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Land north of Beaver Road, Maidstone

Barratt and David Wilson Homes is proposing Land North of Beaver Road, Maidstone for the development of 435 new homes on 15ha of land, including provision of play areas, other open spaces and associated access and infrastructure. 40% of the homes will be affordable homes. A mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses and apartments of various styles are proposed within this parcel to meet local demand. The site is to the south east of Aylesford,  and is within the borough of Tonbridge and Malling. 

Land north of Beaver Road sits between a parcel of land to the south west that is the subject of a current planning application for up to 335 dwellings and one to the north east where Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) has recently resolved to grant permission for up to 106 dwellings. The mainline railway line between London and Maidstone/Kent coast adjoins the site to the north west. Barming railway station is accessed from Hermitage Lane, only a short distance from the site as the crow flies. The proposals also seek to provide a new pedestrian and cycle link from the development to Barming station.

Take a look around the website to find out more about our proposals and have your say about them. This consultation will close on the 5th December 2021.

Our Concept Plan

Opportunities and Constraints Plan

An Environmental Impact Assessment is being carried out alongside to the design process, which will set out the environmental assets within and surrounding Land north of Beaver Road as well as the beneficial and/or adverse effects on them as a result of the proposals. The identification of potentially significant adverse effects will allow measures to be implemented to either minimise the effect or compensate for it to protect nearby residents and as well as the environmental assets.

Consultants

Strutt and Parker – Planning

FPCR – Landscape and Arboriculture

The Noble Consultancy – Architecture

GTA Civils – Flood Risk and Drainage

Odyssey – Transport

Swale and Thames Survey Company – Heritage and Archeology

Marian Cameron – Environment

Bakerwell – Ecology

SP Broadway – Public Relations

Q&A

We have asked our consultants questions about themes and concerns mentioned by respondents to the consultation. We have noted the answers to those questions in the table below:

Feedback received Answer
1 A number of people disagreed that Land North of Beaver Road is well connected. Why do we consider the site to be sustainable?

 

The Application Site is also well situated with access to local amenities and services, all being within a reasonable walk or cycle, including access to Public Transport, primarily the frequent London Road Park and Ride bus services, shops and schools

 

The Application Site is well connected to the local and national highway network with access onto Beaver Road which connects with the A20 London Road to the north. A20 London Road is a major distributor road between Lewisham in London and Maidstone.  There is a southbound bus lane on the A20 London Road between Hildenborough Close and Palmar Road providing approximately 1km of bus priority into Maidstone.  The A20 London Road provides several points of connection with the M20, the closest of which is Junction 5, approximately 1km to the north of the Application Site.

 

The Proposed Development will be provided with footway / cycleway connections onto Beaver Road as well as having the intention to connect to adjoining developments both northeast and southwest; the Proposed Development will therefore be easily accessible.

The Proposed Development– is in close proximity to forthcoming and proposed developments to the west, north and east of the Application Site.

 

2 A number of people do not support that non-Greenbelt sites should be brought forward for housing – why is non-Greenbelt better?

 

First and foremost, it is important to point out that Land at Beaver Road is not Green Belt land.

 

National planning policy, as outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework, outlines what types of land should be used in order of preference:

 

–        first the development of land within established urban areas and on previously developed land,

–        secondly, development of land on the edge of existing urban areas and land outside of the Green Belt (and other restrictive constraints, e.g. functional flood plain, AONB, etc.)

–        and thirdly, development on other land beyond the first and second category.

 

Tonbridge and Malling simply doesn’t have enough existing urban land to meet the minimum development needs, so non-Green Belt sites on the edge of existing urban areas such as Land at Beaver Road offer the chance to deliver the housing the Borough needs while complying with national planning policy and protecting the Green Belt.

 

3 Many responses comment that there are too many houses in the area – why does Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council need more housing?

 

There is a national commitment to achieve delivery of 300k new homes per annum.  Clearly this objective does rest solely upon Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to deliver these homes.

 

However, objectively assessed needs for each Council within this figure are established by applying the national Standard Methodology.

The Standard Method establishes that the Borough’s minimum housing need is 829 homes per annum.  This is considerably above the number of homes the current local plan was tasked with and identified sites to achieve – which stands at 425 dwellings per annum.

 

The Borough is required by the Government to have in place, at a minimum, a 5 Year Housing Land Supply based upon objectively assessed housing need.

 

–        In the Council’s March 2020 published Supply Position Paper they identified a supply at best of just 2.93 years.

–        In a more recent planning appeal (in March 2021) it was demonstrated the supply position is in fact more likely to be lower still, at best 2.2 years supply.

 

Without a 5 Year Housing Land Supply, the Council will have less of a say over whether or not developments are permitted.

 

The delivery of required new homes is another of the Government’s core objectives, and the Council have a duty and responsibly to plan for and deliver new homes.

 

For this reason, the Council need to be proactively determining applications for new homes, even more so when the Borough have yet to adopt a new Local Plan.

 

4 Many responses had concerns around lack of school places in the area – is there sufficient capacity? The Proposed Development will accommodate approximately 31 children of nursery age, 84 children of primary school age and 67 children of secondary school age.

 

We have approached Kent County Council, the education authority for the area, to discuss what contributions they may seek from the development proposals regarding the provision and capacity of the existing education infrastructure.

 

Contributions may include payments towards acquiring land for and to build a new Primary School, contributions to Secondary education and special needs and education services and facilities.

 

Any agreed contributions will be a condition of planning permission for the site and guaranteed through legal agreement.

 

 

5 Many responses had concerns regarding lack of doctors and dentists in the area – is there sufficient capacity?  

The Proposed Development is likely to accommodate 1,088 people.  If all the new residents register with a GP and dentist this will generate demand for one GP and potentially a dentist.  However, some of the future residents are likely to be local people already registered with GPs and dentists.

 

Much like with education facilities, we will discuss with the Council what contributions the Applicant will need to provide. Once again, this would be a condition of planning permission and secured through a legal agreement.

 

 

 

6 Many responses felt that the proposed development would increase car movements and asked if the road network has sufficient capacity? As will be presented in the Transport Assessment the Proposed Development can be accommodated on the local highway network, inclusive of accounting for the committed and proposed developments traffic generation.

 

7 Some responses were concerned there is traffic queuing to exit Beaver Road – will this development exacerbate the problem? The signalised junction of Beaver Road with the A20 London Road will continue to operate within capacity with the Proposed Development, inclusive of accounting for the committed and proposed developments traffic generation.  It should be noted that queuing at signalised junctions does not mean in itself that a junction is over capacity, as queueing is to be expected when the traffic lights for that lane are red.

 

8 Some responses were concerned that there is currently traffic queuing on A20 and Poppyfields roundabout – will this development exacerbate the problem? Improvements to Poppyfields Roundabout are being implemented as part of the White Post Field development, which will mean that the A20 and Poppyfields Roundabout will continue to operate within capacity and with no notable increase in queuing or delay with the Proposed Development. It should also be noted that the A20 Coldharbour Roundabout, north of the Poppyfields Roundabout, will also be improved with the implementation of the significant improvement scheme being undertaken by Kent County Council.

 

9 What will the impacts on air quality be and will there be more pollution from the proposed development? Regarding the construction phase, an air quality assessment is being undertaken, which will establish impacts upon air quality during construction. However, it is considered that any potential impacts as a result of dust and fine particulate matter generation will not be significant as a Construction Environmental Management Plan will be provided to support the planning application. This will set out methods of managing impacts on air quality, and would include the dust management plan.

 

With regard to the operational phase, the air quality assessment will assess development-related road traffic exhaust emissions in accordance with local and national guidance. Dependent upon the results, the assessment will identify a range of additional mitigation or enhancement of existing proposed mitigation measures, in line with best practice and local authority advice, including an emission mitigation assessment where required.

 

10 What is the parking provision on the proposed development? As this is an outline planning application, the parking is to be detailed at the reserved matters application stage, with parking, both Car and Cycle, to be provided in accordance with Kent County Council’s standards. At this time these standards require 1 and 2 Bedroom flats / Houses to provide 1 space per unit, 3 bed houses 1.5 spaces per unit, 4+ bedroom houses 2 independently accessible spaces per unit, plus there will be visitor parking provision in addition to this.

 

11 Some responses comment that the land is within a designated Strategic Gap and shouldn’t be developed. Is this correct? The land is shown on the proposals maps in the current Development Plan to be within a Strategic Gap.

 

This policy seeking to protect the designated area between the built-up areas of the Medway Gap and Maidstone.

 

However, this policy has not been supported by national policy guidance since 2012.  Consequently, Policy CP5 of the Development Plan no longer carries any weight when determining planning applications on the land shown on the proposals map within the area.

 

This position has been acknowledged and accepted by the Council when determining proposals on the land either side of this site and we would encourage the Council to take a consistent approach with this application

12 Concerns that developing the site will result in a loss of open space. We understand and expect there to be local concern caused by the proposal to develop the existing privately owned undeveloped site.

 

 

Whilst the proposal will see new homes on the site the outline proposals have been developed to ensure new areas of open space are provided –including publicly accessible landscaped areas and new play equipment.

 

In total a 1/3 of the Application Site’s area (approximately 5.46ha) will be delivered as public open space.  This new open space can be protected from development in the future through a condition of planning permission, .

 

Once again, this space will be accessible by both the future residents of the new homes, as well as the wider existing community.

13 What is the impact on wildlife and biodiversity from the proposed development? The landscape strategy has been designed to include ecology mitigation which prioritises ecological functionality, protects existing and provides new habitat and connectivity through the site for species found on the Application Site, including reptiles, badgers and birds.

 

In particular the proposed scheme is designed to:

  • Retain the broadleaved woodland protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), poplar tree line, dense boundary scrub and hedge, and we propose new hedge planting throughout the Proposed Development and a native tree belt to the northeast boundary;
  • Younger growth woodland areas will be retained and enhanced, with understorey and woodland ground flora planting;
  • A mosaic of mixed native scrub and wildflower grassland will be provided in the open space; and
  • The Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs) ponds will be planted for wildlife.

Overall the ecology and landscape strategy has been designed to provide a biodiversity net gain, where the proposed development will actually increase the biodiversity on site compared to its current state. More details will be included within the forth coming planning application.

 

14 Will there be noise impacts from the proposed development? Regarding the construction phase, a noise assessment is being undertaken, which will establish impacts upon noise sensitive receptors during construction. However, it is considered that any potential impacts as a result of noise will not be significant, as a Construction Environmental Management Plan will be provided to support the planning application. This will set out methods of managing noise impacts once they are detailed.

 

If the site were to be given permission and completed with residents living on site, a noise assessment will assess changes in sound levels as a result of development-related road traffic. It is anticipated that, given the increase in traffic that would be required to lead to a perceptible change in sound levels, noise impacts will not be significant. However, if results do indicate that noise impact may be significant, then a suitable mitigation strategy to minimise any impacts will be identified for implementation.

 

15 There is a history of sink holes in the area – is there a risk of more sink holes appearing? BDW have consulted with our geotechnical environmental engineers, Leap Environmental, who have undertaken ground investigation surveys across the site and liaised comprehensively with the other design consultants. They can confirm –

 

The development of this site will not add further risk of sinkholes opening up in the wider area.  Sink holes are a consideration given the local geology of the site and wider area however, this will be mitigated on site by undertaking further detailed investigations, the appropriate design of foundations and a drainage strategy that uses appropriate infiltration methods and soakaway locations.

 

BDW would also add that all details submitted with a future planning application, such as the drainage design and the ground investigations reports, will be reviewed by the relevant statutory consultees at Kent County Council. We trust this provides some comfort to local residents and we can assure respondents that sink holes and the local geology of the site has been fully considered during the design work

 

Contact Us

If you have any queries, please contact Robert Laird of SP Broadway on
07722 014 914 or at robert@spbroadway.com