Agenda item

Highways and Transportation Schemes Funded through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Interim Director – Highways Transportation and Waste and to consider and endorse, or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member on the proposed decision to enter into funding and construction contracts for a number of transport schemes


The Committee received a report seeking endorsement of, or recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport on, a proposed decision to give approval to the necessary actions for progression and completion of highway and transportation improvement schemes funded following successful bids to central government via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).


The schemes in question were:

  • Tonbridge Town Centre Regeneration Scheme, in drg. No. 4300127/000/11
  • North Deal Transport Improvements, in drg. No. NDTI-1
  • Maidstone Sustainable access to Employment areas, in drg. No. MSAEA-1
  • Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration, in drg. No. STCR-1
  • A26 London Rd/Speldhurst Rd/Yew Tree Rd, Tunbridge Wells, in drg. No. KCC/LTP/YTR/001
  • West Kent Local Sustainable Transport Fund and
  • Kent Thameside Local Sustainable Transport Fund.


The Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport introduced the report for members; he welcomed the report and the opportunity for some of these projects to finally be fulfilled after being aspired to for many years.


Ann Carruthers, Head of Strategic Planning and Policy was in attendance to speak to the item.  She reminded members that KCC had secured £100million for 21 transport projects through successful bids to the Local Growth Fund, applied for and administered by the LEP.  The report before members, she explained, sought endorsement of the processes needed to take forward seven of the schemes to be undertaken with these funds, three of which had had business plans approved by the LEP already. 


Ms Carruthers briefly expanded on each scheme for the benefit of those members not familiar with them.


Ms Carruthers also reported that although the report stated that monies would be paid to KCC quarterly in advance, since the report had been written agreement had been secured from government that funding would come annually in advance. 


In response to comments made and questions raised by members, Ms Carruthers provided the following further information:

  1. That it was acknowledged that the ‘North Deal’ scheme was actually in ‘Middle Deal’ ward but it was felt that for the sake of consistency that the name not be changed from that which was originally submitted via the LEP when communicating with the LEP.  KCC however could refer to the scheme by the “Middle Deal” title for its own purposes.
  2. That KCC had new responsibilities in relation to drainage from 1 April 2015 and as a result would be a statutory consultee on all new developments, in the case of the North Deal project, and others, it would be an issue that would be investigated carefully and recommendations made as appropriate.
  3. That promotion of safe cycling was one of many issues that would be discussed with developers and which they would be encouraged to promote where appropriate, including on the North Deal project should this be the case in those circumstances.


Other comments from members were as follows:

  1. Surprise was expressed from one member that the Sittingbourne Town Centre project continued to be pursued in the face of public concern.  In particular the drop off point at the station was referenced and the intended new space for buses as areas of concern.  The scheme, he argued, had not considered properly the needs of the western end of the town by building housing on space currently utilised for parking. Finally the same member argued that the scheme did not provide answers to the issues faced by those travelling east to west across Sittingbourne; proposed new roundabouts and traffic signals would only serve to make the journey more complicated.
  2. Those views were countered by another member, who felt that the scheme was a good one, properly supported by the democratic process which it had been subject to.
  3. That the Maidstone schemes were welcomed by Maidstone members and regular updates on each would be requested to the JTB meetings.
  4. Some debate was undertaken as to whether the issues were properly considered at District, County or LEP level but a general consensus was reached that all parties had separate, but overlapping, interest in the schemes.


It was proposed by Mr Bowles and seconded by Mr Chittenden that the decision as set out by the Cabinet Member for approval, be endorsed


It was RESOLVED that the proposed decision be endorsed.



Supporting documents: