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)
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.