According to documents released at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (page 78) last night, Tuesday 16th Jan, a further £3,675,000 has been set aside for land acquisition within the boundary of the Otterpool Park Site by Shepway District Council. As yet we do not know what land or where, but we are working on it people.
The costs are spread over 3 financial years with £75,000 having been spent in 2017/18 and a further £600,000 to be spent on land in 18/19 with the bulk of the money, £3 million, being spent in 2019/20.
Now in the core Strategy SDC have set aside 5,500 homes to be built between 2018 – 2037 at Otterpool Park.
However, Cllr Susan Carey (pictured) who is a SDC and KCC Cllr mentioned that KCC had in their Housing Infrastructure Bid of £281 million for Otterpool Park submitted the number 5,750 homes.
Now Otterpool Park is to be built in that space of land between Newingreen and Sellindge.
Sellindge in the new Local Core Strategy Review; which has yet to be finalised or go to consultation, is earmarked for a further 350 homes on top of the 250 already allocated for the village. (Page 82 C/17/73 Overview and Scrutiny Committee)
Now Cllr Carey suggested to Ben Geering – Head of Planning SDC (pictured), that the extra 250 difference between SDC’s and KCC’s figures for Otterpool Park could mean that the 350 allocated for Sellindge could be scraped or at least put on hold. Now that in a village which is about to potentially have 5,750 homes built next to it makes a whole load of sense. We believe Cllr Carey’s sensible suggestion and recommendation should be listened to and implemented. However, that said, it is understood that Cllr Carey publicly made a promise that if the village of Sellindge allowed the 250 homes that Taylor Wimpey wish to build, then she would guarantee no further development in the village. Now is that a promise Cllr Carey can keep and is her suggestion/recommendation a way of covering her back? And will Sellindge still get those 350 houses because Cllr Carey cannot alone promise they won’t.
Some of our local Tory Councillors have been behaving like ostriches regarding healthcare. It now looks as though some of our local Conservative Councillors have finally woken up and smelt the coffee regarding the lack of Health Care/GP Issue, a year and a half after Cllr Mary Lawes (pictured below left) first raised the issue. Health Care provision is hardly even mentioned in the Core Strategy Review, something we can change when we the people are consulted in the near future..
Both Cllr Tillson (centre) and Cllr Michael Lyons (right)), mentioned how surgeries and their populations were being severely affected. In fact Cllr Tillson mentioned that the health provision at Church Lane Surgery was “woefully inadequate” and that building more houses in and around New Romney without allocating more health care provision was the “economics of the mad house“.
For a welcome change we find ourselves agreeing with Cllr Tillson even though he is late to the party. The fact that the Core Strategy Review does not substantially mention or cover Health Care, shows a demonstrable lack of foresight by Ben Geering Head of Planning SDC (pictured), who stated for the record that he has met with South Kent Coast CCG on at least 10 occasions at last night’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
Regarding the Core Strategy Review of the Local Plan, it will, as we said, need to go out to public consultation in Late Feb or March of 2018. Will we the public be allowed to challenge the assumptions behind the Review? When and where will it be published. Online, anywhere else? What does it say about Roads, Buses, Health provision and what “heroic assumptions” has the review been based upon? The Council have said that there will be Roadshows across the district, Information will be placed on the Website and all Statutory Consultee’s will be informed.
We’ll give the last word to Cllr Susan Carey (pictured) who finished the evening with a startling admission. She accepted the fact that the houses at Otterpool were needed and continued on by saying they were needed because much of the housing in the district is “substandard and overcrowded accommodation”. On that bombshell we’ll leave you to decide why the environmental health officers at SDC are NOT doing anything about this substandard and overcrowded accommodation we have across the district.
The Shepwayvox Team
PS Tonight Full Council will meet to vote on changing the name of the district from Shepway District Council to Folkestone & Hythe District Council.