The Long Read: – Otterpool Park Update.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) & Cozumel Estates BVI Ltd as joint developers/promoters of Otterpool Park wish to build “low density housing on two thirds of the airfield at Lympne and add a retail park too. Also they outline their desire for further 15 dwellings on Barrowhill, 5 dwellings at Silver Spring, 15 dwellings at Land West of Jubilee Cottage, Swan Lane and a further five dwellings at the Piggeries on the main A20 which runs through Sellindge.

The map below shows an approximate boundary of Otterpool Park. According to the core strategy and Policies Places and Local Plan. The corridor from St Mary’s Church Sellindge to Newingreen, will eventually succumb to housing if the Council and the developers have their way.

That is a 2.8 mile corridor where all one will see is housing. Yes there’ll be some greenery, but housing will be readily on display.

Now within the 765 hectares Otterpool Park boundary the developers Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Cozumel Estates (BVI) Ltd and Homes England have set aside 245 to 265 hectares for approximately 8,500 to 9000 Residential dwellings use class C3 (Dwellinghouses – this class is formed of 3 parts). When one does the maths it means that 34/35 houses will come to occupy every hectare.

Screenshot from 2018-04-22 22-37-38

 Now recently we informed you that Homes England had bought approximately 60 hectares of the old Ashford Airport at Lympne. Well it now appears, the Joint Developers FHDC & Cozumel wish to earmark “low density housing and part retail area on the site.

On the 19/03/18 the then Shepway DC, now FHDC & Cozumel Estates BVI Ltd, submitted a comment a Representations to Shepway District Council (now FHDC) to Places & Policies Local Plan Submission Draft SDC/Cozumel Estates (BVI) Ltd (the joint developers promoters). The comments was made by Quod on Behalf of SDC/Cozumel Estates BVI Ltd.

Now it makes clear their wish/desire to build into the local plan a change of use from employment land to potential retail use. The site at page 16 is set out below.

Screenshot from 2018-04-22 16-59-18

And below is an approximate outline using Google Maps.

Screenshot from 2018-04-22 17-10-25

Next to the retail area FHDC & Cozumel Estates BVI Ltd wish to build into the local plan the potential for low density housing on plot 2 of the map below. Plot 1 will be a “green” buffer zone.

Now also they wish to build into the local plan more housing for Sellindge. Now do remember Sellindge has already been earmarked for 600 new homes and now this wish to include a further site on Barrowhill; which could accommodate 15 new dwellings. It is on the right 25/30 metres down from the bus stop at the top of Barrowhill, Sellindge; which can be seen on the google map below..

There are three other sites in Sellindge which they name and outline their desire for housing within Sellindge. These are:

  • The Piggeries, Main Rd Sellindge: – 5 dwellings

  • Land west of Jubilee cottage Swan Lane, Sellindge: – 15 dwellings

Plus the 15 at Barrowhill. This means Sellindge will grow in dwellings by more than 80%. These 600 dwellings are earmarked in the Draft Submission Places & Policies Local Plan. They are also mentioned in the Core Review Strategy Consultation undergoing it’s whistle stop roadshow.

It arrives next in Hythe today at

  • South Road Sports Pavillion – Tuesday 24 April, 3-7pm

and on

  • Wednesday 25 April 3-7pm at the 1st New Romney Scout Group HQ, Church Lane.

It is vital that as many people as possible  – for or against development – attend these events and attempt to comment on the consultation documents.

It will affect many of you, your families, your children, your grandchildren and your house price, as it sets out the development strategy for the district to 2036/37.

However, what is even more vital to remember is that the Core Strategy Consultation Draft Plan (pages 165 – 167) informs us that 11 documents are in preparation or to be prepared, they are:

  • Shepway Gypsy and Travelling Showperson – Arc4 –  In preparation

  • Sustainable Access and Recreation Management Strategy –  In Preparation

  • Shepway Green Infrastructure Report – Shepway District Council –  In Preparation

  • Shepway Playing Pitch Strategy and Sports –  PLC –  In Preparation

  • Shepway Water Cycle Report – Shepway District Council – In Preparation

  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan / Infrastructure Table –  Shepway District Council – In Preparation

  • Otterpool Park Framework Masterplan Report – Arcadis / Farrells –  In Preparation

  • Whole Plan Viability Assessment – To be Prepared

  • Consultation Duty to Co-operate Statement – Shepway District Council – To be Prepared

  • Statement of Community Involvement – Shepway District Council – To be Prepared

  • Equality Impact Assessment – Shepway District Council – To be Prepared

So with 11 documents not before you to comment on, how is it possible for a resident to give a fully informed opinion/evidence on the Core Strategy or the Local Plan?

  • We are the tax payers and we expect our Council to act in our best interests – to provide complete impartial evidence for the Core Strategy to at least allow us to make informed responses to help shape this politically informed document.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council have arranged a series of meetings for all Parish and Town Councils  to provide an update on the progress Otterpool Park, respond to questions and set out next steps following the Cabinet decision for the promoter side of the council. They have invited 2 members of your of each Parish & Town Council to attend the sessions The meetings will take place in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.

We understand one is to take place on 26th April 17:30 – 18:30. We hope they will ask the “Promoter/Developer, Cozumel Estates BVI Ltd & Folkestone & Hythe District Council about the comments they lodged with the Draft Submission Policies Places Local Plan. We are sure those for and against the project would like to know the reasoning behind the “promoter/developer” comment made by Quod on Behalf of SDC Cozumel Estates BVI Ltd on the 19/03/18.

We hope some of them will have a backbone and tell us, or the local papers, what transpired behind closed doors in the strictest of confidence of course. shepwayvox@riseup dot net

The Shepwayvox Team   –  Dissent is not a crime


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2 Comments on The Long Read: – Otterpool Park Update.

  1. Our “Garden of England” will soon be a “Backyard of Buildings”. Do we really want all this urbanisation and extension of our rural villages. I appreciate people need homes, but these are not homes for “young people” who so desparately need them, they are “cash cows” for developers!

  2. Quod write

    “The new town centre at Otterpool Park provides a strategic opportunity to meet the district’s full qualitative and quantitative needs over the plan period.”

    I don’t what language that is because it appears to be bollocks.

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