Agenda and draft minutes

Gravesham Rural Forum - Thursday, 16th July, 2009 7.00 pm

Venue: Istead Rise Community Centre, Worcester Close, Gravesend. Kent. DA13 9LB

Contact: Will Farmer  01622 696911

No. Item


Welcome – Cllr David Turner (Vice-Chairman)



Cllr David Turner (Chairman)

Cllr Bryan Sweetland

Cllr Mike Snelling

Cllr Laura Hyrniewizc

Cllr Ken Jones


107 in total, including members of public and young people, voluntary organisations, Councillors.





Cllr Lesley Boycott



Any Declarations of Interest




Activities for young people– presentation by local young people with Emma Fellows, youth worker at the Gr@nd, Gravesend. This is a return to this subject as discussed on 31st March, to ensure the views of young people are heard and actions identified.


Presentation by Emma Fellows of the GR@ND and 3 young people highlighted the following points coming out of a recent consultation.

·         Lack of facilities in the area

·         Need a multi-games area and all weather pitch for football, basketball etc

·         Need for a dance class



Group Sessions: what can be done for young people in our communities and what could be done working together? How can we encourage volunteers or support youth provision? How can we ensure the voices of young people are heard?


Summary of table discussions: Brief feedback from each of the tables on the priorities and issues identified


Table 1

Identified the following needs for young people

  • Skateboard park
  • Use the woods for paintballing every couple of months or so and mountain biking
  • Track for motor cycling including training for on and off road. Possible use of farmer’s field.
  • Youth club – pool, games consoles etc
  • Tennis court
  • No where to go when it is raining
  • Facilities need to be close as it is difficult to travel and parents aren’t always around to ferry people about.


General points raised

  • Youth club – who’s going to run it? Needs to be for primary and secondary ages need volunteers
  • Istead Rise Community Association needs to set up a young peoples sub committee. 
  • The community centre needs to be used more.
  • Need a footpath/cycle way from Meopham station to Istead Rise ( Kent Highways has this in their budget plans for 2010/11
  • The young people felt safe and Istead Rise is a friendly area, unlike Gravesend
  • Need more competitive sport. 5-a-side football tournaments that sort of thing
  • Youth club at the centre – need to find funds for a part time youth worker and volunteers – look at the successful youth clubs in other areas of Gravesham. How do they do it
  • Look at running buses from rural areas to the Woodville Halls for SNAP discos
  • Climbing frame for younger people
  • Access to and use of any facilities needs to be reasonably priced.
  • Lack of swimming pool, costs a lot to get to Northfleet


Table 2

  • Would like to have a swimming pool for Istead rise (but it was explained that this very unlikely owing to cost)
  • Better transport to and from Gravesend/Bluewater is needed
  • Want a Multi-use games area (MUGA) here at Istead Rise
  • The youth club at Istead Rise closed down a while ago because of lack of helpers, would like another one. 
  • The old caretakers house next to Istead rise school would make a good youth club but it was also felt that more use should be made of the community centre.
  • 11-18 year olds are bored and need informal facility


Table 3

·         Higham Youth club –relies on volunteers

·         Young people run own discos

·         Istead rise community association doesn’t do enough for young people

·         Ken jones- IRCA are considering extending terrace for play area

·         IRCA Need to set up sub committee for youth matters

·         Footpaths alongside the A227 to Meopham to make it safer to get to station.

·         KHS have this in the pipeline but it will be looked at in 2010-11


Table 4

  • Istead rise very friendly, its ok to live here
  • Young people would like a MUGA
  • Would use the new A2 activity area as long as it is competitively priced
  • 5 a side football – inter Gravesham competition
  • Somewhere outside to shelter from rain
  • Facilities in the village rather than having to travel
  • Willing to contribute to costs –ie young people can pay a little
  • Roads too dangerous for younger children to cycle


Table 5


Wendy Lane, Principal Planner (Policy) for Gravesham Borough Council will give a brief update on the Local Development Plan (LDF) going out for consultation in the autumn and focus on rural local needs housing (rural affordable housing).

Nigel Whitburn, Community Development Manager from Action with Communities in Rural Kent (ACRK) will give a brief outline on rural local needs housing issues.


Wendy Lane from GBC and Nigel Whitburn from ACRK spoke on both the LDF as well as rural affordable housing


In the LDF -they have identified a need so far for 100 new homes to be built in the rural area.  The LDF are going out to consultation in December 09, this will come to rural areas as forums. There has been no decision yet when or where this housing will go or commence, but the report will on the council website in the January of each year once the report is published


Local needs housing

ACRK is a charity that works with rural Kent.  They provide many services one of which raises awareness of rural affordable housing (local needs housing and influences decision makers.

Local needs housing is rented for perpetuity to local people by social land lords

·         Before local Needs housing is built, there has to be local need established. This is assessed by villages, parishes etc with help from ACRK. Need local needs housing to keep population in the rural areas

·         Encourage those that have moved away to return

·         Use of exception sites, these are located on outskirts of villages and owned by social landlords i.e. Housing associations.


Questions and Answers

What area has been identified for the proposed 100 homes?

This has not been decided yet, still looking at options


Q. Has an area in Istead Rise been identified for some of these 100 extra houses?

A. People have moved here because no big estates are being built on to the village.

No, there will be no extra houses added to beyond the village envelope, only in-filling when land becomes available.


Q. there were 5 houses built behind the shops in Istead rise, why were these built when we need more sheltered housing?

A. Land behind shops was sold to KCC for library who then decided not to open a library here and sold it.


Q. How will we be notified of how may houses will be built in Gravesham rural area?

A. The report will be published on the Council website in January


Q. How do you identify needs in the rural areas

A. Questionnaires are posted or hand delivered to each household


Q. Is there housing pressure for Young People in Kent in general

A. Cannot give specific figures.  There is always a housing need for all age groups.  The survey also looks at those who have moved away with a view to encouraging them back


Q. You say there has been a need for 100 homes identified, what is to say this figure will not rise?

A. We have only 100 identified at the moment, there is nothing to say this number will increase or not.  The 100 homes identified cover the whole of the rural area not just one village.


Q. where are these 100 houses being built?

A GBC have to produce a land trajectory that is a public document. Annual monitoring report is published on the GBC website on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Group Sessions: The LDF and rural affordable housing


Summary of table discussions:

Brief feedback from each of the tables on the priorities and issues identified.


Question time -

general questions regarding GBC, KCC or Parish Services to Members and Officers present


Q. Steve Whitehead - we recently had a chance to run music sessions, tutors were

available with donated instruments.  This project could not go ahead as there was no money for the CRB checks.            

A. One of the audience who works for Action in Care kindly offered to provide free CRB checks 


Q. Local scout property is in a real state, is an eyesore, needs idying up

A. The Chairman said that it was private property not owned by the council

and that the Scouts didn’t have much money, but he would take a look and see if anything can be done.


Q. Pedestrian crossing is needed in Istead Rise, because on either side of the road there is a bus stop and a lot of children cross. This area is potentially dangerous for children to cross the road.

A The issue would be passed to Kent highways


Q. It is very difficult to cross the A227 at the junctions with the new A2 any chance of a crossing?

A. This is on the highways radar.


Q Will they be selling part of the school playing field (don’t know which school!)

A  No


Q. There is a field at the back of my house where it is rumoured that 54 houses are to be built

A. No, this would not happen as it is not in village ‘envelope’



Future Discussion Topics: Brief discussion on topics to consider at future meetings.