Your Councillors

Agenda item

Presentation of Petitions

A)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

We object to the plans to install double yellow lines in Gatland Lane, we want to see single yellow lines operating Monday to Friday 8am to 10am and 2pm to 5pm.  This will enable residents and their visitors to park freely at weekends and out of school drop off times.

 

B)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

We the residents of Sutton Road have learned to our dismay of the planned works in front of our properties.

 

These planned works will have a dramatic effect on our lives as the road will be that much closer to our homes. This will lead to noise and, more importantly, pollution. Some residents have health problems, i.e. asthma, and this will have a massive impact on their lives. We have a right, before you commence the works, to be consulted on this major concern. What protection are you going to give us from the noise and pollution?

 

C)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

We do not want the Sutton Rd traffic "improvements" to go ahead, turning four lanes into six lanes. We do not want all the old trees + shrubs removed all the way from Bell Meadow to the cemetery. This will cause more pollution, more noise and de-value our homes and we would still have bottlenecks where the road would have to return to four lanes. Our best protection from the pollution and noise is the trees!

 

D)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

A274 Sutton Road/Willington Street Improvement Scheme

 

Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council are proposing to widen the A274 Sutton Road junction with Willington Street into six lanes, beginning in February 2018 by destroying mature Prunus cherry trees in Bell Meadow and mature trees/hedges along the Sutton Road, which screen properties and soak up emissions from passing traffic. These trees are also one of the few pleasant and welcoming sights to people entering the County Town through this increasingly built-up southern corridor.

 

We the undersigned believe that the current design is far too drastic, and that any minimal gains will not outweigh the destruction. Improvements could be made by using other, cheaper and less disruptive, methods. Compared with a number of other junctions, such as at the Wheatsheaf and the other end of Willington Street, any problems at this junction are relatively trivial and there is only a very limited period where traffic might, occasionally, need to wait for more than one change of traffic lights. Increasing the throughput through this junction, because it appears to be the only one with scope to do anything, can only exacerbate the more serious congestion problems at Morrison’s, the Wheatsheaf and the Ashford Road/Willington Street junction.

 

We therefore call upon Kent Highways to:

 

1.  Ask Mr Wilkin and the other officers involved to read in full the Forestry Commission’s Report “The Case for Trees”, about the importance of trees in an urban environment - https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/eng-casefortrees.pdf/$file/eng-casefortrees.pdf - before putting any part of this scheme in its present form into action, so that they understand the true value of these trees;

 

2.  Give residents a firm assurance that no trees will be felled before we have had a proper consultation and all other options have been considered and agreed, including –

 

a.  Giving traffic coming from Maidstone and turning left into Willington Street a slightly longer dedicated lane with its own traffic light filter, as originally planned, widening the road up to the hedge - which was planted some years ago for that specific purpose; and

 

b.  Creating a filter lane from Sutton Road into the Wallis Avenue industrial estate so that traffic going southwards doesn’t have to queue behind vehicles waiting for a gap in oncoming traffic in order to turn right into that road;

 

3.  Ensure that adequate measures to eliminate pollution and traffic noise will be put in place;

 

4.  Make publicly available all measurements of current noise and pollution levels, and also the results of the traffic surveys - i.e. traffic flow at all times of the day and night, times, facts, figures, evidence - on which the business case for this scheme is based;

 

5.  Give the residents of Bell Meadow and Sutton Road a proper consultation on these and other measures before January 2018, as we are aware that the trees are due to be destroyed in February 2018; and

 

6.  Include in any public consultation and on both council websites information about how affected residents can apply for compensation, reduction in council tax and other mitigating measures for the loss of value in our homes and quality of life if the proposed scheme still goes ahead and we do lose our trees."

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Board that he had relaxed the restriction that no more than three petitions should be presented at a meeting. This was because three of the petitions related to A274 Sutton Road/Willington Street Improvements.

 

A)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

We object to the plans to install double yellow lines in Gatland Lane, we want to see single yellow lines operating Monday to Friday 8am to 10am and 2pm to 5pm.  This will enable residents and their visitors to park freely at weekends and out of school drop off times.

 

It was noted that the Chairman had agreed to waive the requirement for the wording of a petition to be given in writing at least two weeks before the day of the meeting. The Chairman also agreed to waive the requirement that the petition must contain 100 signatures from within the Borough.

 

Councillor Harper presented the petition to the Board and it was noted that he was pleased to see that Officers had recommended that the double yellow lines be replaced with single yellow lines with no waiting between 8am – 10am and 2pm – 5pm.

 

RESOLVED: That this petition be taken in conjunction with Agenda Item 16 – Gatland Lane Maidstone.

 

B)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

We the residents of Sutton Road have learned to our dismay of the planned works in front of our properties.

 

These planned works will have a dramatic effect on our lives as the road will be that much closer to our homes. This will lead to noise and, more importantly, pollution. Some residents have health problems, i.e. asthma, and this will have a massive impact on their lives. We have a right, before you commence the works, to be consulted on this major concern. What protection are you going to give us from the noise and pollution?

 

It was noted that the Chairman had agreed to waive the requirement for the wording of a petition to be given in writing at least two weeks before the day of the meeting. The Chairman also agreed to waive the requirement that the petition must contain 100 signatures from within the Borough.

 

C)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

We do not want the Sutton Rd traffic "improvements" to go ahead, turning four lanes into six lanes. We do not want all the old trees + shrubs removed all the way from Bell Meadow to the cemetery. This will cause more pollution, more noise and de-value our homes and we would still have bottlenecks where the road would have to return to four lanes. Our best protection from the pollution and noise is the trees!

 

It was noted that the Chairman had agreed to waive the requirement for the wording of a petition to be given in writing at least two weeks before the day of the meeting.

 

D)  Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

A274 Sutton Road/Willington Street Improvement Scheme

 

Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council are proposing to widen the A274 Sutton Road junction with Willington Street into six lanes, beginning in February 2018 by destroying mature Prunus cherry trees in Bell Meadow and mature trees/hedges along the Sutton Road, which screen properties and soak up emissions from passing traffic. These trees are also one of the few pleasant and welcoming sights to people entering the County Town through this increasingly built-up southern corridor.

 

We the undersigned believe that the current design is far too drastic, and that any minimal gains will not outweigh the destruction. Improvements could be made by using other, cheaper and less disruptive, methods. Compared with a number of other junctions, such as at the Wheatsheaf and the other end of Willington Street, any problems at this junction are relatively trivial and there is only a very limited period where traffic might, occasionally, need to wait for more than one change of traffic lights. Increasing the throughput through this junction, because it appears to be the only one with scope to do anything, can only exacerbate the more serious congestion problems at Morrison’s, the Wheatsheaf and the Ashford Road/Willington Street junction.

 

We therefore call upon Kent Highways to:

 

1.  Ask Mr Wilkin and the other officers involved to read in full the Forestry Commission’s Report “The Case for Trees”, about the importance of trees in an urban environment - https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/eng-casefortrees.pdf/$file/eng-casefortrees.pdf - before putting any part of this scheme in its present form into action, so that they understand the true value of these trees;

 

2.  Give residents a firm assurance that no trees will be felled before we have had a proper consultation and all other options have been considered and agreed, including –

 

a.  Giving traffic coming from Maidstone and turning left into Willington Street a slightly longer dedicated lane with its own traffic light filter, as originally planned, widening the road up to the hedge - which was planted some years ago for that specific purpose; and

 

b.  Creating a filter lane from Sutton Road into the Wallis Avenue industrial estate so that traffic going southwards doesn’t have to queue behind vehicles waiting for a gap in oncoming traffic in order to turn right into that road;

 

3.  Ensure that adequate measures to eliminate pollution and traffic noise will be put in place;

 

4.  Make publicly available all measurements of current noise and pollution levels, and also the results of the traffic surveys - i.e. traffic flow at all times of the day and night, times, facts, figures, evidence - on which the business case for this scheme is based;

 

5.  Give the residents of Bell Meadow and Sutton Road a proper consultation on these and other measures before January 2018, as we are aware that the trees are due to be destroyed in February 2018; and

 

6.  Include in any public consultation and on both council websites information about how affected residents can apply for compensation, reduction in council tax and other mitigating measures for the loss of value in our homes and quality of life if the proposed scheme still goes ahead and we do lose our trees."

 

It was noted that the Chairman had agreed to waive the requirement for the wording of a petition to be given in writing at least two weeks before the day of the meeting.

 

Mr Richard Weeks presented petitions B, C and D to the Board, which all related to A274 Sutton Road/Willington Street Improvements.

 

Mr Weeks raised the following concerns:

 

·  Residents had not been properly consulted on the scheme;

 

·  Thirteen mature cherry trees, along with a hedge, a verge and 17 further large trees were to be felled;

 

·  Reducing congestion at the A274 Sutton Road/Willington Street junction would make congestion even worse at pinch points further along; and

 

·  This scheme had no support from local residents.

 

Mr Weeks stated that residents would prefer no scheme at all, but if something needed to be done then it needed to be on a smaller scale and the land and the trees had to be retained.

 

RESOLVED: That these petitions be taken in conjunction with Agenda Item 17 – A274 Sutton Road Maidstone.