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Thursday, 30 June 2016


The SDC Overview and Scrutiny committee met last Tuesday, 28th June, to pose questions about the proposal for a New Town in and around Sellindge. Lympne and Westenhanger.
This time chaired by Claire Jeffreys (Lab) it was virtually a re-run of the Cabinet meeting of the 8th June with Susan Priest in auto mode extolling the virtues to residents and businesses alike with open spaces and companies gagging to get on board setting up businesses within the area. We were even treated to the old chestnut of 'By having Otterpool New Town, all the other developments (Waste site, Wind turbines and so forth) would be sidelined' or words to that effect.

First up with a few points was Councillor Michael Lyons (Con) asking where on earth are these companies going to come from that would like to set up a business here when units are lying empty in the Links industrial estate? He went on to ask where will doctors be coming from when Kent is crying out for doctors at the moment. Why so many houses where there is mention of overspill from London. Where is the infrastructure? Councillor Lyons concluded that Local Parish Councils should be listened to, saying that Lympne Parish Council have very competent councillors within their ranks and know exactly what they want.

Councillor Clive Goddard (Con) briefly spoke saying that it was fantastic, a great opportunity, wonderful.
Councillor Ann Berry (Con) admitted to living on Folkestone Golf course and said change was inevitable.
Councillors Frank McKenna and Ian Meyers (both UKIP) spoke in the same vein of adopting brownfield sites as opposed to building over good arable land and required clarity over the numbers of houses that were actually being proposed. 1500, 6,000, 10,000 or 12,000.

The pretence of democracy or protocol in action by SDC was gut churning for residents sitting in public gallery as the obvious agenda is to push through a New Town development at any cost to the environment or the residents way of rural/village life. Exasperated by comments from Priest about local involvement at an early stage, residents rightly became vocal with the Chair asking the gallery to be quiet.

All in all, just as we expected, with the inner cabal at Shepway moving further along the path of securing government funding to exploit the possibility of changing part of the Shepway landscape forever.                         




12th June, 2016.

Dear Mr. Clark,

I am writing to you as the Vice Chair of Monks Horton Parish Meeting in Kent.
I have great concerns over our local District Council, Shepway, misrepresenting the views of the local electorate.

On May 6th Shepway District Council (SDC) announced that they were going to be expressing an interest for a new Garden Town of 12,000 houses to central Government.

On the evening of 7th June SDC invited local Parish Councils to the Council Chambers in Folkestone to garner support for the development. In all, 27 Parish Councillors, including myself, attended.

The Leader of the Council, David Monk chaired the meeting with Alistair Stewart, CEO and Susan Priest, Corporate Director Operations, in attendance.
It was clear from the outset that Parish Councillors didn't share the view that building a 12,000 unit new Town between 3 small Kentish villages was a good idea. As the meeting progressed arguments became heated with accusations of mistrust, lies and untruths aimed at all SDC members.

It was at this juncture that I respectfully asked, through the chair, can we have it on record to have a show of hands as to who, out of all the 27 Parish Councillors in attendance, thought that building Otterpool Park New Town was a good idea. David Monk Said 'No'. I asked again. He repeated, waiving his hands back and forth 'No, No'. I addressed the Parish Councillors and asked the simple question. 'Can I have a show of hands please: Who thinks that building a New Town in our area is a good idea'. All hands remained down.
I don't know whether SDC recorded the vote or had anything on record come to that.
The meeting went on with shouts of Contemptible and Resign. It wasn't a pleasant scene.

The very next day, 8th June at 5pm. The SDC Cabinet met at the Civic Centre Chambers with the full cabinet in attendance to debate whether the Council should be expressing and interest to central Government for the building of a New Town as already mentioned.
Three councillors spoke in support of a New Town, a motion was put forward and seconded and a vote taken to go ahead with the official expression of interest. No mention was made of the meeting or the dissent shown by Parish Councillors the previous evening and no mention was made of the vote taken. The public gallery was full of local angry residents showing their disdain of the proceedings. During the meeting, David Monk asked residents in the public gallery to leave the chambers as commercially sensitive information was about to be discussed. The residents wouldn't move and a sit-in followed. David Monk and his Cabinet eventually left the Chamber to the chants of 'Shame on you all'.

At the same meeting a document was distributed titled 'Feedback from the Leader's meeting with Parish Councils: 7th June 2016 (Sellindge,Stanford, Saltwood, Postling, Lympne) No mention of  the Monks Horton parish was made. The document clearly gave an impression that some concerns were raised but overall a sentiment was created that going forward with the New Town was generally acceptable. For example, it states:

'All Parish Councils asked for greater more deeper engagement as the project progresses'

This is a downright lie. Not one Parish councillor made that request.

'There was some opposition to the scale of development (with some recognising the need for new housing)'

There was total opposition to the scale of development. Yes, there is a need for new housing that Sellindge has just agreed to: A total of 250 new homes in a village of  some 700 existing homes.

I note that one of the criteria for approval of a Garden Town is local support. Our fear is that the conduit for that support will be relayed through our District Council. Shepway District Council do not reflect our views. Moreover, our MP Damian Collins, our local Councillors, Jenny Hollingsbee and Susan Carey do not, and will not, even after pleading with them, reflect our views.

Residents in this area are talking of corruption, done deals and secretive meetings with local land owners.  It seems that our elected representatives are rotten to the core.

Here is just one example why residents are of that mindset: last Thursday, 9th June in The Herald, a local newspaper, Damian Collins wrote: 'Shepway Council has also put in an expression of interest to the Government to create a garden town on land close to Otterpool Farm, near junction 11 of the M20' How on earth did Damian Collins  know that SDC were going to vote for that expression of interest when the vote was taken on Wednesday evening. The paper went to print before that meeting took place.  Did David Monk tell Damian Collins that we are going for it, come what may, irrespective of local Parish's views? Given this, our communities will be meeting within the next week to seek legal advice.

As a Parish member can we be reassured that local views WILL be taken into consideration directly from the Parishes and local communities without the influence of Shepway District Council.

Moreover, we would respectfully ask that a meeting be arranged between delegates from our communities with DCLG to voice our concerns.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Leslie Barratt, Vice Chair, Monks Horton Parish Meeting.


c/o 29 Honeywood Close
 CT21 4JS
Tel:  01303 230525

23rd June 2016

The Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP
Secretary of State for
Communities and Local Government
2 Marsden Street

Dear Mr. Clark

You will by now have received an application from Shepway District Council (SDC), for building a New Garden Town.

Lympne Parish Council has understandable concerns in connection with this proposal and its potential impact on our community and environment.
However, the purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention the lack of transparency and underhand conduct of SDC in this matter.
We would like to draw your attention to the following points:

1.The agricultural land that they intend   to use for the New Town was purchased for £5.3 million by Shepway District Council in December 2015 (in excess of £1000/acre above the going rate using tax payers' money that they borrowed).

2.This purchase was completed before either a cabinet meeting or a full Council meeting. Our two District Councillors who represent our ward were also not aware of the purchase.

3.In January we received the following email from county councillor Ms Susan Carey
'I believe it is a very sound investment.  In the immediate future it will continue to be farmed.  I am very pleased we have control over this land.  There are as yet no plans for what we might do and I am sure you will want to let us know what you want/don't want.

4. In April rumours started to circulate about 450 houses being built on the recently purchased land; again our local district councillors were unable to give us any information.

5.On May 6th 2016 the following announcement was made (on Shepway Council website):
Otterpool Park - A Garden Town for the future:

"Leader of Shepway District Council, Cllr David Monk, has announced the council's intention to bid for a garden town in the area surrounding Otterpool Manor Farm."

6.The application made clear that it would be for a garden town of 12,000 houses, which would include the recently purchased land and the old Folkestone racecourse.
It did not mention that in 2013 an application for 800 houses to be built on the racecourse was turned down by the planning inspector, or indeed, that Shepway Council turned down an application for 250 houses on the former Lympne airfield site, which is within the proposed area, and the decision was upheld on appeal in 2014

"I consider that there is no overriding requirement for a development of this size within this location. The appeal proposal would have serious and harmful consequences, especially in terms of the environmental dimension of sustainability….my overall conclusion is that they would be significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the adverse impacts….in the circumstances I conclude that the appeal scheme would not be a sustainable form of development."

Christina Downs, Government Planning Inspector: September 2014

7. The leader of Shepway Council is on record as saying:

"It's not green space. Most of the time it's brown, it's mud, brown mud. It's cockalooloo land. Its agricultural fields. You can't say we can't build on fields. It hardly affects anyone"

Against this background, and together with the other surrounding parish councils, we were invited to a meeting convened by Councillor Monk and the Chief Executive of Shepway Council, Alasdair Stewart, on June 7th, where we were informed that the application would go to the Shepway Council cabinet the following evening.
At the meeting with the parish councils there was a request by a member of the audience for a show of hands in support of SDC's proposals of an expression of interest. Cllr Monk refused this. However, on the insistence of the same member of the audience, an indication of support was again requested.
The show of hands, unsurprisingly under the circumstances, was 100% against the proposal.
This meeting was not minuted, instead a feedback sheet was produced by SDC, which did not adequately reflect the tenor of the meeting.

This underhand process and ludicrous timetable has given us no time to have any sensible discussions with either residents or our local councillors, who we feel should be/are our locally elected representatives.

We have received numerous objections in the last 2 weeks from residents who understandably consider that they have had this thrust upon them without any consultation.

In your criteria for support (Para55 and 56) you say 'expressions of interest should set out how the local community is being engaged ….to help win local support'.
Not only has this not occurred, but also local support will be very difficult to achieve after the council has displayed such a degree of secrecy and duplicity with this proposal.

In relation to paragraph 61, this area may be well placed for the M20 and have a station, but not all traffic will use these. The surrounding roads are mainly small lanes and unsuitable for a large increase in traffic.

In your prospectus you state that you are not looking to support places which merely use "garden" as a convenient label."
We are not convinced that the area included in the site map of approx. 600 hectares, will accommodate 80 hectares of light industrial land, a large car park for the station, 12,000 houses, schools, shops etc and 30% green space.

The area surrounding the proposed garden town is largely AONB and therefore, because of this proximity, was not in the past thought suitable for large-scale development.

You will appreciate that if this development goes ahead there will be major problems with infrastructure - water, sewage, energy etc. We appreciate that if asked to provide water, the water companies have, by law, to agree to provide it. However, we would like to remind you that this is one of the driest areas in the country.

This development was not part of the Local Plan and will subsume the surrounding villages increasing the local population by 30,000, and that of Shepway by 30%.
We recognize that some new development is required but not on this scale. What we are being asked to provide is an overflow for the population, not of Kent, but of London.

We consider that this proposal has not been prepared in accordance with your policy document and the process (or lack of it) should therefore be of major concern to you.
This is not the way that councils should behave towards their residents and you will understand that we have completely lost all faith and trust in Shepway district council.
We look to you to assess this proposal in the light of all the evidence, in particular, the September 2014 report of the Planning Inspector Christina Downs.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Sally Edwards
Chair Lympne Parish Council

Monday, 27 June 2016

SDC - 'We purchased the land as an income stream'. HERE'S PROOF OF THE REAL AGENDA.

Shepway in 1 billion pound windfall as it buys Farm at Agricultural Value and then Proposes a Garden City

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. Andrew Lainton.
 They state:
The leader of Shepway District Council, David Monk, has said that the council intends to bid for a garden town in the area surrounding Otterpool Manor Farm, which sits less than 10 miles to the west of Folkestone.  The likely value of the land with consent – over 1 billion pounds.
The council said in statement that it has developed a set of draft principles that, if approved by cabinet in June, will form a part of an expression of interest to the government this summer.
It added that Otterpool Park Garden Town could see up to 12,000 new homes being built over the next 30 years "within easy reach of nearby villages, towns and the countryside, but with its own businesses, schools and parks".
Monk said: "Otterpool Park gives us an unmissable opportunity: it will deliver the homes and jobs we need, in a great setting that's already well-connected.
"It would be difficult to find an area for development with more potential; it already has a motorway and other roads. There's a train station – high speed trains are bringing new life to this area, just as the trains did for Folkestone all those years ago. Then there's easy access to the rest of Europe via Eurotunnel."
Shepway really grasp the principle of land value uplift as they bought it at agricultural value in January Folkestone Herald which must make the original farmer the stupidest man in Britain.
Shepway District Council has agreed to buy a 357 acre plot of land in Sellindge in a battle to be "self-sustaining."
On Wednesday night, it was decided to proceed with the purchase of land at Otterpool Lane for a reported £5.2million as part of the authority's new approach to finances.
The site will not be developed, as previous rumours suggested, but will be made available to rent.
An SDC spokesman said: "The council has a duty to secure its long-term financial future in the face of continuing reductions in grants from central government
"In a planned move towards self-sustaining finances, we are constantly looking for revenue-earning opportunities that our consistent with our duties and responsibilities as a council.
"When the land at Otterpool Manor Farm became available, the council investigated if acquisition could be part of our plans to secure the long-term financial future of the council.
"The land is designated as agricultural land and will be tenanted and managed to give the council an income."

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Dear Residents,

Many emails to our Association have been asking is it now a possibility that the Lorry Park would be cancelled because of markets crashing and funding limited to build a lorry park. Here's what Chancellor Osborne said. 



Chancellor George Osborne has warned a vote to leave the EU could place a question mark over money the government has allocated to find a solution to Operation Stack.
George Osborne and Alistair Darling visit Ashford in EU 'in' campaign

Chancellor George Osborne has 


Dear Residents,


The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be meeting this coming Tuesday, 28th June at the Civic Centre, Folkestone at 7pm. Residents will be allowed in to the public gallery.
We would urge you all to attend. 


Tuesday, 21 June 2016


Dear Residents,

Biomass Power Station (Application Y15/0751/SH)

You may be aware that the applicants, Iceni 2, have revised their application for the Biomass Power Station at Link Park in Otterpool Lane. There is still time to make your own comments on the Shepway planning website, though you should do so this week.
Here is the link to the planning website. Just paste this in the address panel of your web browser.
You can view the documents, read other people's comments and make your own.


Sunday, 19 June 2016


Dear Residents,

It appears that Shepway District Council have now formerly submitted an Expression of Interest to central Government to build a New Town within our areas. It was sent last Friday, 17th June 2016. This was against all of the wishes of 27 Parish Councillors along with all local residents. 

It is clearer than ever that SDC disregards the wishes of the electorate within the Shepway area. It is now even more important to make your views known to The Rt Hon Greg Clark at DCLG. 

Here are the contact details:

Via email:

By telephone: 01892 519 854

By post: 

Department for Communities & Local Government,

2, Marsham Street, 

London, SW1.


Dear Residents,

We are now inundated with letters and emails from residents writing to Monk, Collins, Stewart, Hollingsbee, Carey and all the other cronies and SDC Cabinet members supporting the desecration of our villages. We have chosen to post this email recently sent to David Cameron as a typical example of the sentiment displayed among our communities  If you are think differently, please let us know. Our aim is to reflect the views of ALL residents of Sellindge et environs. Please take the time to read.



Dear Mr Cameron

I would like you to take the time to read this email as I feel the content will be reflected by many throughout the country. We the British people feel let down. We are bullied into accepting situations despite living in a so called democracy.

Take our situation locally. We have a parish council which is in place to express the views of the local community and to protect our environment. We attend local parish meetings to make our views clear, but our parish councillors are not  listened to by the local council (in my case, Shepway) as a result, our local Councils make decisions which affect our lives, our environment and our communities over which we have no control or say. So apparently, we just have to put up with it.

We have local Members of Parliament (in my case Damian Collins) who treat us with disdain. We can make appointments to speak with them whenever they hold a surgery, but if you write to them, instead of an individual reply, they send out a template of a letter sent by way of response to everyone writing on the same subject. So apparently, we just have to put up with it.

Bylaws have been passed locally in our case to prevent Lorry drivers parking in our village. Parking tickets are issued to lorry drivers (as long as their curtains are not closed), but they are not fined on the spot. As a result our village is strewn with plastic bottles of urine, plastic bags containing excrement and tissues which the lorry drivers have cleaned themselves are thrown in the hedgerow. Grass is churned up and verges decimated, but can anything be done to stop this disgusting behaviour, apparently not. So we just have to put up with it.

Lorry drivers leave Dover/Folkestone with insufficient driving time to reach their destination so they park an the hard shoulder of the motorway blocking emergency vehicle access. However,  local people recently avoiding a broken down car on the same motorway used the hard shoulder to drive around the vehicle and were issued letters warning them about using the hard shoulder. We apparently, just have to put up with it.

Lorry drivers over a bank holiday recently were parked near a retail park one behind the other turning the road into a single lane, they were drinking alcohol, playing loud music with their cab doors open, dancing in the road singing, dancing and whistling. Clearly they would be in possession of the lorry keys, but was anything done about it. No. If a group of British youngsters behaved in the same way they would be in a police station. We apparently, just have to put up with it.

The largest lorry park in the world is planned locally for use when operation stack is in use. Thankfully operation stack has not been used so far this year, but then the French have not caused the problems they did last year. So the French cause a problem and we suffer as a consequence. Where's the democracy in being told that you are having something of this magnitude on your doorstep despite local people objecting? What can we do about it? Nothing we apparently, just have to put up with it.

Our local council (Shepway) purchased land from a farmer late last year and we were told that (clever use of words here) they had no plans to build on it. It was being leased back to farmers for a trickle rent (which by their own admission is a good return on their money). Now we are told a garden town of 12,000 houses is planned using the same land. We lobby our MP, our council and parish council and still the Council approach the government of an expression of interest.  We apparently, just have to put up with it.

The flow of people from Europe cannot be halted because of the EU, so what do we do?  We build more houses to accommodate them, provide child benefits for children not living in this country. We allow people to arrive here looking for work and although they cannot claim benefits for three months thereafter they can claim benefits for the next three months before being expected to leave the country. Who exactly is tracking these people and how many of them leave the country if they are not in employment after six months? We provide services like schools, hospitals, doctors, translators, dentists,the list goes on, meanwhile hospital waiting lists grow, doctors appointments become more difficult to obtain, parents cannot get their children into their school of choice, NHS dentists are difficult to register with etc, etc. What do we do? We put up with it.

People leave French shores in a small dinghy arrive on our shores or are intercepted by one of the three vessels we have to protect our shoreline in Kent, they are not fleeing France because of persecution or being in fear of their lives but what what do we do. We apparently, just put up with it.

People will only be pushed so far, our (underwritten) constitution depends on democracy and it doesn't seem as if we live in one any longer. We are bullied into accepting situations forced on us by decisions made by Government, MP's, councils, Europe and beyond. People lose confidence in their government/councils and the decline in confidence will mean that the national politic will not be immune from the consequences. The remain/stay will be a reflection of people's frustration of situations they feel that we as a country have no control over. We may have to wait for elections to vote on which MP's/Government, local councillors (which happen every few years) but the remain/leave referendum is a once in a lifetime vote happening imminently and still we are being bullied. It's not helpful to hear people on the continent pontificating of how we will be punished if we vote to leave, it is threatening us! It also reminds us of how little say we have in how our lives are controlled, even if we decide to leave the EU they still want to control us.

If we do decide to leave instead of building 12,000 homes close to the village in which I live and a lorry park costing millions of pounds, invest the money in enabling our country to protect its shores and increasing border agency staff to check every vehicle entering the country looking for illegal immigrants. Make the vessels in our waters return from whence they came, (if a war ship entered our waters we would have no hesitation in forcing that to turn about), we have no idea where these migrants are from or if they have links to terrorist organisations who mean us harm.

In closing I would ask you to protect our shores, our environment, our communities and our people. Respect our views and treat us with respect and not disdain.

Communities thrive when they are involved and their views respected.

Yours sincerely


Dear Residents,

Please click on the link to sign the 38 degrees petition to stop a hideous town being built within our village communities in and around Sellindge and Lympne.

Many thanks,


Wednesday, 15 June 2016


Roll on the 23rd then
KentOnline on Twitter

"Brexit 'could jeopardise Thames crossin


Here is the feedback from SDC from the 7th June meeting. . It totally misrepresents the views and sentiment of 27 Parish Councillors in attendance. This is why individuals and Parishes MUST bypass SDC as the conduit for local opinion to DCLG.

Feedback from the Leader's meeting with Parish Councils: 7th June 2016 (Sellindge, Stanford, Saltwood, Postling, Lympne)

The meeting with Parish Councils was well attended with some 30 or so local Councillors in attendance. The Chief Executive and Corporate Director, Strategic Development, gave a presentation on the proposed Expression of Interest for a Garden Town at Otterpool Park which is being considered by SDC's Cabinet on 8th June 2016. It was agreed that a summary note of the issues raised would be captured and made available for Cabinet Members to assist in their consideration of report C/16/08. The following key issues were raised:

• Many were unhappy about SDC's lack of transparency and poor communication with Parishes about the project, which has resulted in a loss of trust in the Council. They would prefer SDC to delay the process of submitting a bid to Government Garden Towns programme to allow time for PCs to consult with their communities. They are also seeking better communication in future about both the project and the planning process, including evidence and information.

• Concerns were raised about design quality, given low standards of housing design in some recent developments. Questions were asked about how SDC can prevent other landowners and developers from building poorly designed housing.

• Questions were asked about affordable housing and how that will be met.

• There was some opposition to the scale of development (with some recognising the need for some new housing).

• Concern was expressed about the potential impact on the existing villages, and whether they will be subsumed into the garden town resulting in a loss of local identity.

• Questions were asked about the potential occupiers of the new housing – there were questions raised about meeting the needs of London overspill as opposed to just local need.

• The process of the Council granting planning permission on its own land was raised, along with questions about why Otterpool Park would be different as a result of the Council's role as landowner.

• All Parish Councils asked for greater more deeper engagement as the project progresses. Clarification was sought about next steps if the Expression of Interest is unsuccessful with the response being that a further report would be presented to Cabinet.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016


Dear Residents,

The Sellindge Parish Council meeting took place this evening, 14th June. It appeared that all Parish Councillors were in attendance supported by a good contingency of local residents. 

You won't be surprised to learn that Councillor Hollingsbee sent her apologies as she was otherwise engaged. A message left on the Parish Council answerphone by Councillor Carey stated that she wasn't attending. We assume that apologies were relayed.

As requested by residents, the Otterpool New Town was first up for debate. Residents asked for the PC's 'take' on the meeting which took place last Tuesday, 7th June. It seems that Chairman Bull wasn't impressed by the proceedings and admitted that the New Town was 'The wrong development in the wrong place' . Councillor Mary Stone mentioned that at that meeting, a vote took place by a Monks Horton Parish Councillor asking for a show of hands of Parish Councillors who supported the building of a New Town within our communities. No hands were raised. Clerk, Linda Hedley stated that the vote couldn't be recorded as it wasn't on the Agenda that evening. Nevertheless, disapproval to the New Town scheme was most apparent and recognised by Monk, Stewart and Priest.

It was now evident by discussions taking place during this evening that SDC and our elected representatives were totally disregarding the views of local residents. A debate then ensued between residents and Councillors to what action Sellindge PC were taking to alert the Department for Communities and Local Government as to the true feelings of the PC and residents. Sellindge PC agreed that they would write to Greg Clark at DCLG on the matter within the coming days. It was announced that Monks Horton Parish had already written, pulling no punches as to the dire situation here in terms of representation and communication between residents and our elected Councillors, MP, Damian Collins and SDC.

It was then that Mr. Colin Abbot, a local resident of Sellindge asked the Parish Council to call a meeting to include on the Agenda the following:

'That this Parish Council has no confidence in our Councillors, Hollingsbee and Carey in their response to the announcement by Shepway District Council of their plan to bid for a 'Garden' Town at the Otterpool Manor site and adjoining land of some seven Km2'. Moreover, both these Councillors should now consider their positions.

If you agree with Mr. Abbot why don't you call or text Chairman Stan Bull on 07710 260751 and and tell him why you have no confidence in both Councillors. On the other hand, you may disagree with Mr. Abbot and feel that support should be given to both Councillors It's your choice. It's your Council. You decide.

                           Chairman Stan Bull                                       Councillor Susan Carey           Councillor Jenny Hollingsbee

The meeting continued with a lengthy Cafe Lorry Park report being read by Clerk, Linda Hedley which seemed to be a melange of Sellindge PC and Airport Cafe's agent comments/responses which was somewhat confusing to the listener. However, the bottom line is that Lorries trundling through the village, mostly at speed and overweight is unacceptable, causing sleep deprivation to many residents on Barrow Hill and beyond. This is an issue which Sellindge PC has agreed to tackle in the near future. 


Sunday, 12 June 2016


We received this email, copied to us from a local resident on Thursday evening. Self explanatory and truly shocking. It really does seem that democracy is dead in Shepway.

'I have in front of me the Folkestone and Hythe Express dates Wednesday 8 June 2016. On page 10, the article from "our man in Westminster" by MP Damian Collins raises an interesting question.
Collins stated "Shepway Council has put in an expression of interest to the government to create a garden town on land close to Otterpool farm". 
Really Mr Collins? This paper was in the shops the morning before the Shepway cabinet meeting to vote on making the expression of interest. The paper would have already been printed when local parish councils unanimously rejected the scheme when consulted on it on Tuesday 7th June.
So the Tory cabal of our MP and Shepway Council were performing their usual trick of making decisions first and ignoring all external opinion and legal process until later.
This is the same sham of democracy that presented a choice of two adjacent lorry parks, apparently the only places in Kent that would serve the purpose. The official decision to build has not yet been made, the Transport Select Committee, Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover have all cast doubt on the benefits of the plan. No decision made, but still a multi million pound contract to build has been given to Balfour Beatty. 
Our local politicians are acting like the mafia.
Legal processes are bypassed, due processes ignored and we, the public are repeatedly told "nothing to see here, move along".
Currently the owners of Folkestone racecourse are involved in a land grab, buying up farms around Sellindge. I understand that a local Farmer is involved in a sale at the moment for a multimillion pound sum. I also understand that another 2 Farmers have been similarly approached along with numerous residents bordering the new Town footprint.
Our communities  and countryside are being stolen from us in a process that is making a mockery of democratic representation. The electorate of Sellindge, Lympne, Newingreen and Westenhanger are being treated as an inconvenience in this disgraceful abuse of power and position.
Shepway Council would make a dictator from a dodgy banana republic blush! Our councillors must resign'.

Sellindge Resident


Dear Residents,

Sellindge Parish Council will be holding their regular monthly meeting this coming Tuesday 14th June, 7.30 pm. 

Perhaps this is an opportunity for residents to invite Susan Carey and/or Jenny Hollingsbee along to hear their views on Otterpool Park New Town (aka Bonkersville). Call, text  or email them. We know that that they are backing the Leader of Shepway District Council, David Monk, in his quest to build a 12,000 unit Town. But are they listening to local residents? This is your chance to ask them. We are sure that you have their details, but just in case you haven't, here they are:

Councillor Miss Susan Carey, North House, 116A North Road, Hythe Kent, , CT21 5DY, 01303 670561, 

Councillor Mrs Jennifer Hollingsbee, Snowdrop, Swan Lane, Sellindge Ashford, , TN25 6EB, 01303 812066, 07887 918458, 


Thursday, 9 June 2016


Dear Residents,

A local resident has decided to to contact ALL of the Cabinet members. This is what she had to say:

Dear SDC Cabinet Members,

We moved to Lympne 10 years ago.  Primarily because it is an area of outstanding natural beauty and also because we did NOT want to live in a town.    I am sure that most of the residents of Lympne, Sellindge and surrounding areas feel the same way as we do.  If you create a new 'Garden Town' of 12,000 houses and at least 24,000 people it will radically, irrevocably change the dynamics of this area, not for the better, but very much for the worst.  We do not want to become part of the huge Otterpool Garden Town.   Since moving here we have been bombarded with planning proposals, housing developments, anaerobic digester plant, wood fired power station, Phides Development on the airfield, Windfarm, and  Lorry Park .   The councils will not be satisfied until they have entirely decimated the whole of this area of the south East.
The way SDC has unveiled this new proposal, is devious, and possibly contentious.   The correct procedures were not carried out and the respective Parish Councils were not given the opportunity until this week to discuss these plans.   SDC seem to be intent on pushing these proposals through as fast as possible.
In SDC's Core Strategy for Development there was no mention of Otterpool Garden Town with 12,000 houses, 24,000+ residents and possibly 24,000 cars.   There is no way that this development has only just been considered, it must have been in the pipeline for some time.
Housing shortage
Your members are very keen to tell us about the housing shortage and about the 6,000+ people on the housing list.  Presumably a proportion of these will be on benefits – will they be in a position to buy one of Otterpool Garden Town's houses, I don't think so.    So let's see, where are these people going to come from?   Are they people commuting to London by train at £5,100 - £6,800  per year - how big would the car park at Westenhanger have to be to accommodate this amount of extra cars.  Maybe the new residents are some of the thousands of migrants who need housing, or perhaps you are going to create a huge amount of jobs with all the industrial development planned.   With unemployment still high in this area, do you really think that it will create enough jobs for these people as well as those still looking for work? 
Whilst this area with its links to the Motorway, Eurotunnel and Dover ferries make it an ideal place for a small amount of development, why should this area be a dumping ground for both the Lorry Park, and housing.   Lorry parks should be dotted around the country like they are in France, not just in one area.  The same for housing, there is no need for this many houses in the area so why is it SDC responsibility to build so many houses for people who live outside this area.
Did Highways think about infrastructure when Nichols Quarry plans were passed? 2,000 cars taking the shortest route to the motorway through West Hythe and Lympne, and the vastly inadequate provision for traffic calming and safety.
Otterpool Garden Village is in a different league to Nichols Quarry, It doesn't matter how many extra roads you build to accommodate the development, SDC are unable to predict what impact the extra traffic will have on the area.   Hythe is already suffering with tailbacks for 3 miles in the summer and peak times.  
If these plans are accepted, it will be too late, the damage will already have been done and we as residents will have to suffer the consequences.
How about pollution? What about CO2 emissions that all the extra 24,000 cars and the lorry park are going to create.  The Government keep telling us that we have to cut down on emissions, so why would this proposal be acceptable
Farm Land
To build houses on precious farm land which will greatly affect the wild life population and flora and forna in itself is unacceptable.
Benefits  - NONE
The fact that some of your members were talking about how wonderful it is to live in Sellindge , Westenhanger and surrounding areas is very hypocritical.  Your members have enjoyed for many years living in beautiful area but they now feel that it is in OUR best interest to decimate it.    We have been told that the new development will bring many benefits, what are these exactly? new schools, doctors, supermarkets.  The only reason these would be necessary is  Because you are proposing to build 12,000, houses.  There are no  benefit to us whatsoever, we have a perfectly good schools, doctors surgeries, supermarkets, in fact everything we need.  
This is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The reason tourists come to Lympne & Hythe are because they want to visit a beautiful and unspoiled area.  Can you predict what adverse effect this will have on tourism and the impact on Supermarkets and other businesses in Hythe.
I am sure you are now in no doubt how residents feel about this proposal and that this is not the last you will  hear from us. 

We are looking forward to our resident copying us in with their replies.




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