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Lynsted Lane homes approved by planning inspector on appeal after Swale council rejects them

An application for 10 new homes has been approved despite villagers claiming it will cause the “creation of a pollution canyon”.

A government inspector has quashed Swale council’s planning committee’s original rejection of the plans and granted permission for the properties on farmland east of Lynsted Lane, Lynsted, near Teynham.

The 10 homes approved by the inspector in Lynsted Lane. Picture: SBC
The 10 homes approved by the inspector in Lynsted Lane. Picture: SBC

Earlier this year the houses were branded “totally bonkers” after parking and pedestrian access plans were revealed.

Swale’s planning committee voted unanimously against the project in March.

While the proposal was for only 10 homes, the developers made clear in their submission the ultimate aim is to build 50 houses on the plot.

However, it was stated the new homes would cause traffic congestion and air pollution in the narrow lane.

During the discussion, it was suggested residents who currently park their cars outside their own homes would be forced to park further down the lane on a blind bend.

Lynsted Lane, Lynsted. Picture: Google
Lynsted Lane, Lynsted. Picture: Google

In the planning inspectorate's full appeal decision, the inspector considered the main issues to be whether the development would be suitably located in terms of its accessibility to services and facilities and whether the proposal would comply with the council's settlement strategy.

They acknowledged that the site comprises part of a field of open grassland that sits outside the settlement boundary of Teynham.

However, because Teynham is close by and classified as a “rural local service centre” it is considered to provide an “array of facilities”.

This was despite the inspector recognising that the village also “lacks certain facilities, including some health facilities and a secondary school”.

The inspector noted the existence of bus stops a short distance from the appeal site and considered that “reasonably frequent services towards larger nearby settlements” were provided.

Conservative councillor for Teynham and Lynsted, Julien Speed
Conservative councillor for Teynham and Lynsted, Julien Speed

They also commented on the existence of Teynham train station which was found to be accessible via an “attractive route of footpaths through residential areas” and also an attractive route for cyclists.

Together, these public transport connections were considered to provide an “attractive alternative to private car use” thereby complying with the objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework relating to sustainable transport and the availability of a choice of transport modes.

Whilst there would be additional traffic at the junction with London Road, the inspector considered that the impact would be “negligible”.

But Cllr Julien Speed, chairman of Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council, says the inspector “ignored” reports that supported Swale council’s decision to reject the plans. He said: “This decision is an affront to local democracy.

“The local community is vehemently opposed to this application, with well over 200 letters of objection submitted.

“The whole system is skewed in the developer’s favour...”

“Swale’s planning committee voted decisively to reject it but then someone sweeps in from Bristol [where the Planning Inspectorate headquarters are] to act as judge and jury.

“The inspector thinks Teynham has an “array of facilities” and good public transport connections to support this development.

“They ignore the deficiencies in the highways report that didn’t even examine the impact on the nearby A2 junction.

“The last thing residents need along this rural lane is urbanisation – leading to the creation of a pollution canyon trapping and concentrating emission and friction-based pollutants.

“Developers can afford to appeal when decisions don’t go their way – residents can’t.

Lynsted is a village near Teynham in Sittingbourne
Lynsted is a village near Teynham in Sittingbourne

“The whole system is skewed in the developer’s favour”.

To learn more about the plans enter 21/502609/OUT into the Swale planning website.

To see more planning applications and other public notices for your area, visit publicnoticeportal.uk

Permission was granted by the inspector subject to conditions already suggested by planning officers.

These conditions include the requirement for approved drawings in relation to access; details of surface water drainage and consumption; details of cycle parking and additional parking spaces for existing residents; plus the approval of highway works.

A construction method statement is also required which includes, amongst other things, “methods for dealing with complaints from local residents”.

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