WELCOME TO WYE
The Parish of Wye with Hinxhill is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty between the towns of Ashford and Canterbury in Kent.
SPRING HAS ARRIVED!!
The Parish Council consists of eleven elected councillors* who meet every month (usually on the first Thursday) to discuss issues affecting the immediate area and its inhabitants. These meetings are open to the public. Agendas and minutes are posted on this website. The Council Office, where the clerk can be contacted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings, is situated in the neighbouring parish of Brook. An annual general meeting, where councillors provide a summary of the year’s activities in the village, takes place in mid-May. The village is currently conducting a Neighbourhood Plan - please follow the yellow link for more information about this important development.
The Council also oversees the activities of the Wye Children’s Playing Field Charity (302898) and has representation on the Wye Village Hall and Recreation Ground Charity (number: 302899).
*Wye Parish Council currently has two vacancies. Anyone interested please contact the Clerk in the first instance.
This home page contains breaking news and important statements about ongoing issues. The date of posting on the site is noted. Earlier items have either been transferred to an appropriate section of our site, or continue to be displayed as "Local News" available from the drop down list of site pages on the left.
Wednesday 23rd - Meeting to discuss planning applications, progress with the traffic assessment for the Neighbourhood Plan and Our Place project
This meeting will provide more background to the council's objection to the recent planning applications
Parish Council objects to the development proposed on Luckley Field -the WYE2 site
A planning application (number 14/00195/AS) has been sent to Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to build 25 houses on the Luckley Field site next to Little Chequers. The Parish Council is objecting to the development and it is very important that not only householders close to the site, but also other parishioners who are likely to be affected by the development should make their own views known to ABC. Comments can be sent in by email through the website….
….. search for application 00195, or write to - Planning and Development, Application 14/00195/AS, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN231PL
Several clear objections have already been received from people living in Little Chequers who are very concerned about traffic increase, parking issues and disruption during building. The Parish Council will be sending in a very detailed report to back up its objection that is based on three main reasons:
1. Traffic. There is very poor access to the site through Little Chequers. . A serious concern is the traffic that will be generated by the scale of development, 25 houses, now proposed for Luckley Field. It will inevitably generate extra car parking and congestion along Little Chequers, a narrow and busy road leading on to Bridge Street. A second access through Long’s Acre would help to ease traffic flow. Importantly, the Transport Statement in the application itself highlights that visibility to the east at the Little Chequers / Bridge Street junction is less than the recommended distance required within KCC guidance documents. The statement also points out that Bridge Street provides a looped route which is used by both local residents as well as the primary school to the west. Therefore, during peak hours there are already significant movements from the east and substantial pedestrian usage (including school children and toddlers) across a junction that has substandard visibility. Any increase in traffic turning right (east) along Bridge St from Little Chequers to avoid queues will also cause severe disruption going against the main flow at peak times. We are very concerned that the scale of the proposed development will have a serious impact on highway safety.
2. Landscape, boundaries and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The plans show planting to create a border along the southern edge of the site but there is insufficient detail provided to assess the proposal properly. The edge of the site is very important in terms of views into and from the AONB. At present an opportunity to improve the edge of the village is being lost. Much more detail is needed.
3. Layout and design. The scale of the development is much too large and goes against ABC’s own recommendation. The Parish Council considers that up to 15 houses would be acceptable in terms of increased traffic and allowing better design of the edge of village site. As concluded from the neighbourhood plan workshops, houses should face onto the open field to improve views from the AONB. House densities should be no more than 15 per hectare at the edge of the village and no more than two storeys high or we will end up with an ugly development that damages the position of Wye within the AONB. The developers should adhere to the recommendations made in the Village Design Statement. The present application would damage rather than enhance the village boundary.
We hope that you will be able to find time to have a good look at the plans for Luckley Field and send in your comments, whether objections or support to ABC. (29/03/2014)
Parish Council keeps precept charge down to only an extra £2 per year for each household.
Despite cuts in the Council Tax Support Grant and increased maintenance costs, the Council has raised the precept by only 3.61%. This means that B and D households will pay only £2 more per year to the Parish. More details on the precept will be provided in a Parish circular and newsletter. (21/03/2014)
If you wish to receive our newsletters electronically please contact our Clerk Linda Hedley –all she needs is your email address.
CONGRATULATIONS TO NOEL OVENDEN OUR NEW BOROUGH COUNCILLOR! Noel is now wearing two hats as both a Parish and Borough Councillor. The Parish Council is looking forward to working closely with Noel on Borough issues, particularly in relation to the emerging Neighbourhood Plan. We wish to thank Jane Martin for acting on our behalf before the election. She has set Noel a very good example to follow. (09/03/2014)
News about the Wye Trust Notes about a meeting held with Imperial about the site for the school and the formation of a Trust to manage parts of the campus are provided in the link below. The helpful discussions confirmed Imperial's commitment to establishment of the school in the Edwardian buildings and offered encouraging ideas about the development of parts of the old College site for the benefit of the community. (09/03/2014)
Latest meeting about the Masterplan A further meeting with Imperial and ABC on Feb 21st reviewed Imperial’s latest amendments to their draft masterplan. This included comments on the Parish Council's two critical responses that have already been posted on this website (see recent posts below).
We held firm with our recommendation for housing to be limited to 50-70 units. In addition we challenged them on their partial transport assessment and visual impact in the AONB.
Tony Shoults has provided a brief report on the meeting, as provided in the link below. The agreed notes from the January 17th meeting are also available from the second link. (24-02-2014)
Agreed notes from the January 17th meeting /wyewithhinxhillpc/UserFiles/file/WYE3%20meeting%20Jan%2017th.docx
Parish Council responds to the latest draft of the Masterplan for WYE3 The Council has now sent in a detailed response to the latest version of the Masterplan. The response is available in full from links below. The critique covers the following points:-
1. Traffic and transport effects of new development - the Council's analysis highlights severe impacts on traffic should the scale of development go ahead.
2. Housing - there is still no justification given for the number of dwellings proposed
3. Footprint for the development of housing at appropriate densities - densities are currently too high and the development still extends too far to the North East.
4. Free School playing field and other constraints - the PC argues that the playing field and not houses should be sited in the Hop Garden. Covenants are not considered
5. The distances involved in the concentric walkable village - the Neighbourhood Plan will use the ChurchSt /Bridge St junction as the centre of the village. WYE3 sites proposed will extend too far to the north east to allow easy walking to the primary school for example.
6. Phasing of any new development and landscape proposals - more detail is needed on these topics particularly the preservation of views into and out of the village.
In preparing our response we have been able to use results obtained by our traffic consultants MLM and assessment of housing densities made by Mark Hanton. (08/03/2014)
/wyewithhinxhillpc/UserFiles/file/NP%20docs/Summary%20of%20traffic%20queues%20survey%20and%20models.docx Summary of queues predicted given crossing closures recorded in January
/wyewithhinxhillpc/UserFiles/file/NP%20docs/FILE1%20masterplan%20data%20baseline.pdf traffic modelling data showing flows recorded by Imperial modelled onto the crossing closures observed on Jan 9th
/wyewithhinxhillpc/UserFiles/file/NP%20docs/FILE1A%20masterplan%20baseline%20%2BPBA%20assessment%20for%20WYE3(1).pdf Imperial's predicted traffic levels for the WYE3 development modelled onto Jan 9th closures
/wyewithhinxhillpc/UserFiles/file/NP%20docs/CROSSING%20DATA%2009-01-2014.docx Level crossing closure data
/wyewithhinxhillpc/UserFiles/file/NP%20docs/housing%20numbers%20Feb%202014.pdf Housing density analysis
Relating to the Masterplan debate and Neighbourhood Plan, Tony Shoults presented a detailed summary of various activities in his February report to the Parish Council. The report below includes encouraging information about siting the Free School in the Edwardian buildings of the campus, a meeting held with KCC Highways and progress in preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Progress in writing the Neighbourhood Plan Stella Scrivener, who is supported by the grant we received from Localities presented an all day workshop on preparing the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) on January 24th. Parish Councillors and other members of the NP Group received invaluable advice on how to target the key issues of planning policy that have to be addressed in the Plan. The support from professional planners in the Localities team will allow us to produce sound policies for adoption by the Parish and Borough. (29/01/2014)
Meeting with ABC and Imperial about the Masterplan January 17th The latest meeting about development on WYE3 was held last Friday. Detailed notes of the earlier meeting released by Richard Alderton (ABC) are accessible from the link below. The latest meeting concerned another revised masterplan document that reached your reps on Wednesday. There have been numerous additions in response to earlier comments. In particular the footprint of development to the north east has been reduced to provide a better edge to the village. Parish Council representatives were still very concerned about the final siting of the Free School, numbers of dwellings proposed (still 200) and impact on traffic. The Parish Council, working with MLM transport consultants has been able to use Imperial’s own data to model the effects of the proposed development. The first results of this analysis were presented – they demonstrate unacceptable delays at the level crossing (see below). The Council continues to argue that the scale of development proposed is excessive for the infrastructure of the village. Nevertheless, the quality of the design outlined in the proposals being put forward is far better than that we have seen for WYE1 and WYE2.
Detailed notes about the Jan 17th meeting will be provided by Richard Alderton who chairs the meetings. (19/01/2014)
Try not to get too cross as you wait to go across the crossing…………………..As part of the Neighbourhood Plan traffic appraisal for the village we have recorded level crossing opening and closure times during the morning peak. The results are given in the file below. A lot depends on when the high speed comes through and if trains are on time. It is thanks to the gatekeepers that they manage very rapid opening and closure sometimes when there have been long delays. Without their speedy action, that might not be possible with automation, we would often be looking at delays of more than 15min. In preparing our traffic report we are working with the transport consultants MLM and analysing the effect that various developments in the village would have on the queues at the crossing. Results so far look very interesting, but also rather worrying, and will be presented when all factors have been incorporated.
The tables of crossing data might help those trying to escape from, or enter the village at peak times plan their journey. One simple piece of advice is to avoid the 7.15 to 7.30 closure. (19/01/2014)
Latest Newsletters Richard Bartley continues to scoop the official website with his excellent newsletters! The latest documents are available from the links below. If you wish to be added to the emailing list please contact the Clerk with your details. I am sure everyone will agree that they are very valuable publications, complementing the website and filling in important detail. (19/01/2014)
Resignation of our Borough Councillor, Steve Wright Chairman Tony Shoults has commented on our Borough Councillor’s resignation as follows.
“The Parish Council has learnt from Steve Wright and from Gerry Clarkson the Leader of ABC that Steve resigned as the Councillor for Wye at the beginning of January. This will mean that there will be a by- election for the position shortly.
The Parish Council is keen to see a new Councillor working very closely with the PC in this critical year. In raising our concern with Councillor Clarkson in December that our working relationship was not at all enhanced by the Councillor, we asked that there be a code of practice set up to ensure Councillors meet their local obligations. This should help whatever political allegiances are involved.
We are, of course, well aware that balancing family, full time job, a full Borough Council agenda of meetings and liaison work etc is not easy.
I hope that suitable candidates will emerge and we hope to try to ensure that they will have the time, interest, knowledge and skills to be effective.”
Meanwhile we have been offered support from Jane Martin the Borough Councillor for Saxon Shore, a neighbouring Ward. She has kindly offered to take up any issues we may have through ABC channels (14/01/2014)
Parish Council submits a detailed critique of the Luckley Field WYE2 proposals A detailed rsponse has been sent to DHA Planning . The executive summary of the report is as follows, for the full text follow the blue links.............
Executive Summary - The Parish Council has reviewed proposals for the WYE2 site. The outline plans presented by DHA Planning conflict with guidance given within ABC’s Development Plan Document, the Village Design Statement, and emerging Neighbourhood Plan. Critical issues in the design of the site are -
- · Lack of protection of the AONB by the establishment of a clear boundary to the edge of the residential area of the village.
- · The number of dwellings proposed, 25, is excessive and goes against planning guidance.
- · Layout goes against recommendations that house frontages should all face towards the landscape to the south/ south west of the village.
- · The single access proposed through Little Chequers, is problematic because of traffic flow into Bridge Street.
- · There is no need for any vehicular access to farmland from the site.
- · The sketchy plans for materials do not conform to the guidance given in the village design statement.
- · No reference is made to the creation of part of a cycleway and footpath surrounding the village.
The DHA proposals do not address the opportunity to use development of the site to improve the southern boundary of the village through a well-integrated design that improves views into and out of Wye, and provides clear links with the surrounding AONB (11/12/2013)
Meeting with Imperial and ABC about the WYE3 development December 4th Council representatives were provided with the latest draft of the Masterplan document. This is a very glossy production, but there has been little change to Imperial's proposals. Tony Shoults provides more information in the link below that also covers recent progress with the emerging Neighbourhood Plan (7/12/2013).
Response from Baroness Manningham-Buller Tony Shoults has received a very non-commital reply from the Baroness as provided in the link below. As a charity it seems the Endowment Board must maximise value from its assets. Interestingly, no value seems to be placed on the reputation of Imperial College London (7/12/2013).
Parish Council contacts the chair of Imperial College Council After much discussion the Parish Council has agreed the text of a letter to the Chair of Imperial College London’s Council, Baroness Manningham–Buller. For the full text of the letter please follow the link below. The Parish Council expresses its continued concern that the Endowment Board handling the development of sites in Wye has been instructed to maximise profits from Imperial’s assets irrespective of the damage that this might cause to the village. It is encouraging to note that the Baroness is reported in the minutes of the ICL Council in November 2009 (Point 52) to have asked what the reputational risks were to Imperial following the transfer of the Campus to the College fund without restriction on its development. We hope, now that she chairs the ICL Council, that she remains aware of the damage that will be done not only to Wye, but also Imperial’s reputation, if the excessive development proposed is allowed to go ahead (17/11/2013).
Letter to Imperial's Council
Meeting with Imperial and ABC about the WYE3 development Representatives of the Imperial College Endowment Board and masterplan team, ABC Planning Department, Wye Parish Council and the Wye2030 Neighbourhood Plan Group met on November 4th for the first time in several months to discuss the latest version of Imperial College's draft masterplan. Imperial College is still reviewing its housing proposals in terms of density and dwelling numbers, and showed some plans, but did not provide the Parish Council with copies of any new documents. ABC is preparing a formal note of the meeting to be made available shortly. Tony Shoults is writing to Imperial College’s Council about the approach being adopted by their Endowment Board in their development of the former Wye College campus - his report to the Parish Council is available from the link below (11/11/2013).
WYE3 meeting 4/11/2013
A report of the meeting prepared by Richard Alderton at ABC is now available (7/12/2013)
Update about SUPERFAST RURAL BROADBAND - what next? Larry Linin has provided a very helpful update on progress with the installation of this much needed communication link as follows.....(15/10/2013)
Please contact Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Older news transferred from the home page
To local news on the left
Outbreak of antisocial behaviour (17/11/2013)
WYE3 Masterplan developments (28/10/2013)
Meeting to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan , WYE1, WYE2 and WYE3 (15/10/2013)
Meeting about WYE1 (04/10/2013)
Parish Council comments on Imperial's draft Masterplan (27/09/2013)
Wye MUGA receives funding (27/09/2013)
Cycle route (10/08/2013)
To other pages
Parish Council responds to WYE1 proposals ( to Neighbourhood Plan Information)
Allotments report (to Council Reports 2/08/13)
This is the official site for Parish Council information. For more informal updates on activities in Wye and a whole range of local debates, please have a look at wyeweb and Jasper Bouverie's blog.