Popesfield, Bearsted Road
Local Residents: 19 representations received raising the following (summarised) points:
· Highway safety and congestion.
- Travel Plan will not be achieved.
· Car reliant.
- There is no need for the primary school in the location proposed.
· Decimation of nature reserve.
· Patients of the Cygnet Hospital will overlook the school.
· Decision is being driven by national policy.
· Foul drainage problems.
· Erosion of green area.
· Should be built on brownfield land.
· Poor design.
· Nursery will impact upon other businesses.
· Noise, smells, and disturbance.
Boxley Parish Council: Requests that a condition be attached concerning the hours during which construction work can take place due to nearby residential properties, and deliveries to the site should also be controlled with no deliveries allowed during rush hour times.
Cygnet Health Care offer support for the application.
KCC Education has provided information on primary school places offered to parents on April 16th, which they say provides an additional source of contextual information. They outline that whilst there is surplus of 34 places for the 21 schools within 3 miles of the application site,
“It is important to note that 30 places are being provided within the listed schools for September 2019 as a bulge and are not available on a permanent basis in future years. The County Council is forecasting the September 2020 cohort to be larger than the 2019 cohort and without additional places available it is probable that the very small surplus expected this September will be diminished and some pupils would likely have to travel to schools outside of Maidstone Town from September 2020 on an ongoing and growing basis.”
The relevant planning issues raised by local residents have already been raised and considered in the main report.
Matters relating to construction noise are controlled by Environmental Health legislation and so any conditions would not pass the tests for planning conditions. Similarly, controlling when vehicles can use the public highway in connection with construction is also outside the control of the planning system.
The letter from KCC Education provides factual information and reaffirms a need for school places and does not affect the recommendation.