Covers Farm Quarry deadline is tomorrow, 16th February

IMG_3848

Cherry Tree Lodge Haul Road – traffic backing up onto the Biggin Hill main road when wheel washing was imposed.

Please remember that the DEADLINE for having your say about the Covers Farm proposal is TOMORROW, SUNDAY 16TH.

You can do this at www.kentplanningapplications.co.uk

Application Reference KCC/SE/0495/2018 Stabilisation and restoration of Covers Farm Quarry. Please include your name and address.

Please remember to mention:

  • the effect over six years on local roads:
  • the air quality
  • the noise
  • how local children could be affected (The photo shows the construction of the haul road at the Cherry Tree Lodge site. An 3 metre high earth work isn’t going to stop Churchill children getting all the dust and noise!)
  • loss of biodiversity  – the destruction of habitats of local wildlife which won’t all be reinstated in the final scheme, ie a large body of water, quarry cliffs, sandy ground, etc
  •  the fact that the application doesn’t satisfactorily prove tat there is a need for the stabilisation work and that there is already a approved scheme in place that doesn’t involve importing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of construction waste.

We’re sure that you will have your own points too.

More info at www.keepwesterhamgreen.co.uk

KCC Councillor Nick Chard has provided a briefing on the application here Covers_Quarry_Applic_KCC_SE_0495_2018_Summary_A_Hopkins_N_Chard

Click here for the official KCC notification.

We urge you later on to write to the KCC Planning Application Committee members who will ultimately make the decision. You will find their contact details below. 

Committee_members_contact_list

Please have your say

You can do this

  •  online, www.kentplanningapplications.co.uk
  • via email  planning.applications@kent.gov.uk
  • or by post at Planning Applications Group, Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ quoting KCC/SE/0495/2018.
IMG_2233
Photo shows the construction of the Cherry tree Lodge Golf Course haul road in 2011

Some simple points on which to base your objections…

1. Severe adverse impact on local highways

For you in means a lorry nightmare. At least 84,200 huge tipper trucks (20-tonnes) bringing this waste from south-east London, 7am until 6pm each weekday, for 5 – 6 years or longer. This is such a long time that it has to be a planning consideration.

  • Brasted and Sundridge100 additional  lorry movements on the A25 through Brasted and Sundridge to and from the M25 Junction 5. (42,100 trucks).
  • Westerham Hill (coming via Biggin Hill) – 100 extra lorry movements each weekday going up and down Westerham Hill. (42,100 trucks).
  • Clark’s Lane, via Warlingham – Possibly 15% of this traffic coming this way, in what the application calls a “stress test”.
  • Beggars Lane garage roundabout  – Altogether means that each weekday there’ll be 200 additional lorries negotiating the BP roundabout. (84,200 trucks).
  • Lorries parked up all over Westerham, waiting to take the haul road or enter the quarry site.
Overall_map_1
Map showing where the trucks will come from and how many truck movements there will be each weekday.

Beggars Lane roundabout hazard – the lorries converge here

The approaching from Beggars Lane and Westerham Hill converge at the Beggars Lane roundabout. 200 additional lorry movements every weekday – some trucks in convoy – some attempting to turn right, others going straight ahead. All, trying to enter or leave a single file road.  This is the point where many secondary school children assemble at the bus-stop to go to school.

Beggars_Lane_ROundabout_3
The Beggars Lane roundabout near the BP garage.

Why will they converge here? Because the application proposes to build a ‘temporary’ single file road  or ‘haul’ road (with passing places) between the London Rd and the Croydon Rd. This will run near Churchill School and the SSSI ancient woodland, Westerham Wood. The route will then continue across the Croydon Rd westward to the Covers Farm pit. (Please see smaller scale map above).

Dangerous crossing point on the Croydon Road, Westerham

In order to manage these 200 daily HGV movements across the Croydon Rd,  a stoplight will be located in the 60 mph zone on the bend just south of the M25. (See below). The traffic could tailback as far as the Farley Lane junction. We leave you to consider the scope for accidents at this point, if this application is approved.

InkedCroydon_Rd_4
The signalised crossing point on the Croydon Road.

2. Poorer air quality

Brasted A25 – Further congestion at the pinchpoint A25/Chart Lane will worsen the air quality at a point where average NO2 concentrations are still above the air quality targets (Sevenoaks District Council: Air Quality Annual Status Report 2019).

3. Other environmental concerns

Noise and dust from the proposed temporary road (routed close to the Churchill Primary School, which already lies close to the M25 Air Quality Monitoring Area) will adversely affect the pupils there. The proposed 3 metre earthwork will  be insufficient to mitigate this.

On-site lights on all night; hedgerows torn out; the effects of all this on wildlife.

IMG_2233
Cherry Tree Lodge Golf Course Haul Road 2011

Groundwater contamination. The further material recently submitted shows that the application’s tests within the quarry site itself identified concentrations on lead, nickel and vanadium that exceeded Drinking Water Standards. The southern part of the quarry overlies a Source Protection Zone, that is to say, it lies within the area where all the groundwater discharges to a water-drinking borehole, the Westwood Pumping Station, 500 metres to the west of the quarry. Given the scale of the proposed infill, just think of the scope for inadvertent or subversive tipping here of hazardous waste from London demolition sites.

4. Work continuing for six years…. in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and next to SSSI and Ancient Woodland Westerham Wood

The proposed  haul road and these extensive works would be located within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Although a ‘protective’ earthwork would be built next to the Westerham Wood it is not clear whether this would impact on drainage within the woodland, potentially harming the ecosystems there .

IMG_2942
Haul road under construction at the Cherry Tree Lodge Golf Course, just off the Main Road going towards Biggin Hill.

5. Where is the need for all this? 

Morants’ proposed work would be very disruptive and potentially hazardous for local communities. So what is the need for all this? The application claims that the quarry slope instability is a significant risk to the M25. This is not the case. The people in charge of the M25, Highways England, have no record of this risk. What’s more, Highways England are eager that Morants  Promotions Ltd (Squerryes Estate) watch for the risks that could arise from doing this proposed work!

A bit of background

Covers Farm is a depleted sand quarry 1 km to the west of Westerham. A KCC order to restore the site to agricultural land has existed for decades. Now Morants Promotions Ltd (Squerryes Estate) want to go beyond earlier proposed restoration schemes because, they claim,  the water in the northern part of the quarry needs to displaced and the pit’s sides stabilised. They’re putting forward a scheme that involves the importation of  800,000 cubic metres of construction waste over five years.

Fuller information

If you want to read more detail about the application,
read more here.

KWGRG’s appeal for funds

We’re still trying to raise funds towards seeking expert opinion and producing campaign materials. If you are able to make a donation – £ 30, £10 or anything at all – it will make a big difference in the fight to protect Westerham’s Green Belt and to prevent the town from becoming a building site for 20 years.

There are three ways to donate:

Drop in a cheque payable to ‘Keep Westerham Green Residents Group’ or cash to
‘Hunters’ 1A Fullers Hill, Westerham, TN16 1AF. Receipts will be noted.

Make a bank transfer to account name ‘Keep Westerham Green Residents Group’ at Barclays, sort code: 20 88 13, account number: 43902846.

A £10 donation via PayPal using a Debit or Credit Card.

£10.00

__________________________________________________________________________

The Keep Westerham Green Residents Group is an unincorporated residents association.

Please feel free to contact us at   info@keepwesterhamgreen.co.uk

If you would like to join us you can sign up on our  Contact Us page.

If you prefer, join us on our Facebook KeepWesterhamGreenGroup .

You can read Keep Westerham Green’s General Data Protection Policy below here:
General_Data_Protection_Policy_Website_18_APril

If you consent to us using your data in the way described in the Policy, please email info@keepwesterhamgreen.co.uk with your name and the word YES.