Dismayed and angry, but not surprised
Campaign group BRAD have said that they are "Dismayed and angry, but not surprised by Robert Jenrick MP’s decision to uphold Quinn Estates appeal on the Wises Lane development are the feelings of the BRAD committee."
"There is a list of some 72 conditions given with the approval and BRAD will ensure these are adhered to by the letter."
"It is a sad day for Swale when a Government Minister, who has probably never been to Swale, decides the fate of what was once known as the Garden of England, but is slowly becoming the Concrete Corner of England. It questions the role of Robert Jenrick as he is the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. He has not listened to local government or the community, instead choosing to listen to a Developer who donates substantial sums to his political party."
"It is also sad to find the grade 1 land that has provided employment and crops in the village of Borden for years, by a once respected farmer, being sold to a developer, both of whom have pound signs in their eyes and no consideration for anyone but themselves. Mark Quinn has said he does not do this for the money, but…"
"Quinn Estates actually said the original development was not financially viable without adding extra houses and a spine road and to do this they went to the William Barrow Trust Charity who own the land needed for that road. A local charity set up by a greedy resident of Borden, William Barrow, who on his death bed saw the error of his ways and set the charity up to help and provide for the people of Borden. It would appear the Trustees of the Charity are returning to Mr Barrow’s original ways and not fulfilling his legacy."
"For 5 years BRAD have witnessed the bullying, lies and intimidating tactics of Quinn Estates and this is further evidenced in the quote of the CEO of Quinn Estates who made an unfounded accusation of ‘victimisation.’ His arrogant and inaccurate comments sum up just what Quinn Estates is all about."
"Anyone who thinks this development will benefit Swale is sadly deluded. We have the former Conservative administration at Swale Borough Council to thank for this who successfully kept developers at arms’ length in Faversham, but welcomed them with open arms in Sittingbourne and Sheppey. Do not forget how the planning application was rushed through by Andrew Bowles who insisted the development be approved, just in time before the local elections, which he knew would not go in the favour of the Conservative party. Relationships between the former Leader, Andrew Bowles and other Conservatives Councillors are questionable and should be investigated."
"The people are the hardest hit. The financial penalty the Appellant will get from Swale Borough Council, approved by Robert Jenrick MP, will only exacerbate the financial and economic hardship already endured by Swale during the Covid pandemic."
"It would seem Swale is being used as a political football. Anyone who complains to our local council of wasting their money should understand that it is ’normal practice’ for parties to bear their own costs. However, Robert Jenrick has ruled Quinn Estates should have part of their costs paid for by the local authority! Swale Borough Council, like all Councils across the country are reeling from the impacts of the pandemic, Covid-19. How can he not see how damaging this is to our local government, Swale Borough Council?"
"This is a sad day for democracy. The planning process is clearly corrupt and ordinary people and our environment will be the ones who suffer."
"The BRAD Committee would like to thank the supporters and Local Parish Councils who supported this long and bitter campaign."
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People trying to save the countryside from the ravages of house builders are currently fighting a losing battle. Large landowning farmers are now in the position of being able to sell their land which was once worth a few thousand pounds per acre for millions to developers who know they will get planning permission. They in turn embark on getting initial support for their plans by bribing sports clubs with the sweetner of pitches/club house along with the usual fop of doctors surgery, community hall, a “hub” of some description, or what really takes the ‘P‘ a country park. With some councils, such as Ashford and Maidstone, waving schemes through the odds against objectors are now stacking up.
Certain parts of a submitted plan may never happen: such as a hotel or conference centre, the plans being resubmitted at a later date with these replaced by further housing. A possible future example could be the hotel at the former railway works development in Ashford which has now been put “on hold”.
Local media, particularly online, paints a rosy picture of the proposed development with CGI images whilst at the same time suppressing any comment that would be critical of the plans. The latest trend is for a “sponsored” article by a builder or whilst viewing other news stories online readers are bombarded with ads promoting new property developments.
If all this fails there is always Mr Jenrick and his so called ”independent” inspectors who will get the job done.
Is there any answer to this biased system? Perhaps not through the protest route but, observing areas away from Kent such as the New Forest, it does seem that having the quintessential National Park covering many thousands of acres seems to prevent unscrupulous builders from having free rein to destroy our countryside with over intensive housing.
As I sit in my lounge in Australia, this man that grew up in Borden and remembering such a beautiful place for a child to grow up , with orchards, fields and places so wonderful for a child’s delight , My heart is saddened that if these Estates go ahead then our future children will not experience the joy of such freedom and community living.
I hope to come home when the international flights begin again to see my Mum who also grew up in Borden , her father was the local Blacksmith , but I expect I will come home to a place that I will not recognise.
This MUST NOT GO AHEAD
Not just a sad day for Democracy, but clear evidence of the end of Democracy in respect of the Legal Planning Process throughout the Country. There’s no point in the substantial time and expense associated with creating, consulting and adopting ANY Local Plan ANYWHERE when a developer can “buy” whatever Planning Permission he/she wants!