Item 13, Page 8
Land to the East of Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, Kent
New Allington Action Group
Has made the following (summarised) comments:
· We believe Croudace do not own the southern field and will not be building Phase 4 themselves. If so why should permission be given to Croudace to pass onto another developer. Openness should be a priority.
· Consider there to be a better access option which does not dissect the woodland and is not within an area of Ancient Woodland. This option should be considered.
· In favour of a new access option (as referenced by NAAG above) being explored which is considered to result in the loss of fewer veteran trees and allow continuity of the woodland, which satisfies both the flora/fauna aspects and the many people that visit the site daily.
· All options should be made available for members on Planning Committee and KCC Ecology have not had an opportunity to look at this option.
· Very disappointed option 5 was put in as a red herring by the Developer.
Whilst the issue of who builds out a planning permission is not a consideration, the applicant has confirmed they own the land and intend to build out Phase 4.
The access option discussed by NAAG and Cllr Lewins is understood to be roughly along the line of the proposed footpath link in the northwest corner of the site.
Contrary to the views expressed, this option does result in the loss of Ancient Woodland (AW). It is within the widest section of AW, and so would result in the loss of more AW than other options. There are also land level differences which are likely to require an engineered solution resulting in additional land take and thus loss of AW. It would also require an amendment to Phase 1 which has already been approved by the Council and is under construction. Overall, it is considered that the applicant has assessed a suitable range of potential options to access the site, and on which to base a decision.
My recommendation is unchanged