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Blog Archive

Monday, 27 April 2015

Goats Stolen - Oak Lane

Hartlip Newington & Upchurch Ward

Crime Number: XY/014155/15

Between the 24th and 25th of April two very young female Goats were stolen from a paddock at The BarnYard Oak Lane, Upchurch.

If you have any information that could help investigators please contact Kent Police on telephone number 101 and quote the relevant crime number above.

For more information on crime prevention visit:

Kent Police Neighbourhood Watch

Upchurch Village Fete Day

Upchurch Village Fete Committee

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Election 2015

Residents in the Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency will be voting in Parliamentary, Borough and Parish/Town Council elections taking place on the 7th of May 2015.

Election of the Member of Parliament for the Sittingbourne and Sheppey Constituency
Residents can vote for only one candidate in this election.

The candidates are:

Gordon Henderson - Conservatives
Gary Miller - Green Party
Keith Nevols - Liberal Democrats
Guy Nicholson - Labour
Richard Palmer - UKIP
Mad Mike Young - The Official Monster Raving Loony Party

Election of Councillors to Swale Borough Council
Residents can vote for no more than two candidates in this election.

The candidates are:

Simon Clark - Labour
Gerry Lewin - Conservatives
Richard Palmer - UKIP
Helen Walker - UKIP
John Wright - Conservatives

Upchurch Village Hall will be our Polling Station here in the village and will be open from 7:00am to 10:00pm.

To vote on the day you must have already registered. It is now too late to register.

Election of Parish Councillors to Upchurch Parish Council
Eight Residents have stood for the Parish Council.

The names are as follows:

Michael Apps
John Arnold
Pam Denny
Alan Horton
Gerry Lewin
Peter Masson
Maria Rose
Sara Tucker

At the end of their 4-year term all parish councillors effectively retire. Any intent to
re-stand is notified to Swale Borough Council by means of a nomination form. At the same time, any other qualifying resident of the parish can also submit their candidacy to Swale. At the close of registration the clerk is notified of the number of candidates. The cut off date for nominations was approximately 1 month before the election on the 7th of May 2015.

All nominations have now been submitted to Swale Borough Council and verified. Eight candidates were received for Upchurch which means, with an allocation of nine councillors this election is uncontested.

These eight 
candidates will automatically form the next Parish Council. They will then be in a position to advertise vacancies and 'co-opt' applicants as and when they can.

Therefore there is still one vacancy.

Upchurch Matters

Friday, 24 April 2015

Parents & Friends of Holywell School Charity Golf Day

Overall winner Nick Judge with Headteacher Darran Callaghan.

Linton Seafoods were winners of the team prize.
Parents & Friends of Holywell School are delighted to announce that their recent Golf Day, held at Upchurch River Valley Golf Club on Monday 20th April 2015, was a great success. More than 60 golfers enjoyed a day of glorious sunshine and close competition and nearly £2,000 was raised for our school.

Congratulations to the overall winner, Nick Judge, and also to the team from Linton Seafoods who walked away with the team prize.

We would like to thank all the golfers who competed on the day, along with the many sponsors and donors of raffle prizes, who helped us to raised such a magnificent sum of money.

Clare Evans
Parents & Friends of Holywell School


80s Night at The Three Tuns

The Three Tuns

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Upchurch Parish Council Extraordinary Meeting - Report

The Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting held at Upchurch Village Hall on Wednesday 15th April 2015 commencing at 7:30pm.

Attendees: Julia Cura (Clerk), Cllr Sue Rossiter, Cllr Sara Tucker (Chair), Cllr Peter Masson, Cllr Maria Rose, Cllr Gerald Lewin, Cllr John Arnold and 60 members of the public including Ward Cllr John Wright.

120. Apologies: Cllr Patricia New and Ward Cllr Mike Baldock.

121. Declarations of Interest – Cllr Tucker and Cllr Denny declared a Disclosable Non Pecuniary Interest in the Jubilee Fields application due to living in close proximity.


Public Time – Cllr Tucker advised the members of the public that the intention is to make all planning meetings accessible to the public from now on and it was felt that the Jubilee Fields application was a good place to begin due to the scale of it. The public time was mainly dominated by the Jubilee Fields application with the following points made: 
A resident from Oak Lane asked that in their response the Council consider the reasons that the application was previously declined in 2008 by the Planning Inspectorate. The rejection of this application had helped significantly to keep the rural gap. Cllr Tucker reiterated the reasons for the previous objection to the public. A resident from Wallbridge Lane raised concerns regarding the increase in traffic in an already busy lane and asked if Swale Borough Council would be considering traffic control for such a large development. An Oak Lane resident raised concerns regarding traffic with over 100 cars being added to the village if the application was accepted, he also raised concerns regarding infrastructure, schools, Doctor’s surgeries and the fact that Upchurch cannot sustain this size of development with its current road network. A resident from Oak Lane asked why she had not been informed of the development by Swale Borough Council when her home is directly opposite the entrance to Jubilee Fields. Cllr Lewin responded that the standard procedure is to consult all homes within 50 yards of the development and they will not vary from this. Cllr Lewin thanked Mr Denny from Oak Lane for putting the development into the public eye with his canvassing. Cllr Tucker advised the public that anyone can comment on an application even if they have not received a consultation letter by registering on Swale Planning website. Ward Cllr Wright reported that the Jubilee Fields application falls outside of the Local Plan and that he had attended a planning meeting that day where the Inspector had made it clear regarding similar developments that sustainability was a key issue. A Jubilee Fields resident commented that the Local Plan clearly dictates a Strategic Gap and asked why, if the whole intent is to maintain the Strategic Gap, the Planning Department would allow this to be breached. The resident asked that to prevent Upchurch ceasing to be a village all the recent large planning applications be taken into account and that the issues with sewage and traffic need serious consideration. A resident from Acorn Terrace, Oak Lane – Raised concerns regarding the narrowing of Oak Lane already causing traffic issues with drivers going over the speed limit which will be further complicated by the increase of vehicles using the narrow entrance to Jubilee Fields. There is also a problem with overgrown vegetation causing limited view. The resident also recommended that power supplies be looked at due to the village already having problems with power effected by adverse weather conditions which can only be impacted further by 41 more properties connected to the current supply. A resident from Oak Lane – Asked that residents look at the application from a different point of view as although the need is to remain a village the reality is that families are growing and properties are needed but developers and the Council need to look seriously at utilities and infrastructure to accommodate such developments. A resident from Oak Lane asked if there had been any dialogue from the developers regarding meeting with residents of Upchurch to obtain their views. Cllr Tucker responded that before the application was submitted the architects had contacted herself and the Clerk and had indicated that there could be a public meeting but nothing had been forthcoming. Cllr Lewin advised that it was a possibility to speak with the applicant to arrange this. Cllr Lewin also spoke about the possibility of contacting Swale Planning to ask for an extension on the consultation closing date of 20th April 2015. A resident from Jubilee Fields asked Cllr Lewin why the developers had been allowed to submit an application when one had previously been turned down. Cllr Lewin responded that as the National Planning Policy Framework came in in 2012 new applications can be submitted by anyone and this is a different application and developer to the previous one submitted. The resident went on to ask if the Planning department would consider the previous application being declined. Cllr Lewin responded that they would. A resident from Jubilee Fields stated that there is a piece of land owned by the residents of Jubilee Fields which is insured by these residents and raised concerns over this land being used by the 41 proposed houses and how they could be stopped from using it. Cllr Tucker responded that this was something that would need to be looked into by their Management Company. A Wallbridge Lane resident raised a concern that she had not received a consultation letter from Swale Planning. Cllr Tucker responded that as discussed earlier all residents that wished to comment still should do so as it would serve to back up the Parish Council’s response. Cllr Lewin stated that he had looked at the applications access statement and no provision had been made to provide 10% of open space which is a necessity for an application of this scale. A resident from Oak Lane enquired as to how many parking spaces had been allocated. Cllr Tucker responded that 114 had been allocated. A resident from Oak Lane agreed that although further housing was needed the local facilities cannot accommodate the need at the moment for schooling and the doctor’s. A resident from Wallbridge Lane stated that he had objected to the original Jubilee Fields application and asked if there was any knowledge as to what Swale Planning will decide. Cllr Lewin advised that they would not know until the Inspector’s report is published. The resident went on to ask why when Swale Borough Council had spent 7 years and a lot of money on a Local Plan developers are allowed to submit applications. Cllr Lewin responded that anyone can put an application in at any time. Cllr Tucker added that the Local Plan is about Swale and has no relevance to private landowners putting in their own applications and plans, however Swale Borough Council will take the Local Plan into consideration. A resident enquired if it was the landowner or developer that had submitted the application? Cllr Tucker replied that the Certificate of Ownership could be looked at online on Swale Planning website but it appeared that the developers have submitted the application on behalf of the landowners. Ward Cllr Wright asked that all of the current applications that have been submitted be looked at as a whole. Cllr Lewin agreed that to put the current applications into context. There will be a total of over 1000 additional dwellings all using the A2, with this and the loss of green fields in mind he had asked that Medway and Swale Planning exchange consultation letters to look at them as a whole. Cllr Tucker advised that residents should also look at these as a whole and not just the applications relevant to Upchurch as the impact on the A2 will affect all of the surrounding villages.


Meeting re-opened at 8:24pm.

122. Finance

i) – St John’s College – The Clerk presented a cheque to be signed for the rent due for the Paddock and Recreation Ground to St John’s College. Proposed by Cllr Denny and seconded by Cllr Rossiter. All agreed.

123. Planning

i) 15/501944/FULL – Land Adjoining and Rear of Jubilee Fields, Upchurch – Mixed residential development of 41 No. 2,3,4 and 5 bedroom houses together with all associated garaging, parking and infrastructure. – Cllr Rose suggested that the Council should object to the application based on infrastructure and the pressure that will be placed on the existing facilities. Also to be considered is that an application was rejected previously and that there will be loss of open land. Cllr Masson agreed that infrastructure will not cope with this amount of extra housing and that the pressure on current power supplies and the sewage system should be considered. Cllr Rossiter stated that the question of sustainability should be raised and that the School’s and Doctor’s surgery are already full. Cllr Rossiter also raised concerns that additional lighting may be needed due to the increase in parking and that this would further take away from the village status making it become gradually more urban. Cllr Arnold stated that his main concerns are with the currently over worked sewage system and that to accommodate a development of this size new sewage pipes would need to be laid and then maintained in the future. Cllr Denny advised that she agreed with all of the comments made and that there could be concerns with access for emergency vehicles on a road that is already over used. Cllr Lewin suggested that the application be looked at on the basis that there is currently no provision for open space in it, the amount of parking although written to meet KCC standards would cause traffic chaos, there are no Highway statements attached to the application that deal with access roads and that there is currently no pathway on this side of Oak Lane to enable existing residents to walk into the Village, the dangers of which would be further highlighted by adding more residents. Cllr Lewin advised that the Police have submitted a letter to this effect. Cllr Lewin added that although the application does have some good points for example providing Social Housing which Swale needs it should not go ahead in its current format. Cllr Lewin reported that as the Local Plan is against it the application was likely to be rejected but residents should be aware that due to the natural population expansion something is likely to come in the future and that there is potential for other major developments. Cllr Lewin reported that money had been obtained to improve Junction 5 on the M2 but that this would not happen until 2021 and therefore large developments shouldn’t be allowed to take place until the infrastructure is improved. Cllr Rose asked that the developments already taking place in the village at Four Gun Field and Horsham Garage be taken into account when Swale Planning consider this application. Cllr Tucker raised concerns regarding the current application’s layout and the fact that the smaller houses with less allocated parking spaces are next to the approach road where parking is already an issue. The only way that the road can be widened would be to remove the pavement causing danger to pedestrians. Cllr Tucker also recommended that a Wildlife assessment be carried out as a green field site.

In conclusion a strong objection should be submitted to the current application as it stands. Proposed by Cllr Rose and seconded by Cllr Rossiter. All agreed that Cllr Tucker and the Clerk should compile an objection based on the comments from both the residents and Councillors.

ii) 14/505230/FULL – Jack Russell Place, Halstow Lane – Amended application submitted for only one additional caravan and security lighting. – Cllr Tucker reported that the Council had objected to the previous application with regards to the fact that they were attempting to place extra homes on newly acquired land. It was agreed that the Clerk should contact Swale Planning to request up to date drawings and proper full paperwork as these have not been received. Then a decision could be made as to whether the Council further object. 

The meeting closed at 8:55pm.

Julia Cura
Clerk to the Parish Council
Tel: 01634 363906

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

CXK Maximising Potential at Upchurch Village Hall

CXK is a charitable organisation delivering a range of services across the South East to support young people and families to maximise their potential. In particular they provide them with advice, guidance, skills and the confidence that will help them to progress into education, employment and training.

Services include:

• Careers guidance, advice and work related learning for all young people including the most vulnerable.

• Independent, professional and confidential advice for adults in relation to careers, skills and the labour market (The National Careers Service).

• Mental health & wellbeing services (Young Healthy Minds).

• Leadership & Development programmes for young people including the National Citizen Service and the Prince’s Trust Team programme.

• Management of youth centres and a mobile youth service (Community Activity Teams).

• Training Programmes for those not in employment, education and training (European Social Fund).

• Accredited training for adults and professionals working with young people.

• Parenting programmes and family workshops.

• Mentoring programmes including Talent Match and Youth Contract.

As a charity, any surplus is reinvested into developing new and innovative projects for the benefit of clients.

They run a session every Tuesday afternoon at Upchurch Village Hall between 3:30pm and 6:00pm where they have the option of bringing a Van full of sports equipment if session numbers increase.

CXK are currently recruiting for a variety of positions and want to promote these positions within the areas that they work.
Charlotte Moore
Website: www.cxk.orgspace