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Planning and Transport Committee Report to

Annual Town Meeting of Southborough 1 April 1998

By Councillor Andrew Lohmann chair person of the planning and transportation committee

I shall be making a shorter speech than last year at the request of one of you. This committee meets every two weeks, visiting and speaking to the applicants and their neighbours the morning of the meeting. The planning committee makes recommendations to the Borough Council who, as planning authority, decide. The council has the same consultation period as the public.

Last year you asked about public transport, along with pedestrian issues, and I travelled last summer by bus to Pembury, and discovered that the return fare is over three pounds and you have to return from Pembury to Tunbridge Wells with the same company you bused out with. Their was a Sunday timetable, but I understand no buses run. This type of issue is taken up by our representative on the Borough Council’s Transport Liaison committee. The planning and Transportation committee has discussed and supports, after hearing a number of views, bus and cycle lanes on the A26, but not park-and-ride, such schemes attract more cars and draw people away form public transport.

Cllr Knights is Southborough town council representative’s at the borough’s transport liaison committee. We thank that Cllr  Reynolds and that committee for allowing such representation. To continue the traffic issue we have discussed busing children to school, and suggested that staggered school hours would help, as would free buses for all distances. Alternatively reduced bus fares or making available a  cheaper five day passes instead of the current seven day passes would help.

The committee also expressed concerns about the move away of the very good rail inquiries office in Tonbridge. We have been assured that the new service is being monitored for quality. We are presently considering traffic calming measures to slow inappropriate traffic on Southborough common. We particularly support foot paths at the South side of Holden Pond, and to the pond from Kibbles Lane. We also support a pedestrian island at the top of Constitution Hill next to St. Peters Church. We are pleased that their is a study in to crossing of High Brooms road in the vicinity of Colebrook Road, and Powder Mill Lane. To come will be discussion of the implications for shops and pedestrians I look forward to hearing your views. We shall continue to pursue a one-way system of roads for Southborough West, what do you think of residents only parking?

The main business of the committee is to consider planning applications. Last year The Old Laundry in Bedford Road concerned us, the issue has not been resolved. St. Matthews School’s has come through OFSTEAD inspection and will have come through the building works by the time the OFSTEAD report becomes public. The inspectors report into the development at Brookfield was disappointing and the building has gone ahead against our wishes.

24-06-98 - Revised for News Letter