2017

MONK AND HIS ROTTEN COUNCIL......A FISHERMAN'S FRIEND.............WE DON'T THINK SO.

Dear Residents,

An update from last Saturday's demonstration:


Fisherman's Beach Protest against more development, Saturday 12th August

"The demonstration against further development on Fisherman's Beach was supported by well over 100 Hythe residents and many others from outside the area. All 250 leaflets urging people to write to Ben Geering, Chief Planning Officer, objecting to the proposed additional apartment block were taken up, half of them by people visiting the Beach and filling the seating outside Griggs and tucking into a meal.
 When we explained what all the fuss was about people were very angry to think that the despoliation of the Beach was planned to go further and even more so when we told them of SDC's continuing pressure to get rid of the Fishermen.
 A copy of the leaflet appears below and we urge you to write asap to Ben Geering objecting in the strongest possible terms to the additional apartment block - eg 'What the hell do you think you are doing to our Beach and the Fishermen!'
 Any one reading this and visiting the Beach should take a look at our Association Noticeboard which stands next to the large Fishermans Hut immediately opposite the main Lifeboat House containing Griggs Fish Shop.
 Finally a big thankyou to all of you who turned up on Saturday – and don't forget to write to Ben Geering!

David Plumstead
'The Fisherman's Beach Association'


THE FISHERMAN'S BEACH ASSOCIATION. 

We ask you to support our campaign as reported on Pages 2 & 18 of this week's Folkestone and Hythe KM Express by writing as soon as possible to SDC Chief planning Officer Ben Geering at Shepway District Council, Civic Centre, Folkestone CT20 2QY objecting in the strongest terms to Application: Y17/0654/SH 'for the 'erection of three storey apartment block with undercroft parking.' 

Thank you, 

David Plumstead. Fishermans Beach Association & Shepway Environment and Community Network

Friday, 4 August 2017

RESIDENTS REVOLT OVER HUGE INDUSTRIAL PLANT ON THEIR SEASIDE DOORSTEP.

OUTRAGE AS HUGE DESALINATION PLANT IS SCHEDULED FOR EAST KENT COAST

Finally, a drop to drink: This picture shows the vast filters of the desalination plant in Beckton, east London, which can turn seawater from the Thames Estuary into drinking water


Residents of a Kent seaside Town are outraged by a planning application by a local water company to build a desalination plant next to their sleepy seaside Town. One resident said "There was no indication that we would be sitting next door to an industrial site when we moved here just 3 months ago". Other residents were more sanguine about the prospect of a plant of this size on their doorstep, commenting "It stands to reason that if the population is increasing in this area, we would need more water to supply all households".
A Water company spokesperson said: "With continuing dry winters, coupled with the population explosion in this area of over fifty percent, we have no choice but to seriously consider a system whereby we convert sea water into potable drinking water for all of our customers". When pressed to respond to local Fishermen's claims that the building of the plant would decimate the local fishing industry through the discharge of brine back into the sea, no firm reassurances were given, except to say that "it was in the early stages of planning and feasibility studies would follow".
A spokesman from the District Council commented: "We understand the residents concerns, but we are acting on behalf of all Residents, all over the district, not just in one area". Asked how he felt about the rise in water charges to provide water from the plant, he commented, "It's out of our hands. Charges are set by the water company and I have no input into any of that". The spokesman was asked if OFWAT could influence the rate of charge per megalitre used by each household. He retorted, "Off Who" 

The headline and text above is a spoof, but it really isn't far away from an event that could take place. Already proposals to build desalination plants have been mooted around Hampshire and Sussex by Southern Water. It is no exaggeration that if the population in our area is set to rise by over fifty percent due to the District Councils' plan to build a New Town and more, totalling over 26,000 new dwellings, coupled with residents in the South East having less rainfall per person than those in Istanbul, it's just a matter of time before such a plant is upon us.

In 2010, a Desalination plant was commissioned in Beckton, East London to serve London in times of drought. These units are power hungry and are generally frowned upon by respected environmentalist's. The byproduct of these units is salt, which is discharged back into the sea, causing a saline imbalance. Needless to say, it will be detrimental to the local marine environment. 

So, if you're one of those Residents who think they won't be affected by an increase in the population because you live just 5 or 10 miles away from a New Town? Time to think again.

S&DRA.





























Thursday, 3 August 2017

A LOVELY GARDEN PARTY.

Dear Residents,

The Morris family have very kindly offered to open their lovely garden for all to see. The property stands above Otterpool and offers excellent views across the area. A date for your diary and a worthwhile event to raise funds to halt the madness of an unworkable Lorry Park and Commuter Town of 12,000 unaffordable dwellings.


Come along and enjoy a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake.

S&DRA.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

OTTERPOOL HOUSING ESTATE.

Dear Residents,

It has come to our attention that SDC Leader, David Monk will be giving a presentation to the Hythe Civic Society about the proposed development which he is calling Otterpool Park New Town.
We're sure that you will all want to get along to ask Councillor Monk what a 12,000 dwelling housing estate (29,000 people) on our doorstep would mean to us.
So open your diaries, make a firm note for the 12th September. We'll see you there.  Here be the details:

Thursday, 27 July 2017

HOW LONG CANNES MONK STAY IN PUBLIC OFFICE?

Dear Residents,

Our friends at Shepwayvox have outlined the problem with rising house prices and the affordability factor. Please take the time to read and decide for yourselves whether Leader Monk is a peddler of inaccurate detail or not. 
Just to point you in the right direction, wasn't part of the criteria to build a New Town supposed to have local support from Parishioners. Did Leader Monk tell a porky to Central Government? If he did, isn't that deception? 


A Pedlar Of Foul Deeds? You Decide.

Income & Employment deprivation are the two largest factors affecting Central and Northern Folkestone and pockets on Romney Marsh according to Shepway District Council. The rates for both stood at 22.5% in 2015 (latest figures available). These factors feed into the Housing Crisis; which according to the latest English Housing Survey 15-16 figures show the owner – occupation rate in England fell to 63% in 2015/16 – that compares to a peak of 71% in 2003 and takes the rates back to levels last seen when Baroness Thatcher was Prime Minister.

What is even more scary is that these figures conceal an even bigger decline for younger families. Outright ownership is still rising as ownership is still on the rise due to pensioners paying off their mortgages, but the rate of mortgaged ownership has fallen from 43% in the very early 90's to 29% in 15/16.

In 1990 it was commonplace for those under 35 to be buying their own home, but they look increasingly like one very very lucky generation. The decline is now moving up the age range: latest figures show that 15/16 was the first year that home ownership rate fell in every single age group below retirement age.

Screenshot from 2017-07-27 06-58-32

Monk on bike

In Shepway, Cllr Monk (pictured), who in March 2018 will go off to pimp Otterpool Park in Cannes, and Shepway District Council through their Local Plan wish to build 26, 292 new homes, which Cllr Monk has stated will be for our "children and grandchildren". Cllr Monk is one of those Conservatives who believe that owning your own home is a fundamental part of being a Conservative. If a whole generation or more cannot afford to do that what will be the political consequences for him and his party?

The social and economic consequences of the decline of home ownership is very serious. Going back ten years 1 million more families are now bringing up their children in insecure private rented accommodation. Looking ahead, fewer pensioners will have paid off their mortgages and many will still be paying high rents and potential dependent on housing benefit.

The former Chancellor George "I've got six jobs" Osborne poured tens of billions into Help to Buy. However, it seems that is has had little or no impact at all except boost house prices beyond the reach of those under retirement age and housebuilder share prices.

How Cllr Monk will increase home ownership for those in Folkestone East, Harvey Ward and on Romney Marsh, when as leader of SDC, he along with the council produced and stated:

  • According to the 2015 figures, locations within Folkestone East,Harvey Central (Cllr Monk's Ward), Harbour, are amongst the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. Locations within Folkestone Park and Foord are amongst the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.

Authority_Monitoring_Report_2015 (page 12)

And the fact that for seven years out of ten the number of houses built in Shepway never met the Core strategy target. Meaning 786 fewer homes have been built does not inspire confidence in Cllr Monk abilities to get houses built.

Screenshot from 2017-07-27 07-30-05Screenshot from 2017-07-27 07-31-35

Even if these houses were to have been built the younger generation could not have afforded to buy them according to the latest English Housing Survey 15/16 figures.

Screenshot from 2017-07-27 08-00-52

So Cllr Monk and his Conservative led Council pledge that they are thinking of our children and our grandchildren looks very hollow at the present moment. Cannes they fix it locally?  Probably not and the only winners will be the developers and the housebuilders share price. C'est toujours la meme histoire.

So when Cllr Monk goes off to Cannes in March 2018, will he be peddling foul deeds to investors and speculators, as the jobs and the money to buy the houses he and SDC wish to build simply aren't here. We'll Leave you to decide that.

Friday, 21 July 2017

DOING THE CAN-CAN IN CANNES.

Dear Very Angry Residents,

Our friends at Shepwayvox have followed up on their recent article on the Riviera trip for our Council Leader Monk and chum. Are they ashamed that they are spending our money on such an unnecessary trip; probably not. Would they rather we knew nothing about it; of course. 
This was evident when at a meeting at the Civic Centre last night. Andy Jarrett, head of strategic developments at SDC (You're having the New Town, no question) said that SDC would be looking at international markets to promote / build the New Town at the MIPIM event. He was very careful not to mention that it was being held in Cannes. It wasn't until Ian Meyers (UKIP) pointed out to all in the Chamber and in the public gallery that it was being held in the celeb's playground of Cannes that Andy Jarrett conceded that, that was the case. So there we have it; not actually a lie, not in the league of a cunning stunt, more of being economical with all the facts. Are we surprised. It's the same old story. Or as they say in sunny Cannes; C'est toujours la meme histoire.

S&DRA.

Here be the latest from SV:


Christmas In July & Pimping Otterpool Park At Cannes.

Pinsent Masons LLP have been called "reprehensible" (26:00 onwards) and "unethical" in some corners of the financial press.  They have, as it has been reported been involved in "dirty tricks" and "scumbag activities" according to Tim Winnifrith.

Shepway District Council has paid £110,000 to Pinsent Masons LLP for their services. They have used them on seven occasions according to SDC's payment to suppliers data.

G1

So what have Pinsent Masons LLP done for the money. Well, just one week ago today (14/7/17) Pinsent Masons LLP lodged an application with the Land Registry for Title Deed No: TT44631 Land on the west (left) side of Otterpool Lane, Sellindge, owned by SDC.

M1

Part of that £110,000, was possibly spent on July 17th 2017, when presumably Pinsent Masons LLP, possibly at SDC's request, withdrew their application that had been lodged on the land just three days earlier. No explanation has been given by SDC or Pinsent Masons LLP. None need be given because of "commercial confidentiality" and/or "legal professional privilege".

Applications can be lodged or removed from a title deed for many reasons. Why this application was withdrawn is not yet known. When we know, we'll let you know.

As we are talking about Otterpool, we note that Kentonline have picked up on our piece ran on the 16th July 17, about Cannes; which is "really, really important…"

david-monk1

Council Leader Cllr David Drury Monk (pictured) will attend Cannes alongside one officer. However, that said, the CEO of SDC, Mr Alistair Stewart has revealed that he has had "no volunteers" from officers to visit the MIPIM Conference in Cannes next year.

Officers are not exactly queueing up to keep Cllr Monk company while he tries to pimp Otterpool Park to an International audience of Property Investors and speculators, where "secret deals" go on. We wonder why!

Otterpool

Is it because as one property professional admitted " I work in property and I didn't know about the layers of middlemen and secret deals that go on, particularly where London is concerned. Investors buy up flats before they're built, then sell them on to other investors, but they do not want the public to know they're selling them again because that would drive down the price of the other units they own. So they pay off middlemen to do private deals with people they know, just to keep knowledge of the deals out of the public domain."

It presently cost €1,310 per person for the four day trip to Cannes. That's approximately £1,150. Of course, that does not include hotel, food and other expenses.

Well now we know Cllr Monk is off to Cannes to spend that 15% pay rise he received as a KCC Cllr, he'll be able to do so at the "booze & hookers fest"; which doubles as the world's largest gathering of property speculators & developers.

Also we note that ex advertising and communications man, Damian Collins MP has waded into the spin on Otterpool Park. And that the Council's landowner partner, Cozumel Estates Ltd, domiciled in the British Virgin Islands, has agreed that the visit to Cannes is something worth pursuing. Will Cozumel be sending anyone to keep David company? Only time will tell.

Finally, Cllr David Drury Monk will get the opportunity to rub shoulders with "Shady people in Sunny Places" and pimp Otterpool Park in Cannes on the French Riviera, come March 2018.  It must feel like Christmas in July for our Dave.

The Shepwayvox Team

A

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

OTTERPOOL RIP OFF - NO THANKS... REAL AFFORDABLE HOMES - YES PLEASE.

Dear Residents,

For those of you who didn't watch the Dispatches, Affordable Homes programme, we are asking you to click on the link below:

Please right click and 'open link in new window'



This is just the tip of the iceberg on what is happening all across the UK, not least, right here in Shepway. As you will see, young people being interviewed express their concerns at not being able to afford a home, even a modest home. 

Our Association is looking for local Developers, Land owners and Agents who could help us in taking forward a development that would give local people the chance to buy or rent at affordable prices and have somewhere that they could call home. If you are one of those people or know someone who could help, please email us at sellindgeresidents@gmail.com

S&DRA

Monday, 17 July 2017

CON SULTATION RESULTS OF CON MUNITY ENGAGEMENTS.

Dear Angry Residents,

Following on from the Otterpool New Town Sham Consultations, or Conmunity Engagements of June 22nd, 23rd and 24th, we can now publish our poll of polls. 

It should be understood that not all residents were interviewed simply because we couldn't keep up with the flow of residents entering or exiting the Lympne, Sellindge and Hythe events.

On this occasion we will break it down into venues just to highlight the interest generated in venues furthest away from the Sellindge/Lympne areas.

                                INTERVIEWED                AGAINST.                   UNDECIDED.                 FOR.                               
                                                
HYTHE                              21                                19                                   0                                2 

LYMPNE                            14                                13                                   0                                1

NEW ROMNEY                  7                                   2                                   5                                0

SELLINDGE                      18                                17                                   1                                0

FOLKESTONE                  11                                 10                                  1                                0


All New Romney and Folkestone Residents visiting the venues were interviewed as both of these 'consultations were very poorly attended. Our team were polite on all occasions.

It must be stated that at the Lympne, Sellindge and Hythe venues, Residents anger was very much in evidence. If, as Deputy Leader Jenny Hollingsbee states, that the Otterpool Town proposal is supported by the silent majority, we would like to know where they are. 
Does she mean the majority of the Council Cabinet? If someone at SDC could provide us with the evidence that there is majority support for Otterpool Town, we will publish it. Until then, we will openly state that our so-called representatives; Monk, Hollingsbee, Carey et al, are misleading the Shepway electorate together with Central Government.

S&DRA.






Monday, 3 July 2017

LEADERS MONK AND HOLLINGSBEE ARE CORRECT.

Dear Residents,

We at S&DRA think that Leader of SDC, David Monk and Deputy Leader, Jenny Hollingsbee are actually telling the truth when they say that building a new town in and around our communities would ensure that houses would be available for their Grandchildren. 
Of course they would. 

If most working class people had a property and/or Land portfolio like our Council leaders to pass on as inheritance, their Grandchildren would be 'sitting pretty' and would be able to afford the outrageous South East prices that's so detrimental to our young families and lowest earners in securing a home.

If we are to accept that 'Everything is relative' we have no argument against the likes of Monk and Hollingsbee given that a fiscal helping hand would be available to the few. But if we were to adopt the same principle of 'Everything is relative' to our lowest paid workers and residents whose chances of an inheritance windfall is zero, the average price of a mid terrace house is way out of reach.

So when we hear the term 'affordable homes' should we laugh, cry or despair? 

So far, we have heard nothing from our Council that would convince us that the majority of our children or grandchildren would ever enjoy setting up a home that they could call their own, either being rented or purchased. 

There are many options available to Councils when considering homes for our lowest paid residents. One of them is CLT's: Community Land Trusts are being initiated and developed globally and provide the alternative to the mainstream PLC developers, like Taylor Wimpey (TW), whose only raison d'etre is to accumulate profit for themselves and their shareholders (according to Digital look, the prospective end of year yield or dividend for TW is 7.5%).

For a simple explanation of how a Community Land Trust operates, please right click and 'OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW on the link below:


Having heard and seen the sham Consultations last December and June, 2017, it is obvious that between Shepway District Council and Cozumel Estates (based in the Offshore, British Virgin Islands), the overriding reason for foisting a 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town upon us is MONEY. 
Money for Cozumel and SDC.

If the 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town gets the go-ahead, investment would be drawn away from all of the other Shepway areas to the detriment of non Otterpool Residents, leading to services in their own areas being drastically reduced. Moreover, services would be concentrated in one area area of Shepway, leading to massive congestion in and around the villages of Lympne, Newington, Sellindge Stanford, Westenhanger.

So if you're living in an area where you think a 12,000 dwelling commuter Town won't affect you, think again. This isn't a case of 'Not in my backyard'. Given that the Shepway population increase would be over 40% (8,000 homes in the Local plan, plus 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town), we should ALL be saying NOT IN EAST KENT.

S&DRA.




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