Once again Sellindge is under the spotlight. Quinn Homes wish to build 105 homes at Elm Tree Farm Sellindge.
No planning application has been submitted yet, and no planning permission has been granted.
A public consultation on the proposed development will take place next week at Sellindge Village Hall.
Before moving on, we have a bit of other news which the good people of the district ought to know.
On the 6 June, in the early afternoon, the former leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, David Monk, met with Andy Jarrett, the Managing DirectorOtterpool Park LLP in the Black Robin Pub in Kingston (nr Canterbury). Why were they meeting, especially as David Monk was no longer and elected official of the Council. We do not know what they discussed, but the meeting which was not “accidental” should not have happened at all.
Moving on and coming back to the proposed development, the land which is still currently owned by the farmer Alan Downs, so will have to be purchased by Quinn Homes, was in the Core Strategy and the outline of the site can be seen below. We did mention this site in our blog in February 2021.
The maps of the site are in the 2020 Core Strategy documents, a document titled: Landscape & Visual Briefing Note Project: Land at Elm Tree Farm, Sellindge states:
It is understood that Quinn Estates are requiring initial input to support the principle of development and promotion for its site c.17.84 hectare (44 acres) on Land at Elm Tree Farm, Sellindge, for residential development, through the Folkstone and Hythe Local Plan Review.
The site is also mentioned in the Sellindge_Masterplan issued on the 31 March 2011. So proposed development for the site should not come as a shock to the people of Sellindge.
This site cannot be considered to be strategic level development, as this is defined as residential development of at least 250 houses at an assumed density of 20 units per hectare. Quinn homes then could ram in 300 homes on the site if they wanted to. However, Quinn Homes have gone for 105 homes with 22% being “affordable homes” as per the requirement in the local plan, meaning the homes will occupy just 31% of the site, 19% given over to roads and other assorted infrastructure, and the other 50% given over to a to green space.
Now some might say why does Sellindge need more housing given that Otterpool Park is now in the “construction phase” as Jim Martin put it last night at the Council’s Cabinet meeting? Well, nothing will happen for at least another year at Otterpool, and possibly longer because firstly, the reserved matters needs to be sorted and this will take up to a year, then there is the interest issue which effects the Council’s borrowing to move the project forward.
Now of course we cannot forget, Mark Quinn, who owns Quinn Homes Ltd, has donated money to both the Labour Party and the Conservatives in the past. Donations to political parties are NOT illegal/unlawful.
As we understand, this development has been in the making for six years. To date we estimate it has cost up to half a million pounds. Then there are other costs to add onto this before it gets to planning; such as buying the land. So if the proposed site doesn’t get development, all that money (half a million to date) has been spent for nothing. But as they say nothing ventured nothing gained, or you have to speculate to accumulate.
For those of you who might not be aware, Quinn Estates are developing the site near Grove Bridge in Sellindge. As we understand from a variety of sources, more than half of the homes on this site have already been reserved.
In recent year Sellindge has seen Taylor Wimpey develop 250 homes in the village and Quinn Estates develop 162, add in the proposed 105 homes, if planning permission is granted, will mean Sellindge has had 517 new homes added to it in the last 7 years.
If you want to know more about the Elm Tree Park development then get along to the public consultation being held at Sellindge Village Hall on Tuesday 18 July, between 3pm and 7pm.
We have contacted Quinn Estates for more details, but at the time of publication, they had not responded.
The Shepway Vox Team
The Velvet Voices of Voxatiousness