To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
In a letter to KCC in Sept 2014 Cllr David Drury Monk said the following with regards to the Lorry Park being situated at Westenhanger.
“A lorry park on this site, would be likely to have a considerable visual impact and would be built on highly visible greenfield land. It would be an intrusion into open countryside. Although not within the North Downs AONB, the site lies adjacent to it. Although no landscape assessment has been provided, it is likely that there will be clear views of the lorry park when viewed from the AONB, looking southwards from the North Downs ridge, and when looking at the AONB across the site from the south.
Development when sited in open countryside, either in or adjacent to an AONB, needs very careful consideration even where the general principle of development in such a location is considered to be acceptable in terms of adopted planning policy. It is considered that, in particular, a lorry park on the scale proposed has the potential to cause considerable harm. The proposal will consist of approximately 300 lorries parked on an open site, along with associated amenity and other buildings as well as floodlighting, signage etc. Whilst it may be possible to reduce the visual impact through structured landscaping the nature of the proposal is still likely to result in an incongruous form of development. In short, even if the general principle of development were to be found suitable in this location having followed due process, it is difficult to see how a high quality design solution could be achieved for a lorry park that is capable of making the proposal acceptable, when assessed against both local and national planning policies.
The Shepway Core Strategy Local Plan was adopted on 18th September 2013 and along with a number ‘saved’ policies from the Shepway District Local Plan Review 2006 forms the development plan for the district. The proposed site at Westenhanger is not allocated for development in the Core Strategy Local Plan or as a ‘saved’ policy. Neither is there a planning policy for Shepway requiring a lorry park in this location.”
The Stanford site would be “visible” from an Area of Natural Beauty and is Greenfield Land. The Stanford site is not allocated for development in the Core Strategy Local Plan or as a “saved” policy. Nor is there a planning policy for Shepway Requiring a lorry park in this location. Cllr Monk seems able to put up objections to Westenhanger but not Stanford. We would ask him why his objections above were not suitably robust enough to dissuade Highways England. Is he losing his power to influence matters?
Furthermore In Cllr Hollingsbee’s evidence to the Transport Select Committee in Oct 15, she states on more than one occasion that there are “TWO ILLEGAL LORRY PARKS” in Sellindge. That was a false statement Cllr Hollingsbee gave to the Select Committee. One of these sites had submitted planning applications and had an SDC Enforcement Officer visit them in Sept 2015.
The Owner of the Airport Cafe bought the old Nickolls quarry opposite and began developing it as he saw a need. At his own rather considerable expense he has fitted out the quarry. Also he didn’t enjoy seeing lorries parked throughout the village nor the rubbish strewn along the verges.
Cllrs it would appear use arguments when it suits them. Cllr Monk has not deployed the arguments mentioned above to prevent the Stanford Site. Nor did Cllr Hollingsbee get her facts correct when giving evidence to the Transport Select Committee and Cllr Susan Carey is as quiet as a mouse.
We wonder if these Cllrs have a backbone. We know the wishbone of Stanford residents is that the lorry park would go elsewhere. And as for the Funny bone, well no-one is laughing about the siting of Stanford Lorry Park. Are you?