Oaken Wood Blog http://saveoakenwood.co.ukFri, 28 Jan 2023 09:26:20 GMTMaidstone Borough Council planning committee object to Gallagher quarry planshttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/maidstone-borough-council-planning-committee-object-to-gallagher-quarry-plansTue, 30 Nov 2022 21:48:48 GMTJon Cunningham We've been reliably informed that Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) planning committee voted unanimously to object to the proposal by Gallagher Aggregates to extend Hermitage Quarry into Oaken Wood at the MBC planning meeting.

Thanks to all those at the Save Oaken Wood Action Group who went to the meeting.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council object to Hermitage quarry proposalhttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/tonbridge-and-malling-borough-council-object-to-hermitage-quarry-proposalTue, 30 Nov 2022 21:57:00 GMTJon Cunningham Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council have voted to object to Gallagher Aggregates' proposal for the extension of Hermitage Quarry into Oaken Wood at their planning meeting.

Thanks for coming to the public meetinghttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/thanks-for-coming-to-the-public-meetingFri, 17 Sep 2022 14:29:25 GMTJon Cunningham

Thanks to all of those who came to the public meeting yesterday.

Sarah Cooper of the Save Oaken Wood Action Group chaired the meeting with the following speakers offering their valuable insight:

  • Stuart Jeffery from Maidstone Green Party

  • Sean Furey from Protect Kent;

  • Christina Byrne from the Woodland Trust

Further details

Sean Furey of Protect Kent (part of CPRE) spoke, and further details can be seen on the article Can quarrying and conservation work together?

Government website confirms Oaken Wood as Ancient and Semi-Natural Woodland.http://saveoakenwood.co.uk/government-website-confirms-oaken-wood-as-ancient-and-semi-natural-woodlandFri, 17 Sep 2022 14:15:38 GMTJon Cunningham

We were sent a great resource today from one of the opposers of Gallagher's proposal:

It's a link to Government website confirming that Oaken Wood is an Ancient and Semi-Natural Woodland.

Please feel free to look for yourself and to submit your objection to the proposal (if you haven't already!).


Where to address your objection tohttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/objectWed, 15 Sep 2022 11:51:53 GMTJon Cunningham

Please object to the 'Proposed westerly extension to Hermitage Quarry at Hermitage Quarry, Hermitage Lane, Aylesford'

The reference for this application is:


Please write to:

Miss Angela Watts
Planning Applications Group
Kent County Council
First Floor, Invicta House
County Hall
Kent ME14 1XX

[email protected] or 01622 221059

Further advice on opposing Gallagher's application for Oaken Woodhttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/adviceWed, 15 Sep 2022 09:11:03 GMTJon Cunningham

We have updated our advice to include some valuable points raised by The Green Party, Barming Parish Council and the CPRE here.

Thank you for your support.

p.s. don't forget the Public meeting: Why to oppose the GAL application to quarry Oaken Wood - it's on TOMORROW - Thursday 16th September.

Green Party object to KCC about Oaken Wood proposalhttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/green-party-object-to-kcc-about-oaken-wood-proposalThu, 09 Sep 2022 19:58:09 GMTJon Cunningham We were very pleased to see Maidstone Green Party's letter opposing the application by GAL (Gallagher Aggregates Limited) to destroy Oaken Wood and quarry the ground underneath.

The letter from Stuart Jeffery of Maidstone Green Party is available for download below.

Oaken Wood, or 'Barming Woods' as it's referred to by many, is a valuable ancient woodland, and its destruction would be a huge blow to the landscape, and those who enjoy its tranquility.

Please support the campaign to save Oaken Wood (and come along to the public meeting 'Why to oppose the GAL application to quarry Oaken Wood ' on 16 September 2022 at 7pm at Barming Primary School).

You can help us to make a difference.

Thank you.

Oaken Wood - GAL Proposals - Barming Parish Council want "to see the application refused"http://saveoakenwood.co.uk/oaken-wood-gal-proposals-barming-parish-council-want-to-see-the-application-refusedThu, 09 Sep 2022 19:42:34 GMTJon Cunningham  

Barming Parish Council has sent an email to KCC planning applications to say that they "would like to see the application refused".

The full text is below (thanks to Fay Gooch, Chairman, Barming Parish Council, for permitting its use here):

Sent: 07 September 2022 09:24
To: [email protected]
Subject: TM/10/TEMP/0025- Gallagher Aggregates Ltd

Dear Angela

Thank you for consulting with Barming Parish Council on this application. The Council has considered the application and would like to see the application Refused for the following reasons:

The proposed area is designated as ancient woodland by various reputable organisations including the Kent Wildlife Trust. There are areas of TPOs within the woodland and some oak trees are reputedly over 100 years in age. The destruction of such an important habitat site is not justified to create a new quarry.

The lives of many existing species of wildlife will be put at risk. The phased working & restoration programme assumes the wildlife will exist in newly planted woodland. Given that it takes seven years for trees to be of wildlife value, the first phase will not be sufficiently re-established by the time the next phase is quarried. Neither can it be certain that the wildlife will somehow transfer itself to the relocation site. The destruction of the woodland will unbalance the eco-system of the whole of Oaken Wood and will change the landscape irrevocably. GAL have not demonstrated that the proposed benefits of restoration override the need to safeguard the nature conservation value of the site – enjoyed and appreciated by many local residents – or that adverse impacts of workings can be adequately compensated.

The Council believes this application should be treated as a new application rather than an extension to the existing quarry, because it is the working of a new site.

The Council is very mindful of local residents concerns of noise and dust of operations continuing for a further 25 years, and in particular of the accumulative effects of blasting on their homes, as clearly expressed at the public meeting at Barming School in June. This issue has not been addressed within the proposal documents.

For these reasons Barming Parish Council does not support this application.

However, if the County Planning Authority is minded to approve the application, Barming Parish Council would wish to see the following additional conditions imposed:

a) Satisfactory safety fencing and signage around the perimeter of the site being worked;
b) Land to be restored to original levels and contours.
c) Monitoring of pace of return of wildlife on the restored land at regular intervals by an independent body such as Kent Wildlife Trust.
d) An appropriate and enforceable S106 agreement to secure the completion of site restoration;
e) Controls over noise and vibrations from the machinery currently 7.00am-5.30pm.
f) No maintenance to be carried out at weekends or bank holidays; week day working hours not to be increased.
g) Strict adherence to weekday working hours
h) Extension of the bund in the corner nearest North Pole Road to further mitigate noise and dust levels and the effects of blasting
i) Increase perimeter stand off from 50 to70 metres to further mitigate noise and dust levels and the effects of blasting
j) Controls over blasting times
k) Monitor and change direction of blasting to reduce air over pressure
l) Delay blasting on cloudy days to reduce air over pressure

Vikki Stancombe
Clerk Barming PC

Excellent letter from CPRE challenges Oaken Wood Proposalhttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/cpre-challenge-to-the-oaken-wood-proposalsWed, 15 Sep 2022 09:03:43 GMTJon Cunningham

The CPRE has written a letter to KCC objecting to the proposals for Oaken Wood.

They raise some great points on the basis of the need for the quarry extension, the designation of the woodland as ancient woodland and the impact on local residents, the character of the landscape and amenity.

Please remember that citing any impact on your house price is NOT a legitimate planning consideration.

Read CPRE challenge to the Oaken Wood proposals

Protect Kent support Save Oaken Wood Campaignhttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/protect-kent-support-save-oaken-wood-campaignWed, 01 Sep 2022 14:09:44 GMTJon Cunningham

Protect Kent who work as part of the national Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) get behind the Save Oaken Wood Campaign

Read more at Protect Kent's Blog on Oaken Wood.

Wanted! Petition door-knockers...http://saveoakenwood.co.uk/petition-door-knockersTue, 31 Aug 2022 08:04:03 GMTJon Cunningham

I'm keen to organise a group of people to get out and gather signatures from those who perhaps don't use social media or the internet...

Want to help?

Please register your details by sending an email to [email protected] (with your availability) and we'll make a date!

Woodland Trust email form to Save Oaken Woodhttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/formWed, 15 Sep 2022 08:15:37 GMTJon Cunningham

Thanks to the Woodland Trust for their online form to object to the proposals for Oaken Wood.

Please do send an objection - and remember to tailor it as much as possible.

Thank you.

Wanted: Photos of Oaken Woodhttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/photos-of-oaken-woodFri, 27 Aug 2022 14:42:37 GMTJon Cunningham

Please submit your photos of Oaken Wood to [email protected] - our favourites will be published above.

Update: closing date for Oaken Wood objectionshttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/update-closing-date-for-oaken-wood-objectionsFri, 27 Aug 2022 14:40:23 GMTJon Cunningham

The 'Save Oaken Wood Action Group' have been in touch to tell me that the date was revised on the request of Fay Gooch, Chairman, Barming Parish Council.

So we're assuming that the County Council are sticking to 27th September.

We would still encourage you to write, or email as soon as possible (but please review 'Advice on opposing Gallagher's planning application' first)

Thank you.

IMPORTANT: Uncertainty over closing date for Oaken Wood objectionshttp://saveoakenwood.co.uk/uncertainty-over-closing-date-for-oaken-wood-objectionsWed, 01 Sep 2022 15:39:43 GMTJon Cunningham

I spoke to a contact at KCC Planning Applications today regarding Oaken Wood.

He informs me that the 3 September is the official closing date for objections to Gallagher's Application.

Although KCC are happy to receive submissions later than this, they cannot guarantee that they will be considered.

The Woodland Trust will be in touch with Kent Planning Applications to try to find out which date is correct as they had been told the date had been extended to 27 September.

[UPDATE: The Woodland Trust have spoken to KCC who have updated them to say 16 September 2022 is the revised date - hopefully we'll have some clarity on which date is correct soon]

In either case, please take action now to ensure you meet the earliest possible deadline.

Thank you.