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Monday, 28 April 2008

Otterpool quarry - Road Junction A20

From:local resident (name withheld)
Sent:27 April 2008 11.19;;;;;;;;
Subject: Otterpool quarry.Road juncion A20.

Dear Councillors.

It has come to my knowledge that the site that is rapidly steaming ahead is in fact an ancient Saxon burial site where 100 years ago there was an excavation and many burial artefacts were found. Should this not be a scheduled site?

There are many very ancient manors in this area so it has been inhabited for a long time. Berwick is probably the oldest in England given by King Canute to Eadsy a priest in 1032. Bellview was the home of the Constable of Dover and Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1216-1272 and was named thus because of the beautiful view. Westenhanger Castle is in Stanford but is very much part of Bellview, Berwick and Otterpool.

Have any archaeological surveys been carried out on this and the extension of the industrial park? The road just at this junction is with Barrow Hill ( burial place).

I feel that things are being steamrollered along before essential investigations have been done. We lost a lot of crucial ancient relics when the channel tunnel was built through Saltwood and I can see the same thing happening here. The more I learn about this area the more fascinating it becomes. We should be nurturing this area for tourists and advertising the history of this area, not putting it all under concrete .

Yours Sincerely

Monday, 21 April 2008

The fifth email distribution of news regarding the proposed Lorry Park on the Aldington-Smeeth borders

By Cllr Peter Wood, 20 April 2008;
Member of the Executive, Ashford Borough Council
Chairman, Aldington & Bonnington Parish Council

Welcome to the fifth email distribution of news regarding the proposed Lorry Park on the Aldington-Smeeth borders.

I draw your particular attention to the very important paragraph in [blue] text below.

Dear All,

Thank you to all those who attended the Lorry Park Alliance meeting held on Saturday 19th April at Brabourne & Smeeth Village Hall. The meeting was extremely well attended and brings the total number of people who have attended Lorry Park Alliance meetings close to 700. To this number must be added the many, many people who have expressed their support for the Lorry Park Alliance campaign, but have not attended one of the four public meetings.

Damian Green MP was able to attend the Brabourne & Smeeth meeting and he, together with members of the Lorry Park Alliance, dealt with a variety of questions related to the proposed Lorry Park. Unfortunately, Keith Ferrin (Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways), felt unable to attend the meeting and, even more disappointingly, KCC failed to provide an alternative speaker to represent their views. It is a sad reflection on the state of democracy when our County Council cannot, or will not, provide a spokesperson on what is, by any standards, a major infrastructural project of widespread interest and concern to a vast number of electors in Kent. We are however fortunate that the two MPs most affected by the proposal, Michael Howard and Damian Green, have constructively participated in the public meetings.

Cllr Paul Clokie, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, sent his apologies, but did provide a statement of his views on the Lorry Park issue and parts of that statement were read out at the meeting. Of particular note are Cllr Clokie’s comments that:
"Neither I nor the Council’s officers have been presented with any clearly evidenced rationale that off-motorway parking of the sort proposed is the right solution. Even if that case were to be made, we would still need to be convinced that the site proposed is the best available and that it is sustainable in terms of the medium to long term projections for freight traffic."

"So in response to the question as to whether I support the current proposals from Kent County Council? My answer must be that ‘No I do not’ as I strongly believe that there are other solutions yet to be explored."

"The report [Channel State of Freight Report ] goes on to suggest that these lorry parks [closer to Dover than Aldington/Smeeth] should be financed by the port of Dover, which seems a very sensible proposition that places no direct financial burden on the tax payers of Kent and reflects the causal nature of the problem. "

The full text of Cllr Clokie’s statement is attached to this email.

Particular points that were raised at the meeting included:

The timescale for publication of a formal Lorry Park planning application. On the one hand Keith Ferrin stated at last week’s public meeting that KCC’s planning application would be published 6 to 8 weeks from 1st April i.e. by end May latest. On the other hand he is quoted in this week’s press as saying that “a fully detailed planning application should be ready for consultation in a year’s time”. Given that one of the Directors of KCC very recently stated that “We still don’t know if a lorry park will work technically.”, it seems probable that the planning application will not see the light of day for quite some time. If, as now seems probable, the release of the planning application is some way away, then it is unconscionable that KCC have been so premature in their announcement of the Lorry Park proposals. Such recklessness only serves to cause grossly unnecessary anxiety and blight for the residents of the area.

The charge for using the Lorry Park. Both Paul Carter (Leader of KCC) and Keith Ferrin have recently stated that it is their intention that the proposed permanent Lorry Park for 500 vehicles should be free of charge. Their apparent motivation for this is that they believe, or have been misled into believing, that at a stroke this will eliminate all unauthorised overnight lorry parking in lay-bys and in industrial estates such as Orbital Park. However, the reality is that there will always be a large number of lorry drivers who, for a variety of reasons, prefer to park outside the confines of an organised lorry park. Parking fines will not deter such drivers as the UK does not aggressively pursue the collection of fines from drivers of foreign vehicles. A free lorry park also implies that access to the Lorry Park will not be as regulated as is currently the case with commercial lorry parks. Consequently, it is inevitable that the Lorry Park will attract permanent, or semi-permanent, residents including illegal ‘O’ license operators, and will become a dumping ground or storage area for surplus vehicles. Finally, such a free facility will put out of business what few commercial lorry parks we do have in Kent and in neighbouring counties – a curious economic strategy for a Conservative-led County Council.

The involvement of Monserat Properties Ltd. Many of you will recall that some years ago this company proposed a new motorway junction at Evegate, a link road to the A2070 and the concreting over of greenfield sites in the East Stour valley. Since those proposals were firmly rebuffed by Ashford Borough Council, local parish councils and residents, Monserat has been actively lobbying the government, KCC and various quangos and has retained its controlling options over much land in the area. It is Monserat who controls the land upon which KCC proposes to put its Lorry Park and Monserat has been actively supporting KCC’s proposals. Furthermore, behind the scenes, Monserat has been supporting and funding various groups who are actively lobbying in favour of the proposed Lorry Park at Aldington-Smeeth. Paul Bartlett (Deputy Leader of Ashford Borough Council) very forcefully made the point at the meeting that if the Lorry Park were to proceed, then it would be the thin edge of the wedge with companies such as Monserat seeking to exploit the situation and infill the green fields between Smeeth and urban Ashford.

The planning decision-making process. Many people expressed grave concerns regarding the undemocratic process, where KCC would be granting themselves planning permission. It was generally considered that were this allowed to happen then it would be a gross injustice and probably in breach of residents’ statutory human rights. The Lorry Park Alliance members and Damian Green all expressed the view that the planning application should be ‘called in’ by the government (i.e. taken out of KCC’s hands) and determined by a Public Enquiry that reported to the Minister of State. At some point in the future it will be essential for us all to lobby GOSE (Government Office for the South East) and central government to ensure that this ‘call in’ takes place.

Something that only came to my attention subsequent to the close of this Saturday’s meeting is the statement by Paul Carter in the latest edition of the KCC quarterly newspaper “Around Kent”. In a full page article devoted to the proposed Lorry Park “off Church Lane, Aldington” he refers to the lorry park for 500 vehicles and goes on to say “Adjacent to this is the potential for a vast testing station to be able to carry out comprehensive tests on potential illegal vehicles and an additional 2,500 ….. parking spaces for Operation Stack”. So it now appears that he expects Aldington/Smeeth to shoulder not only the burden of the previously announced 500 vehicle permanent Lorry Park and the 2,500 vehicle operation Stack Lorry Park, but also a “vast testing station”! He goes on to say “we are trying to design an environmentally sensitive solution to the treatment of this larger area.” I cannot understand how KCC, knowing of the adverse, indeed highly critical, reaction generated by their bungled announcement of the Lorry Park proposal, could use such an underhand tactic to announce the addition of this “vast testing station”. To make an announcement of such a major project buried in an obscure publication which many immediately ‘bin’, and others such as myself never receive, takes the concept of ‘burying the bad news’ to new depths.

I will continue to keep you fully informed as matters progress. If you are aware of anyone who wishes to be kept in touch, but who has not received this email, please ask them to contact me by email so that their details can be added to the distribution list.

I must again stress that my colleagues and I are not opposed to a solution for either Operation Stack or for overnight lorry parking. However, we are opposed to these current proposals which are ill-conceived and hastily cobbled together with inadequate evaluation of alternatives and without consultation. We also consider that KCC is seeking to impose a wholly local solution to a problem that is in fact a national and pan-European issue.

Thank you all for your continuing support.


Cllr Peter Wood
Saxon Shore Ward
Member of the Executive
Ashford Borough Council
Chairman, Aldington & Bonnington Parish Council

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Statement by Cllr Paul Clokie OBE, Leader of Ashford Borough Council

By Cllr Paul Clokie OBE, 19 April 2008;
Leader of Ashford Borough Council

I fully recognise the problems caused by overnight lorry parking in the borough and also by operation stack, both of which have frequently caused considerable inconvenience to the residents of the borough.

Neither I nor the Council’s officers have been presented with any clearly evidenced rationale that off-motorway parking of the sort proposed is the right solution. Even if that case were to be made, we would still need to be convinced that the site proposed is the best available and that it is sustainable in terms of the medium to long term projections for freight traffic. In addition, this project is currently unfunded and the government has declared that they will not pay for it, and so I believe that this proposal is unlikely to happen in the near future.

I am a great supporter of the Quick Moveable Barrier (QMB) and as such I wish it to be given a fair test and then, if successful, extended to between Junction 8 and Junction 9 – a proposal that was I understand put forward by the government, but rejected by Kent County Council. Such a QMB would at least keep Kent moving and would also use the substantial tarmac surfaces already extant rather than concreting over 70+ acres of Kentish green field. So in response to the question as to whether I support the current proposals from Kent County Council? My answer must be that ‘No I do not’ as I strongly believe that there are other solutions yet to be explored.

This leaves the question of overnight parking should the Truck-stop at Waterbrook close – a matter which is by no means certain. This would give rise to a far more difficult problem that may eventually lead to the need to find locations for about 500 lorries (in excess of 1,000 has been mooted). I do not believe that our borough is best suited for such purposes. Particularly so, as such a lorry park would need substantial and costly on/off works as it could not be accommodated at an existing motorway junction. On balance, I favour the view recently published by the Channel Corridor Partnership that stated:

“the main need is for additional lorry parking facilities on the Channel
Corridor, preferably at or near to the major ports/Channel Tunnel.”

The report goes on to suggest that these lorry parks should be financed by the port of Dover, which seems a very sensible proposition that places no direct financial burden on the tax payers of Kent and reflects the causal nature of the problem.

Finally, I view with great unease the fact that the County Council is single-handedly seeking to remedy a situation that is in reality a national and pan-European problem and, as such, requires resolution at that level.

Paul Clokie
19th April 2008

Friday, 18 April 2008

Update for villagers - Progress the Sellindge and District Residents Association has made in the fight against the Lorry Park and Sludge Dump


NO TO....
  • RECYCLING PLANT - 154 LORRIES PER DAY - on top of what we already have!!!!
  • NOISE 24/7
A petition will be doing the rounds in the villages, please do sign this when you get a knock at the door from our dedicated team of foot soldiers.

Please keep 3rd May 2008, free at 11am, for our walk/cycle/drive from Sellindge Village Hall car park, to the Airport Café. Please do come out in force and show the people of Kent we do not want their rubbish and to show Europe we don’t want the lorry park as a permanent feature on our beautiful landscape, when it will probably only be used a handful of times every year!

Once at the Airport Café we are hoping there will be live music and that you will enter into the party atmosphere!

The Committee members are:

  • Ronald Lello - Chairman/Spokesman (tel. no. 01303 813140)
  • Nick Taylor - Treasurer
  • Margaret Ludlow - Village Networker (tel. no. 01303 813369)
  • David Plumstead - Transport & Recycling
  • Les Barratt - Water
  • Bob Edden - Policy
  • Ian Medgett - Ecology & Environment
  • Penny Knight - Researcher
  • Carol Taylor - Publicity
This website has been formed for easier communication with everyone, if you would like to enter information please email it to:

Carol can be contacted through the email address.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Response from Paul Carter, Kent County Council, to Local Residents' emails

Local Residents emails to Paul Carter with his response:

Paul Carter's response was the same to these................

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Information and Objection Contacts

There have been several very well attended meetings and a lot of media coverage about the plight of Sellindge and the environment with the threat of the lorry park and the Anaerobic Digester opposite the Airport Cafe. The email address is if you want to send any information that will help.

This website (stands for Sludge/ lorry) enables any news to be spread quickly without anybody else's involvement.

This campaign is amazingly very intensive but we still need your help. We still have time to state our objections to:

Cllr - leader of KCC, - head of planning KCC,
Cllr - leader of Ashford Borough Council. - head of planning and development, - Damian Green Ashford MP - Michael Howard Folkestone and Hythe MP
and of course all the local papers.

Keep May 3rd 2008 at 11am free to walk from the Village Hall to the Airport Cafe for a bit of a party.


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