Planning Inspector grants Planning Permission on Singledge Lane Development – 19th December 2017
Dover District Council refused planning permission on 15 December 2016 for 133 dwellings on Singledge Lane [Application Ref DOV/16/00136, dated 4 February 2016].
Abbey Developments Limited Appealed this decision and the Planning Inspectorate have now allowed the developer’s appeal against Dover District Council.
Planning Permission has now been granted by the Inspector.
Appeal Ref: APP/X2220/W/17/3179235 – The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for 133 new residential units including 40 affordable homes, new vehicular and pedestrian access, internal access roads, car parking, landscaping, provision of open space and a locally equipped children’s play area (LEAP) at Land on the south west side of Singledge Lane, Whitfield Kent in accordance with the terms of the application, Ref DOV/16/00136, dated 4 February 2016, subject to the conditions set out in the Schedule to this decision.
Abbey Developments Limited were also awarded costs.
Links for 3 appeal documents:
The Parish Council is extremely disappointed by this decision. This follows years of opposition to the scheme by local Residents, some of which have devoted so much time researching and putting forward objections to the various versions of the plans that the developer has put forward.
Dover District Council’s Planning Committee recently refused another application for 100 houses on the site, but this appeal is for the earlier application for 133 houses.
The full history of this Application and the previous applications is shown below:
Planning Application refused for 100 houses on Singledge Lane DOV-17-00546
2nd November 2017 update:
DDC’s Planning Committee turned down the application for this development on the grounds that it adequate Infrastructure is not part of the application, so does not comply with the requirements of the Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document.
Update – 31st May 2017 – Parish response to the application.
The Parish Council have submitted a strong objection to the development of 100 dwellings on Singledge Lane.
Update May 2017 – New Planning Application for Singledge Lane !!!
DOV-17-00546 Erection of 100 dwellings (including 30 affordable homes), new vehicular and pedestrian access, internal access roads, car parking, landscaping, provision of 3.3 hectares of open space including a locally equipped area for children’s’ play.
It was expected that the developer would submit another application, it is a common tactic to continue putting applications in for fewer dwellings with more conditions to mitigate the effects of the development to make it appear acceptable, until one is finally accepted.
Unfortunately, As we have seen at the Phase 1 and 1a developments, once permission is granted the developer can then ignore the planning conditions; houses are built and occupied before infrastructure (such as roads and wastewater) is provided; the construction traffic ignores the conditions of the management plan and deposits mud on the road and ignores any other restrictions; promised planting of screening is taken out; while DDC does nothing and is powerless to enforce the planning conditions or the promises made to Residents of Whitfield.
The consultation period has begun. All objections and other comments should be sent to DDC in the normal way.
Planning Dept email: email@example.com
Telephone: 01304 872486 – For enquiries only – comments need to be sent in by email or letter and should include your name and address
Letters to: Planning Department
Dover District Council
White Cliffs Business Park,
Dover CT16 3PJ
The Parish Council do not believe that there is any real difference to this application apart from the slight reduction in the number of houses down to 100. Previous objections are still pertinent. An extra 100 dwellings using the access is still more than the existing roads can cope with and is still unacceptable.
The early development of the site is contrary to the requirements of the Whitfield SPD, the road is too narrow, the access onto the A2 is inadequate, there is no extra provision for improved utility infrastructure, there is no provision for improving social and community infrastructure.
Update 16th December 2016 – Planning Permission refused !!!!
Good News for a change, DDC Planning Committee refused the planning application for Singledge Lane last Night.
The application was refused !!!!
The reasons for refusal were:
- Due to the proximity of the site to the Lydden and Temple Ewell Downs SAC the suitable SANG mitigation is required to be provided on site to address the impact upon this designation. The mitigation proposed within this development includes land that is safeguarded for future road widening by virtue of Policy TR4 of the Dover Local Plan as such cannot be guaranteed to be secured in perpetuity. If this development were permitted, it could preclude future road widening which would be contrary to the Whitfield Urban Extension SPD and policy TR4 of the Dover Local Plan.
- The applicant has failed to provide sufficient information with regards to surface water drainage and as such a full assessment of the impact of the development cannot be made. Without this assessment, it cannot be ascertained as to whether the proposal would adequately address surface water drainage, which may also result in harm to the foul water drainage provision. This would therefore prove contrary to the Whitfield Urban Extension SPD and policy CP6 of the Dover Core Strategy.
It is unfortunate that KCC Highways have recently dropped their objection on the access issues, so the Planning Committee Members decided not to refuse on these grounds, as it could be appealed and costs would probably be awarded to the developer as the Statutory Consultee was no longer objecting.
There was also a delegated decision on refusal, on the issue of the off-site capacity for the sewerage pumping and disposal. Details of this part of the decision will become clearer once the minutes of the meeting are published.
Pete Boast spoke on behalf of the Singledge Residents and put a good summary of all the issues that they are objecting to – A particularly difficult task to do in 3 minutes when there is so much to object to!
Cllr Jim Back spoke at some length on the issues and made powerful points on the transport, sewerage, surface water and other issues. He also pointed out how Abbey had already gone against planning conditions by putting Residents in the new houses before connecting the Water and Sewerage at Bowman’s Place!
I don’t doubt that the developers will either appeal against this decision or put in another amended application in the New Year, but at least this particular application has been thrown out.
Update 7th December – Application to be decided at DDC Planning Meeting on 15th December 2016
The application for the building of 133 homes to the South of Singledge Lane will be determined at the DDC Planning Meeting on 15th December.
The agenda has been published on the DDC website [ LINK ]
The Good News is that the recommendation to the Planning Committee is to refuse permission.
The Committee will make their decision on the night of the meeting so we cannot assume that they will agree with the report’s findings, but we now know that the Planning Officer’s have listened to all the objections that have been sent in.
The recommendation is to :
“Refuse Planning Permission for the following reasons:
I) Due to the proximity of the site to the Lydden and Temple Ewell Downs SAC the suitable SANG mitigation is required to be provided on site to address the impact upon this designation. The mitigation proposed within this development includes land that is safeguarded for future road widening by virtue of Policy TR4 of the Dover Local Plan as such cannot be guaranteed to be secured in perpetuity. If this development were permitted, it could preclude future road widening which would be contrary to the Whitfield Urban Extension SPD and policy TR4 of the Dover Local Plan.
II) The proposed development would require the delivery of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) that would be subject to separate consultation and is not therefore certain to be considered acceptable. Without the provision of this TRO there would be no suitable mitigation provided upon Singledge Lane which would be to the detriment of the free flow of traffic, and highway safety and therefore prove contrary to the Whitfield Urban Extension SPD and Policy DM12 of the Dover Core Strategy.
III) The applicant has failed to provide sufficient information with regards to surface water drainage and as such a full assessment of the impact of the development cannot be made. Without this assessment, it cannot be ascertained as to whether the proposal would adequately address surface water drainage, which may also result in harm to the foul water drainage provision. This would therefore prove contrary to the Whitfield Urban Extension SPD and policy CP6 of the Dover Core Strategy.”
November 2016 – The Objections continue to flood in!
Since the screening option for an Environmental Impact Assessment was requested, this application has stalled and we await any news on any intended progression for the application.
The Parish Council have sent in the following objection, which is in addition to our earlier objection when it was proposed as 135 homes.
Subject: Re: 16/00136 Application to build 133 houses on Singledge Lane, Whitfield
6th November 2016
Dear Susan and everyone at DDC,
I reply on behalf of Whitfield Parish Council.
The questions that Susan and John Morecroft, and all the other Whitfield Residents continue to ask are very relevant and should be addressed as part of this latest application for the early development of Singledge Lane.
The Parish Council agrees with them that the development of this site is too early and should only come forward in tandem with Phases 4 and 5 of the Whitfield Urban Expansion, as required by the Whitfield SPD.
The reason for this has always been to ensure that the necessary transport, utility and social infrastructure is in place to support the development. Dover District Council must comply with this requirement!
Unfortunately the developer has chosen to disregard these questions and thinks that reducing the application by 2 houses to add a few square meters of grass to the site is sufficient to make it acceptable. The application is not acceptable and we can only hope that when it comes before the DDC Planning Committee, that they too realise this and reject the plans.
The traffic access is of paramount concern. In our objection to the application, the Parish Council raised the question of the need to grab people’s gardens to widen Singledge Lane so that access is possible.
This is the only way that the road will be wide enough for 2 vehicles to pass and have pavements for pedestrian safety. A Compulsory Purchase Order of private gardens and loss of the current parking spaces on the Lane is the only way that this can be achieved, and this course of action is unacceptable. Even if this does happen, it does not address the problems of access to existing properties due to the bollards etc. that are planned for the entrance to the site, nor does it address the problems of access and egress onto and off of the A2. Queuing of traffic trying to get into Singledge Lane in the central refuge extending back into the fast lane of the A2 leaving the roundabout is especially worrying and will result in a serious collision, injuries and possible loss of life. It is that serious, and a problem that has to be taken into account.
The application does not include adequate infrastructure improvements for the Utilities. There is a history of flooding and inadequate sewerage disposal capacity in the area, the water, gas and electricity supply capacity need to be upgraded for the extra dwellings. The Healthcare and Social Services are also not increased to meet the extra demand. Residents will be without these vital services, which are already at capacity.
There is so much missing from the application and so very little in its favour.
The needs of the local community must be put before the desire of the developer in this application. The application must be rejected for all the above reasons and taken to appeal if necessary.
With Kind Regards
Jeff Goodsell – Chairman Whitfield Parish Council
Update 7th October 2016 – Revised Application submitted for 133 houses
News has just reached the Parish Council that Abbey Developments have submitted a revised planning application for Singledge Lane.
Since the detail of the last application was thrown out by Dover District Council, Abbey Developments have altered the plans by reducing the number of houses proposed from 135 to 133 houses to increase the Strategic Area of Natural Greenspace (SANG) to 4.17 hectares. They have also adjusted the likely line of the land needed for Dualling of the A2 to add to the open space area on the development.
The Screening Opinion issued by Dover District Council on 29th June 2016 required that a single issue Environmental Impact Assessment be undertaken on ecology because the Council considered that the proposed 3.7 hectares of open space which formed part of the development was insufficient to meet its requirement for SANG.
Abbey Developments now believe that they comply with the requirements, and so have resubmitted their application.
Unfortunately, Abbey Development have done nothing to address any of the problems that Local Residents have raised, which included the Access arrangements, the Lack of Utility Infrastructure, and the fact the Site should not be developed until phases 4 and 5 of the Whitfield Development are built, in 15 to 20 years time.
The application reference number is still the same:
DOV/16/00136 Erection 133 dwellings including 40 affordable homes, new vehicular and pedestrian access, internal access roads, car parking, landscaping, provision of open space (4.17 ha) and a locally equipped children’s’ play area (LEAP) (amended details and description) . Land On The South Side, Singledge Lane, Whitfield, CT16 3ER
All the details for the planning application, including all 223 documents, can be found on the DDC website:
Update – 29th September 2016
The Parish Council have not received any futher information on the progress of this application.
As and when the Developer submits any further application, we hope to be able to work with Dover District Council and the Residents of Singledge and surrounding area to ensure that any development is in line with the schedule laid down in the Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document, in that this site is only developed in tandem with phases 4 and 5, in 15 to 20 years time, and only when the utility infrastructure and new junction access directly on to the A2 is in place.
We continue to monitor the DDC planning applications and will give further updates whenever we receive any news.
Update 4th July – Decision made on application DOV/16/00424 – Screening opinion for Environmental Impact Assessment
This only delays the planning application for 135 new houses DOV/16/00136 which will still be decided by DDC Planning Committee in the next few months at a public meeting of that committee.
DDC have now said that a limited EIA will be needed as part of the planning application for the Singledge Lane development. This will not stop the application process going forward, it will only delay it for a short time, while Abbey Homes produce an Environmental Statement to add to the application’s documentation before it can be considered by the Planning Committee at DDC.
The conclusion of the decision notice is that:
“Dover District Council therefore concludes with reference to the selection criteria in Schedule 3 of the Regulations and considering the likely issues for development of this type that the proposed development is EIA Development. An Environmental Statement will therefore be required in support of the planning application albeit limited in scope to natural heritage only.”
It is disappointing that the decision is very limited in its scope and the EIA will mainly be concerned with how the development will impact on the Lydden and Temple Ewell SAC conservation area. The decision concluded that there was sufficient information in the application on the traffic, flooding and lack of supporting infrastructure problems for them not to be included in the scope of the EIA.
Update 14th May 2016 – Request for Screening Opinion on Singledge Lane site.
Update – 6th May 2016
The Parish Council have asked for an update on the Singledge Lane Development, as things have gone quiet recently. The information from the planning department is that Dover District Council have highlighted a number of issues that are not acceptable in the initial application, and that the developer (Abbey Homes) is currently working on a response to these issues to submit an amended application for consideration.
We also understand that the main area that has to be sorted out is the access from Singledge Lane onto the A2. The outcome of this will depend on the response from the Highways Authority. Most objections have centered on this issue, so it is hoped that the decision from the Highways Authority will acknowledge this problem and refuse permission for access for the vehicles from 135 new homes.
Update – 17th April 2016
Dover District Council’s Planning Committee agenda has been published for a meeting on 21st April and the application for the Singledge Lane Site is NOT on the Agenda.
The number of objections have probably stalled the process, but it is important not to be complacent as the plans will undoubtedly come to the committee for consideration in the next few months.
Update – 11th March 2016
The public consultation has ended, but if there are any late-commers DDC will usually add them to the application file. The web site shows 111 objections to this application have been received by DDC. Such a large show of local opposition to the plan will hopefully make a big impact when the planning committee formally consider the application.
Whitfield Parish Council Response to the Singledge Lane Planning Application: 8th March 2016
Summary of our objection:
Whitfield Parish Council object in the strongest possible terms to this application.
The Parish Council also fully support the numerous objections to this application that have been made by Residents of Whitfield and the wider area.
To summarise this objection, Whitfield Parish Council object on four main issues:
1. The application is contrary to the Whitfield Urban Expansion SPD
This development should not be allowed until of Phases 4 and 5 of the WUE and provision of the associated infrastructure to support this village extension.
2. This application must be treated as an outline application as much of the detailed information and documents that are required for a full application are absent (Requirements of appendix 5 of the WUE SPD).
As an outline application there are a lengthy list of matters which would be unsatisfactory and that demonstrate this proposal should be refused. To proceed would require these matters to be referred back to the Planning Committee for decision, with provision for further Public Consultation to be made on these matters, prior to final approval and construction.
3. The application lacks most of the necessary infrastructure provision to support it.
The lengthy list of infrastructure issues include; lack of improvement to the currently inadequate existing road network (for both construction and new residential traffic); poor design of access onto the site; narrowness of Singledge Lane; inadequacy of the junction for access and egress onto and off of the A2; added congestion and highway safety issues; lack of provision of improvements to the utility Infrastructure (foulwater drains, pumping capacity and surface rainwater drainage provision is currently over capacity); lack of provision of Local Community infrastructure improvements, such as schools and healthcare, in Whitfield.
4. The high degree of local disruption that this development would cause both during construction and from continuing activities associated with the addition of 135 homes in the area.
There will be unacceptable disturbance and pollution (airborne, light and noise pollution) to neighbours and the locality with excessive impact upon near neighbours; with no resolution to the traffic and flooding issues that already blight the area; which has initiated such strong opposition to this application.
Closing Date for Objections to Dover District Council is Tuesday 8th March
Planning Dept email:
01304 872486 – For enquiries only – comments need to be sent in by email or letter and should include your name and address
Dover District Council
White Cliffs Business Park,
Dover CT16 3PJ
Objections flood in to DDC – 28th February 2016
Over 100 objections have already been sent in to Dover District Council by local Residents.
If you have not sent yours in yet, then you still have until 8th March to do so. If you have sent your response in, then well done – but please chase friends relatives and neighbours to send their comments on this application into DDC as every comment adds weight to the views of the people of Whitfield.
Planning Application Submitted to Dover District Council – 12th February 2016
Application Number 16/00136 Erection 135 dwellings including 40 affordable homes,new vehicular and pedestrian access, internal access roads, car parking, landscaping, provision of open space and a locally equipped childrens’ play area ( LEAP) | Land On The South Side, Singledge Lane, Whitfield, CT16 3ER
The application has been submitted to DDC and is for 135 houses and consists of 83 documents and plans on matters ranging from house design to technical reports. The full application is on the DDC Planning Website
There are more technical reports on traffic and travel, flooding, utility infrastructure, environment and habitat.
The Design and Access Statement Appendix is particularly useful as it contains the pre-application advice given to the Developer by DDC planning officers which highlights the shortfall in the initial plans from the developer.
At a recent Residents meeting with MP Charlie Elphicke, District Councillor David Hannent and Parish Councillors it was agreed that the only way to influence the decision on this is for everyone to write in to DDC and the press with their comments. Whitfield Parish Council will request that the Public Consultation period is extended to allow Residents time to go through the plans and co-ordinate a mass response to DDC.
It is very important that you respond to the Public Consultation and tell the District Council and their Planning Committee what you think. Remember to include your name and address, email and quote Application Number 16/00136
Planning Dept email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01304 872486
Responses should be relating to material considerations, which are matters that the Planning Committee Members should take into account in deciding a planning application.
Material considerations can include (but are not limited to):
- Impact upon neighbours in terms of noise, overlooking, loss of privacy, overshadowing or overbearing impact;
- Loss of light or overshadowing;
- Highway safety – The effect of an application on highway safety. Is there a safe access? Would traffic from the development be significantly hazardous to drivers or pedestrians? Is Singledge Lane wide enough?
- Increased traffic movements which will add to congestion on the A2, Local Roads and access to the site (both construction and new residential traffic);
- Parking issues;
- Noise (both from construction activities and new residential traffic);
- Light pollution (both from construction activities and new residential traffic);
- Potential for construction or use to cause unacceptable disturbance or pollution to neighbours or the locality;
- The impact of a proposal on local amenities and the character of the neighbourhood;
- Lack of provision of Local Community infrastructure in Whitfield – Doctor and Healthcare, Social Services, Schools, Libraries, Sport facilities etc;
- Lack of provision of new Utility Infrastructure – existing road network, foulwater drains and pumping capacity and surface rainwater provision is at capacity;
- Development will be out of sequence with Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document. The development should not go ahead because the intention is to use much of the existing infrastructure which is inadequate and would exacerbate the current problems with flooding issues and traffic congestion in the area, rather than wait for the infrastructure that will be put in place when Phases 4 and 5 of the planned Whitfield Urban Expansion come forward in 20 years time.
- Impact of the proposal on the character of an area including nature conservation and on the local nature conservation area;
- Layout of the development;
- The density of the proposed development;
- Design, appearance and materials of the development;
- Government policy and National Planning Guidance;
- Disabled persons’ access;
- Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions);
- The planning history of the site – the 2011 application was found to be unacceptable.
However, issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties, or matters which reflect the writer’s personal and private interests are not material considerations.
Meeting with Charlie Elphicke – 5th February 2016
Residents with Charlie Elphicke at the site’s access point
Concerned Residents from Singledge Lane have had a meeting with local MP Charlie Elphicke and told him of their concerns with this ill advised proposal for 135 houses. Charlie agreed that the development should not go ahead because the intention is to use existing infrastructure which is inadequate and would exacerbate the current problems with flooding issues and traffic congestion in the area, rather than wait for the infrastructure that will be put in place when Phases 4 and 5 of the planned Whitfield Urban Expansion come forward in 20 years time.
Also at the meeting was District Councillor David Hannent and Parish Councillors Keith Barraclough and Jeff Goodsell.
Exhibition at the Ramada – 25th January 2016
The Parish Council and Whitfield’s District Councillors met with representatives from Ward Homes prior to the exhibition at the Ramada.
We expressed our concern with their plans to develop 135 new houses on the Singledge Lane site on a number of issues including; increase surface water flooding at the Singledge / Nursery Lane / Green Lane junction and at the Ramada; insufficient capacity for foul water sewerage disposal; inadequate access, due to the narrowness of Singledge Lane and poor access from and onto the A2; additional traffic movements, which will add to existing congestion; the oppressive nature of a 2 and 3 storey development so close to an area of single storey dwellings and; that the development will be in direct contravention to the phasing schedule and other provisions currently in the Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The Whitfield SPD schedules a new access roundabout to the A2 to be put in as part of the infrastructure for phases 4 and 5, in 15 to 20 years time, which will then provide access to the Singledge development.
The Parish Council will give a more detailed response once a planning application has been submitted with specific details.
The exhibition information boards can be downloaded from this [ Link ]
We would encourage you to send in any comments you may have to Abbey Homes consultant, Charlotte Howard, on 020 3725 3857 or via email at email@example.com
Singledge Lane development proposals – January 2016
The Parish Council have received an invitation to attend a public exhibition for a proposed new development on land along the A2, behind the Ramada Hotel.
A previous application in January 2011 was put in by Ward Homes: This application has been put in by Abbey Developments. Whitfield Parish Council expect these 2016 proposals to be broadly similar to the 2011 application and will, therefore, be objected to on much the same grounds.
The Exhibition is at the Ramada on Monday 25th January from 3.30 to 7.30 pm
A newsletter has been posted to local residents and a letter to the Parish Chairman.
This application will probably be similar to the application that was put forward in 2011 and later withdrawn. At that time the Parish Council sent an objection to the District Council as past of the initial scoping opinion for the application. This objection outlined the Parish Council’s objections to the application and the plans put forward. It is quite likely that the new appication is similar and that objections will be roughly the same. Below is a link to the Parishes 2011 objection for you to see the wide range of aspects that were of concern to us at that time.
2011 scoping opinion objection [ Link ]
Further information will be posted here as and when it becomes available.