Steering Group Minutes 21st July 2010

  Minutes of the Penshurst Meeting, West Kent Housing

Wednesday 21st July


Lesley Bowles (Chair)         LB                   SDC Community Development

David Shaw                          DS                  Smithsgore Partner

Lee Scott                               LS                   Smithsgore Planner

Bill Hughes                           BH                  Smithsgore Partner

Ben Thomas                                     BT                   Penshurst Place Estate

Andrew Stronghill                AS                   Penshurst Place Estate

Susan Senecal                    SS                   Warders’ Practice Manager

Roger Dawe                          RD                  Governor – Penshurst Primary School

Julia Armstrong                    JA                   Headteacher – Penshurst Primary School

Evelyn Divall                        ED                  Penshurst PC Clerk

Dianne Broad                       DB                  Penshurst Parish Council

Rob Sellings                         RS                  Penshurst Parish Council

Janet Ranson                       JR                   WKHA

Liz Crockford                                    LC                   SDC Housing Policy

Paddy Cooke                        PC                  SDC Ward Councillor

Rebecca Perkins                 RP                  SDC Community Development

Alan Whiting                          AW                 SDC Community Development


Apologies for Absence

Nikki Mcabe – Penshurst Primary School

Dave Geal – Penshurst Parish Council

Jim Sperryn – SDC Planning Officer

Caroline Lingham – Seeda

Dr Graham Kirby – Warders’ Practice



Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

It was agreed to change the last paragraph under Any Other Business as follows:


“A question was raised over whether the Penshurst Place Estate would provide the site for housing development should the other aspects of the development not go ahead.  The Estate advised it would still help to fund the reduced scheme but the money from the housing would have to sustain all the infrastructure associated with the build including; roads etc.  If there was no medical centre and no car park, no rent would be paid by NHS West Kent and nothing would be generated from car parking charges.”


With the inclusion of this amendment, agreed the minutes of the last meeting and are all happy for them to be put on the website.


Review of action points in the minutes of the last meeting

·         LB: met with the Parish Council to discuss further consultation arrangements.

·         LC: the remaining general comments from the consultation have now been circulated to the Steering group.  Action:  All Steering Group members to send any responses to general comments to RP (

·         LC is coordinating the analysis of the Grove Road site.  It was agreed that the methodology for the site analysis should be the same as undertaken on the original sites.  This template was been based on information provided by Action with Rural Communities in Kent.  Action:  LC to circulate the site analysis template to the group that carried out the original sites analysis.  Sites analysis group to respond as soon as possible.

·         As requested, LC and JR reported information on the areas people came from in the Charcott Green and Leigh rural housing developments.

§  4 units completed in April in Charcott Green, all residents met the local connection criteria

·         Residents who moved into Leigh in May 2007 were all residents of Leigh Parish and all still live there.

·         Chiddingstone – all 10 properties went to local people and all still live there.

·         LC has put together a draft allocations criteria setting out the concentric circle allocations model.  Action : LC will take the detailed document to SDC legal team before sending it to the Parish Council for comment.  LC. will also distribute the plain English version of the guidelines to the Steering group





















All to note





Action: LC













Action: LC



Funding and Feasibility

·         The following agencies updated on funding and feasibility:

o   Penshurst Place Estate (PPE) Penshurst Place Estate confirmed they continued to support  affordable housing.  The PPE recent Board meeting determined that they wished to support affordable housing on the Forge Field site.  This was the only site PPE could make available. Having analysed consultation results to date, PPE Board meeting had determined that this should no longer include a new GP Surgery or car park. 

o   WKPCT – SS reported that the recent strategic investment meeting had not had sufficient information from Smiths Gore to discuss the project in any further detail.

o   WKHA – JR confirmed that she had spoken to Head of HCA, and that rural housing remains a high priority in the future, so funding should remain.  WKHA will want to see support from residents in the Parish for a scheme on Forge Field before they put together a costly, detailed planning application.  WKHA Agreed with Penshurst Estate that Forge Field is the best site in Penshurst for an affordable housing development. 


Removal of car park and medical centre from development on Forge Field:

·         Surgery had no comment at this stage about the medical centre being removed from the planning – SS stated that she would need to speak to the Partners.

·         The removal of car park would involve removal of funding for public toilets.

·         RS felt it important that there should be a new medical centre.

·         School – JD and RA reported that the removal of car parking from a potential development was disappointing.  They felt that there was a need for a car park and for appropriate Highways solutions for any new development with or without a car park.

·         LB stated that removal of potential community benefits from the development scheme may not be appreciated by people in the community.

·         RS suggested a new site between Holly Bank and the old British Tavern.  The site is owned by Penshurst Place Estate.  It was agreed that this site should be added to the sites analysis work for the Grove Road site and both sites be analysed.




Draft Responses to the Consultation



·         LB thanked ED for her work in coordinating the responses from the Steering Group to detailed questions received by the Parish Council.

·         Action:  It was agreed that all Steering group members should review and update the responses, as the final responses will go out with the newsletter.  All responses should be sent to Rebecca Perkins ( 




Action:  All





·         SDC – SDC would put together the new consultation and summary information once the sites analysis had been completed and would offer to meet with KPG to agree the survey.

·         Parish Council – Affordable housing is the Parish Council’s main concern.  They would only support affordable housing if housing is allocated to local people.

·         WKHA – JR said that the only realistic site for development is the Forge Field, they cannot incur additional costs until there is more clarity.  They will go and look at two suggested sites.

·         Penshurst Place – reiterated that following their recent Board meeting they felt that Forge Field is the only site and they support affordable housing.

·         Surgery – SS stated that the business plan was not produced in time for Strategic Investment meeting.


Action LB/AW


·         Further consultation



It was agreed that a final survey consultation would be agreed with KPG, once the sites analysis had been completed.  Action:  Following discussion, it was agreed that this should present very clearly what the options for development are.  It was also agreed that it would be helpful to discuss questions with Tessa O’Sullivan from Action with Communities in Rural Kent as they were an independent and neutral party in the matter.