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Wednesday, 21 December 2016


Dear Residents, 

It appears that opposition to the proposed 12,000 dwelling housing estate that Shepway DC are calling Otterpool Park New Town has attracted the attention of a journal that pulls no punches: PRIVATE EYE. Regular readers of Private Eye will be familiar with the Rotten Boroughs section, so will come as no surprise that Shepway DC are appropriately placed.

Shepwayvox has just issued the 'post' below:

Delusional Tories in a Rotten Borough, you decide.

Councillor Mrs Mary E LawesRecently, at a meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Mary Lawes (UKIP) (pictured) called the Tory led chamber 'Delusional' on three occasions.  This week in the Folkestone & Hythe Express (Pages 6&7) there is an interview with Cllr David Drury Monk, a former failed double glazing salesman. Nowhere in that interview (by Sue Mott) does it bother to challenge Cllr Monk. Nowhere does it ask critical or penetrating questions. What was the purpose of the piece? To be balanced, or just to give air to the fact that Cllr Monk called Princes Parade 'a Dog's Toilet' and that Hythe is 'full of retired army personnel… who need something to do.'. Is this Journalism or the trashing of the local people?

On Otterpool Park, SDC have failed to inform the public that the third party in SDC's initial collaboration agreement is Investors in Private Capital Ltd  (who have donated nearly half a million to the Conservatives), who are the guarantors, but who are owned by Wellington Estates Ltd a company registered in the low tax jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands. It must have slipped their mind. Why didn't the Folkestone & Hythe Express bother to ask any questions about this?

In stark contrast in this edition of Private Eye, Rotten Boroughs section (pg 18) (see below) we note that they raise the issue of concreting over Otterpool Park and how both parties will make an 'astronomical windfall', once SDC have granted themselves planning permission.private-eye-rotten-boroughs-21-12-16

There is no conspiracy as Cllr Monk claims. Dr Priest's expenses make it abundantly clear that the idea of a garden town was on SDC's mind. Also Mr Lainton's article on his blog states:

"I welcome that Shepway Council has accepted my proposal from March of last year (2015) that around Sellinge in Kent was an excellent location for a Garden City"

He states in an earlier post entitled:

'The Spill' – London Needs Some Large #GardenCities to Meet its Booming Need – and Heres Where they Could Go


"On the section of the HS1 track around Westernhanger there is a large area of countryside outside the AONB where the A20 has lots of spare capacity after the construction of the M20. The countryside is below the usual exceptional quality for Kent and development here could serve as overspill for the otherwise highly constrained Kent Coast towns and AONB/Greensand Ridge (considered rightly by locals as just as important – I declare an interest I grew up along it) towns and villages."

Councillor Miss Susie Govett

So, are the Conservative led SDC administration delusional as Cllr Lawes said. Or, as Cllr Susie Govett (UKIP) (pictured) mentioned last night at Planning & Licensing Committee, over half that committee belonged in a residential home for the elderly; Possibly, but we'll leave you to decide that.

And do we think there is a conspiracy? Certainly not. We just want the former double glazing salesman to put all the facts on the table, then people can make more informed decisions.


Sunday, 18 December 2016


Dear Residents,

As promised, we said that we would bring you more details of a press release by Lydd Airport Action Group pertaining to suspected bribes being accepted by Shepway District Councillors. 

If you are of the mind that SDC Councillors make a habit of voting against the wishes of local residents, as they are with the Lorry Park and Otterpool 12,000 housing estate, you wouldn't be wrong.
It appears that they are running to form with the Airport fiasco as well. We'll leave you to decide what the reason for that could be.

Here it be:

Kent Crime Commissioner urged to speed up delayed Police investigation into suspected bribes accepted by Shepway District Councillors

LAAG has written to the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, urging him to take steps to ensure this case is given priority by the Kent Police. The case involves the reported giving of material undisclosed gifts to Shepway District Councillors by Lydd Airport ahead of the determination of its planning application for its large scale development in March 2010. 
The case arose from a 2011 High Court judgment (Neutral Citation Number: [2011] EWHC 354 (QB) - Case No: HQ09X00332) involving litigation between the former Managing Director of London Ashford Airport Ltd (Lydd Airport), Zaher Nicola Jeries Deir (Mr Deir) and Fahad Bin Saleh Mohammed Al Athel (Sheikh Fahad al Athel) - the owner of Lydd Airport and associated companies. 
There were a number of claims and counter claims by the respective parties in relation to Mr Deir seeking payment of unpaid directorship fees.  The substance of the claims against Mr Deir included that he misused his company credit card and incurred excessive expenditure. Some of the items challenged were items that Mr Deir said constituted gifts to councillors.  The judgment makes clear that there is evidence available and that the sums involved were material.
At the determination meeting on March 3rd, 2010, 66% of the 41 councillors present voted for LyddAirport's development. This was in stark contrast to the 66% of local residents who voted against the development in the earlier referendum conducted by Shepway District Council. There was also strong opposition to the airport's expansion from the UK's main national environmental organizations and local opposition groups.
This case was first brought to Kent Police's attention in February 2012, but it was April 2016 before theKent police confirmed that the matter was being investigated (case reference number ZY/035502/14 in the Police National Database).  The investigation is on-going.
High priority should be given to the solving of this case as years have passed since the gifts were allegedly made.  Valuable evidence is in danger of being destroyed as institutions are only required to keep records for prescribed periods.  Of more concern to local residents is the knowledge that many of thecouncillors present at the time are still in office, proposing and making decisions about equally controversial developments.  
Louise Barton
Lydd Airport Action Group
The Hook
Madeira Road
Kent, TN28 8QX
01797 361 548

Thursday, 8 December 2016


Dear Residents,

The Lydd Airport Action Group issued a press release on the 5th December. The headline is below. Details will be following over the next few days.

'Kent Crime Commissioner urged to speed up delayed Police investigation into suspected bribes accepted by Shepway District Councillors'


Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Dear Residents,


Last Saturday, 3rd December, saw the gathering of local people to demonstrate against Shepway District Council for the shoddy way in which we are all treated when it comes to deciding what is best for us.

On a very cold day, approximately 350 people gathered outside the Council offices to march, waving banners, beating drums and blowing whistles into the main shopping area of Folkestone to hear representatives from Princes Parade, Sellindge & District Residents Association, SECN at Lympne, SOS Kent and  Kent County Councillor, Martin Whybrow.

The Lorry Park, Otterpool New Town and Princes Parade were all in the firing line of the residents opprobrium, but how have we come to this? The simple answer is our District Council, led by David Monk and our Member of Parliament, Damian Collins.


The tangled web that is being spun by those in authority is far too complex to document here but all we can say is that the total lack of transparency is evident. Residents require honesty, integrity and honourability from our representatives: this is the complaint that we hear time and time again. Deception and obfuscation is rife, from people that purport to be our representatives. This can not go on.


The so called Otterpool Park Housing Estate proposal has turned into a cacophony of spin being spouted to gain favour with the uninformed and residents from outside of the area. We have heard how homes will be affordable. How can they be? We have seen no true working mechanism to support that claim. How can the average Shepway salary support a mortgage or even secure a deposit of a lower end property of £250,000. These are questions yet to be answered. Where are the council homes? Shepway Council's record of Council home building is abysmal. Where are the jobs?

Where is a new hospital? Where is the evidence that GP's are filling vacancies here already – they're not. Why aren't we being told of how Southern Water's Sewers are full to capacity. That's why Portaloo's will be used on the proposed Lorry Park, should it ever be built.


There are residents that live in squalid housing conditions that need to be upgraded and not ripped off by private landlords. More council homes need to be built. Real jobs need to be created in Shepway or very close by. All in all, we need to care for our residents and support our young residents who are trying to get a foot on the housing ladder. Rents need to be realistic and affordable.

We need a forum; a forum that will bring residents, especially young residents together with Parish and Town Councils to build on existing villages and towns, in keeping with the surrounding dwellings, in addition to brownfield sites and dilapidated housing upgrade. Our farmland is precious and needs to be kept to grow our food. As one placard clearly stated 'We can't eat Concrete'.


Over the coming months our team at S&DRA will be working with our alliance partners to put forward alternative plans to a 12,000 dwelling new town that will be little more than a dormitory housing estate for commuters who can afford to buy and private landlords charging exorbitant rents for struggling local's, usually young families. This isn't what a community is about.

Residents are cynical of the District Councils plans. Is it any wonder when massive developers are involved whose only cause celebre is profit for themselves and their shareholders.

Our message to the people of Shepway is clear: Join us in the building of Shepway through the existing system of a local plan and core strategy. Insist on transparency from your District Council. Make them accountable. They are your servants. If you feel that they are not working for you, vote them out at the next election. We are supporting change: a change for the better, a change for the people of Shepway.




Monday, 5 December 2016


Dear Residents,

Here is a list of 4 'so called' consultations that Shepway Council are calling 'Community engagements': THEY ARE NEITHER.

This is a development that is not wanted or required by local people to meet local needs. We already have a system in place called a 'local plan', 'core strategy' and 'people and places' that deals with housing requirement. Of that approximate 8000 quantity we want to hear from SDC that at least 30% of those will be affordable and hopefully for our younger local residents.

Please go along to at least one of these events but we would urge you all NOT TO ENGAGE in this 'so called' consultation because if you do, you will be validating this WHOLE fiasco. DON'T ASK FOR A BYPASS, DON'T ASK FOR MEDICAL CENTRES, PARKS, SKATEBOARD PARKS OR ANYTHING THAT WILL BE TWISTED (and it surely will be) INTO A LEVEL OF SUPPORT FOR A TOWN THAT IS NOT REQUIRED LOCALLY.

We ask you take along the thickest black marker pen you can find and simply write WHY: Why do we need it, Why did SDC ask for it, Why do our rural communities deserve it, Why are our 'so called' representatives supporting it against our wishes, Why, Why, Why or simply write: NO TO OTTERPOOL TOWN,

Thursday 8 December
2:00pm – 5:00pm
Sellindge Sports & Social Club
69 Swan Lane,
TN25 6HB
Thursday 8 December
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Hythe Town Hall
High Street
CT21 5AJ
Friday 9 December
2:00pm – 5:00pm
Folkestone Racecourse
The Glover Stand
Stone Street
CT21 4HX
Saturday 10 December
10:00am - 2:00pm
Lympne Village Hall*
Aldington Road
CT21 4LE

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Dear Residents,

Please see below: This is the crowd employed by SDC to carry out the consultation on Otterpool Park New town this coming week. The blurb profile on this company is alien to what is actually required or needed in our area.
Our advice is to go along, not to engage with any part of this process but make your views known. Don't forget your marker pen.

Here they be:

"Kevin Murray Associates is an award-winning niche consultancy operating across the spectrum of planning, regeneration, urban design and community consultation.

Established in 2002, the practice draws from over 30 years' direct experience in leading edge projects in town planning, regeneration, urban design and economic development.
Our philosophy is to help clients make progressive steps in creating or nurturing stronger, more robust places and communities, at different scales. We do this through an intelligent, reflective learning approach summarized as place momentum. We focus on an understanding of place and community's distinctive attributes, fused with an appreciation of how these may change in coming decades.
Our approach is applied in situations of urban expansion, inner city regeneration, masterplanning,neighbourhood and town centre conservation and renewal, and recycling of former industrial areas.
The particularities and sensitivity of each commission mean different methods and techniques may be used to get the best outcome. Process oriented advice and  techniques aim to build client and community capacity around strategies for positive action.
Workshops, scenario planning, Enquiry by Design and masterplan charrettes all form part of the KMA professional toolkit in helping clients to deliver.

We also organise specially tailored training modules to help clients and communities better undertake their own projects.

Friday, 2 December 2016


Home » Shepwayvox » £1.5 Million & Rising.

£1.5 Million & Rising.


Tomorrow, 3rd Dec at 10.30am demonstrators will be gathering at the Civic Centre to object to the development of Otterpool New Town, the disneyland size lorry park Princes Parade and other developments going on across our beautiful district of Shepway.

If you have the time do join this merry bunch and bring your whistles and drums and banners.

Our Cllrs across our region have been elected to serve their residents, but a vast majority put their party before the people. While they serve us they receive an allowance, which is broken down into four areas

They receive the following:

  1. Basic Allowance (£5100 a rise of 32% and backdated to May 15 )

  2. Special Responsibility Allowance (eg if the chair a committee)

  3. Travel/Subsistence and other Allowances (self explanatory)

Shepway District Council place this information online so we thought we'd take a look at it.

From April 2012 – Sept 2016 our Cllrs have cost us close to £1.5 million pounds for making decisions behind closed doors. These are not the only decisions to have been taken behind closed doors this year only Shepway have used various legislation to lock the doors on more than a dozen occasions. Is such behaviour good for democracy.Openness and transparency are key ingredients to build accountability and trust, which are necessary for the functioning of democracy at local and national level.

So for the sake of Openness & Transparency and the Public Interest here are SDC Cllrs expenses.

overall-expenses In May 2015 the number of Cllrs was reduced from 47 to 30 and the blue in 15/16 represents what Cllrs was paid up until the election on May 7th 2015. The red is for all 30 Cllrs thereafter. Are our Cllrs Value for Money?

The next graph below is just for the Travel/Subsistence and other Allowances for the period Apr 2012 – Sept 2016. Which shows they have received £85,501. Now you may say that's not a lot, but remember nearly 50% of SDC's income is from your Council Tax. Are we getting value for money? And why aren't they being open and transparent on what they spend this money. Again this is all hidden from view for most of the year.


To be fair to Cllrs there are some who through the period have only claimed their basic allowance and no other expenses at all. If their name appears they have only claimed their basic allowance in that year according to SDC's data


Tomorrow's demonstration is not just about development, it is about the lack of transparency and openness. It is about the meetings behind closed doors and decisions to spend £5.2 million. It's about Cllrs compromising their integrity. It's about influence that donations  may well have on planning decisions and the fact that SDC haven't told us the whole truth about their initial collaboration agreement they have signed with the Reuben Brothers.

So please for the sake of our district bring your drums, your whistles, your banners and wrap up warm. Let SDC know we care about where we live and that we wish to protect our Open Spaces from their secrecy and their lack of transparency & openness.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

From Monks Horton Parish, supporting the S&DRA and local Residents.

Dear Resident,

Stop the urbanisation of our rural landscape! Please come and join the march in Folkestone this Saturday morning, 3rd December at 10.30am. See the poster below for details.

Many local people are concerned about the harmful developments proposed for this area. These include:-

Otterpool Park
Shepway District Council (SDC) have ignored local opposition and have set a course to build a new town of 12,000 houses between Sellindge and Lympne, on productive agricultural land. This is in addition to the 8,000 houses already planned to meet local needs. The new town would cater mainly for London overspill and there has been little evidence that there would be local jobs for the new population. In its plans, much has been made by SDC about the high speed rail link to London providing a good commuter service. SDC have rather ignored the damage building a complete new town, twice the size of Hythe, would cause in this area of water shortages and overstressed public services and the road network.

Lorry Park
SDC have accepted the need for a huge lorry park on 250 acres of prime agricultural land at Stanford, despite Highways England's admission that it will not prevent the need for Operation Stack in the event of Channel crossings being disrupted. In fact, the lorry park would make things worse by requiring junction 11 to be closed (coast bound) and imposing a 40mph speed limit on the motorway. These actions would cause massive disruption to the M20, the A20 and local roads. It was to avoid this happening that the lorry park was originally conceived. Once the lorry park is opened, all lorry traffic would be required to enter and park up until all lorries that had arrived earlier had been released. Depending on how quickly this can be managed by the lorry park operators, Operation Stack would be prolonged by many hours, if not days. £250,000,000 for something not needed for the last 16 months would be an obscene waste of money.

Princes Parade
Hythe is a remarkably attractive and unspoilt seaside town which attracts many holiday visitors. Part of its charm is the Royal Military Canal, which extends through the town eastwards to Princes Parade. Beside the canal is unspoilt green space enjoyed by locals and visitors and the land provides a valuable natural habitat for wildlife. SDC, which owns the land on behalf of the local community, now wants to develop it to become a housing estate and leisure complex.

Shepway District Council have decided on these development with little regard for whether they would benefit the local communities which they are supposed to serve. We should remind Shepway District Council where their duties lie. Please come along this Saturday to join with others, show your support and add your voice.

Yours faithfully,

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Dear Residents,

Below is an email sent to a number of Parish Councils around the Sellindge/Lympne areas to inform residents of four exhibitions which Shepway District Council has described as 'Engagement events'. We think this is utterly disgraceful.

Given the enormity of the proposed 'Otterpool Park' New Town development, we think that individual letters should be sent to every resident in the Shepway area and beyond. As it stands, it is left to Parish Councils to contact parishioners within their communities to pass on the information set out below.
It is of course feasible that a handful of parishioners could be informed but due to the very short notice, the majority of parishioners would be 'in the dark' about any such event. As for any press release; we are not aware, or been made aware, of any such notification.

S&DRA feel that the document below is disingenuous, attempting to bypass any true engagement whatsoever. Moreover, we also feel that any community engagement should have taken place BEFORE SDC purchased arable farm land with the OBVIOUS intention of developing our rural communities into an urban sprawl.
We will be posting further information on this so called 'community engagement' event very soon. In the meantime, please share on social media and forward to friends, families and other concerned residents.

Heads up on the PROTEST DEMO. Civic Centre, 10.30 am Saturday, 3rd December.

Subject: Otterpool Park Community Engagement Events 
Date: 22 November 2016 14:35:25 GMT

Dear Sir/Madam
We have now finalised the details of the first community engagement events for the proposed garden town, Otterpool Park, and wanted to provide you with advance notice. All residents of Shepway and East Kent are invited to attend.
The sessions will provide the first occasion for residents and other members of the local community to discuss the opportunity that planning a garden town presents with the planning and design team, as well as to learn about the planning process. The process of developing a masterplan framework will be informed by the contributions from local people, businesses and organisations, all of whom are encouraged to participate to guide the development of this garden town. 
The events are drop-in sessions at the following venues:
Sellindge Sports and Social Club
Hythe Town Hall
Folkestone Racecourse
The Glover Stand
Lympne Village Hall
This is the first of a series of engagement events that will continue throughout 2017.
We would be grateful if you could circulate the details within your local networks following the press release tomorrow. If you have any queries about the events do contact Jas Atwal at Kevin Murray Associates on
Best wishes
Julia Wallace
Otterpool Park Project Manager - Masterplanning and Design
Shepway District Council, Civic Centre,

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Local residents from all over Shepway are gearing up for the Mass Demonstration set to hit the town of Folkestone at one of the busiest times of the year. An alliance of various groups are coming together to protest against the shoddy way they are being treated by Shepway District Council in riding roughshod over the wishes of the people. This is set to be one of the biggest demo's in Shepway. A local spokesperson said: 'We are sick and tired of David Monk and his cronies at Shepway totally disenfranchising us. We've had enough. They forget that they are our servants. The sooner we can get rid of them the better'. The demonstration will assemble at The Civic Centre, Castle Hill Ave, Folkestone on the 3rd December at 10.30am. Leave good time for parking.

Campaigners fighting against plans for a garden town in Shepway

County councillor warns 'communities are under attack' as he backs campaign against plans for 12,000 homes at Shepway garden town

Campaigners fighting against plans for a garden town in Shepway

Wednesday, 16 November 2016






Monday, 14 November 2016



Dear Residents,

Is it any wonder that confusion abounds! - With recent proposals foisted upon us with no support from our pathetic Councillors or MP, we are supporting the following event:

With different levels of planning (the Local Plan, the People and Policies Plan, and the Otterpool New Town proposal) and various consultations either currently ongoing or imminent, it's hard to keep track. 

LOCAL RESIDENTS ARE INVITED to Lympne Castle, 15th November at 7.00pm for an update which will seek to clarify latest developments and explain how you can get involved to voice your dissent to the proposals that threaten to engulf village life.



Saturday, 12 November 2016


Dear Residents,

A press release has been issued by Councillor Monk, Leader at Shepway District Council. It reads as if the Otterpool Town is a foregone conclusion or a done deal, but of course, it isn't. 

Councillor Monk says that he has met with various groups but didn't actually mention the outcome. The local parish Councillors sent him off with a flea in his ear after taking a vote to have nothing to do with the Otterpool Town proposal. 
It is obvious that Councillor Monk has been economical with the truth when expressing an interest to obtain Government funding for this ridiculous proposal whereby local support should be considered. Is this fraud?

The CPRE report on the building on brownfield sites carries weight and negates the need for using valuable agricultural land for housing. Shepway DC have chosen to ignore this well respected body and can only function, it appears, with £ signs in their eyes, with little regard for residents feelings or lifestyle. 
Let us all remember that local housing needs are already being met as stated by Ben Geering, Chief Planner at SDC because he told us so. 12,000 houses is far in excess of what we require and will only become a dormitory town for London commuters. 

Our area is changing for the worse. Our rural way of life will become urban, and it will be entirely due to the soulless individuals that purport to represent us. To say that they are economical with the truth is an understatement; It's worse than that. 

S&DRA, along with other groups will fight to protect our countryside, fight to counter the plans or proposals that seek to destroy way of life and ultimately look towards replacing the 'so called'  representatives, that obviously have their own agendas, from local Government. 

Back in August, we took to the streets of Hythe with well over 700 local's protesting about developments across Shepway and beyond. It was a huge success and magnified the need for change in our areas.  Please look out for details of our next demonstration on this site. 


Here's what Shepway District Council have to say:

Otterpool Park – a Garden Town for the Future


The Leader of Shepway District Council says he is delighted that its bid for government  support for a new Garden Town in Shepway has been successful.


Cllr David Monk said:  "In response to a government call for Expressions of Interest in garden settlements, we submitted a bid. I am delighted that Otterpool Park - a Garden Town for the Future - has been chosen.


"Housing Minister Gavin Barwell's announcement of support and capacity funding of £750,000 means we will be able to pursue our ambitions to create a new community where our children and their children can live, work and play. 


"I have already met with many people, businesses and local parishes to discuss our ideas but nothing is set in stone yet. We do know that over the next 30 years we will need more homes and jobs for our children and grandchildren. Many in my generation have done well for themselves. I feel a deep obligation to make sure that we do not deny future generations the same opportunities that we had."


The council and its partners will now work with residents in the district to develop a masterplan for Otterpool Park, so that a planning application can be submitted. The masterplan, shaped by the community, will enable forward planning of the necessary utilities and services, as well as infrastructure requirements including roads, schools and medical facilities.


This very long-term project, lasting for at least 30 years, will be developed gradually and shaped by the views and preferences of local people and businesses through ongoing and consistent engagement and consultation.


Consultation with the local community will start very soon.  The first events are scheduled for December 2016 and further details will be available shortly. Topics for consideration include architecture, infrastructure and sustainability, as well as landscape, public realm and transport.


The concept of a garden town, which combines the best of town and country living, has been successfully demonstrated by places such as Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.

It remains as relevant today as when it was first introduced more than 100 years ago. 



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