Minutes of the July 2017 Executive Committee

Minutes of the 284th Executive Committee meeting held on Saturday on Saturday 15 July 2017 at CPRE Protect Kent offices in Charing

Present: Jessamy Blanford (WKPS); Crispin Davies (Hythe and KFAS Acting Secretary); Alastair Tod (Tunbridge Wells); and, John Walker (Canterbury and Ramsgate and KFAS Chairman).

Apologies: Christine Furminger (Rochester and KFAS Secretary) and Philip Robinson (Associate member and Hon. Treasurer).

1          Minutes of 283rd Executive Committee Meeting on 13 May 2017 – These had been previously circulated, were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

2          Matters Arising – There were no matters arising not elsewhere on the agenda.

3        Minutes of the 53rd Annual General Meeting held on 13 May 2017 – These had been previously circulated, were agreed and signed by the Chairman.  There were no matters arising not elsewhere on the agenda for the Executive Committee.

4        Chairman’s Report – John Walker reported that:

4.1     Civic Voice Design Awards – The judging had taken place the previous evening with the chapel at Winchester University being with winning entry.   The 2018 Awards will be launched at the 2017 AGM in October 2017.  It was agreed to have this as a specific item on the November agenda.  ACTION – Acting Secretary.

4.2     Local Plans – It was becoming increasingly obvious that there is too much reliance placed on the Inspectors’ reports and too little reliance on local views – “localism in reverse!”

4.3     No Civic Voice Manifesto for the June 2017 General Election – Consideration should be given to a “rolling manifesto” as there was insufficient time to prepare such a document.  It was agreed to write to Civic Voice to this effect.  ACTION – Chairman.

4.4     Historic Cathedral City Network – A paper outlining the concerns of the network’s societies is to be submitted to Historic England.  A draft has been discussed with Historic England which suggested a final report could be accompanied with an application for funding.

4.5     Review of the National Planning Policy Framework – This is to be reviewed in the autumn.  After discussion it was agreed to ask KFAS member societies to endorse about half a dozen issues to be submitted to DCLG in advance of the review.  ACTION – Chairman and Acting Secretary. 

5        Public Realm Art – JB spoke of the selection process for public art at the entrance to the new development of 5,000 houses at Chilmington Green.

6        Events Programme:

6.1     President’s Lunch – It was agreed to ask the Canterbury Society to host the annual Lunch in late September or early October 2017.  The Chairman agreed to talk to the President to agree a date.  ACTION – Chairman.

6.2     Communications Workshop – The Acting Secretary reported on a meeting with the Chairman and David White of the Deal Society following the idea at the AGM in May.  A programme had been agreed but accommodation in central Kent with wi-fi was proving elusive with both Lenham and Egerton being unavailable on Saturday 28 October 2017.  (NB: Following the meeting Harrietsham Village Hall has been booked)  ACTION – Acting Secretary and Chairman. 

7        Treasurer’s Report – This will be circulated by email.  ACTION – Chairman.  It was agreed that the 2017/18 subscription invitation be circulated soon.  ACTION – Chairman and Acting Secretary.

8          County and Local Issues: 

8.1     Canterbury Local Plan - Canterbury City Council has formally adopted its controversial planning blueprint which envisages 16,000 homes built across the district in the next 14 years as suggested by the Inspector.  It includes massive housing developments on the edge of urban areas - most notably the 4,000-house Mountfield Park scheme on farmland south of Canterbury.  A local developed has recently suggested he will build the much needed new hospital so long as he obtains planning consent for housing on land not allocated in the Local Plan.

8.2     Ashford Local Plan – JB reported that members would receive an officer report next week.

8.3     Shepway Local Plan – CD reported that the submission draft is to be received by Cabinet next week.

8.4     Otterpool Garden Town – CD reported that a second round of public consultation had recently taken place despite the Core Strategy and the revised Local Plan (see 8.3 above) ret referring to the proposal for some 12,000 houses and associated development.

8.5     M20 Lorry Park – CD reported that the judicial review, originally to be heard in June, has been postponed to October.  (NB: Since the meeting the date has been put back to December)

8.5     Tunbridge Wells Transport – AT reported that KCC has now accepted the principle of a modal split for traffic in Tunbridge Wells town centre.

8.6     Tunbridge Wells Cinema Site – AT reported that a planning application for this important central site, vacant for 16 years, has been submitted to the Borough Council.  The proposal is considered to be unacceptable by the Tunbridge Wells Society.

9        National Issues:

9.1     Airports – CD referred to a newly released privately funded scheme, led by the Arora Group and Bechtel, to build the third runway at some £6.7bn less cost.  The Government has postponed its decision on the final Airports National Policy Statement until the first half of 2018 following the draft policy consultation ending on 25 May 2017.  CD also reported a recent spate of publicity by Gatwick Airport for the building of a second runway.

10      Secretary’s Report – In the absence of the Secretary there was no report.  CD offered to collect CF from Ashford Station, if helpful, for future meetings. 

11      Website – No progress has been made on updating the website recently and no additional administrators’ passwords have been received from the website builder.  After discussion it was agreed to ask CF for her log-in details.  ACTION - Acting Secretary. 

12      Joan Clark-Hall, a long serving member of the WKPS and KFAS, has been publically thanked for her involvement by WKPS.  

Date of next meeting – Saturday 2 September 2017 at the CPRE (Protect Kent) offices in Charing.  Also 4 November 2017.

The meeting closed at 12 noon.