Fresh from the public inquiry, our Katy updates us on what’s been happening so far. You can also see ITV coverage of the story from yesterday.
The team arrived at Oakwood House where the Inquiry is being held over three and a half weeks. We were all called to order at 10am by the Planning Inspector who started by explaining who was to be present to give evidence over the coming weeks.
The applicant, Gallagher, are to have seven witnesses who will be giving evidence on a variety of topics ranging from Operational Matters to Ecology and Nature Conservation. Kent County Council is to provide one witness, who is their Principal Planning Officer.
We are to be providing five witnesses to give evidence on behalf of the Trust regarding the Ragstone and Hassock on site, Policy, Landscape Assessment, Soil and last but not least the Ancient Woodland status of Oaken Wood. Kent Wildlife Trust will also be providing one witness regarding the biodiversity of Oaken Wood.
A timetable for the next three weeks was also set this morning where we worked together to agree what witnesses will be called when and how long each witness may be in the stand.
Opening statements were read by the four parties clearly outlining their positions in the case.
During the afternoon we had the first two Gallagher witnesses who covered Operational Matters and Geology and Reserve Assessment. It was a very productive afternoon with us being able to cover all points that we wished to raise. The Planning Inspectorate also queried several interesting points which Gallagher will be addressing and responding to in the next few days.
Today (Wednesday) we hope it will be just as productive as we are scheduled to cover Arboriculture and Archaeology.”
Katharine Rist, Campaigner – Ancient Woodland