Minutes of the January 2018 Executive Committee

Minutes of the 286th Executive Committee meeting held on Saturday 6 January 2018 at CPRE Protect Kent offices in Charing

Present: Jessamy Blanford (WKPS); Crispin Davies (Hythe); Christine Furminger (Rochester and KFAS Secretary); Philip Robinson (Associate member and Hon. Treasurer); Alastair Tod (Tunbridge Wells); and, John Walker (Canterbury, Ramsgate and KFAS Chairman).

Apologies: None.

1        Minutes of 285th Executive Committee on 4 November 2017 – These had been previously circulated, were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

2        Matters Arising:

2.1     Large Increase in House Extensions in Tunbridge Wells - AT reported that there had been a large increase in planning applications for house extensions as a result of recent changes to Stamp Duty which made house moving even more expensive.

3        Chairman’s Report – JVW commented on the continuing need to build up the capacity of the Executive Committee by recruiting pro-active people to take on roles such as a Communications Manager, a Website Manager, a Membership Recruiter, etc. During discussion it was felt that one way to spot and recruit such people was to look at those who attended KFAS events.

It was emphasised that, at the 2018 AGM, there should be an item that encouraged those attending to identify the pressing issues in their individual societies such as “Is the Green Belt sufficiently protected?”, “Are too many houses being built in your area?”, “How would you change and improve the planning system so that it meets the aspirations of your society?”  It was agreed that this item should be emphasised in the AGM agenda. ACTION: CD.

4        Actions Taken in between Meetings – None.

5        Events Programme:

5.1     Margate Society and Civic Voice Event – The Margate Society is hosting a community engagement event at the Turner Centre around the anniversary of the TS Eliot poem “The Waste Land”.  JVW reported that Civic Voice did not have the resources to contribute to this event.

5.2     Annual Meeting 2018 – This has been arranged for Saturday 19 May 2018 at Harrietsham Village Hall.  Because this date now clashed with both a royal wedding and the FA cup final it was agreed to change the date. The Chairman and the Acting Secretary were asked to identify an appropriate alternative date.  It was agreed to invite Philip Whitbourn or, in his absence, Bernard Gambrill, to preside over the election of officers. ACTION: CD It was also agreed to invite Ian Harvey, from Civic Voice, to lead the discussion on common issues affecting societies. ACTION: JVW (NB: the 2018 AGM will now be held in Lenham Community Centre on Saturday 26 May 2018.) 

5.3     Communications Workshop – The workshop will be held as part of the 2018 AGM at Lenham Community Centre.  (NB: David White, Chairman of the Deal Society, who will be running the workshop as confirmed his availability on 26 May 2018.)

5.4     President’s Lunch – This has been arranged in conjunction with the President for Friday 13 July 2018 at the aBode Hotel in Canterbury.

5.5     Woolford Lecture 2018 – The President, Laura Sandys, has agreed to give the Woolford Lecture on 13 July 2018 as part of the event.  

6        Treasurer’s Report – An income and expenditure summary for the year to the 31 December 2017 had been circulated in advance of the meeting showing a deficit of £578 for the year to date.  The report was noted.

The payment of £100.00 for web hosting for 2018 was noted.  It was agreed to subscribe to the London Green Belt Council for 2018.  ACTION: PR   

It was agreed to send the subscription invitation to potential member societies by mid-March 2018 for the year commencing 1 April 2018. ACTION: CD

It was agreed to check any age limitation on the KFAS insurance for events. ACTION: PR

7       County and Local Issues:

7.1     Maidstone Local Plan – The Inspector proposed a higher housing target than allocated land.  This caused quite some controversy and local MPs called Government for a review of the Local Plan but this was not granted.

7.2     Canterbury Local Plan – JVW reported that the Inspector did not make any significant changes despite over 2000 objections.  The Inspector increased the housing numbers.

7.3     Canterbury Community Vision – Following the Inspector’s Report into the Local Plan the Canterbury Community Vision is to be revised with the central question being “Can sustainable growth be achieved?”

7.4     Shepway Local Plan – CD reported that the submission draft, expected before Christmas, has been delayed.

7.5     Otterpool Garden Town – CD reported that SDC has received a second tranche of Government funding (£155k) to assist work towards a planning application and that a non-binding “Otterpool Charter” was published in early December as the Council’s vision of the proposed development.

7.6     M20 Lorry Park – CD reported that the judicial review, originally to be heard in June then October and then December was cancelled as Highways England/Government declined to defend the judicial review.  The scheme has been cancelled but a new consultation on dealing with “Operation Stack” will be launched by Highways England in the future.

7.7    Princes Parade, Hythe – CD reported that SDC had submitted the long awaited planning application, contrary to existing policy, for the development of a sensitive site of 17.5 acres between the seafront and the Royal Military Canal (a scheduled ancient monument) owned by SDC.  There are over 760 public comments – mostly against.

8       National Issues:

8.1     New Homes Bonus – It was noted that this ends in 2020.

8.2    Affordable Housing Definition – The national definition of 80% of market value needs redefinition.

8.3     National Planning Policy Framework – A new draft is expected shortly.

9        Secretary’s Report – It was reluctantly agreed to accept CF’s resignation as Secretary and Membership Secretary with immediate effect.  The Committee thanked CF for her work and agreed for CF to remain on the Committee representing The City of Rochester Society.

10      Website – The Chairman and Acting Secretary have obtained access to the website and minor changes and new material is being posted.  ACTION – CD and JVW.

11      Any Other Business – None.

12      Date of Next Meetings – Saturdays 10 March, 12 May (apologies from AT), 7 July, 1 September and 3 November 2018 at the CPRE (Protect Kent) offices in Charing.  (NB: 3 March booked but May onwards to be booked after 1 April 2018.)

The meeting closed at 12.15pm.