Contact your Parish Council



REFERENCE NO -  18/501471/FULL


Erection of a covered dry store. (Resubmission of 17/505103/FULL)

ADDRESS Mid Kent Roofing Yard Forstal Lane Harrietsham Kent ME17 1LA 

RECOMMENDATION – GRANT subject to planning conditions set out in Section 8.0 of the report.


The application is for a dry store on the existing site that would have little impact on the surrounding rural and landscape character of the area. It would provide a facility to meet the business needs of the applicant and allow for the removal of the existing visually unsightly temporary storage on the site. The impact of the development on the amenities of neighbouring properties has been considered and found to be acceptable. No works could commence until appropriate landscaping has been submitted for approval by the Council and implemented and it is considered that the proposal could be appropriately mitigated by appropriate planning conditions.



The application has been called in by Harrietsham Parish Council on the grounds that the building is of an excessive height and that the proposal contravenes Policy DM37 section 1. The proposed building site is astride the bund designed to protect neighbouring properties form noise etc. and no indication has been given for the provision of drainage or waste disposal.


WARD Harrietsham And Lenham



AGENT Martin Potts Associates






06/04/18 and 24/07/18

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY (inc. appeals and relevant history on adjoining sites):


Current application site

App No:





Retrospective application for new office unit (considering external alterations to previously approved office building).




Amendment for 6 skylights to west elevation; relocate front door; glaze 1st floor north gable with stairs and access door; patio door to south elevation of planning application 15/502517/FULL.




Proposed new office unit




Submission of details pursuant to Condition 5 - Hard and Soft Landscaping of 14/500358




Continued use of Area B as storage for building materials, with car parking.




Certificate of Lawful Development for the use of the site for the storage and distribution of building materials, wholesale and retail sale of building materials, and ancillary office and toilet block.





Land at Avonbank, Holm Mill Lane, Harrietsham, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1LA


App No:





Demolition of existing dilapidated stable block and adjacent pre-fabricated garage. Change of use and creation of new single-storey link-detached block containing 3no holiday let chalets – Summary of reasons for refusal -


1)   Proposal would result in an incongruous development detrimental to the openness of the countryside.

2)   Would result in a sub-standard form of development poor outlook to the rear and insufficient provision of amenity space detrimental to future occupiers,




Change of use of redundant buildings to holiday lets




Millfield, Holm Mill Lane, Harrietsham, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1LA


App No:





Demolition of existing outbuilding and erection of a 3 bed chalet style single storey holiday let with a private access route and designated parking








1.01    The application site covers an area of 4590 square metres located to the east side of and accessed by a track from Forstal Lane (Greenway Lane). The site is 460 metres to the north west of the Harrietsham settlement boundary (junction of Ashford Road and West Street). The site is outside of the Landscape of Local Value designation that is located to the south of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.


1.02    The application site is to the north and to the rear of two residential properties fronting Holm Mill Lane (Hollowdene, Millfield). To the east of the site is a row of single storey former office buildings; planning permission was granted in 2010 (10/1080) for conversion of these buildings to holiday lets (stable oak cottages) with a rise in roof ridge heights to between 3.8 to 4.7 metres. It appears that this adjacent site contains a mixture of holiday lets and stabling for horses. The property called Avonbank is adjacent to Millfield to the east on Holm Mill Lane, the occupier of Avonbank owns the holiday lets and open land to the north of the application site.


1.03    In terms of the application site, this is a flat parcel of land that was granted a certificate of lawful development in 1997 (MA/97/0613), for the storage and distribution of building materials, wholesale and retail sale of building materials, and an ancillary office and toilet block. Planning permission was subsequently granted in 2014 for the use of adjacent additional land to be used in connection with the business.


1.04    Planning permission was approved in 2015 for a new office building on the application site in connection with the existing roofing business that has a footprint of 8m x 18m and measures 2.9m to the eaves and 6.4m to the ridge. The building has been constructed and is in use and a further retrospective application in 2015 permitted the retention of changes that were made to the previously approved plans.




2.01    In regards to this proposal, the application seeks permission for the erection of a dry store on the north east side of the site. The building would measure 30m metres in length, 12 metres in depth at the narrowest part and a maximum of 18m in depth at the widest part. The building has a proposed floor space of approximately 392sqm. In terms of height, the building would measure 3.4m to the eaves with a maximum ridge height of 5.2m. The walls would be timber clad with dark stained weatherboarding with a brick built plinth and imitation slate roof tiles.


2.02    The building is required in connection with the business on the site Mid Kent Roofing who require internal storage for materials to protect them from external elements. Two small covered temporary storage units have been erected on the site, one on the south of the site and one to the north of the site without planning permission. The applicant is proposing to remove these temporary structures and replace them with the proposed dry store.


2.03    The business is conditioned under application reference 14/500358/FULL to only be open during the hours of 7am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays; and 8am to 12noon on Saturdays, with no opening on Sundays and Bank Holidays. The business currently employs 8 employees. The existing access and parking arrangements would be maintained as at present.





The National Planning Policy Framework 2018(NPPF)

National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG)

Development Plan: SP17, SP21, DM1, DM2, DM3, DM30 and DM37






4.01  Harriestsham Parish Council (summarised): Object and request application is referred to planning committee.


Of the view that this application contravenes Policy DM37 sections 1 of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2017.


No indication on the plan of provision for draining or waste disposal other than a soak away. Understanding that there is a cess pit on site immediately beneath where the new building is proposed.


The proposed building site is astride the bund designed to protect neighbouring properties from noise etc.


Concern with adjacent field being turned into hardstanding and an additional building being erected to accommodate a manufacturing business.


Concern is also raised with previous noncompliance of planning conditions


Rural access and roads are unsuitable for the traffic accessing the site.



4.02   Local residents: 4 representations received from local residents objecting to the proposal on the following grounds (summarised):


·           Loss of view to the downs

·           Additional hardstanding has caused flooding

·           Concern that the building would be let out to other businesses

·           Overdevelopment of the site in the setting of the Kent Downs AONB

·           Large amount of development has occurred on the site over recent years

·           Narrow lanes are not suitable for HGV’s

·           Harm to the landscape in an SLA

·           Impact of noise from the business

·           Concern that a furniture manufacturing business has moved to the site




5.01   KCC Highways: No objection


5.02   Environmental Health: No objection




6.01   The key issues for consideration therefore relate to:

·         Principle of development

·         Visual impact and landscaping

·         Residential amenity

·         Highways safety


Principle of Development


6.02     Policy DM37 of the Local Plan (2017) is relevant and supports the sustainable growth and expansion of rural businesses in the rural area. This is where the new buildings are small scale and appropriate for the location and can be integrated into the local landscape. There is support where the increase in floorspace would not result in unacceptable traffic levels; where the proposal would not result in loss of amenity and where no open storage will be permitted unless adequately screened.


6.03     In this instance, the site is located within the countryside, but consists of previously developed land that has been used for the open storage of building materials for a number of years. The proposal does not look to extend the site into the countryside, but is seeking a permanent dry storage area for materials. It is considered that Policy DM37 lends support to the proposal, provided that it can be demonstrated that the building would not cause unacceptable harm to the countryside, landscape and residential amenity. Such impacts are considered in greater detail below.


Visual Impact and Landscaping


6.04     The proposed building would be sited within the confines of the existing permitted site, and would replace existing temporary storage constructed from scaffolding that is located towards the middle of the site and a temporary building located on the southern boundary of the site. The proposed building of 392 sqm in floor area and up to 5.2 metres in height would be seen in the context of the existing office building which stands at 6.4m high.


6.05     The site is relatively flat and the site is well screened in views from the south and west by trees and buildings. Views of the site from the east are interrupted by buildings. The vista is more open to the north and the site is visible from the Kent Downs AONB and views could be possible from a public footpath to the north east. Such views are at distances of 320-350m and there is currently screening in place. It is highlighted that the additional screening required under the 2015 permission has not been sufficiently managed and uninterrupted views at a distance are possible without this sufficient mitigation.


6.06     At present, the proposed open storage on site is permitted up to 3m in height, which is a similar height to the eaves of the proposed building. The proposed building height is required to allow for internal access by a forklift truck and for the removal of the existing temporary unsightly scaffolding that has been erected on site to provide dry storage.


6.07     In landscape terms the site falls within the Leeds Castle Parkland Borough Wide Landscape Character Area under the Maidstone Landscape Character Assessment March 2012 (Amended July 2013). The site is located to the north and east of the landscape character area and the character assessment identifies that the landscape here is heavily influenced by the M20/HS1 corridor, and traffic is both visible and audible and reduces the sense of remoteness.


6.08     In terms of built development, this is described as sparsely scattered along the A20 and adjoining roads and to the east near Harrietsham. A notable amount of commercial development is situated along the A20, with a large hotel, caravan park, garden centre, and car cleaning facilities.


6.09     The site is located 150m to the east of the Garden of England Mobile Park Home and 460m to the west of Harrietsham village boundary. In my opinion the site falls within the area of built development close to the mobile park home site, on adjoining roads to the A20 close to the village boundary of Harrietsham. In this context the proposed building would be seen in context of this existing built development that is adjacent to the site to the south, east and west.


6.10     With the proposal there is scope for further landscaping to the north of the proposed building. The details and implementation of this landscaping could be secured prior to construction taking place as members have sought on other sites. The building is located within the confines of the existing site on land that can already has lawful open storage up to a height of 3m. With suitable landscaping it is considered that the development would largely maintain the existing visible appearance within the landscape and could be satisfactorily integrated as required by criterion 1.i. of policy DM37.


          Residential Amenity


6.11   To the south, a distance of 75 metres separates the site from neighbouring properties that front on to Holm Mill Lane although it should be noted that the holiday lets at Holm Mill are located approximately 10m to the east. The building would be screened at least in part from these main dwellings by landscaping and a condition seeks further screening through additional landscaping on the east and south boundaries to be implemented before construction commences. Therefore with the distances involved and the additional landscaping, it is not considered that any views of the building from surrounding properties could be considered to be harmful to the outlook. The adjacent holiday lets also face away from the proposal site to the east and therefore the proposal would not impact upon their outlook.


6.12   In terms of noise, concern has been raised in neighbour consultation responses. The application site currently has a lawful use that includes open storage and the hours of opening are also restricted as listed above. The proposed dry store would not contain any machinery and would be used solely for the storage purposes. On this basis it is not considered that the construction of a storage facility would cause significantly more noise than the current lawful use and by enclosing the storage this could contain noise within the building and have a positive impact upon the neighbour’s amenity. In addition, a planning condition could be used to ensure that the building is only used for storage to prevent any noise-generating activities taking place within it.


6.13   Criterion 1.iii. of Policy DM37 seeks to ensure that new development cause no significant harm to amenity. It is acknowledged that the existing premise causes some disturbance. However it is not considered that the proposed dry store would be likely to cause any additional or unacceptable loss to amenity than what is currently already experienced and the dry store could have a positive impact upon amenity by containing sounds within the building. It is therefore not considered that the proposal would be in conflict with the above policy.




6.14   The proposal seeks to erect a storage facility to store materials that need to be under shelter. Roofing materials are currently already permitted to be stored on site but are currently stored under a temporary scaffolding structure. There is no suggestion in the application that the development would lead to a greater demand for storage and increased vehicle movements and this application is to accommodate the needs of an existing local business. As a result it is unlikely that there would be an increase in vehicle movements associated with the dry store.


6.15   KCC Highways and Transportation do not raise any objection to the proposal and in addition a planning condition is proposed to restrict the use of the building to storage only, so that it cannot be used for manufacturing purposes.  Forstal Lane and Holm Mill Land are a short distance from the A20 and although these are country lanes, it has been accepted by the Council through previous planning applications that movements to the application site can be adequately accommodated on the local highway network.


6.16   Therefore, it is not considered that the proposal would lead to any significant increase in vehicular movements and it is not considered that there is justification to contradict the advice of KCC Highways and decisions that have previously been made in regards to the site and its impact on the local highway network.


Other Matters


6.17   This is an existing commercial site and there no significant ecology or tree related issues here. A condition will be imposed however requesting details of ecological enhancements. On the flooding/drainage issues this is not land liable to flood and there is no reason as to why significant drainage issues would arise here but a condition will be imposed requesting details of drainage to be submitted.


6.18   No designated heritage assets are within the vicinity of the proposal site and so no objection is raised on heritage grounds.


7.0               CONCLUSION


7.01   The site is located within the countryside where impacts relating to rural and landscape character and matters relating to sustainability often preclude many forms of development. However, in this instance, the proposal would result in an additional building in the context of an existing open storage roofing yard and the proposed building would be within the built apron of the existing premises. With mitigation, the impact on the rural character of the area and the landscape would be limited. The proposal would cater for the business needs of a local employer, providing on site storage facility allowing for the removal of temporary structures. The proposal would not lead to any direct increase in traffic movements as the site area could already currently be used for the open storage up to 3m in height.


7.02   It may be possible to pick out the proposed building from surrounding vantage points to the north, however these would be mid to long range views, seen against the context of the existing site and the taller office building. The proposal would not be materially harmful to the visual/landscape amenity or to the outlook of any residential properties in the surrounding area, and any noise or increased activity arising from the proposal would not be of sufficient impact to harm residential or rural amenity.


7.03   Taking the above into account, the development would meet the business needs of the operator, with minimal visual impact with mitigation and would not be in conflict with the Local Plan policies identified in the sections above.



8.0    RECOMMENDATION – GRANT Subject to the following conditions:



(1)        The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of 3 years from the date of this decision.


Reason: To comply with the requirements of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


(2)        The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans:


P846/1 Rev B – Proposed Plans & Elevations

P864/100 – Proposed Dry Store & Existing Office

Site Location Plan – Received on 16/03/2018


          Reason: To clarify which plans have been approved.


(3)        The building hereby approved shall only be used for the storage of goods and materials ancillary to the business operating from the main building, and shall not be used for any other purpose.


Reason: To accord with the terms of the application, to ensure that no industrial process is carried out within the building, or any independent occupation of the building without proper consideration through a formal application of any noise or highway related impacts, in the interest of aural amenity and highways safety.


(4)        The development hereby approved shall not commence above slab level until written details and samples of the materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the building hereby permitted have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and the development shall be constructed using the approved materials.


Reason:  To ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development.


(5)        No development shall commence until a landscape scheme designed in accordance with the principles of the Council's landscape character guidance has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.  The scheme shall show all existing trees, hedges and blocks of landscaping on, and immediately adjacent to, the site and indicate whether they are to be retained or removed, provide details of on-site replacement planting to mitigate any loss of amenity and biodiversity value together with the location of any habitat piles, and include a planting specification, a programme of implementation and a 5 year management plan.  The landscape scheme shall specifically address the need to provide hedging (native species) to screen the boundaries and protect the surrounding countryside.


Reason:  In the interests of landscape, visual impact and amenity of the area and to ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development.  In addition, previous landscaping requirements have not been adhered to and it is essential that no development commences until such time as the landscaping scheme is implemented.


(6)        No development shall commence until all planting, seeding and turfing specified in the approved landscape details has been completed.  All such landscaping shall be carried out during the first planting season (October to February).  Any seeding or turfing which fails to establish or any trees or plants which, within five years from the first occupation of the day room, die or become so seriously damaged or diseased that their long term amenity value has been adversely affected shall be replaced in the next planting season with plants of the same species and size as detailed in the approved landscape scheme unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation.


Reason:  In the interests of landscape, visual impact and amenity of the area and to ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development.  In addition, previous landscaping requirements have not been adhered to and it is essential that no development commences until such time as the landscaping scheme is implemented.


(7)        Any external lighting installed on site shall be in accordance with details that have previously been submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA and shall  be maintained as such thereafter.


Reason: In the interests of visual amenity.


(8)        Before development commences, details of any plant (including ventilation, air conditioning and heating) or ducting to be used in pursuance of this permission shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. This shall include details of predicted noise levels, extent of use (whether continuous or intermittent), location of the plant / machinery, and any mitigation measures required for noise control. The plant or machinery shall be installed in full accordance with the approved details, and all approved noise control measures shall be implemented before first use of the building. Following installation, all plant and machinery shall be operated and maintained so as to ensure full compliance with the approved details at all times.


Reason: In order that noise outbreak can be controlled and mitigated where necessary, in the interests of amenity.


(9)        The development hereby approved shall not commence above slab level until details for a scheme for the enhancement of biodiversity on the site shall have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall consist of the enhancement of biodiversity through integrated methods into the design and appearance of the extension by means such as swift bricks, bat tube or bricks. The development shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and all features shall be maintained thereafter.


Reason: To protect and enhance the ecology and biodiversity on the site in the future.


(10)     The development hereby approved shall not commence until, details of the drainage works have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority and these works shall be completed in accordance with the approved details before the first use of the building;


Reason: To ensure adequate drainage arrangements.


(11)     The existing buildings shown to be removed on drawing number P846/1 Rev B shall be demolished and the resulting materials and debris removed from the site to the satisfaction of the local planning authority within 3 month(s) of the first use of the building hereby permitted;


Reason: To prevent an overdevelopment of the site and to safeguard the character and appearance of the surrounding area.



Case Officer: Adam Reynolds


NB     For full details of all papers submitted with this application please refer to the relevant           Public Access pages on the council’s website.