Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council
Update on Maidstone Borough Council’s Call for Sites
There is a lot of concern and misunderstanding relating to Maidstone Borough Council’s latest Call for Sites. The following information will be of interest.
The Call for Sites is a process whereby MBC ask for land to be nominated that could be suitable for future housing, employment, retail, leisure, infrastructure and Gypsy & Traveller development for the forthcoming Local Plan Review. This is a normal process in the production of a Local Plan.
Having an up to date Local Plan is key to keeping local control over new development. Without an up to date Local Plan in place, it is highly likely that planning applications will be approved on appeal by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate for developments which MBC considers are inappropriate. Additionally, if MBC does not make progress with its Local Plan Review, the Government could decide to take over its plan-making powers and prepare the Local Plan itself.
The latest sites have been put forward by landowners and/or prospective developers to MBC as part of its Local Plan review process. At the point of release (4 November 2019) no decisions have been taken on these sites. Not all sites will be needed for the Local Plan review and many will be deemed unsuitable.
Will all sites be delivered? No. The sites that have been submitted are an expression of interest by the landowner or developer with, currently, no input from Maidstone Borough Council. It provides the council with a long list of potential sites from which to choose. The land that has been submitted is very much more land than will be needed for the circa 1,236 new homes/year which the Government says need to be built in our borough from 2022, an increase from circa 800, which the Local Plan Review needs to plan for. These figures are calculated by MBC using central Government methodology which dictates that 300,000 new homes must be delivered each year throughout the country.
MBC will now assess the suitability of each site. This work will feed into their Local Plan Review, which will be subject to future public consultations and an independent examination by an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.
Further information is available as follows :
Borough wide map :
Detailed site by site information :
It must be stressed that :
- no decisions on any sites have been made by MBC
- there are many more sites than required
- many will be deemed to be unsuitable
- many of the sites are re-submissions of those that were unsuccessful on the previous call for sites
Boughton Monchelsea Neighbourhood Plan
Over the last few years local people have been helping shape the future of the parish through the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Boughton Monchelsea.
We recently consulted on the draft Neighbourhood Plan, to make sure it reflects the issues which matter to local people, in a way which meets the legal requirements for neighbourhood plans.
The consultation started on Friday 26th April 2019 and ended on Friday 7th June 2019.
There was a short presentation on the draft neighbourhood plan at the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday 21st May in the village hall.
You can view the draft neighbourhood plan below.
This consultation was the first part of the formal process which we hope will lead to the Plan becoming part of Maidstone Borough Council’s planning policies. As well as consulting residents we also consulted with the Borough and County councils as well as other organisations such as Natural England and the Environment Agency.
Your comments forms are now being reviewed and we will make any necessary changes to the Plan before submitting it to Maidstone Borough Council, who will arrange a further consultation followed by examination by an independent examiner. If the examiner is satisfied that the Plan meets all the legal requirements there will be a referendum of local people, and if the Plan is approved by the local community (51% of those who vote need to be in favour of the Plan) it will become part of Maidstone Borough Council’s planning policies and have weight in planning law when the Borough Council are deciding planning applications.
This may seem a complex process, but it is set out in national planning law and regulations to make sure that Neighbourhood Plans are properly considered and can have real status in making local planning decisions.
On behalf of the Parish Council can I thank you again for your input to date, and I hope we can rely on your continued input and support in progressing and getting our Neighbourhood Plan adopted, thus allowing us to properly influence and manage any future development in our parish.
Cllr Doug Smith
Chairman of Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council Planning Commit
Boughton Monchelsea comprises two wards, north and south. South ward consists of the village and outlying rural areas, including the hamlets of Wierton, The Quarries, Marlpit, Cock Street and Rabbits Cross. North ward comprises the newer developments off Brishing Lane and the new housing site at Langley Park.
Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council is the first tier of local government, with 15 Councillors. 11 of the members serve south ward and 4 serve the north. We meet every other month, usually at 7pm on the first Tuesday of the relevant month. We also hold regular Planning Committee meetings. Both Council and planning meetings are open to the public and press.
The Parish Council represents the local community, delivers services to meet local needs and aspires to improve quality of life for all our parishioners.