After a few days break it’s back to work for Team Oaken…
“Tuesday 4th December was the start of week two for the Public Inquiry. This morning we were in a completely different room to last week and I confess it feels slightly as though I’m back at school!
Today we started by discussing the programme for the rest of the Inquiry. It appears that much of next week will be taken up with site visits, discussing the Rights of Way section of the Inquiry and concluding with the third party representations next Friday (14th).
We covered three witnesses on the first day this week – more than was expected and therefore the programme may shift at the end of the week. I will let you know after the next session.
First, Kent County Council gave their evidence detailing why they granted permission for the site. This evidence covered once again details such as landscape assessment, the fact that the site is ancient woodland and also local and national policy.
The first two of our witnesses were also examined today on the soil analysis and policy sections of our case.
Our witness on soil analysis responded to a study which had been carried out on Oaken Wood and two other nearby ancient woodland sites. I found this session to be very instructive and now know the meaning of the term ‘horizonation’ and several other technical soil terms, which would take far too long to explain now!
Our other witness this afternoon covered policy. Several specific policies were dissected during this session such as the Draft Local Aggregate Assessment and the Guidance on the Managed Aggregate Supply System.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) there will be one Woodland Trust witness covering the Quantity and Quality of Ragstone and Hassock Reserves. The Kent Wildlife witness will also be giving evidence regarding the ecology of Oaken Wood.
We will keep on keeping you posted!”
Katharine Rist, Campaigner – Ancient Woodland