Item 19, Page 124
Land at Postley Road, Maidstone
Kent Highways have stated this week that they would seek to adopt the road layout for a development of this scale and have stated that the layout plan does not provide sufficient detail to be certain that it meets adoption standards. However, they have reviewed the layout and advice that there may be a requirement for some adjustments to road widths, footways, junctions but that this is likely to be minor changes rather than any wholesale changes to the layout. On this basis, no objections are raised subject to a condition requiring submission of detailed plans to demonstrate that adoption would be achievable (this would show in detail swept paths for vehicles, visibility splays, service margins).
It is extremely disappointing that Kent Highways have raised this matter days before the Planning Committee despite being consulted on three occasions, and this has not given the applicant time to provide such a plan. However, KCC advise that this would not result in any wholesale changes to the road layout just potentially some minor adjustments.
The applicant has not decided whether the roads would be adopted and this is not compulsory, nor must a decision be made at this stage. KCC do not advise that the layout is dangerous simply that they want to be certain it meets adoption standards. Therefore, in the event that adoption is taken forward, it is considered that a condition to provide details is appropriate to deal with this.
Ultimately no objections are being raised and this is not grounds to object to the proposal. A condition can suitably deal with this matter and the following condition is recommended.
· The development shall not commence until detailed plans identifying road and footway widths, shared surface arrangements, junction layouts and parking and turning areas have been submitted and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
Reason: In the interests of highway safety.
Public Rights of Way (PROW)
KCC Rights of Way have made reference to the proposed pathway through the site and that they consider this should be widened to 3m in width to allow a potentially diverted Restricted Byway through the site (it is shown as 1.5m in width). This is on the basis of the draft MBC cycle strategy (which seeks a route from south to north past the site), and that the existing PROW along the east boundary is not proposed to be widened. It is considered that this is appropriate in order to enhance public rights of way and access, promote pedestrian and cycle movements, and create a safe layout in accordance with the aims of the NPPF. As such, a condition is recommended to secure details of this. There is room to provide this and it would result in the loss of a small part of the front gardens of plots 47-54 on the east side of the site, which would be acceptable.
· Notwithstanding drawing no. 1366/C101B, the development shall not commence until plans have been submitted to and approved in writing showing a 3 metre wide foot/cycle way through the site. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
Reason: In the interests of promoting pedestrian and cycle movements and creating a safe layout.
Amended Condition 2
I wish to amend condition 2 (landscaping and ecology) to be more prescriptive to secure and protect landscaping along boundaries, provide cordwood from the dead tree to be retained on site, provide gaps within fencing to encourage hedgehog movement, and provide wildlife friendly drainage.
· The development shall not commence (including any demolition, ground works, site clearance) until there has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority a scheme of landscaping, using indigenous species which shall include indications of all existing trees and hedgerows on the land, and details of any to be retained, together with measures for their protection in the course of development and long term management. The landscape scheme shall be designed using the principles established in the Council's adopted Landscape Character Assessment and Landscape Guidelines and shall follow the principles of the landscape strategy at section 6.6 of the Design and Access Statement and provide for the following:
(i) Retention and enhancement of boundary trees and vegetation with new native tree and hedge planting and details of their protection (with temporary or permanent fencing) before and during the course of development.
(ii) The provision of a native landscape buffer along the west boundary of the site to include tree planting.
(iii) Native landscape planting between any boundary treatments and the site boundaries.
(iv) Native tree planting along streets.
(v) Details of locations for the retention of cordwood from the dead tree and others on site within areas of partial shade.
(vi) Details of boundary treatments to include gaps to provide movement for hedgehogs.
(vii) Details of wildlife friendly drainage.
Reason: To ensure a high quality design, appearance and setting to the development and in the interest of biodiversity.
My recommendation is unchanged subject to the additional conditions and amended condition 2 outlined above.