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Friday, 18 August 2017


Dear Residents,

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

email 1   email 2  email.3

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

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

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

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

You can download the full Westenhanger Station schedule

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

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

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

Two overriding questions arise:

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

What would be the future for Folkestone stations?

If you have any questions you can contact

wpba0c03e1 (pictured above)  – (SDC Leader)

download  (pictured)  –  Cabinet Member for Transport

hi-vix-damo  (pictured) or Network Rail

The Shepwayvox Team.

Monday, 14 August 2017


Dear Residents,

An update from last Saturday's demonstration:

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

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

David Plumstead
'The Fisherman's Beach Association'


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

Thank you, 

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

Friday, 4 August 2017



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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, 3 August 2017


Dear Residents,

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

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



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