Gravesham Local Plan TO ACTION

Residents MUST respond before 30th December 2020

Following the Regulation 18 (Stage 1) Consultation in 2018, Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) have considered the representations received and gathered additional information to inform the amount of housing, employment and retail development needed in the Borough to 2036.

GBC are seeking views on these issues and the options for determining where future development could take place to meet identified needs. GBC are also seeking views on the sites that it is proposed to allocate for housing and employment in addition to those already allocated in the Local Plan Core Strategy, and the updated policies in the Development Management Policies Document.

Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) is in the process of reviewing this document which guides housing and employment development in the whole Borough. It therefore has a potential impact for all of us living and working in Higham. As part of the Review GBC are required to consult with residents and other key individuals and organisations. One of its key assumptions is that by 2036, there will be a need for an extra 10,480 houses although the population of the Borough is only expected to increase from 106,900 to 109,500 in the same period – this is effectively 3 houses per new resident!

Where can I find details of the Consultation and associated plans and documents

A large number of documents, site plans showing potential development areas, draft policies that deal with issues arising from planning applications are available on the Borough Council website

https://localplan.gravesham.gov.uk/consult.ti/REG18S2/consultationHome

As we understand it paper copies of the documents are not available, but residents can access them online or can visit the Civic Centre in Gravesend. If you, or someone you know, cannot access via either of these methods you may like to write to the Chief Planning Officer and Chief Executive and say that GBC has a legal duty to provide the information in a manner/format in which you can use it.


What does this Consultation mean for Higham?
Our fields could be turned into housing estates under proposals by Gravesham Borough Council. Across Gravesham a staggering 3,790 houses are proposed which would swallow up 21 areas of precious Green Belt. This includes 1,810 houses in Higham across seven greenbelt sites including the recreation ground.

Local Plan – Promoted Sites for Development in Higham

Here is a quick reference list of the promoted sites for development that can accompany the pdf document above:

HIGHAM

  • GB05 Land Adjacent to Higham Station Higham commercial.
  • GB147 Canal Road, Higham 10 dwellings.
  • GBS-C Land at and adjoining Buckland Farm, Chalk Road, Higham Higham 40 dwellings. Buckland Farm Chalk Road adjoins housing which forms Green Belt boundary.
  • GBS-K Land to the north, east and west of Three Crutches. Higham/Shorne, Cobham & Luddesdown 1385 dwellings & commercial Greenbelt area filling in the gap between the A289 and Gravesham’s boundary with Medway. A small part of this area behind the pub is in Shorne. This is everything, wrapped around the existing ‘hamlet’ of Three Crutches, between the Wainscott Northern Bypass (A289) and the Gravesham’s boundary with Medway, including Rochester United’s football ground.
  • GBS-T Land between Lower Rochester Road, Hermitage Road and School Lane, Higham Higham 85 dwellings. Recreation Ground and adjoining field.
  • GBS-W Land between Taylors Lane and School Lane, to the north of High View, Higham. Higham 250 dwellings.  land north of High Field, between School Lane and Taylor’s Lane

TOTAL 1770 houses

HIGHAM/ SHORNE

  • GB80 Land west of Walmers Avenue, Higham Shorne, Cobham & Luddesdown 40 dwellings. This is in Green Belt and adjoins parish boundary (Walmers Avenue) and the existing houses in Higham but field is in Shorne.

TOTAL 40 houses

What are Higham Parish Council doing about the Consultation?

A number of potential sites in Higham have been identified for potential development and the Parish Council are working hard to look at the implications IF any of these sites were to be developed. Please remember, that these sites have only been identified as potential development sites. Gravesham Borough Council have, at this early stage, only been asked to put consider and forward sites in their Borough that have the potential for development.

Higham Parish Council is working on its response to the Consultation – we will be objecting to the proposed sites and making comments on the other questions. The Parish Council’s response will only count as one objection and we encourage everyone to have their say on the consultation – either by objecting or supporting the proposed development. You can respond to the questions and either post them or email them in.

 

 
The Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) Local Plan Consultation closes on 31st December 2020. Your Parish Council is supporting the CPRE “STOP THE GREEN BELT GRAB” campaign and has already posted a leaflet through your front door.

 

If you have not already responded, and wish to object to the proposals, the Parish Council is now providing you with the attached standard “Letter of Concern”. Simply complete the attached letter by printing your name, adding your address and then providing your signature and the date at the bottom of the letter. It is important to include ALL these details as incomplete letters may be ignored.

 

Every person over the age of 18 can sign a copy of this letter and so please ask every eligible person in your household to complete a copy of it, using photocopies if necessary. If you require extra copies of this letter for additional persons in your household you can collect these from the Village Greengrocers and Higham Post Office.In view of the current delays with Christmas postal deliveries, you may wish to deliver your completed letter into one of our “Drop Boxes” within the village atone of the following locations and we will deliver your responses personally to the Borough Council for you.

 

 24, Chilton Drive (near Gravesend Road-black box on top step)
 1, Taylors Lane (opposite parade of shops-in front porch)
 61, School Lane (near Railway Station-through front door)
 “Larkfield Gate”, Crutches Lane (Near Three Crutches-mail box on fence)
 Higham Post Office
 Village Greengrocers

 

Please be mindful of your elderly neighbours or anyone who may not be able to travel to a Drop Box location within Higham. If you can take their letter for them,this would be much appreciated.
We need as many objections as possible to really make an impact and raise ourconcerns to GBC. Please help us make a difference and prevent the proposedbuilding on the precious Greenbelt within our villages.

 

PLEASE NOTE!! In order for us to deliver your letter to GBC the final date to drop off your letters to a Drop Box is WEDNESDAY, 30TH DECEMBER 2020.

 

 
There is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on our website for Higham residents:
 
Please alert your friends and neighbours to the consultation and encourage them to view the documents, respond to Gravesham Borough Council on the consultation and please look out for further information from the Parish Council.

More Information

For more information on the campaign named ‘Stop the Greenbelt Grab’ that has been organised by Gravesham Campaign for Rural England (CPRE), you can visit their website at

https://www.cpregravesham.org/

The website provides all of the details on how to help, donate and receive regular updates on how the campaign is progressing. Higham Parish Council also urge our parishioners to share this website too.


Thank your for your continued support.

Higham Parish Council 

Kent’s first Bee-friendly Bus Stop

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

LOWER THAMES CROSSING DEVELOPMENT

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

REVIEW OF THE HIGHWAY CODE

Review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders

The Department of Transport recently opened a consultation seeking the UK’s views on proposed changes to The Highway Code to improve safety for vulnerable road users, particularly the groups of:

  • cyclists
  • pedestrians
  • horse riders

The main alterations to the code that were being proposed were:

  • introducing a hierarchy of road users which ensures that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others
  • clarifying existing rules on pedestrian priority on pavements, to advise that drivers and riders should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road,
  • providing guidance on cyclist priority at junctions to advise drivers to give priority to cyclists at junctions when travelling straight ahead
  • establishing guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists and horse riders

Higham Parish Council urged parishioners to have their say in this consultation as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders are well represented in the area and particularly as the activities mentioned are very popular in and around our village.

The consultation closed at

The Government are now in the process of analysing national feedback. Visit the Gov.uk page below again soon to download the outcome to this public feedback.

Gov.uk - Review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders


Higham Parish Council

New National Restrictions from 5 November

Are you confused about the new restrictions coming into place for the second national lockdown? Do you want to find useful information and links on the financial support available? Then please read on…

Here, we have posted the link to government information on the new national restrictions coming in to play on Thursday 5th November at 00:01.

It includes what the restrictions mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available. This information, from gov.uk was last updated on 1st November.

GOV.UK - New National Restrictions from 5 November

For the latest local information from Gravesham Borough Council, please visit the Gravesham Borough Council website here:

Gravesham Borough Council - COVID-19 Help, Support and Advice


Higham Parish Council

New village playground

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


FOR INFO – Latest News from Highways England – Lower Thames Crossing

Take a look at Highways England’s new autumn community video newsletter. Highways England have produced  this video at the end of over four years of consultation as they prepare their planning application.

Watch the video here:

Read the latest news on the crossing and consultation here:

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/lower-thames-crossing/latest-news/


Thank your for your continued support.

Higham Parish Council

 

Kent County Council Draft 5 Year Plan published

Do you want to help shape the future of life in Kent? Do you want your views to be heard by the County Council? If yes, then we would recommend reading Kent County Council’s (KCC) ‘Draft 5 Year Plan’

Over the past 5 months KCC have been listening to:

  • Kent residents
  • young people
  • businesses
  • voluntary and community sector organisations
  • our staff
  • our partners across public services.

They have heard about what is important to quality of life in Kent and what people’s priorities are. Based on what they have heard, they developed the draft 5 year plan. The plan shapes what KCC will do and what they will prioritise spending money on over the next 5 years.

This document is available online for you to read and respond to (it can also be downloaded if you are unable to respond online). We recommend reading the plan before you complete and submit your response. Hurry though as the consultation closes on the 17th February 2020.

Please follow this link to the Kent County Council ‘Draft 5 Year Plan’ page:

Draft 5 Year Plan - Kent County Council


The Parish Council