Planning application 21/2525/FH – Land Adjoining High Knocke Farm, 65 Seabourne Way, Dymchurch, was refused at last night’s planning committee. The site pictured below, will remain as open space for now.
As we noted in our blog about this application on the 29 May 2023, it had no health impact assessment, as per policy HW2 in the local plan. But there are other issues we noted after our blog post last week which neither we or Cllrs mentioned at last night’s planning committee.
Looking at the files on the Council’s planning portal, we cannot find any financial viability assessment. Justice Dove’s ruling in R (Holborn Studios) v London Borough of Hackney (No 2)  EWHC 1509 (Admin) makes it clear, both Cllrs and the public have to have sight of the viability assessment, but alas neither the applicant’s agent or the applicant – William Moss of Redbridge Estates Ltd – put one forward.
The Council might believe the applicant does not need to provide one, but we’d beg to differ, especially as they’ve been required for outline planning application’s elsewhere such as in Hackney – Reading and Elmbridge for example.
Also one notes, during the proceedings nobody mentioned the fact that 305 vehicle parking spaces were to be allowed for up to 132 homes. This is equivalent to each home having an average 2.31 cars. In Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s Local Plan, Policy T1 is that pedestrians be given precedence to cars as can be seen in the image.
Policy T1 states at point 3 –
An environment is created that is safe for all street users, which encourages walking, cycling and the use of public transport.
So why the need for so many cars when the policy is clearly trying to minimize the use of cars, is strange indeed.
We, like the new chair of planning Cllr Jackie Meade (Lab), believe the the application is a balanced one. It offers 92 market homes, and 40 social,affordable or intermediate rent homes, so complies with the Council’s 22% affordable homes policy for any major development
In the end though, the application was refused as we said. The main ground of refusal was visual amenity, the loss of the views to the landscape. Other issues were raised and the officers will put together a list of planning reasons for refusal, in the event of an appeal by the applicant or his agent.
That said, the Council, the applicant and their agent, need to rethink the application given all the points above. We hope they will do that, as we desperately need housing which is affordable across our district, and we hope they will do this rather than going to appeal.
You can watch proceedings on this application below
The Shepway Vox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime