So we are under starters orders.
The Otterpool Park planning application; which we said at the beginning of this month had a provisional date of 4 April 2023, has now been confirmed.
The Planning Application will be heard on the 4 April as can be seen here on the Council’s website.
The application is made by Quod, the agent of the applicant Otterpool Park LLP – a company wholly owned by Folkestone & Hythe District Council. The application seeks permission for 8,500 homes; 1,870 of which will be “affordable”; demolition of identified existing buildings; primary and secondary schools, health centres and nursery facilities; retail and related uses; leisure facilities; business and commercial uses; open space and public realm; burial ground; utility and energy facilities and infrastructure; waste and wastewater infrastructure and management facilities and more.
Regarding the demolition of buildings we note that a small number of construction vehicles have been brought onto the site in the last week, in anticipation that the planning application is given the go ahead. Nothing like a bit of preparation.
The documents the Cllrs on the planning committee will consider are as follows:
The Cllrs who will decide the fate of Otterpool are:
In total the documents and comments by both statutory and non-statutory agencies and people amount to 6 million words. This has been condensed into 144,444 words for the planning committee to consider. As such the condensed version of the application, to be decided upon by Cllrs amounts to 2.5% of all the words.
To date approx £70 -75 million has been spent on Otterpool Park to assemble it.
In nine days time, the fate of Otterpool Park, will be decided by four Tory Cllrs, two Labour Cllrs, two Green Cllrs. two Independent, one Lib Dem Cllr and one UKIP Cllr.
8,500 homes built out between 2023/24 and 2040/41. At a cost of £2.7bn and more for a potential return of £220 -240 million to our council. What can go wrong!!! Well Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye Magazine explains:
Back in July 2019, the first thing the opposition succeeded in doing was introducing a Climate & Ecological Emergency to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. One of things agreed was: (see page 5)
Ensure that all strategic decisions, policy, budgets, investments, contracts, approaches to planning decisions and the council’s own developments are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.
Building Otterpool Park, by a company wholly owned by the Council does not fit with what was agreed in 2019, nor its Carbon Action Plan. Neither the Council or its wholly owned company – Otterpool Park LLP – will hit its net zero by 2030, if the development goes ahead, as it will generate hundreds, if not thousands of tonnes of emissions.
What matters most – our environment – or the money?
We’ll leave you to think about that.
The Shepway Vox Team
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