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Home   Dartford   News   Article

Pond near The Royal Oak in Bean has been saved following Dartford council decision

18 March 2014
by Chris Hunter

The 150-year-old pond had been threatened with destruction by a plan for a new housing development on the site, which would also involve the demolition of the former Royal Oak pub nearby.

Now villagers are overjoyed after the application was sunk at a Dartford council planning meeting.

The Royal Oak, School Lane, Bean

The Royal Oak, School Lane, Bean

 

Planners refused it on the grounds of “over-dense development”, “lack of affordable housing”, “unsustainable housing”, and “loss of pond.”

Peter Luker, who lives in Drudgeon Way and is a member of the Bean Residents’ Association, said the pond, although in need of some tidying up, was in a healthy state – and was now full of relieved frogs celebrating the decision, and the arrival of spring, in the only way they know how.

“It’s a bit of a mess but it’s recovering,” he said. “It’s got a lots of duckweed and frogs at the moment, which is a sign that it’s in good health.

“We’re confident the pond will recover, and if it gets help from the villagers and the parish council it will recover faster.”

Previously the Bean Residents’ Association and the parish council had formally objected to plans to build one four-bed and five three-bed houses there, arguing the pond with its willow tree was a natural and historic feature of the village and provided a wildlife haven.

They were also worried filling in the pond could lead to flooding at the junction of School Lane and Sandy Lane.

But they feared the worst when a report to Dartford council’s development control board stated the pond had “limited amenity value” and was “unlikely to be of significant value” to wildlife.

Then came the latest decision.

“I sat there in a euphoric state,” said Mr Luker. “The net result is the villagers are delighted.”

He said the waters surrounding the application remain muddied as the applicants could still appeal and were also attempting to gain permission for another plan that does not affect the pond.

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