PA/2023/2396 at The Vicarage, Ashford Road, St Michaels, Tenterden TN30 6PY

PA/2023/2396 at The Vicarage, Ashford Road, St Michaels, Tenterden TN30 6PY

I am writing on behalf of the Tenterden & District Residents Association (TDRA) to object to this planning application for the following reasons:

  • The requirement for the LPA to identify a 5-year supply of available housing land was removed in 2023. Hence the status of this issue should have no influence over the decision-making process for this application.
  • Tenterden has been burdened with more than its fair share of ‘Windfall’ development within this Local Plan era, with over 300 additional housing units being approved so far. Including the approved development within the Local Plan, this is certainly not sustainable development for the town. This is causing significant anger within the local community as what is seen as over-development of a rural town and a lack of democracy within the planning process to support their views.
  • With a relatively narrow entrance/ exit to the A28 (potential additional 30+ cars), adjacent to the recently approved 65-bed care home, we have safety concerns for the likely congestion around the St Michaels CE School nearby, particularly at peak times.
  • The development claims to be ‘of a suitable scale for the site’ , we believe that the density is far too high for that site and is not representative of the immediate area.
  • We believe this application sets a dangerous precedent for loss of precious green spaces (Glebe) owned by the church, especially in light of the other live application for the Vicarage in Tenterden for 4 executive houses and associated parking. Church owned green space is often located in central areas and is valuable to the community as ‘green lungs’ to built up areas as well as important wildlife habitats. The continued loss of these valuable assets with no benefit to the local community should be of concern.
  • As the church purports to support the local community, where is the benefit to the local community in this application? There is no offer of any social housing, only unaffordable ‘affordable housing’ amidst mostly executive houses.
  • This proposal falls outside the urban confines and adds to the ribbon development along the A28 to High Halden that is contrary to local planning policy.
  • This application is not in line with ABC’s policy for ‘limited and phased’ development, as it would be within a 2-year period of the adjacent care home application approval and the nearby Pope House development.
  • Even with the intention of retaining the peripheral trees and including a 15-metre buffer zone around its perimeter – by no stretch of the imagination could this development be considered helpful to ‘conserving and enhancing the Borough’s natural landscape’ as in Local Plan Policy SP1. Adjoining as it does the ancient woodland of Dawbourne Wood, it represents noise pollution, exhaust pollution, light pollution and the introduction of domestic pets (cats in particular), all of which is bound to have a detrimental effect on the wildlife of that hitherto conserved and protected area.
  • With the new Environment Act shortly to be enforced, and every development of over 10 houses bound to provide evidence of a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain – do we have access to the developer’s ‘Ecological impact assessment’ detailing how that can be achieved? We require access to this.
  • In reference to the Reg 16 Tenterden Local Plan, we believe that the application contravenes the following policies:
    • TEN NP1 Protection of Landscape Character – policy: d, e, f
    • TEN NP3 Conserve and Enhance Biodiversity – policy: a, b, c, d, f, g
    • TEN NP4 Design of New Development and Conservation – policy: a (i) and (iii)
  • The site is in the High Halden parish but immediately adjoins the Dawbourne Wood, most of which is in Tenterden Parish, with the old Coever Orchard beyond. The site is at present a field grazed by horses with trees on two sides and the woodland to the south and east, to form part of the wider wildlife corridor KWT is keen to preserve to the north of Tenterden.
  • There would be potential harm to the Roman Road running through the site, a heritage asset.
  • A considerable area of habitat has been lost at Pope House Farm, as well as Beechwood Farm (opposite) and this will be compounded by this proposal as the sites are very close to each other.
  • Improved access to PRoWs and cycle routes and pedestrian crossings needs to be provided to developments along this stretch of the A28.

Siggi Nepp
Planning Secretary

Posted by Siggi Nepp
Monday 22nd January 2024

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