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9th December 2014
CHAIRMAN'S INTERIM STATEMENT
There have been several developments on the BMRA front in recent
months and the object of this, my Interim Statement, is to bring these
matters to your attention.
Firstly you will have noticed that the BMRA has published an extensive and
ambitious program of entertainment and social events which will be rolled
out in the next year or so. This is being driven by Zena Belton ( She of
‘The Badgers Sett’ ) and it is vital that the community supports her and
the BMRA's efforts if it is to prove a success. The program is wide
ranging so please see if you can identify at least a couple of events that
are to your liking and thus can actively support. Further suggestions
would also be welcome.
LOCAL DIALOGUE WITH F M CONWAY
At the last AGM the incoming Committee was charged with opening up a
dialogue with F M Conway (FMC) on day to day issues and particularly the
breakout noise emanating from the site. The decision to open up a dialogue
with FMC represented a change in BMRA policy.
I, along with Trevor
Simmons and Sue Wyatt (she lives adjacent to the site) attended the
inaugural meeting and detected that FM Conway were not unsympathetic to
the residents concerns.
Trevor and Sue subsequently held further
meetings with FMC (which now includes the site manager). These informal
meetings continue to be held on an ongoing basis
The sort of issues
so far addressed are
NOISE – FMC have elected to relocate several
of their huge mounds of minerals to strategic locations around the site in
an attempt to reduce the breakout noise where we have been able to
identify specific problems. To create these bunds will take several months
and of course we cannot be sure that it will produce the desired result
but it’s a positive step in the right direction.
LORRY ARRIVALS – FMC had made arrangements for their early morning
arrivals to temporarily park in the Polhill lay by but this has not proved
too successful in practice, so further options are being considered.
ANCIENT WOODLAND – We have seen the results of the woodland survey
undertaken by FMC and are content to observe that good practice is being
employed as to its maintenance.
One point has come to light, however,
is that garden refuse is occasionally being dumped over the fence into the
woodland area. This has a detrimental effect on the habitat as it creates
and harbours disease along with the refuse being unsightly so it would be
appreciated if this practice cease, please.
The latest date by which FMC could apply
for inclusion in the KCC Minerals and Waste Development Framework was 24
July 2014. We have been advised that FMC have submitted no such
application within this time frame.
With the absence of any such
application and coupled with the BMRA policy change mentioned previously
the core members of the Defence sub-committee decided to stand down with
effect from 18 September 2014.
I, on behalf of the Committee would
like to take this opportunity to place on record our appreciation for the
immense time and effort afforded by the Defence sub-committee members
(both past and more recent) over many years and which I personally believe
has left the community in a far better position than we could have
expected at the outset.
FMC CHELSFIELD SITE – FUTURE
PETER BRETT ASSOCIATES (PBA) (a
development/consultation company) wrote to me early in October requesting
the opportunity to brief the Committee as they had been engaged by FMC to
evaluate the Chelsfield site and identify any development opportunities.
The BMRA committee was a bit short on numbers at the time owing to
holidays but the briefing meeting took place on the 9th October and Trevor
Simmons took the Chair.
PBA stated that they had been charged to
evaluate 3 options namely
- To continue to operate the site in its
- To relocate F M CONWAY'S headquarters by building
offices and its attendant facilities.
- To provide a low density
The Committee then set out reasons why the BMRA had
objections to its present use of Storage and Distribution.
our thoughts and views away for further consideration.
On the 14
November 2014 the BMRA Committee was called to a second briefing session
where PBA outlined their latest proposals, namely
- to develop the
site within the inner perimeter fence to accommodate a low density housing
scheme - a figure of 20 units was suggested.
- to retain and manage the
surrounding ancient woodland.
Clearly such a scheme presents many
planning hurdles to negotiate and PBA advised that for such a scheme to
have the slightest chance of success it must have the support of the
community and its residents.
The BMRA Committee in cautiously
welcoming the proposal asked that PBA provide an OPEN briefing meeting
direct to the residents along with a question and answer session. Whilst
this was agreed in principle the date/time has yet to be determined.
I understand the current position to be that PBA/FMC are now intending
to have a pre-application meeting with SDC in the very near future (by
which I interpret to mean before Christmas 2014.)
With the FMC
Chelsfield site under the spotlight yet again the BMRA committee feel it
prudent to retain the ring fenced Defence budget in its present form in
case the BMRA need to engage professional services at some stage in the
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