News from the Westerham Town Partnership
Alice’s Eggsellent Adventure Hunt Committee Wednesday 23rd March 10.30am in The Grasshopper on the Green
Live! At The Green Committee Thursday 24th March 7pm in the Grasshopper on the Green
How Are We Spending Our Money?
We thought you’d like to know where money (raised from the market, events and Proud to Do Business) is going. We have funded several projects, with more in the pipeline. It is a diverse list – here are the highlights:
Many town events, see below
Moorhouse awareness campaign
Carved Animal Statues from a fallen beech tree 2016 (visit Mr Owl at the east end of the churchyard entrance)
Christmas lights donation 2016
Late Night Shopping event 2016
Talking Statues heritage trail – ongoing
Visit Westerham website hosting- ongoing
Donation to Design of Westerham Town Sign – 2016
Installation of Maypole support under The Green – 2016
Donation to outdoor gym equipment project – 2016
Donation to restoration of view over St Mary’s Church (yew prune and new noticeboard)
Donation to town internal waymarks
Reserves for 2017 planned events
See How do we spend our money? letter to subscribers of Proud to Do Business
Proud to Do Business In Westerham
The Westerham Town Partnership CIC, which runs the VisitWesterham website, Westerham Kent Facebook, Twitter @visit_westerham & @westerhambiz has invited membership of a group to try to support footfall and the economy of Westerham, ensuring Westerham remains a vibrant town centre to visit, work and shop. We have called it ‘Proud to do Business in Westerham’. Read More
‘Which Way Westerham’
A consultation with Squerryes Estate which has been a major landowner and part of the Westerham community for the last 285 years. Your chance to give your views! Please help shape the future of Westerham by having your say on-line here
Talking Heritage Trail
Using smartphone technology, the Town Partnership is developing a proposal to make our statues and buildings ‘talk’ and install small plaques to indicate an audiotape. The plan is to develop a trail round the town which we can then advertise to residents and visitors.
Image: Possible prototype
Joint Beating the Bounds of Westerham with Westerham Society
Support and publicity of The Rotary Fair
Picnic on The Green for Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday 12th June
Support and publicity of The Wolfe of Westerham
Summer Celebration – a fair on The Green
Harvest Hullabaloo Trail – a quiz to spot the harvest produce round the shops
Late Night Shopping
The Roxhill plan for DPD depot at Moorhouse (Redland Tile) site:
Tandridge District Council has had confirmation from the applicants that this application has been withdrawn and will not therefore be reported to the 15 December planning committee.
Photo of Protest 23rd September 2016 thanks to Neil O’Brien.
Planning permission for the first application in 2015 was refused by Tandridge District Council. In July 2016, a second application was submitted. In partnership with the Westerham Society, the Town Partnership hosted a meeting on 29th June 2016 with Roxhill, developers of the site at Moorhouse, DPD , the distribution company, and their planning agent.
Moorhouse Redland Tile Site – key planning words are ‘severe adverse effect of traffic’; ‘no special circumstances’ in an area of AONB; ‘no sustainability’ – no transport, and damage to economy and fabric of Westerham Society; ‘inappropriate location’ – surrounding roads too narrow and not designed for volume. The veracity and assumptions made in the Transport Analysis is challenged in many objections.
Read the Town Partnership Objection here Points covered include: Severe adverse effect on Westerham Town Centre and approach roads of traffic volume; on green belt; on AONB; on Air Quality; on economy and fabric of Westerham Society
Read the Town Council Objection here Points covered include: Severe adverse effect of traffic volume at 250 LGVs and Catastrophic at 400 LGVs; flawed traffic volume and vehicle movement analysis; harmful effects failure under Local Plan Policies DP2 (B) DP4 (1) and DP8; AONB failure under NPPF policy paras 115 & 116; EU and UK Air Quality Policy; sustainability failure under NPPF and Local Plan Policies DP1 and DP5(4)
Read Town Partnership Traffic Report 2016 here This describes and evidences Westerham’s issues with traffic volumes
Read Westerham Society Objection here
Read Westerham Residents’ Association Objection here; June 2016 Traffic Survey here; Appendix 1 Stoke Geopost/DPD site location here This response analyses and challenges figures in the Traffic Analysis part of the application.
Read Town Partnership email invitation to Strutt & Parker (agent for the Titsey Estate) to talk, 6-7-16 here
Read David & Catharine Boston’s Air Quality paper 20th July 2016 with Objection here See Air Quality & Planning Legal Opinion for Clean Air London 6-10-15
Read Practice Patient Participation Group (PPG) for the Medical Practices in Westerham and Sundridge Objection 23-8-16 here
Read Press Release from Roxhill 19 September 2016 here
Read Press Release and photo of Protest from County Border News 26th September 2016 here
Read Press Release and photo of Protest from Kent Live (Sevenoaks Chronicle) 27th September here
Read letter from D Boston explaining it’s illegal to add to existing illegal air pollution 7th November 2016 here
Read Westerham Town Council response to Transport Commentary of 21st October, 9th November 2016 here
Read Westerham Town Partnership response to Transport Commentaries of 27th May & 21st October, 20th November, here
High Court judgement Nov 2nd 2016: the Government, by law, must cut the illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide suffered by dozens of towns and cities in the “shortest possible time” See Edie.net article
Surrey CC Highways recommend refusal 17-11-16 See full objection
Kent CC Highways recommend refusal 18-11-16 See full objection
Letter from SORE to Guy Innes, to Guy Inness (Titsey Estate) 14th December 2016
Letter from Guy Inness (Titsey Trustees) January 2017 to Donald Payne of SORE
Letter February 2nd 2017 from Alan Wesley, Chair of Westerham Town Council to CEO of DPD
Response February 27th 2017 from CEO of DPD to Alan Wesley Chair of WTC
Roxhill is applying for a 60,000 sq ft site at Moorhouse which will be just like the new ones DPD has opened at Dagenham, Stoke and Cardiff. See http://postandparcel.info/69425/news/dpds-new-depots-delivered-in-time-for-christmas/
These sites, called super-depots, can currently cope with 25,000 parcels a day so it is reasonable to suppose Moorhouse will grow to that size, or bigger.
Parcels will arrive at Moorhouse overnight (the developers admit to 33 HGVs) and will come from two hubs in the Midlands, via Jct 6 at Godstone.
The delivery vans (LCVs or LGVs) are Transit size and hold on average 100 parcels. They are mostly owner-drivers so you can deduce they will need 250 vans going in and out in the morning and back in and out again late afternoon/evening. Vans collect parcels as well as deliver and take them back to Moorhouse for onward shipment.
This equates to 1000 extra LGV vehicle movements a day, mostly at peak periods.
The document http://www.visitwesterham.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/16318-05c-TA.pdf (which is a searchable pdf copy of the document on the TDC website) shows a new layout for the junction at Moorhouse (see page 103).
This shows the road will be widened in front of the Grasshopper Inn so a new sleeper lane can be created for westbound traffic turning right. The same plan shows that the western end of the lay-by will be closed to eastbound traffic. Westbound traffic (inc HGVs) leaving Moorhouse is now shown as exiting from this end of the lay-by.
USE OF LAY-BY BY GOODS VEHICLES
It is not clear from the application whether the lay-by would continue to be available as a pit-stop.
COVERAGE OF MOORHOUSE DEPOT
See proposed area coverage here. The applicant’s strategy appears to be to create a new super-depot called “Westerham” which will serve a wide range of postcodes shown in the map. It would appear that increased capacity in these areas cannot be handled by existing depots, so there is a plan to offload some of their geographic allocation to “Westerham”. To reach eastern destinations or the A21 to go north towards Bromley or south to Tunbridge Wells, a vast majority of the LGV traffic will have to go through Westerham.
To go to the Tandridge website to read all the documents in the full application submitted by Roxhill (2016/1036) click here. These documents have all been scanned, and may take a long time to download. To read a pdf copy of the Traffic Analysis section for this second application, click here
The WTP has submitted comments, including a list of material planning issues by the 22nd July deadline, (this may be extended) and publishing them here. Read Town Partnership Traffic Report 2016 here This covers all points relevant to Westerham
Consultation About a Possible By-pass
Westerham Town Council and Henry Warde, from Squerryes Estate, working closely with the Town Partnership, Westerham Society and the Residents Association, are consulting with the town, and seeking views on a possible by-pass, which would be funded by new homes. A Town meeting and drop in information sessions were held during February 2016, with the way forward not emerging clearly. Westerham Town Partnership continues to liaise with interested parties.
During September 2015 we also initiated a meeting with the Linden Homes, who are developing the old secondary school site, and have actively contributed to influencing their plan.
In Market Square, every first and third Sunday morning, The Town Partnership organises the Farmer’s Market. Proceeds from the stalls’ rent have so far been used to buy the Town’s bunting, purchase a PA system, safety fencing, support the Christmas Lights on The Green, contribute to Town promotional material and finance fund raising initiatives.
King George V Field Memorial Pavilion & Riverside Development
Summary of Results of King George V Field Consultation
See the Full Report.
The Town Partnership is working to support the Town Council, which is responsible for the Christmas Lights, to improve our display.
Late Night Shopping
The Town Partnership provides the forum and management structure to support the ‘Proud to Do Business’ Group to stage this annual event. For the photo album, click here.
The Town Partnership, supported by generous volunteers, e-Commerce Specialist Pretty Perfect Group maintains this website.
Westerham’s Jubilee Noticeboard
The Town Council commissioned a new noticeboard for The Green in 2012, when the old one rotted through. The Town Partnership designed, commissioned and updates the content.
Social Media and Town Event Promotion
The Town Partnership maintains this website, the Facebook ‘Westerham Kent’ & ‘Westerham Neighbourhood’ @westerhambiz, @visit_westerham Twitter sites, and Street Life profile, using posts to promote events and news in Westerham. It also maintains the Westerham Flickr and YouTube sites, recording images and videos both contemporary and historical, of interest to the population and outsiders. News gathered is used to promote the town and its activities, using press releases, events sites, magazines, publications and tourist sites.
Tourism and Town Promotion
The Town Partnership uses its social media and website to encourage tourism and visitors. This means liaising with local Associations such as the Retailers Association,Tourism Organisations, The Press, Specialist Organisations, for example Walking and Cycling Groups, Government and Local Agencies.
Westerham Life and Events 2015
Through the Website and Facebook, and by feeding The Gazette and other Press, the gathering and dissemination of news of Clubs, Societies, Services and articles of interest is maintained in an effort to enhance the Westerham experience for its residents and business. The Town Partnership acts as Publicity Co-ordinator for Events, with particular emphasis on encouraging co-operation to strengthen the Town message.
Support for town initiatives
The Partnership actively supports the activities and events of others. We support other groups and societies in Westerham, such as the Festival of Christmas Trees run by St Mary’s Heritage Trust to support the church building, the Beating of the Bounds, run by the Westerham Society to raise cash for the hanging baskets, and other events, as they arise. We do this by helping with planning, publicity, erection of safety netting, providing amp and speakers: in short background infrastructure support.
The spill over car park, extending the Darenth Car Park into the field to the east, at times of high demand, has been successfully trialled. Planning permission has been granted, and funding is in place. Work is expected to start imminently, to lat grassprotecta. We will have up to an extra 70 spaces. WTP will be developing a signage and lighting ‘best practice’ policy. Following our negotiations, new parking charges are confirmed from 1st April 2015 as:
3 hours free in the Darent car park.
Extension of staying time in the Croydon Rd and Fullers hill to 3 hours (from 2 hours).
Both these will encourage the longer term shopper – or those who want to shop and eat….
Pop & Shop in the on-street central spaces: a half price reduction for the 1st 15 minutes (old price 20p for first 30 mins, new price 10p for first 15 mins then 20p for 15 – 30 mins). After that swift turnover is encouraged, to stop the valuable central spaces being clogged up, with increases after the first 30 minutes.
Superfast Broadband Campaign
The Partnership held discussions with BT and KCC and campaigned for votes to support the KCC ‘Make Kent Quicker’ petition. BT announced 95% coverage for Westerham which has now arrived, over a year ahead of schedule, following our campaign. Detailed information on the Superfast Broadband page.
Charman’s Farm Brewery/ Winery Planning Application
Read the Westerham Town Partnerships’s response to this proposal. Planning has now been granted, and the Town Partnership is actively supporting the joint venture between Squerryes Sparkling Wine and Westerham Brewery. In due course we will be negotiating how to support the marketing of the Farm as a ‘Destination’, and, with the National Trust, the possibility of a Park & Ride to encourage visitor flow to the town centre and to Chartwell.
Sevenoaks District Council Economic Development Strategy Consultation
Click here to view the Consultation Document.
Westerham Town Partnership has responded to this consultation (Sept 2014). Click here to read the response.
The Town Partnership provided the forum to allow various interested groups, including the Royal British Legion and the Retailers to support Summer 1914 event in July 2014. This weekend event was designed to depict life in Westerham just before the outbreak of War on 4th August. For more information click here. For the photo album, click here.
Talk of the Town – 4th/5th/6th September 2015
Bringing Westerham’s past characters to life – this was a weekend long event to raise funds to make some of our statues and buildings ‘talk’ using smart phone technology! The weekend delivered a rich assortment of music, a chance to meet and talk with costumed characters, to learn about what it was like to live in Westerham in times past. Visitors enjoyed the activity quiz, exhibitions at the Royal British Legion, family entertainment and much more!
The weekend culminated in ‘The Talk of the Town’ cabaret which included music from local Andrews Sisters tribute act ‘Blue Dominoes’, Music Hall troupe Morven Rae, Poetry and Prose, a little magic from veteran Fergus Anckorn, (the youngest member of the Magic Circle, captured by the Japanese in 1942 and forced to work on the infamous Burma Railroad) and a group from Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus Choristers for the conclusion of what was a memorable weekend. For more information click here. For the photo album click here.
Annual Meeting 9th May 2013
1½ hours went past in a flash. Residents got together with people from our varied organisations and businesses to eat, drink, talk and generate new energy and ideas about ways to improve our special town. Particular interest emerged around:
- Creating an indoor craft fair
- Improving the local footpaths and their signage (under discussion)
- Leveraging the Darenth Valley Project
- Improving Broadband (successful campaign)
- More stalls at the market
- Entering Best Village competitions
- Creating a Community play (this has now been metamorphosed into Talk of the Town event following failure of grant application)
- Fund raising events for town causes
- Creating a visual map of parking arrangements (now underway)
- Beefing up the winter & summer flowers (now underway)
- Adopting the phone boxes from BT (complete on Verrells Corner with dummy and in town with defibrillator)
- Tidying up signage
- More salt bins (written to Council)
- King George’s playing field: a cycle path on that could double up as a running track or path and an outdoor gym, as well as an imaginative and extensive play area for children; public toilets; and dog fouling policed and fine
- Resurrecting the Annual Open Day for Westerham town residents at Chartwell, as per previous years and Winston’s expressed wishes (already in existence)
Westerham is a place rich in people with skills, expertise and imagination. The Town Partnership actively works to enable each different & diverse offering to compliment the activity of others. We are all volunteers and highly value everyone’s unique contributions, how-ever large, small or medium sized. Involvement is rewarding, free of expectation, and seriously appreciated.
The Partnership intends to get sharper at ensuring we seek everyones’ help in our searches for people with interest and expertise in new projects and ideas; and our next annual meeting will be held in a more accessible venue ensuring the attendance of those with restricted mobility. You can get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.