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Further submission on Lady Dane

Lady Dane - Application No 24/502585/Sub                                                                                                Discharge of Condition 2 for application 23/503742/SUB approved 22 November 2023

The Faversham Society support the new residents at Lady Dane (Crest Nicholson Phase 1) who are aggrieved that Crest has reneged on their planning obligations to set out the landscape parklands approved in their planning consent.  The housing was completed in 2022.  Crest has not yet even submitted details or a timetable for the delivery of the landscaping for the 11 acres of parkland, despite planning obligations to do so prior to the commencement of construction. Residents bought into this scheme in expectation that it would have a large park with playing fields and playgrounds for their children.  Dog owners are also upset.

This application by Fernham Homes proposes to further delay the delivery of this amenity area.  They are merely seeking to secure consent to set out a small area of the park adjacent to their approved housing land to the south. The design is proposed to be undertaken without reference to the context of any design for the bare land adjacent to the North, as such this is uncoordinated.

Fernham have stated in this application that they are responsible for the delivery of this public open space.   Crest have a legal commitment in their S106 agreement to design and undertake the works.  There is a danger that this dual obligation to deliver the park will fall between two stools and the park will never be completed. The master landowner for Lady Dane, The Vinson Trust, are barred in the Crest S106 agreement from selling the land including the green shaded area to the south that Fernham homes have plotted houses on (see plan overleaf). They cannot sell any of the green land until a design for the park has been approved and the setting out of the landscape is complete.  The Agreement is also clear that the Trust can only sell this land to the Residents management company or Swale Council following completion of the works.  These provisions were introduced into the legal agreement to ensure delivery of the Park, to date they  have not been enforced.

This area is remote and inaccessible to the residents of the 196 Crest homes. If approved, they will continue to be left with no proposals or timeframe for landscaping the wasteland adjacent to their homes and no playgrounds for their children.
In light of this, it is evident that this application should be refused unless the plans are substituted with a holistic design for the park and a clear, enforceable timetable for delivery with penalties for noncompliance.
Furthermore, Swale should consider taking enforcement action against Crest and The Vinson Trust for their enduring breach of the S106 agreement and failure to discharge planning conditions on the Crest Phase 1 scheme.

July 4, 2024

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