Search This Site

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Saturday, 29 March 2014


Q: When does an expiry date become an unexpired date.
A: When KCC are involved.

On the 27th March 2014 the planning consent for Countrystyle to build a waster and Digester site at Otterpool Quarry lapsed. Or did it. According to Angela Watts, Senior planning officer at KCC, it's not necessary for the entrance construction (condition 5) to be completed before the expiry date provided that the applicant submits details of the said works prior to the expiry date.
S&DRA's view is that it clearly states in condition 5 that the entrance should be COMPLETED before consideration is given to the main construction works. At present, the entrance has not been completed, the 3 year consent period has lapsed, therefore the applicant needs to reapply for planning permission. Moreover, conditions 12, and 14-17, Drainage and Contamination are no further being discharged than what they were three years ago. 
KCC state that Countrystyle provided written confirmation of their intention to commence enabling works at the site in accordance with the approved access details on March 12th. If that was the case, why wasn't it mentioned during the meeting when committee members would have had the chance to respond. So did Countrystyle suddenly realise after the committee meeting that the entrance should be built before the 27th? What time was the written confirmation received? Why did Countrystyle suddenly start to build the entrance so soon after the meeting? What discussions or negotiations took place between KCC Planning Officers and Countrystyle after 12th March?
The KCC letter dated 28th March 2014 to S&DRA will be posted on our website very shortly.

Les Barratt, Co-Chairman S&DRA.

Sunday, 16 March 2014


After countless telephone calls from concerned residents explaining that works around the entrance are now being carried out with mature trees being cut down in the Otterpool site, we can confirm that under the terms of conditions attached to Countysyle's consent, condition 5 clearly states that the entrance should be COMPLETED before any development commences on site. Whether it can be COMPLETED before 27th March 2014, being the end of the 3 year consent period, is of no concern to us. It is very clearly set out in the conditions that if they are not ALL discharged before the consent period expires, the application will lapse and the applicant will have to re-apply for planning permission. Please see the previous two posting on our website detailing the position with conditions 12 and 14-17.

Les Barratt. Co-Chairman, S&DRA.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


In an email to Angela Watts at KCC dated 14th March 2014 the Environment Agency (EA) made the following comments; 'We are not currently in a position to recommend the discharge conditions 14-17 of planning permission SH/08/124 as we still do not feel confident that all issues at this site have been investigated as far as possible.
To summarise, S&DRA's members expertise extend to Civil engineering, Planning, Drainage and Architecture, but are left wanting in environmental sciences. We therefore commissioned a highly respected, independent Environmental scientist to issue a report on site contamination matters. Duly sent to EA for immediate consideration and mentioned in the aforementioned email we are most grateful for the unbiased and professional assessment review of existing site conditions. It should also be noted that information was gleaned from site workers operating on site in the 1980's. We will be submitting further information to EA to support further investigations. In particular, the unofficial 18 metre (sixty feet) deep pit that was dug to dump a whole raft of 'on site' and 'off site' materials including petrol, diesel, tarmac, bitumen amongst other hazardous materials including vehicles.

Les Barratt. Co-Chairman, S&DRA. 


In a recent email to Angela Watts at KCC dated 12th March 2014, the following comments were made by the Environment Agency (EA): 'We are not currently in a position to recommend the discharge of condition 12 of planning permission SH/08/124'.
To summarise, in recent correspondence to the applicant, information was being sought between the correlation between attenuation lagoons and site groundwater levels. It was noted by EA that the attenuation lagoons could be below groundwater levels and that additional information was required. The S&DRA confirm that this would be the case and in actual fact, given the noted conservative groundwater levels, the lagoons, including hydrobrake's/chambers would be totally under water. It should also be noted that SLR's (Countystyle'e experts/agents) own borehole readings are within 150mm (6 inches) of our own.
On the matter of sustainable drainage, Countrystyle's scheme would be to pump the water from site, under the A20 into a ditch and then into an existing pipe across Farmer Price's field. The EA pointed out that this is not a sustainable drainage system and therefore would not be considered. 
The S&DRA agree with EA's comments and look to be providing further factual information on historic borehole readings.

Les Barratt. Co-Chairman, S&DRA.

Friday, 14 March 2014


The KCC Planning Committee were recently called upon to debate and give approval to the discharging of two of the outstanding conditions which were attached to the planning consent of Countrystyle to build an anaerobic Digester and MRF waste site at Otterpool Quarry. This was unusual in as much as the planning officers already have the power to decide upon such issues given that both of these conditions relate to the Weighbridge and Landscaping. As far as we could see, there was no real issue with the weighbridge, but the Landscaping scheme was an entirely different issue. Taken in isolation, it would be difficult to find fault with the scheme, but lay it over the Surface Water drainage scheme and the problems are glaring.
S&DRA's position has always been to take a holistic approach when viewing drawings and submissions pertaining to the Otterpool site.

Fortunately, the majority of the Planning committee members have also taken this stance after hearing from our speakers, Graham Horner, representing CPRE, Bob Edden, Co chairman of S&DRA and our County Councillor, Susan Carey. A representative from Countrystyle spoke of how the submissions made to KCC were detailed and robust but also noted that the attempt to discharge the conditions had been delayed due to contractual delays in acquiring feedstock from various Councils. This, of course is not a material planning consideration.

After hearing from Mike Clifton, (Planning Officer), the debate was started by Councillor Ian Chittenden who set the theme for the rest of the morning. We were pleased to hear that the comments were well thought through, measured and above all sensible, offering consideration to the Surface Water Drainage scheme which in effect totally conflict with the Landscape scheme.
There was also mention of the Badger setts which are situated on the southern bank of the site. Far from being considered, it would appear that all the setts would be destroyed to make way for the drainage scheme. 

Other Councillors to offer support to the notion that the Landscape scheme be considered alongside 'Drainage' included Mike Baldock, Matthew Balfour, Pam Brivio, Peter Harman, Trever Shonk and last but not least Jim Wedgebury, who was firmly of the opinion that matters left to the last minute are usually rushed through with no real deserved consideration.
After a short break and further debate a proposal was set before the Committee to 'Discharge the Weighbridge condition but to defer the Landscape condition until such time that Surface Water and Ground Contamination submissions are before the committee'. Councillor Chittenden was the last to speak with a question directed to Sharon Thompson (Head of Planning) asking for confirmation that the Landscaping issues will be heard alongside 'drainage' and 'ground contamination'. A very firm 'YES' was the reply. A vote was taken and was carried ten votes to one.
Needless to say we were delighted with the outcome. We await to see the submissions relating to 'drainage' and 'contamination' from statutory consultees, the Environment Agency.

It was good to see Sally Edwards of Lympne Parish Council and Donald Broad, Chairman of Monks Horton Parish Meeting in attendance. Your continued support is always appreciated.

Les Barratt, Co-Chairman, S&DRA. 

Friday, 7 March 2014


The KCC Planning committee will be meeting to discuss the remaining conditions next Wednesday, 12th March at County Hall, Maidstone. The meeting starts at 10am. All are invited to attend.. Please ensure leaving good time for parking. The Residents Association and CPRE will be speaking. As of yet, Sellindge Parish Council have not made arrangements to speak. See you all there.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


The 61 metre wind turbine that was rejected by the development Control committee at Shepway District Council and subsequently appealed has now been approved the inspectorate. For those of you are not familiar with the application, the applicant is Windberry Operations. The turbine will be erected on Mr. Richard Price's land. More details will follow very soon. For those residents wishing to comment on this approval please email:


The articles contained in this website are for general informational purposes only and have been provided by various sources including the public, newspaper content and local bodies. These articles are then presented by Sellindge & District Residents Association on this website, and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Sellindge & District Residents Association. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, Sellindge & District Residents Association takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control. This website may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. The Sellindge & District Residents Association has no business relationship with any organisations mentioned in this website.