Please find below a copy of Higham Parish Council’s objection letter relating to the Nuralite Development within Shone and Higham parishes.
The Parish Council objected:
A) on traffic grounds as:
- the studies relating to existing use were old and traffic volumes had increased.
- the rural roads through the parish are narrow, without pavements and used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders as well as vehicular traffic.
- a lot of traffic going to the industrial sites in Canal Road currently go through the village and asked that the traffic be required to use the Lower Rochester Road
- the large number of vehicle movements proposed to import material to cap and make safe the asbestos tip
- the provision of a mini roundabout and the removal of the specimen tree at the junction of Chequers Street and Lower Rochester Road in inappropriate with the area’s status as a Conservation Area
B) on the size of the new development, while the applicant has a statutory right due to the age of the Nuralite works to replace the existing floor space on the existing built up site. However:
- the new buildings are substantially larger
- not all the existing buildings are used so the useable floor space proposed is 288% of the current useable area
- the new buildings are not on the same site as the current ones.
C) on the impact on the environment, landscape and ecology:
- the site is in the Green Belt so its redevelopment at a higher level is a visual intrusion
- the site supports the adjoining Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Thames Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area (which includes the Canal) and is close to the Ramsar site which also benefit from insects and other flora and fauna living on it
- security flood lighting would be instructive and incompatible.
The Supplemental Objection relates to a further traffic study issued on 24 November 2020 (and now correctly filed) which indicated that they estimate that once the development is complete, about 500 vehicles a day would drive through the middle of Higham rather than taking the ‘long way round’ to get to the A289 and the Medway towns.
Extract from Supplemental Report – PLANNING CONDITIONS
Please see my summary of the Supplemental report. I have extracted the long list of conditions and annotated them as the [easiest!] way of summarising them:
Councillor David Martin, Higham Parish Council
Message from your Borough & Parish Cllr Leslie Pearton
“I was extremely saddened at the decision taken by The Regulatory Board last Wednesday to grant permission to the Nuralite Development. I would like to personally thank all those in their efforts and endeavours who helped try to get this Application refused.
I would also like to thank my Parishioners for all their sentiments of support they have give me via social media. I promised to serve the people in the Parish of Higham as both Parish and Borough Councillor and I will do my utmost to follow up on this wrongful decision to get this decision either overturned or at the very least to reach the best possible solution for our village.
Unfortunately, my fight and hours of time to try to defeat this application did not prove successful, but not for the want of trying. BUT REST ASSURED, THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER!
I am currently pursuing lines to prove that the decision was reached against correct procedure for Probity in Planning. I will say no more than that other than I may have a good case and reasonable fact to put forward but I do not wish to be too confident at this stage!
A reporter from the Kent Messenger group, Sean Delaney, sent this note to Bryan Sweetland (KCC Councillor representing Gravesham) requesting Higham residents to get in touch with the newspaper directly if they wish to comment on the re-development of Nuralite:
“I’m intending to follow up on this story for next week’s Gravesend and Medway Messengers and would be keen to speak to anyone aggrieved by this decision, particularly Higham residents.”
Sean Delaney (Reporter)
Thank you for your continued support.
Higham Parish Council