About 250 residents attended the exhibition last year and 55 gave written responses. These were generally positive, but a number of major concerns were raised:
Some of these are the subject of the planning application to be submitted soon. The applicants have been working closely with the utility companies and UK Power Networks are aware of the need to underground the overhead power lines before building starts. Foul water pumping stations will pump sewage into the existing sewer in Smallhythe Road. Appropriate screening is required to screen these unattractive features as part of the application to ABC. Bells Lane would not be used for vehicular access to or from the site.
The buildings closest to the High Street should reflect the scale of the existing lanes and be at higher density. There is a case for a diverse mix of architectural styles including 3-storey buildings, reflecting the natural growth of Tenterden as a whole. Such buildings would be placed at the lower gradient of the land’s slope. The lanes will use the gradient of the landscape to ensure that the adjacent houses were not overshadowed and feature cottages of a smaller scale with weatherboard frontages, rather than the larger brick and rendered houses on the streets.
Along the main stretch of the street along the southern boundary no two houses would be the same, giving a greater visual variety in keeping with the historic parts of the town. George Saumarez Smith (GSS), the Architect, has explained that the homes will face outward so that the boundary features house frontages’, not just a row of fences.
GSS confirmed that slate roofing was typical in the period when Tenterden was expanding from 18th/ 19th century onwards. Assurance has been given that it will be used with real slate rather than a synthetic substitute.
Some of the houses are semi-detached with three chimneys. It was not known whether these were functional or decorative. George Saumarez Smith pointed out that building houses without chimneys invariably resulted in an unattractive roofscape, so they had been included more from a aesthetic than functional perspective.
Views of the Church are considered important and are retained by 3 clear sight-lines throughout the development area.
Is the development a “pastiche”? At its March meeting the steering group was asked whether it was happy with the house designs showing so little modernity. The group agreed that while it would be reasonable to include some more modern elements, the workshop process had very clearly identified a desire to see the development blend in the High Street, and was therefore broadly happy for the designs to continue as they were.
Martin Vink (Development Control Manager) made it clear that the developer was required to provide services or facilities for which a need was generated only by the new development, or supply a Section 106 instead. The items that would be included in a 106 agreement are set out in the Development Plan. Section 106 was not intended as a means to provide facilities or services included on a wish list. Where a section 106 contribution had been made, the money would be held by the Borough Council and would be made available to the local community when it put forward a proposal relating the specific item for which the contribution was made. An example would be for provision or improvement of outdoor sports pitches.
The developers had not yet (April) returned an offer regarding the Section 106 contributions. The delay had been caused by the architects making various changes arising from the consultation process.
Issues of concern/provision that have been considered in the March monthly Joint Steering Group meetings were:
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