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BMRA Online Newsletters
DECEMBER 2014
There are approx. 4 newsletters published each year.
 

 

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.

ENTERTAINMENT

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.

EARLY MORNING 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.

MINERALS AND WASTE APPLICATION

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 DEVELOPMENT

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 current form.
- To relocate F M CONWAY'S headquarters by building offices and its attendant facilities.
- To provide a low density housing scheme.

The Committee then set out reasons why the BMRA had objections to its present use of Storage and Distribution.

PBA took 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 future.

Dave Woledge
Chairman

 

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