The Otterpool Park Collaboration Board have met 13 times between Aug 16 – Sept 17. They met to discuss and develop the Otterpol Masterplan through its timetable; which Shepway District Council & Cozumel Estates as Developer/Promoter will submit to SDC the planning authority to gain permission for the go ahead for Otterpool Some say that is a bit like marking your own homework.
To prevent any impropriety SDC have set up protocols (Oct 2016) for Members and Officers; which were agreed by Cabinet and the SDC’s Corporate Management Team respectively to distinguish between the two distinct roles that they have in relation to Otterpool Park – landowner and planning authority. These two strands have been created “so as to avoid conflicts of interest and perceptions of unfairness“. And that SDC as a developer will not seek to take advantage unfairly of its role as SDC planning Authority. So they have become a Janus faced organisation, with Janus faced Councillors and Janus faced officers. Is this a new development for SDC? What do you think?
Moving on swiftly, SDC the Devoloper/Promoter will travel to MIPIM, in Cannes, in the South of France in March 2018; with the blessing of Cozumel to pimp Otterpool Park. It is also known that an invitation by the Department for International Trade to promote Otterpool Park as part of a visit to the Gulf, was recently received. However, the Board decided it would be “too early for such activity“. They have then not closed the door on possibly visiting the Gulf to pimp Otterpool Park, at a later date.
The Board have received a presentation from Ciaran Gunne-Jones (pictured) of Lichfields on the emerging findings of the Employment Opportunities Study commissioned by Shepway District Council. They further discussed the need to understand the approach to employment in Kent, beyond the distrist boundaries and to ensure the “ambitions” for Otterpool Park are compatible with the strategy for the county overall.
We note Ciarin will be attending MIPIM at Olympia on the 18th – 19th Oct 2017 to give a talk on Future Cities according to his twitter account.
Will any of SDC/Cozumel Developer team be in attendance?
Moving on, Simon Hughes (pictured) of Arcadis UK Sector Leaders for Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Automotives and his colleague Nilesh Parmar (pictured) Head of Automotive at Arcadis briefed the board about areas to consider in attracting industrial employers to Otterpool Park. Was anything to do with Automotives pitched?
Andy Jarrett ((pictured) and Liz Whittaker (pictured) of Cozumel Estates have provided update on progress in respect of negotiation with landowners within the 700 hectare search area. The main land owners in the area are Michael Owen and his brother at Lympne. Jo Butcher, Sellindge, George Cooper, Sellindge and Rich Price and Sons, Sellindge.
The Cllrs responsible for the ward Otterpool Park sits in are: Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee (pictured in lilac), first elected to SDC in May 1995, with a vote of 297 and 43.2% share of the vote (Turnout 43.4%). She lives in Sellindge. And, Cllr Susan Carey (pictured in plum), who was first elected to SDC in May 1999, with a vote of 240 and 51.9% share of the vote (Turnout 32.2%). Cllr Carey lives in Hythe.
Now Jenny (Lilac) for those of you who do not know is, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities of SDC. She is also a member of the SDC Developer Team and has sat as a Special Attendee at the Otterpool Park Collaboration Board Meetings. Her first attendance was 18 May 2017. She was accompanied by Cllr David Drury Monk. Jenny next attends on the 19th July, then the 16 August and most recently on the 13 Sept 2017. All meeting began at 9.30am and where held in London.
The Board have received an update on the fee position for Otterpool Park up to submission of the planning application. Are SDC/Cozumel Developer receiving any pre-planning application advice from SDC Planning? Also a draft scope of service is to be prepared for Stage 4 work beyond submission of the Outline Planning Application.
The Collaboration Board did NOT approve the Framework Masterplan, this is because they have sought an independent review of the scale and nature of the proposed garden town. In the meantime, the draft document has been shared with SDC the Planning Authority under the Planning Performance Agreement.
Malcolm Hewines (pictured) a Partner at Montagu Evans and a specialist with expertise in Development Consultancy, presented the emerging findings from the market analysis undertaken for Otterpool Park. The Board discussed the potential impact on the development of the overall masterplan.
The Board have given the go ahead to consult the public. Who, when, where etc, is not clear yet. The Board recently received an update on the evolving masterplan, from Gary Young (pictured), a Partner at Farrells and agreed the Redline Boundardy presented. They discussed the idea of a focus group to be held with residents located within the red line boundary. Wheyher the red line boundary is outside or inside the 700ha development is not known presently, nor are the numbers who fall within the red line boundary.
Kevin Murray Associates are to advise on the best approach to the Consultation with the people/businesses inside the red line boundary area. The next steps are to identify all addresses within the red line boundary and produce a schedule. If you become a chosen one do kindly drop us a line.
If you wish to read the Otterpool Park Collaboration Board very brief/minutes/notes, then you can do so here, just scroll down to the months and click on them. They do we warn you behave like buses, either none at all, or two or three at once arrive. Enjoy!
There will be a special cabinet meeting of Shepway District Council at 5pm on Wednesday 18th Oct 2017 at the Civic Centre. Otterpool Park has two items on the Agenda.
Otterpool Park – principles of long term stewardship Report C/17/46
A Charter for Otterpool Park
If you are free and care about the open spaces at Otterpool Park do feel free to join our public face, in the public gallery.
Finally do remember that all that time ago, Andrew Lainton on his website stated:
“It is a shame though that the principle that the uplift be used to fund services in the Garden City will instead be used to plug the black hole in Shepways finances.”
And that the Garden Town was good for London overspill and could serve as overspill for the otherwise highly constrained Kent Coast towns and AONB.”
Now have you heard any of the above spill forth from Cllr Monk‘s, or Hollingsbee’s lips? They allege they are ardent supporters of Transparency and Accountability, We believe they are Janus Faced Cllrs, working in a Janus Faced Organisation. But of course, we’ll leave you to decide what you believe.
The Shepwayvox Team