Short and sweet – a bit like today’s session! – here’s Katy’s final post from the Inquiry for the first week:
“Today was a short day for the Inquiry. However, we have now managed to hear all of the Gallagher witnesses. Left to be heard next week are Kent County Council before it’s our turn, and Kent Wildlife Trust have an opportunity to give evidence.
Today’s witness discussed Minerals Planning. This included looking at current National Planning in the form of the National Planning Policy Framework, we even briefly touched on past policy with regards to Planning Policy Statement 9! The caveat in PPS9 which impacts ancient woodland was kept in the NPPF – with the word ‘clearly’ included. The NPPF reads: “unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss”.
Also considered was current local policy, and the draft new policy which is in the process of being written. Discussed during this section was the “weight” that should be placed on this draft policy and the saved local policies. Several other topics of interest were covered, and we managed to raise all points that we wanted to.
It’s been a tiring first week for everyone involved, but things are moving well and so there may be flexibility in the schedule. We will keep you posted!”
Katharine Rist, Campaigner – Ancient Woodland