Andrew Kennedy

Tel: 07792 924820   Email:
Proudly representing the communities of
Aylesford, Blue Bell Hill, Burham, Ditton, Eccles, Kits Coty, Peters Village, Walderslade and Wouldham. 

Dear <<First Name>>

One of my favourite apects of writing my monthly newsletter is chosing the photograph for the banner, and I really am spoilt for choice given I represent one of the most beautiful parts of Kent. This month's photo however is not something everyone will recognise, especially people in the Aylesford / Ditton area or those without cars. It is the stunning 'industrial' artwork at the Peters Bridge roundabout. Not everyone I speak to likes it (some find it a bit brutal) but I do. For those interested, here is what the artist said about it prior to its installation in 2016:

"The main form of the sculpture comprises two concentric laser-cut steel arches that mirror the logo of the former Peters Works, and the overall design features the chimneys of the now demolished works, and the wheels of railway wagons used to transport chalk from the quarries to the riverside kilns. These have then been fused with other popular natural ‘motifs’ including buzzards, herons, butterflies, moths and bullrushes."
Last week was the usual meeting of the Area Three Planning Committee, which covers the north of the Borough. Two applications were up for approval.

The first was the brand new Leybourne Lakes Eco Cafe (above right). This is the most innovative / sustainable designed building TMBC has ever embarked on, using energy from the lake via a water sourced heat pump, to provide both heat and hot water for the cafe and of course solar panels for clean renewable electricity. This will be a huge benefit to the local community as well as thousands of visitors to Leybourne Lakes Country Park. I was pleased to vote in favour and the application was unanimpously approved. 

The second application was for another 300 homes on Hermitage Lane from the developer Croudace. There was much to support in this application, most of all 40% affordable homes (and we need them for those on the waiting list) but as with every other development along the A20 corridor, I had to vote against. In fact, on this occasion I led the opposition and proposed the motion to decline planning consent, which was supported by everyone on the Planning Committee. No doubt the developers will appeal, but that's a fight for another day. 

With Trenport now actively consulting on 900 new homes at Bushey Wood in Eccles  (or 'Land at Eccles' as they have now called it) building and development is again dominating my inbox. I was going to write a long and detailed piece in this newsletter, but it would make the newsletter very long, especially for those who have little interest in housing policy. I have instead added a link at the end for those who want to know more about this difficult topic. 

Top Left: After far too long, Kent Highways finally resurfaced a 600 square meter section of Bull Lane, between Greenfield Close and Pilgrims Way. This area has been plagued by multiple deep potholes for years. This is an example of how an active local councillor can make a difference - this road was not scheduled for resurfacing until continual lobbying (nagging) by me pursuaded the former KCC Cabinet Member for Highways to add it to the list. In an ideal world these things would happen automatically, but with budget constraints and more demand than money, having a councillor with sharp elbows gets things done.

Top Right: Last year I donated 5 Unknown Tommy Remembrance Statues to our local villages. Sadly the one in Blue Bell Hill was vandalised twice (the soldier's gun was ripped off both times). It was felt this was a political protest by someone against war, so rather run the risk of a third statue being vandalised, I have donated another version to the village showing a Battle of Britain Aircraftman. While I understand those who are against war and violence (aren't we all?) to vandalise a British Legion Memorial in this way is beneath contempt. I hope whoever did this (twice) considers the consequences of their actions on the wider community.

Bottom Left: I was delighted to be invited to the Village Hall in Blue Bell Hill to the Older Residents' Community Get Together, covering Blue Bell Hill, Kits Coty and Walderslade. I made a small donation to cover the cost of hall hire and refreshments, with other cakes being kindly donated by members of the community. The average age of attendees was over 70 (and there were 50 people there) so in my vote of thanks I told the guests that there was over 3,500 years of wisdom in the room and collectively they were older than the Kits Coty Stones!  It was a brave (or foolish) thing to say but fortunately they laughed politely!  Thank you to Carol Park for organising this lovely event.

Bottom Right: I have just purchased £700 worth of litter picking supplies which I have donated to our four parish councils (Aylesford, Burham, Ditton and Wouldham) which can be lent to residents wanting to organise community litter pick events. If you would like to borrow these supplies please get in touch with your local Parish Clerk. 

This month I was pleased to present donations from my KCC Community Fund to the value of £2,000 to three amazing local good causes. These were:

Top: £1,000 to Burham Parish Council towards the amazing work they are doing rededicating the village War Memorial. This includes a rededication service in late October, cleaning the memorial and the surrounding gardens and adding additional names that were missed when the memorial was first engraved. 

Bottom Left: £500 to the Magdelene Food Bank who distribute food parcels to local families in need.

Bottom Right: £500 to Sue Cave who runs Animals Lost and Found in Kent to support her work reuniting lost pets with their owners and rehoming those whose owners cannot be found.

This year Tracey Crouch's Advice and Information Fair for Pensioners will be held on Friday 29 October at Holmesdale School, Malling Rd, Snodland ME6 5HS from 10am - 1pm.  There will be over 60 stalls and stands offering advice and support to older residents, and as always there is no charge to attend. Tracey has kindly invited me along to chat to residents about local issues - and I hope as many of you as possible will attend. It's a super event now in its sixth succesful year. 

Understandably I am receiving a lot of email about Trenport's plans to build 900 houses at Eccles. Residents often ask why we need so many new houses, why they are all being built in our area and why we cannot stop. 

Over the weekend I wrote the attached information paper, which I hope deals with most of these questions. By the nature and complexity of the subject it is quite long, but I wanted to provide as much detail and explanation as possible. I hope you find it of interest. 
Click HERE to download AKs Housing and Planning Paper
Copyright © 2021 Cllr Andrew Kennedy, All rights reserved.

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