The Cat is Out of The Bag

On Friday 20th Nov 2015 an informal tender to purchase 357.00 acres or 144.472Ha closed.

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Shepway District Council have purchased the land for £5.2 million or thereabouts.  The person dealing with the purchase was a Mr. Andy Jarrett, Head of Strategic Development Projects at SDC (pictured).

Click Here to see land purchased → Otterpool Manor Farmland

The Brochure states : Otterpool Manor Farmland Sellindge, Ashford, Kent TN25 6DB
The opportunity to purchase productive and easy working Grade 2 arable farmland either as a whole or in 5 lots together with a parcel of permanent pastureland with road frontage to the A20. All the land is situated in a highly convenient location with excellent surrounding road links.

At the Resources Scrutiny Committe meeting on Jan 6th 2016 Mr Lee Walker mentioned the sum of £5.3 million being set aside for land acquisition, where he did not specifiy, but we can tell you that the money has been spent on the Land at Otterpool lane Sellindge.

On Jan 13 at the full council meeting at the Civic Centre 7pm The Chief Executive Mr James Alistair Stewart (pictured)

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Will use urgent powers by the Chief Executive

This report will inform the Council of the decision taken under urgency powers by the Chief Executive to authorise the purchase of land.

And all residents and members of the press will be excluded by using these powers.

To exclude the public for the following items of business on the grounds that they are likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1, of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972:-

Paragraph 3: information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).  “Financial or business affairs” includes contemplated as well as current activities.

See →  Council Meeting  points 16 and 17

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A Sellindge Resident wrote to Cllr Hollingsbee Deputy Leader of SDC (pictured) about the land purchase and asked her  ‘Do you know something that we don’t know about the land, formerly of John Champneys’ and its intended use? Her reply was: ‘I am unable to comment further until after the Council meeting on 13th January’.

The CEO Alistair Stewart has spent £5.2 million on 357 acres and then excludes the public and the press from learning the amount of money spent on it. What will this land be used for?

Is this related to the proposed Wood burning power station?, The proposed lorry park?, a new enterprise zone perhaps? Housing?

Well anyway the cat is out the bag that they paid £5.2 million. Now to discover what the land will be used for, more on that very very soon. 

The Shepwayvox Team

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3 Comments on The Cat is Out of The Bag

  1. We hear so much that we live in a Democracy, what a joke! Its about time that those in local government are there to represent the people and not themselves. We should all write to the PM and the national newspapers and expose these people.

  2. “The majority of Lot 6 is designated as SSSI”. A quick check with Natural England reveals that lot 6 forms part of the Otterpool Quarry site (

    • Its always the same, those who decide are unaffected by the out come. This is a disgrace and the only way to fight it is through the Courts. Wye had the same trouble with Imperial College when the tried to build houses from Wye to Ashford. They formed a committee and said that they would fight it irrespective of what it costs. They should try and build by Mr Monks property. I bet he would soon have it stopped.

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