**UPDATE** 26th January 2021 – COVID- 19 vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccinations will be provided through a range of local NHS services. The vaccines will be available to everyone over 18 years old. People will be invited for vaccination based on a nationally set priority list.
The vaccination programme will take several months to work through everyone, so it could be some time before you are contacted.
Please help protect yourself, friends and loved ones by getting vaccinated when you are invited.
Medway Peninsula Primary Care Network – Wainscott Surgery Vaccination Centre – Latest Update 26/01/2021
“Medway Peninsula Primary Care Network (PCN) has received notification that it will receive approx. 2000 Pfizer vaccinations and 1200 AstraZenica vaccinations by the end of this week. The vaccination site at Wainscott surgery will start its first over 80s clinic on Thursday 28th January 2021 and clinics will run 8.00am to 8.00pm consecutively up to and including Wednesday 3rd February 2021.
All GP practices within the Primary Care Network will be contacting their patients now to invite them into an appointment over this period. Appointments are by invite only, please do not call your local practice to book in as this will add to their already extremely busy phone lines.
Patients that have been booked in for their vaccination are asked to arrive on time rather than too early as this could cause extra congestion to an already limited site for access and parking.
Patients are requested to wear suitable clothing so that they can provide access to the upper section of the preferred arm for the vaccination. If patients can bring along something with their NHS number too that might help the process of finding patients on our electronic record system. Details of NHS numbers are printed on repeat prescriptions and most hospital/clinic letters.
Due to the nature of each vaccine type the practice will be supplying the Pfizer vaccine first. Details of additional clinics after Wednesday 3rd Feb will be issued at a later stage through these briefings. Clinics at this stage are for the first vaccination only; patients will receive notification of when they should receive their second vaccination. Booking in for second vaccinations will be carried out by practices over the coming weeks.
The PCN has been overwhelmed by the support being offered in the community. Practices Patient Participation Groups are assisting the sites with marshalling duties and we have had clinicians sending in offers to help to be part of the vaccination teams so a huge thank you to all that have been in contact so far. Our local MP has also been in talks with the Lead GPs for the centre offering
support where possible.
We will issue further statements in due course.”
Medway Peninsula PCN Vaccination Centre
Miller Way, Wainscott, Kent, ME2 4LP

**UPDATE** COVID-19 Vaccinations – Adam Holloway MP

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS UPDATE FROM ADAM HOLLOWAY M.P.
Our Parish Clerk spoke to Adam Holloway on 23rd January 2021 and Higham Parish Council received this from his Parliamentary Caseworker:
“The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) now say that Highparks will start vaccinating patients the week commencing 25th January – a full six weeks after other areas.
Whilst I remain appalled on the part of all the Higham over 80s & others now waiting for their first vaccination, please do not contact the surgery but wait until you are contacted.
I will be keeping a very close eye on progress and will not hesitate to push the CCG if the promised additional vaccine supplies do not materialise or it looks like they are going to miss the target date of 14th of February.
Please can anyone over 70 who has not received an appointment for vaccination by 7th of February get in touch with me: hollowaya@parliament.uk.”
Adam Holloway MP

Thank you for your continued support.
Higham Parish Council

STATEMENT FROM HIGHAM PARISH COUNCIL: NURALITE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE. Planning Reference 20190290

Sadly this planning application was never going to produce a clear cut outcome for our village as it was widely known that the applicant would have gone to appeal had permission been refused.

Our past experience of contentious planning applications going to appeal is that this process does not always produce the right decision as far as our village is concerned and may have resulted in a permission being granted with NO planning conditions attached. The planning process only allows a right of appeal for the applicant.

Although we are extremely disappointed with this outcome we note that the written decision now issued by Gravesham Borough Council advises that further consultation with Higham Parish Council is to take place and that permission has been granted subject to “planning conditions and informatives” being applied.

Your Parish Council will keep you updated regarding progress with this issue on both our website and Facebook pages but we understand that this process could take quite some time.

Linda Carnall, Clerk to Higham Parish Council

**FOR INFO – NURALITE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE – 20190290 Higham Parish Council Objection

Please find below a copy of Higham Parish Council’s objection letter relating to the Nuralite Development within Shone and Higham parishes.

NURALITE – 20190290 – OBJECTION – Click this link


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.”
Contact details:
Sean Delaney (Reporter)
07713309829
sdelaney@thekmgroup.co.uk

Thank you for your continued support.

Higham Parish Council

 

 

**FOR INFO** Gravesham Local Plan: Higham Parish Council Response & FAQs**

Gravesham Local Plan
Regulation 18 Stage 2 Consultation

Please click on the link below the link to Higham Parish Council’s official response to the Gravesham Local Plan submitted to Gravesham Borough Council in December 2020:

CLICK HERE Higham Parish Council’s Gravesham Local Plan Response – Final


Why are they proposing to build so many new houses in Higham?
GBC CLAIM TO HAVE RUN OUT OF LAND, WHICH IS NOT GREEN BELT, AND/OR EXISTING
SITES IN GRAVESEND AND NORTHFLEET ARE DIFFICULT TO DEVELOP

How many additional homes do these proposals suggest for Higham?
1,810

What are the Parish Council doing about the proposal to build 1810
houses in the village?
THE PARISH COUNCIL WILL BE OBJECTING TO THE PROPOSALS.

How do I object to the Local Plan?

All of the information including a standard response that you can print, copy and sign as well as all of the details on how to submit your response can be found on our website in our ‘Gravesham Local Plan News and Info’ section here:

Higham Parish Council – Gravesham Local Plan News & Info

 

How will the roads, schools and doctors cope with the extra
people, cars etc?
THEY CANNOT, NOR CAN THE SEWERS AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE

Where do I find the details of these proposals?
THE PROPOSALS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE ON-LINE AT

Gravesham Local Plan Proposals and Documentation – Gravesham Borough Council

OR BY VISITING THE CIVIC CENTRE AND READING THEM THERE.

Which parts of the village are supposed to be developed – where
are the new  houses going to be built?
MAINLY BY FILLING IN BETWEEN THE THREE CRUTCHES, STROOD AND HIGHAM (CHAPTER FARM) BUT ALSO 40 HOUSES AT WALMERS AVENUE, 250 HOUSES BY FILLING IN
BETWEEN SCHOOL LANE AND TAYLORS LANE, 85 HOUSES BY BUILDING ON THE
RECREATION GROUND AND THE FIELD TO THE NORTH OF IT, 40 HOUSES BY
BUILDING ON BUCKLANDFARM YARD AND ADJOINING FIELD IN CHALK
ROAD, AND 10 HOUSES ON THE NARROWEST PART OF CANAL ROAD.

How do Gravesham Borough Council justify these sites?
GRAVESHAM ARE PROPOSING THAT HIGHAM AND LOWER HIGHAM BECOME ONE SETTLEMENT AND THEN THEY CAN DEVELOP THE FIELDS WHICH SEPARATE THESE PARTS OF THE VILLAGE.

THERE IS NO APPARENT JUSTIFICATION FOR THE CHAPTER FARM PROPOSALS (SEE ALSO http://www.savechapter.co.uk/_

My neighbour doesn’t have a computer and can’t get to the library  ow is she supposed to respond to the consultation?
GRAVESHAM ARE USING THE PANDEMIC TO MAKE IT VERY DIFFICULT FOR
PEOPLE TO ACCESS THE CONSULTATION.  WRITE TO YOUR BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
AND GRAVESHAM’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE COMPLAINING

Who decided how many new homes are needed and how do they
calculate the number?

GRAVESHAM ARE USING 2014 PROJECTIONS FROM THE GOVERNMENT WHICH OVERESTIMATED POPULATION GROWTH IN GRAVESHAM.  THEY
HAVE NOT USED THE LOWER 2019 PROJECTIONS

Have things like the Co-vid Pandemic (e.g., changes in shopping habits and working from home) been taken into account when developing a
Local Plan?
NO


IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION WHICH IS NOT ANSWERED HERE PLEASE EMAIL IT TO

clerk@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

and we will do our best to answer.


Higham Parish Council

**FOR INFO – Kent’s first Bee-friendly Bus Stop will ‘bee’ in Higham**

Over the last several months, Higham Parish Council has been working alongside Kent County Council (KCC) to jointly deliver a scheme on the main bus route in Higham on Gravesend Road at the Forge Lane Bus stop (Medway bound). Through the village precept, Higham Parish Council and the residents of Higham, funded 50% of this landmark project for Kent. The remainder was funded by grant donations from KCC.

The existing tired-looking shelter (see below) is to be replaced with a new one and work has started already. As well as providing bus users somewhere to sit and shelter form the elements, the roof of the shelter will be covered with sedum and wildflower that can attract bees and other species of pollinators to help with the plight of pollinators across the country.

The bus shelter plans form part of a KCC’s Plan Bee action plan which is actively seeking to reverse the “serious” decline of pollinators in the UK, including bees, moths and butterflies.

As you can see, work started at the end of November and is almost complete…

The Parish Council can’t wait for the new shelter to come into operation where it will not only benefit our parishioners, but also benefit important pollinators too.


Thank you for your continued support.

Higham Parish Council

FOR INFO: Lower Thames Crossing Development Consent Order Update

As you may be aware, on Friday 20th November, we received an email from Communities Engagement Team informing Higham Parish Council of HE’s intention to withdraw their Development Consent Order (DCO) in effect the planning application for the new crossing scheme. The DCO has been withdrawn and Higham Parish Council have received a further update from HE on LTC as follows:

“Following my email last week about the withdrawal of our Development Consent Order application, we’ve now had further dialogue with the Planning Inspectorate about their expectations around our application.

The fundamentals of the Lower Thames Crossing, including its objectives and location, will remain the same but we will further develop some technical information related to some elements of the scheme before we resubmit our application next year.

The feedback from the Planning Inspectorate includes requests for:

  • Further information on the impact of the project on traffic during the construction phase. We recognise that Local Authorities are keen to find out more information about our construction traffic appraisals and will be engaging with them on these issues.
  • Further assessments about how an existing jetty on the River Thames near the northern tunnel entrance construction site could potentially be used during the construction phase. The operation of the jetty could, if used, impact river traffic. We will be developing Navigational Impact Assessment and engaging with stakeholders on this topic.
  • More details on our approach for managing materials and waste, including how the different contractors will coordinate the reusing, recycling or disposal of waste.
  • An enhanced Habitats Regulations Assessment to provide a more detailed explanation of our approach to assessment of potential effects on European designated sites where we have indicated there would be no likely significant effects as a result of the construction and operation of the new road alone, or in combination with other projects.
  • More detail on our approach to the long-term management of the project’s proposed environmental mitigation. 

The Planning Inspectorate has also shared some feedback from Local Authorities on our approach to consultation.

We’ve held a record-breaking programme of consultation, the most comprehensive ever undertaken for a UK road project with almost 300 days spent in consultation and nearly 90,000 responses received. We provided a significant level of detail on all aspects of the project in a wide range of formats to aid peoples understanding of our proposals.

We will consider this feedback carefully as we refine key areas of our submission ahead of resubmitting our application for a Development Consent Order.

For a project of the size and complexity of the Lower Thames Crossing, it is reasonable for the Planning Inspectorate to ask for further information, and we are doing everything we can to resubmit our application at the earliest opportunity. “


Highways England must now revisit their planning application and revisit these areas before the new application can be submitted. At this stage Higham Parish Council are not aware of the timetable for this, but we will, as ever, keep you posted on our FB page and website. 

In the meantime, you may wish to take a look at the following websites

  • You can also find out more about the application process, including how and at what stage you can get involved, on the Planning Inspectorate website – link here

Higham Parish Council

**FOR INFO** New village playground opened by the Mayor of Gravesham

Higham Parish Council are pleased to announce that the long-awaited new children’s play area situated on the recreation ground is now complete and open for use.

The Mayor of Gravesham, Councillor John Caller, Councillor Bryan Sweetland (Kent County Council), Gravesham Borough and Higham Parish Council Councillors Harold Craske and Les Pearton, Higham Parish Council Chair, Councillor John Grey and Vice-Chair, Councillor Amanda Mendzil officially opened the play area on Tuesday, 3rd November 2020 in a low-key and socially-distanced ceremony.

The old play area was tired and uninviting, but following discussions at Parish Council meetings it was agreed to put plans in place to bring it up to date and make it more attractive. Vice Chair, Councillor Amanda Mendzil, took on the challenge with full support from the Parish Council and began the task of looking into designs, costings and for financial assistance to make the project happen.

The Parish Council considered that some of the new equipment should be accessible and this has been accomplished in the piece of equipment chosen.

To assist in the financing of the project, Higham Parish Council made several grant applications to several national bodies and were delighted to receive financial support from the National Lottery, Kent County Council, Gravesham Borough Council and from donations from local groups, including Higham Quilters along with funds from the Parish Council.

Whilst the lockdown situation caused a delay to starting the work, once restrictions were eased the work began straight away and was quickly and efficiently carried out by Playground Projects Ltd, the Parish Council’s contractor for this project.

Higham Parish Council would like to make special mention to local residents Sylvia Rolfe, Jeegna Patel Jones and Emma Aldous together with many others in the village who generously gave their time, ideas and donations towards the completion of the play area, which is now being enjoyed by children in the village and beyond!

Please see below for a selection of photographs from the opening.


Higham Parish Council