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Crest Nicholson Eastern developing 171 homes in Isles Quarry West, given permission to continue work after planning row

By Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

A Borough Green housing development that was forced to put down its tools after being accused of breaking planning laws has been given permission to continue work.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council was made aware of piling works through known contaminated land starting at the Isles Quarry West site - before receiving the Environment Agency’s stamp of approval.

Developer, Crest Nicholson Eastern, was immediately told to stop construction on the 171 homes which had been debated in the town since 2005.

The Isles Quarry site has been at the centre of planning rows for years

At a parish council meeting on Monday, July 21 the planning application was discussed, but no water monitoring scheme aimed at protecting local water from contamination was lodged.

Therefore, when construction began on the site last week developers were not working in line with the regulations of the application.

Concerns about contaminated land on the former quarry by Dark Hill roundabout have been consistent.

It has had some fill materials, believed to now be inert, deposited in the past but Cllr Mike Taylor, who followed the debate said: “I still have issues about the site, I personally know that there is traces of oil, diesel and old tar still present.”

When concerns were continually raised, Crest Nicholson said the land would be rectified.

Cllr Mike Taylor

Peter Diffley, managing director said at the time: “We take the remediation of contaminated materials very seriously and are working closely with the Environmental Health Organisation and the Environment Agency to ensure we remain within the parameters of our approved plans.”

“I can confirm that all relevant approvals are in place for the piling work which is currently taking place at our Isles Quarry site” - MD Crest Nicholson East, Peter Diffley

The council sought advice from the Environment Agency about implications for surface water following the commencement of work last week.

A spokesman for the EA said: “The EA has recommended the issue be discharged and that the risk of potential contaminants entering groundwater have been minimised.

"We will continue to work with our partners at the council and Crest to ensure that development does not impact the environment.”

A spokesman for TMBC said that matters causing concern earlier this month have been resolved.

It said: “The necessary technical details were submitted and after consultation with EA, who were satisfied with the details, these have now been approved.”

Mr Diffley, added: “I can confirm that all relevant approvals are in place for the piling work which is currently taking place at our Isles Quarry site."

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