A Garden Village & A Lorry Park. (The Tales of an SDC’s Planning Advisor’s expenses.)

SDC’s Planning Advisor, Mr. C Lewis, has been a busy person, in the last financial year 2015/16. For most of it, he does what he does at SDC, but then in November & December 15 he free’s himself from his desk and strides forth to various meetings and training courses.

(All dates of meetings and train come from Mr Lewis’s expenses claims 2015/16 which are posted below via  downloadable pdf)

On the 13/11/15 Mr Lewis buys himself a ticket to go to London. He goes because he is meeting Henry Boot, the developers who built  STOP 24.  It is not clear if he meets with Henry Boot Development Ltd or Henry Boot PLC. However there are images of Cllr David Monk meeting with a member of the Henry Boot Development in March 2015.


Viewing new open land for lorry parking. From left, Paul Wells, of Channel Ports Ltd (Owned by Stop24 LLP), Luke Davenport of Henry Boot Developments and David Monk, leader of Shepway District Council.

What the meeting was about is not known, but the Lorry Park was much in the local news at that time.

On the 16/11/15, Mr Lewis free’s himself from his desk and heads for a meeting with ATLAS, who assist in providing support in developing expressions of interest for Garden Villages.

On the 20/11/15 The  Otterpool Manor Farmland Tender closed. Mr. Lewis was at a meeting with ATLAS,  three days prior to the close of the tender. ATLAS provide support for large scale development such as Garden Villages.

It would appear that SDC had designs on the land becoming a Garden Village before the tender for the land had even closed. Plus the area they set out for the Garden Village and  where SDC’s land is, doesn’t quite match when you overlay the two. (Below)

Otterpool Overlay

On the 1/12/15 Mr Lewis boards a train to undertake a training course on Environmental Impact Assessments with the Royal Town Planning Institute of which he is a member, like Andrew Lainton who welcomed that ‘Shepway Council has accepted my (Garden Village) proposal from March(15) of last year.’

Mr Lainton’s Proposal for a Garden Village makes it clear that it is the ‘The Spill’ from London who are expected to fill the houses.

He goes onto say

On the section of the HS1 track around Westenhanger there is a large area of countryside outside the AONB where the A20 has lots of spare capacity after the construction of the M20. The countryside is below the usual exceptional quality for Kent and development here could serve as overspill for the otherwise highly constrained Kent Coast towns and AONB/Greensand Ridge (considered rightly by locals as just as important – I declare an interest I grew up along it) towns and villages.

On the 2/12/15 Mr Lewis heads of to Basingstoke for a meeting with Aecom  in the building below

 Aecom is a global leader in providing fully integrated professional technical and management support services for a broad range of markets. … to enhancing environments and creating new buildings and communities, our vision is to make the world a better place.

2015  AECOM, at a cost of £17,800 according to SDC’s payment to suppliers, were commissioned to explore the potential for development, at different scales and with different mixes of land use, on land adjacent to Junction 11 of the M20. The study was intended to assist Shepway District Council (SDC) assess what might constitute appropriate development at this location. The work was supported by an Interim
Utilities Statement and employment market review.

This work was useful in terms of facilitating some initial thinking regarding  the key issues related to strategic housing and employment growth at this location and led to the commissioning of more detailed work, co-ordinated by ATLAS (see above), that allowed the growth potential of the area to be explored in more detail (cost according to payment to suppliers £3714). Meetings were held with Town & Parish Councils to explore some of the concerns and issues raised.

On the 7/12/15 Mr Lewis heads back to London for a meeting with the DCLG

what was discussed is not known, however, we honestly believe that it may have related to a Garden Village Development. What do you think?

Anyway, here are SDC’s Planning Advisor, Mr. Chris Lewis expenses 2015-16 where all our sources are derived from.

We note, that no receipts were given for his travel. We do not know if Mr Lewis was paid his expenses for his train travel.


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2 Comments on A Garden Village & A Lorry Park. (The Tales of an SDC’s Planning Advisor’s expenses.)

  1. After checking a Rail Ticket web site, it looks like he travelled First Class..

  2. I do not have a problem with any train fare claimed, or not claimed, by Mr Lewis.

    What I do have a problem with is the time-scale of investigations as related to the purchase of property by SDC and the statement (Monk) that ‘There are no plans to develop this property at this time’.

    Someone has lied. Is it Mr Lewis on the dates given on his expenses claims?. Or is it Mr Monk who gave the statement above long after negotiations had begun.

    A difficult conumdrum to unravel, unless, of course, like me, you learned your two-times table and ABC.

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