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Sandgate Says "Think Again" to Shorncliffe

July 3, 2014 8:46 AM

The Sandgate Parish Planning Committee unanimously objected to the first stage of the Shorncliffe Barracks development on Tuesday night. The grounds for objecting, which were based upon a discussion document produced by Planning Committee Chair Gary Fuller, were:

  • The bridge, the junctions, and the stretch of road outside of the school in Horn Street are unable to handle the additional traffic movements as a result of this development. The bridge needs to be widened so that two vehicles are able to easily and safely make use of it at the same time. This could coincide with works to raise the bridge ready for overhead electrification. We are not convinced that the traffic assessments carried out to date have any validity or reliability. We are adamant that the bridge is unable to accommodate 900 movements each way per hour.
  • There is insufficient provision of single bedroom dwellings suitable for use as social housing in this large scale development at this stage. The first phase contains plans for only one single bedroom property. This type of housing is a priority at this stage, in order to cater for changes in local housing needs brought about by the removal of the spare room subsidy.
  • There is inadequate provision of drainage to ensure that the site and the properties directly below it, towards the sea shore, are protected from the risk of potential flooding caused by surface water run-off or issues with the sewer system as a result of increased load due to the additional properties. We cannot accept that the new properties will result in a reduction in sewerage load.
  • The plans as presented do not represent an example of innovative design, of architectural excellence, or of a unique character for Shorncliffe. The resultant housing will be of bland design and will be lacking in character when compared with numerous existing examples of both modern, historical, and military architecture in the Shepway District and the town of Folkestone.
  • The development fails to show evidence of a commitment to sustainable generation of renewable energy through the provision of air source heat pumps, biomass, ground source heat pumps, micro-CHP (micro combined heat and power), small scale hydro, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal hot water, and/or wind energy micro-generation solutions.
  • Demolition of buildings located upon the wider site should not be considered until a full survey of all potential heritage assets has taken place with due consideration given to the potential for re-using non-designated heritage assets.
  • The development does not currently incorporate sufficient innovative public transport provisions aimed at reducing the reliance of residents and visitors upon cars rather than public transport.
  • The non-developed areas covered by the management plan have insufficient detail on the potential effects of additional usages, such as tourism to the Redoubt.

Commenting on the vote, Gary said:

"This was the right decision for Sandgate, for Shorncliffe, and for Cheriton. The plans as they stand won't ease the shortage of affordable and social housing locally but will create huge drainage and sewage issues that could have a devastating effect on Sandgate, Shorncliffe, and Cheriton residents' quality of life."

"Taken with the complete lack of a realistic traffic infrastructure, heritage preservation and management, and environmental sustainability plan, it's difficult to see a way forward that doesn't involve Taylor Wimpey and Shepway District Council going back to the drawing board with this plan."

Fellow Cllr Tim Prater said:

"The development as it stands is based upon evidence that is completely false. To suggest that the Horn Street bridge can handle 1,800 traffic movements per hour is simply pie in the sky. The bridge must be widened, and the sewage issues must be dealt with, for this huge development to become in any way feasible."