Heading 1

Item 11, Pages 33 – 51




Fishers Oast, Fishers Road, Staplehurst.



The Objector referred to in my previous urgent update report has again written to state that the submitted plans are inaccurate in that the 5m Great Crested Newt (GCN) corridor cannot be achieved within the site. Outside of the site, he also questions whether the overall GCN corridor can legitimately include the area between the railway track and the railway-land boundary fence. An inadequate width of undisturbed connectivity will likely lead to a decline of the GCN meta-populations to the immediate west of this development.

Officer Comment

In my last urgent update report I pointed out that there were some inconsistencies between the plans and asked for delegated powers to approve subject to the receipt of accurate amended plans. This application was not discussed at the last committee and, since that committee, I have received those amended plans which rectify those inconsistencies (these being a revised Proposed Site Plan and plans showing the proposed diversion of the rights of way). I therefore no longer ask for delegated powers as the required plans have now been received: previously recommended condition 12 requires amendment to refer to the amended plans.

I remain of the view that the 5m GCN corridor can be achieved within the site and that the railway land (outside of the application site) can provide an adequate supplement to that. To avoid any doubt, I recommend that an additional condition be imposed to ensure that the 5m GCN corridor is provided on the site.


Officer Comment

Following legal advice, I recommend the re-wording of conditions (8), (9) and (10) and the addition of an informative on the issue of a GCN licence. I also bring forward the additional condition that I recommended in a previous urgent update report on the issue of landscaping.

For the avoidance of doubt, the following amended recommendation supersedes the amended recommendations set out in previous urgent update reports.





Condition (8) be amended to read:


‘Prior to the commencement of development a sustainable surface water drainage scheme, shall be submitted to, and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The surface water drainage scheme shall be compliant with the Non-Statutory Technical Standards for Sustainable Drainage (March 2015), and shall confirm that water runoff shall be restricted to no more than that of the pre-developed site, with on-site storage provided to accommodate the 1 in 100 year storm event plus climate change. The scheme shall include details of the long term maintenance of all surface water drainage infrastructure on the site. The approved scheme shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details before first occupation of any of the dwellings hereby approved and maintained for the lifetime of the development. 


Reason: To prevent flooding by ensuring the satisfactory storage and disposal of surface water from the site. This information is required prior to commencement as any construction work may restrict the extent of a drainage scheme.’  


Condition (9) be amended to read:


‘Prior to the development reaching damp proof course level, a landscaping scheme shall have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority.  The landscaping scheme shall include indications of all existing trees and hedgerows, and details of any to be retained, together with measures for their protection during the course of development. The landscaping scheme shall include details of hard and soft landscaping including proposed means of surfacing and boundary treatments and soft landscaping using indigenous species. The scheme shall be designed using the principles established in the Council's adopted Landscape Character Assessment and Landscape Guidelines. Notwithstanding the notation on the submitted drawings, the new trees shall be nursery standard size, 8-10cm girth, and 2.7-3m high. The scheme shall include a programme for the implementation of the approved scheme and long term management arrangements and this programme shall be in place for the lifetime of the development.


Reason: To ensure a satisfactory setting and external appearance to the development.


Condition (10) be amended to read:


In the first planting and seeding seasons following first occupation of           the buildings or the completion of the development, whichever is the sooner, all planting, seeding or turfing set out in the approved landscaping scheme shall be carried out. Any trees or plants which within a period of five years from the completion of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation.


Reason: To ensure a satisfactory setting and external appearance to the development.’


Condition (12) be amended to read:


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


Drawing numbers:


15/10/02, 04A, 06, 08 received 23/7/15

15/10/03B received 14/10/15

Landscape J received 11/3/16

Ecology J received 18/3/16

15/10/05F, 09F, 10C received 8/6/16


Reason: To clarify which plans have been approved.’


The following additional conditions be added:


‘Notwithstanding the notation on the submitted drawings, with regard to the southern western boundary treatment to Plot 9, the landscaping scheme to be submitted shall show the proposed hedging outside (ie to the south west) of the proposed close boarded fencing;


Reason: In order to provide a properly landscaped setting for the development as viewed from the public right of way.’




‘The details to be submitted pursuant to condition 4 shall show an undeveloped corridor with a width of at least 5 metres between the railway boundary fence and the proposed acoustic fence:


Reason: In order to provide a connectivity corridor across the northern end of the site, particularly for Great Crested Newts.’


The following informative be added:


‘The applicant is advised that notwithstanding the information requested through condition 4 there is a requirement for the applicant to apply for a European Protected Species Mitigation Licence.’