Update 20th September 2016 – DDC confirm HGV's will use Archer's Court Road until 13th February 2017

Following the Planning Committee held on 25th August, DDC have confirmed that the Site Construction Traffic will now be using Archer's Court Road until 13th February 2017. This is disappointing for the Parish Council and the local Residents as it makes a nonsense of the reduction to 22 weeks, when in fact the HGV's have been using the road from mid April – for 21 weeks already. The addition of a further 22 weeks takes the period beyond the original 40 weeks that was requested by the Developer.

We feel let down after all the assurances made during the Masterplanning and SPD processes that no construction traffic would go through the Village. It does not matter which contract they are fulfilling; they are HGV’s, using ACR, contrary to all DDC and Developer assurances.

[  Link to Minutes of the planning meeting  ]

[  Link to Whitfield Parish Council's objection  ]


Update 21st August – DDC to decided on extended use of Construction site HGV's using Archer's Court Road

Although a 22 week Planning Restriction was put on HGV's using Archer's Court Road to access the housing development and the fact that HGV's have used the route for 18 weeks since April; DDC, in collaboration with the developers, have now effectively extended the period back to the original 40 weeks by claiming the 22 weeks allowed under the planning permission should start on August 9th.

We have had to put up with the HGV’s for 18 weeks (from mid April) only to be told the 22 week period has not yet commenced and that the last few months of speeding lorries ignoring the restriction times do not count!

The Parish Council appears to have been cut out of any consultation on this contentious subject of the HGV’s using Archer’s Court Road for an extended period, and even more concerned to learn that a very retrospective decision on the whole issue is to be made at next Thursday's DDC Planning Meeting at 6.00 pm, with little or no chance for the Parish to put forward its views.

The agenda item is for a variation to the Section 106 legal agreement between DDC and the developers. The content in the agenda relating to the HGV’s on Archer’s Court Road is almost a verbatim response to the points that the Parish have been raising and has been in dispute since February, but in all that time the responses  received from DDC have NOT said these issues were still to be decided. To the contrary, all correspondence from DDC have said that the use of Archer’s Court Road had all been agreed, the building of houses before the junction completion has been agreed and that everything was in order and decided, when it would now appear that the purpose of the variation is to actually authorise the work which has been proceeding since mid-April and is actually a retrospective permission.

The agenda information pack for the meeting has been published [ LINK TO AGENDA PACK  ] and the Parish Council is concerned that the full background to the issue of the use of Archer's Court Road is not being given to Members to consider at the forthcoming Planning Committee meeting:

DDC are reneging all the promises and reassurances given to all Residents and Community Representatives throughout the Masterplanning and consultation processes, by both DDC representatives and the Developers themselves, that Construction Traffic would not go through the Village!


Update 4th August 2016 – Further complaints to developers and DDC

9 incidents have been reported to the Developer and DDC relating to lorries speeding down Archer's Court Road at 40 mph, parking on the footpaths, passing each other on Archer's Court Road (which is contrary to the Management Plan) and other unsafe proctices.

No response has been received by the Parish Council to date.

Although previous complaints have been acted on and the contract companies warned to take action, these incidents continue to happen on a regular basis, so the actions taken are far from effective and HGV's continue to disregard the rules.

We have asked for the enforcement officer to take action with the developer.


Update 25th July 2016 – 22 week period for use of Archer's Court Road by HGV's being extended back to 40 weeks?

Originally the contractor applied to use Archer's Court Road  for 40 weeks, but when the Parish Council objected this was reduced to 22 weeks. The contractor is now claiming that the 22 weeks was only for the junction works on the A256 by pass and that this is in addition to the 17 weeks that the HGV's will have already been using Archer's Court Road . The developer and DDC Planning Officers are now saying that although the Primary Street is being constructed and there has been construction activities on the site since the beginning of April, as the Junction works have not begun, the 22 weeks period allowed by the Construction Traffic Management Plan will not begin until at least the 2nd week of August.

Meanwhile, Archer's Court Road  continues to be used by HGV's.

This is an unacceptable moving of the goal posts. The Parish Council accepted in good faith that the use of Archer's Court Road  would be reduced from 40 to 22 weeks but it would now appear that the original 40 weeks will be allowed by DDC – 17 weeks that Archer's Court Road  has already been used PLUS  22 weeks starting mid August.

Our District Councillors have asked for a meeting with the Planning Department at DDC to clarify the situation.


11th June 2016 – update

The developer has appointed a Site Manager as the point of contact for any complaints or enquiries about their construction activities and construction traffic along Whitfield's roads.

The Contact is Mr Will Gooding – Phone No 07483 980 784

While the Parish Council and Residents would prefer the alternative route from the bypass to be used, the contractors have many safeguards in place to mitigate any problems and the drivers of the vehicles are all professional and experienced drivers so there should not be any major problems.

  1. Warning signage for the site access has been greatly improved with bigger signs situated at a greater distance from the hazard.
  2. Yellow timeplate signs have been put up to enforce the yellow lines.
  3. 30mph speed restriction signs to extend the existing limit to beyond the site entrance are in operation.

Whitfield's PCSO, Jacqui Brook, is carrying out speed checks on Archer's Court Road to deter the increasing speed of local traffic on Archer's Court Road that has been noted 

Mr Gooding is very approachable and is keen to hear of any problems so that they can be addressed without delay. He is in regular contact with the Parish Council and will be updating us with progress and news of any new activities on the site.

If you do have cause to complain, please let the Parish Council know as well, so that we we are also aware of any issues too.

13th May 2016 – Dover District Council have approved the Construction Traffic Management Plan to allow use of Archer's Court Road for 22 weeks for site access.

The Parish Council is bitterly disapointed that DDC have gone back on their promises that construction traffic would not go through the Village.
 
Below are emails between the Parish Council and DDC planning Department which lead up to the decision by DDC to renage on thier promises to Residents that construction traffic would not go through the Village and giving DDC's reasons why they consider letting the developer commence house building at the same time as the road works to recoup some of his investment is more important that the safety and amenity of Whitfield's Residents.
 
Construction Traffic Management Plan  [  LINK  ]
 
Parish Objection   [  LINK  ]
 

Email giving Dover District Council'notification of the decision and the Parish Council response:
 
From Kim Bennett – DDC planning officer to Chairman Whitfield Parish Council – 12th May 2016.
 
Good Afternoon Jeff
 Further to our meeting last week in connection with the above, I am writing to advise that the Council has now approved the use of Archers Court Road (ACR) as a temporary construction access for a period of 22 weeks.
We reflected at length on all the comments and concerns you made at the meeting, together with other representations received, before reaching that decision.
I think we agreed at our meeting that initially at least, the developer needs to gain access from ACR to physically commence the construction of the new roundabout and access off the A256. The longer period is then primarily required so that he can commence a start on the housing at the same time as the roadworks.  Some have argued that is just for the developer’s benefit.  Clearly it is but it also reflects the huge upfront infrastructure costs associated with a start of this project and therefore the need for him to recoup some of that investment if the project is to be commercially sustainable.  Importantly though, it is also in the District’s interests that an early start is made on the housing, bearing in mind it is the Council’s major housing allocation for the whole District.  The longer it is delayed the greater the chance we have of losing planning appeals on sites where we don’t want housing and without all the community benefits that will come with Whitfield as it progresses.
There has also been a misunderstanding that the use of ACR is a cheaper option for the developer. On the contrary it is more expensive as the size of articulated vehicles is limited by the width and access from ACR. In short, he would like to use access from the A256 as quickly as possible so that he can use larger vehicles.
In assessing the above, the potential safety issues and inconvenience to residents of Whitfield has been uppermost in our minds. Consequently the detailed use of ACR and associated construction activities has been set out at length and rigorously scrutinised by ourselves in the Code of Construction Practice and the Construction Traffic Management Plan submitted by the developer and now approved.  I know you have copies of the revised versions and I won’t go through all the contents here, but it might be worth highlighting some of the more important provisions/controls.
1.       The access from ACR is restricted to 22 weeks as opposed to the 40 weeks originally requested.
2.       Following 22 weeks, the northernmost access will be closed off and the southern access will be used for emergency purposes only.  This is also a change from the original proposal where the developer wanted to instigate a longer term one way system from ACR and out on to the A256.
3.       Kent Highways have been fully involved throughout and have raised no highway safety issues subject to single yellow lines being put along the entire length of ACR , temporary additional speed restrictions put in place, and improved visibility put in at the southern access. As you are aware these have now all been implemented.
4.       All deliveries from HGVs will take place outside of school collection and dropping off times.
5.       Detailed measures to protect the surrounding area from noise, dust and mud on roads are all contained in the documents referred to above.  Similarly general working hours are also restricted.
6.       A Communication Plan will be established with the Parish Council and a Site Manager has now been appointed. Part of his duties is to deal with any local queries and I gave you his contact details at the meeting.
7.       The above documents also include various control mechanisms which the local community or the Council can take up with the Developer if agreed working practices are not being complied with.
I know the above will come as a disappointment to you but having considered all interests, the Council considers that a reasonable balance has been struck to enable this important development to get fully underway whilst at the same time ensuring safety issues have been carefully assessed and inconvenience minimised.
I would also add that the developer is acutely aware of the sensitivity of using ACR by local residents and has undertaken to make sure all contractors and sub-contractors are similarly aware.
I hope that this relatively short term use of ACR will not be as problematic as you fear and we are more than happy to take up any issues with the Developer direct if you feel any provisions within the approved documents referred to above are not being complied with.
Regards
Kim Bennett
 
From Jeff Goodsell – Chairman Whitfield Parish Council to Kim Bennett – DDC part time planning officer – 13th May 2016.
 
TO THE DDC PLANNERS – SHAME ON YOU !
 
Yet again the financial interests of the developer wins out over the interests of the Residents of Whitfield going back on the promises that were repeatedly made to the Residents by all at DDC and the developer and his team of consultants.
We are left wondering how any sane person can even consider that a reasonable balance has been struck by allowing Construction Traffic down Archer’s Court Road for at least 5 months, through the summer and school holidays, against their own promises and all the documentation they have approved?
You (Kim Bennett – DDC part time planning officer) were at the meeting at the Ramada hotel when the developer shouted across the table that he had to use Archer’s Court Road because of the requirements of the Health and Safety Executive and KCC and so his workers would have welfare facilities. Not once did the developer say the reason was that the viability of the project depended on him building houses while the Roundabout on the A256 by-pass was being constructed.
Now that he has had to admit his original HSE / KCC reasons were a false claim, why do you blindly accept the new reason?
Could that not also be an inaccurate claim?
Viability assessment and “can’t afford it” is always the final trump card played because this is confidential, not in the public domain and cannot be challenged and exposed as a falsehood.
Even when DDC and the developer met with Government ministers and civil servants to broker the deal to subsidise the infrastructure costs, a freedom of information request could not extract the content of the meeting.
Even the SPD name ‘Light Hill’ has been renamed ‘Richmond Park’ with no local consultation.
The Ward and Partners web site tells us that “Richmond Park occupies the Village of Whitfield” and that is exactly what it feels like. A Village under occupation, with no say in its own destiny!
Is the Supplementary Planning Document that was written and paid for by the developer worth the paper it is written on?
The SPD promises; affordable housing, health centre, community hall, community facilities, community gardens, youth centre and library, energy centre and ground source heat farms, greywater recycling to reduce water use and SUDs for surface water drainage, new low rise pumping station, local skills centre, multi agency social care, reinforcement of the gas and electricity network, protection of existing hedgerows, employment opportunities for local people and trades, and last but not least “Provision of new A256 junction prior to start of construction”.
One by one these planning conditions are dispensed with.
House building starts before the junction is available, the fleet of developer’s lorries going through the village until September, 420 affordable houses reduced to ZERO affordable houses, plots of land left fallow so that someone else in 10, 20 or 30 years can build the community facilities and healthcare centre if they wish to pay for them as the developer will not pay for them, financial contributions for sports and libraries taken by DDC to spend elsewhere in the District – rather than in Whitfield, SUDs surface water drainage written out of the plan, pumping station and utility upgrades stalled while extra strain is put on existing ‘at capacity’ utility infrastructure, a big new sales centre to promote house sales, but little evidence of recruitment for local employment, 2 access points from Archer’s Court Road rather than 1 point of access and 200 yards of protected hedgerow grubbed out to facilitate access and the sales centre.
We know from the issues we already have over Phase 1a at Bowman’s Place that these planning conditions are easily disregarded, so it comes as no surprise that the trend continues with Phase 1.
You say the safety issues have been carefully assessed: Can you send by return a copy of the Risk Assessment that was carried out by DDC ?
You say you are more than happy to take up any issues if we feel any provisions within the newly approved documents are not being complied with. Well, we gave you a long list of documents not being complied with by this application for construction traffic through the Village and you have ignored them all.
So why would we believe that you will enforce conditions of approved documents in the future?
The Residents of Whitfield will have to put up with this treatment by DDC and the developer for the next 20 to 30 years
A few final comments / corrections.
What was agreed at our meeting was that if it was necessary to have initial access along Archer’s Court Road it would be for a few lorries for a couple of weeks.
The longer period is ONLY required so he can commence housing at the same time as roadworks.
I doubt that delaying a few houses by 6 months will make any difference to the success rate of appeals for speculative developments, and I doubt that those that do proceed will come with any fewer community benefits that we will ever see from this development.
DDC have let down the Residents of Whitfield once again
I have driven past the site this morning and already noticed half a dozen infringements, the most obvious being the 2 vehicles I saw driving out of the site to continue through Church Whitfield, rather than using Archer’s Court Road. I will write later with more details so you can enforce the terms and conditions.
Jeff Goodsell – Chairman Whitfield Parish Council

Latest Update – 7th May 2016
The Parish Council had a meeting with a planning officer at Dover District Council offices.
A new "Compromise proposal" has been put forward that the period lorries will use Archer's Court Road for access to the Phase 1 development site could be reduced to 22 weeks.
New CTMP for 22 weeks duration along Archer's Court Road [  LINK  ]
It is important to note that the CTMP refers to estimated time of 22 weeks and around 22 weeks. This period is likely to be extended once Archer's Court Road is being used for construction traffic due to project slippage, bad weather or another request from the developer.
We considered that 22 weeks instead of 30 weeks is still unacceptable as the risks and disruption would be the same and would still extend to September right through the summer months and the children's school holidays.
The decision is likely to be made next week and the only real issue is whether the planning officers decide to bow to the pressures from the developer for financial reasons or if they put the safety and amenity of Residents first and honour the pledges given to Whitfield’s Residents over the last 10 years and not allow construction traffic down Archer’s Court Road.
To put it bluntly, a child is just as likely to be run over in the 10th week of operation as it is to happen in the 25th week of operation. The same applies to any injury, accident or collision on Archer’s Court Road or the A2 Roundabout / Sandwich Road / Archer's Court Road junction.
The only risk mitigation is not to have the construction traffic route through Whitfield.
We are sending the following email to Councillors and Charlie Elphicke in the hope that they will support the Residents of Whitfield in this issue:
Re: Objection to Construction Traffic using Sandwich Road and Archer's Court Road.
I am writing to you on behalf of Whitfield Parish Council and the Residents of Whitfield to prevent the use of Archer's Court Road by construction traffic for Phase 1 of the Whitfield development and ask that you contact DDC Planning Department if you agree with us to add your support to this objection.
Full details of the plan on the Parish website:      http://www.whitfieldpc.kentparishes.gov.uk
The site access should only be from the A256 by-pass, as required in the SPD and at all other stages of the planning process. The only reason for using Archer's Court Road is the developer's desire to build 25 houses this year rather than wait 6 to 9 months and build them after the A256 junction is in place.
 
The choice is simple:
EITHER:
DDC give in to Developer pressure for early profit, unnecessarily endangering the safety of pedestrians and local traffic within the Village of Whitfield
OR
DDC put Residents Safety and amenity before that of the Developer's wishes and to abide by the safeguards and promises made to the people of Whitfield.
 
The specific requirement of the SPD is for "Provision of new A256 junction prior to start of construction of site."
 (SPD table 5.3 – Construction Access and Routes)
Dover District Council have to approve a Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) for Phase 1 of the Urban Expansion of Whitfield in the next few days. The proposal is for all construction Traffic to access the site through the Village along Archer's Court Road for a minimum of 22 weeks. This period is likely to be extended once Archer's Court Road is being used for construction traffic due to project slippage, bad weather or another request from the developer.
The CTMP proposal is for up to 120 car and 60 HGV movements from the A2 roundabout / Sandwich Road junction along  Archer's Court Road each day.
The Residents are outraged that this can even be considered as it is contrary to; the Core Strategy;  Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document; Condition 13 of the approved Outline Planning Permission for Phase 1; the approved Full Planning Permission for Phase 1; the Design and Access Statement for Phase 1; and the promises and reassurances given to all Residents and Community Representatives throughout the Masterplanning and consultation processes, by both DDC representatives and the Developers themselves, that Construction Traffic would not go through the Village.
We are asking you to support our opposition to this plan on the grounds of;
(i) the unnecessary risk to the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and other road users, which cannot be effectively mitigated against;
 (ii) the disruption, environmental nuisance and loss of amenity to local Residents;
(iii) there is a viable alternative access from the A256 by-pass, as required by all the above documents, which has been disregarded for purely financial reasons to fulfil the Developer's desire to commence building the first 25 houses during the construction of the A256 roundabout;
(iv) the fact that all planning permissions have been granted on the basis of no access along Archer's Court Road. Would elected members of the Planning Committee have supported applications if the Developer had included access along Archer's Court Road as part of the application?
The Developer has admitted the earlier claims of requirements of the Health and Safety Executive and by KCC Highways were incorrect and now reverts to claims of financial viability, commercial confidence and the five-year housing land supply.            
The busy junction from the A2 roundabout onto Sandwich Road and then Archer's Court Road is frequently used by pedestrians and cyclists, especially Children, between Old Park / Archer's Place and Whitfield Village, and crossing the Sandwich Road  to McDonalds. The plan would span the summer months and school holidays and these lorries are renowned for their blind spots (as evidenced by the number of deaths in London to cyclists and pedestrians involving HGV’s).
The daily risks and disruption to Residents are not diminished by the recent proposal to reduce the period of operation from 30 weeks to 22 weeks. This is just not a compromise that holds any weight whatsoever: statistically, a child is just as likely to be run over in the 10th week of operation as it is to happen in the 25th week of operation. The same applies to any injury, accident or collision on Archer’s Court Road or the A2 Roundabout / Sandwich Road junction.
The only risk mitigation is not to have the construction traffic route through Whitfield.
DDC planning Dept inform us that simultaneously running both contracts requires access through the Village: Construction of the Junction from the A256 in isolation would not require access along Archer's Court Road.
Please intervene on our behalf with DDC and ask that they honour the commitments made to us through the Masterplanning process and not to allow construction traffic though our Village.
With Kind Regards
Jeff Goodsell – Chairman Whitfield Parish Council
 
Relevant document references:
Outline Application Decision Notice from April 2015:
"Outline planning application for the construction of up to 1,400 units, comprising a mix of 2-5 bed units, 66 bed care home (Class C2) and supported living units, with vehicular access off the A256; provision of new 420 place 2FE Primary School including early years provision, energy centre and local centre comprising up to 250sqm of retail space (Class A1-A3) along with all associated access arrangements, car parking, infrastructure and landscaping, with all matters (except the means of access off the A256) reserved for future consideration. (Revised Proposals)"
 
Condition 13 of the outline planning Permission  clearly states that
 “ … The CTMP shall specify that all construction and construction related traffic shall enter and leave the development site from the new at grade roundabout on the A256 only. No construction traffic shall egress or enter the site from any other point on the highway network unless first agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Construction management of the development shall at all times be carried out in accordance with the agreed Construction Traffic Management Plan."
 
The October 2015 Reserved Matters Application  Design and Access Statement 4.1 Site Locations and Connections – Summary of Approach states:
"All of the new development areas will be accessed off of a Primary Street that will commence off the A256 and will eventually link to an access off the A2 west of Whitfield. No new development, with the exception of some limited facilities which are to be developed early in the new village centre to the north of Sandwich Road, this will use the existing roads which link to the Whitfield roundabout. The Whitfield roundabout is constrained and will require capacity improvements during the development programme; "
 
The April 2015 Outline Application  Design and Access Statement 5.2 Design Principles – Summary of Approach states:
"All of the new development areas will be accessed off of a Primary Street that will commence off the A256 and will eventually link to an access off the Whitfield section of the A2. No new development, with the exception of some limited facilities which are to be developed early in the new district centre to the north of Sandwich Road, Is to use the existing roads which link to the Whitfield roundabout. The Whitfield roundabout is constrained and is not to be improved further until later in the development programme."
 
and goes on to list Core Design Principles for the Development of WUE Area, including:
"A new access will be created off the A256 to serve the development. All new development, except the new district centre to the north of Sandwich Road, will be served off the new access and new development will not take place until the infrastructure is in place;"
 
SPD table 5.3 – Construction Access and Routes, clearly states:
Land Parcel: Light Hill
Access point: A256 new site access junction.
Prerequisite Infrastructure Requirement: Provision of new A256 junction prior to start of construction of site.
Description: Access via the new A256 junction will help mitigate construction traffic impact on existing residents and upon the local road network with access routeing constrained to principal highway routes.
 
SPD paragraph 6.16 states:
The Concept Masterplan has been designed with a view to minimising potential disruption to the existing community during the construction period. In many areas green infrastructure provides an intervening public space and traffic access arrangements are largely based upon the creation of new access points from the surrounding road network and minimising usage of existing roads within Whitfield. Construction traffic will be expected to use the proposed new accesses and avoid passing through the existing settlement.
 
Core Strategy Policy CP 11 (iv).
" An access and transport strategy is developed that maximises the potential for walking, cycling and use of public transport, especially to the town centre and the White Cliffs Business Park area, includes link/distributor roads to connect the site to the surrounding network, identifies access points to the site and between the site and the existing settlement, safeguards land for a park and ride facility and identifies construction access arrangements that do not disrupt existing residents;"

Update – 4th May 2016
Permission to use Archer's Court Road as a route for all the Construction Traffic to the Phase 1 site for 40 weeks has been requested by the Lead Developer of the massive development of Whitfield over the next 20 years. 
The Parish Council objected to the developer's Construction Traffic Management Plan [ CTMP  LINK  ] with this objection  [  Parish objection LINK  ]
Permission has not been granted and the Parish Council continue to argue that the proposal should be rejected by DDC because;
(i)  it is contrary to the conditions set out in the Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document which requires all construction traffic to use the bypass for access to the site;
(ii) it unnecessarily endangers the safety of pedestrians and local traffic within the Village of Whitfield;
(iii) the control measures that are proposed are not readily enforceable and easily ignored by drivers;
(iv) the use of Archer's Court Road for up to 120 car and 60 HGV movements each day increases pollution from diesel fumes, traffic noise and vibration, dust, water spray (in wet weather) to an unacceptable level for a residential area;
(v) the construction traffic will not only be for junction works on the A256 by-pass, but also for house building activities, which is purely for financial advantage;
(vi) the use of Archer’s Court Road for construction traffic is unnecessary as there is an equally viable alternative using the access from the A256 Whitfield by-pass without endangering the safety of pedestrians and road users on Archer's Court Road, Sandwich Road and A2 roundabout;
(vii) the Residents of Whitfield are depending on DDC to honour the commitments made to us through the masterplanning process and not to allow construction traffic though our Village !!!

Earlier Emails:

Email from DDC – 28th April

[  LINK  ]

Email to Developer – 21st April

[  LINK  ]


How to complain

Permission has not been granted for lorries to use Archer's Court Road [  LINK  ]. If you see any lorries for the site using this route and / or driving recklessly you can complain to DDC.

Planning Dept email:

 developmentcontrol@dover.gov.uk

Kim.Bennett@dover.gov.uk

alice.fey@dover.gov.uk

Mike.Ebbs@dover.gov.uk

Telephone: 01304 872486 – ask for the planning enforcement officer

and by letter to:

Planning Department
Dover District Council
White Cliffs Business Park,
Dover CT16 3PJ

We would also like you to send a copy to the Parish Council so that we can collate the information as well

whitfieldpc@btconnect.com


Latest Update – 29th April 2016

There have been a number of emails and meetings, and although the yellow lines have now been painted along Archer's Court Road by the Developer trying to pre-empt the decision, Dover District Council have not yet decided on the Construction Traffic Management Plan.

The Parish understands that the developer is pressurising DDC to give way on this issue and proposing a 5 month use of the road rather than the original 8 months. The Parish will continue to oppose any use of Archer's Court Road by Site Traffic.

We believe that this is equally unacceptable as the same arguments apply whether the period is for 8 months or 5 months. The daily risks and disruption to Residents are not diminished by having to put up with it for a shorter period. This is just not a compromise that holds any weight whatsoever. A child is just as likely to be run over in the 10th week of operation as it is to happen in the 25th week of operation. The same applies to any accident or collision on Archer’s Court Road or the A2 Roundabout / Sandwich Road junction. These lorries are renowned for their blind spots (as evidenced by the number of deaths in London to cyclists and pedestrians involving HGV’s) and the crossing at the junction is very busy to and from McDonalds, Old Park, Tesco etc.

This proposed period will still span the School Summer Holiday, when the usage of the affected roads will be increasingly used throughout the day by unaccompanied children on school holiday throughout the day and Residents will still have to put up with the noise, dust, exhaust emissions and inconvenience for 22 weeks that take us all through the summer months and school holidays up to the beginning of September.

 There is also the potential for a rush to get as many trips as possible during the shortened period of 22 weeks, thus increasing the daily usage. It is doubtful that there will be any restriction or mechanism to stop further deliveries once 30 HGV return trips have been made for the day.

We are now getting to the truth of the matter. The developer has now apparently admitted the plan to take the short cut through the Village is not one that has been imposed upon them by either the HSE or KCC, but is due to financial considerations in meeting their desire to get houses built sooner and not having traffic do a left turn out onto the by-pass and travel to the Tilmanstone roundabout to come back to the A2.

Their other concern appears to be to save some of the hedgerow along the by-pass. This does not hold much weight either when you see the 200 yards of hedgerow that have already grubbed out along Archer’s Court Road for the site access and the sales room. The developer is not worried about a few trees and bushes: they are using this as another way of forcing through their wishes by quoting an irrelevance.

The Residents of Whitfield are depending on DDC to honour the commitments made to us through the masterplanning process and not to allow construction traffic though our Village.

To quote the SPD paragraph 6.16 "The Concept Masterplan has been designed with a view to minimising potential disruption to the existing community during the construction period. In many areas green infrastructure provides an intervening public space and traffic access arrangements are largely based upon the creation of new access points from the surrounding road network and minimising usage of existing roads within Whitfield. Construction traffic will be expected to use the proposed new accesses and avoid passing through the existing settlement. 


Objection to Archer's Court Road being used for Construction Traffic – 24th April

The Developer for Phase 1 has put an application in to DDC for permission to run all the Construction Traffic down Archer's Court Road for up to 40 weeks!

[  LINK  ] to Proposed Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP)

[  LINK  ] to Parish Council's objection to the Construction Traffic Management Plan

The Parish Council consider this to be totally unacceptable as the Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) says that usage of existing roads and disruption to the existing community shall be minimised . There have already been complaints about speeding lorries made when the developer began using this route before permission had been granted.

The Parish considers that there is no good reason for traffic to come down Archer's Court Road to access the Phase 1 Light Hill site and that apart from a few lorries to deliver materials and equipment to break through from the field to the A256 By-Pass all other construction traffic can access the site from the bypass under a contra-flow system with adequate traffic control in place.

The developer has cited safety concerns to back up his plans, but the Parish Council considers that the Safety of Whitfield's Residents on Archer's Court Road and at the Sandwich Road junction outweigh this. The plans would mean that there would be up to 120 car and 60 HGV movements along  Archer's Court Road each day for 30 to 40 weeks, including the summer holidays when our children should be able to walk around the Village without this unnecessary risk.

The Parish Council believe that the developer's reasons have more to do with getting houses built and sold more quickly, and saving diesel by not having to go to out of the site onto the bypass and all the way to the Tilmanstone roundabout before coming back to the A2!

The Parish Council will continue to fight against these plans. Whitfield's Residents did not want the urban expansion of Whitfield, but the Parish Council and Action Group worked with Dover District Council and the developers on the Supplementary Planning Document which gave the Residents the assurance that the Village would not be blighted by the development. This protected the Residents from the effects from the development's activities and one such assurance was that development traffic would not go through the Village. Indeed, at one meeting at the Ramada, Cllr Paul Watkins stated that No extra traffic must be put  along Archer's Court Road. He told the developer that this was a 'Red Line Issue'. Hence the requirement for a bus gate to prevent use from Phase 1 and the sections 6.16 and 6.17 in the SPD.

Whitfield SPD requirements 6.16 and 6.17

6.16 "The Concept Masterplan has been designed with a view to minimising potential disruption to the existing community during the construction period. In many areas green infrastructure provides an intervening public space and traffic access arrangements are largely based upon the creation of new access points from the surrounding road network and minimising usage of existing roads within Whitfield. Construction traffic will be expected to use the proposed new accesses and avoid passing through the existing settlement.

6.17 It will still be vital, however, to ensure that contractors act responsibly and that construction takes place within agreed standards to ensure that impacts on residents are properly controlled and can be enforced. It is common for major developments to be required to submit a Code Of Construction Practice (CoCP) to control environmental impacts. CoCPs are often used to support planning applications and can include management measures covering works to be carried out. The main developer can make these measures a requirement contractors must comply with when carrying out site preparation, demolition, construction etc. They assist in keeping disturbance to a minimum and can also contribute to Environmental Statements submitted with planning applications. The requirement to submit a CoCP will therefore be included as a condition on any permission granted. All contractors will be required to be a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and the site will be registered with the Scheme. Details on the basic requirements of a Code of Construction Practice are provided in Appendix 6.

Condition 13 of the outline planning permission clearly states that:

“ … The CTMP shall specify that all construction and construction related traffic shall enter and leave the development site from the new at grade roundabout on the A256 only. No construction traffic shall egress or enter the site from any other point on the highway network unless first agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Construction management of the development shall at all times be carried out in accordance with the agreed Construction Traffic Management Plan."

Plan submitted by Developer of proposed access arrangements:-