The site (shown on the map as BAE4) is located along A251 Faversham Road to the south east of the settlement of Boughton Lees, close to the entrance to Eastwell Manor and abuts the Boughton Lees Conservation Area. It is set within an area of woodland which currently contains five very large Nissen-style buildings and hard standing which were used for military vehicle storage during WWII and more recently have been used for agricultural storage, commercial storage and as a recycling /composting centre. All are now vacant. The area to the south is dense woodland – the Rectory Plantation. There are residential dwellings on the opposite side of the road. Eastwell Park lies directly behind the site to the north and west. The site is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Still at an early stage, the agent acting for the landowner is developing plans for c.6 large homes on the site. Planned works may involve repositioning a section of the Eastwell Wall further back from the road to improve access to the site.
The total area c.3.2 ha.
Site assessment & decision
The Parish Council was not minded to consider this site for land allocation in the Boughton Aluph and Eastwell Neighbourhood Plan. The landowner has been informed of the Parish Council’s decision.
The Parish Council is not a planning authority. Our decision does preclude a planning application being made to Ashford Borough Council.
In April 2018, an application (18/00596/AS) the landowner made an application to Ashford Borough Council for a Change of Use of land at Rook Toll from Light Industrial Use (Class B1)(c)) to Dwellinghouses (Class C3). The application was rejected.
A second application (19/00191/AS) was submitted on 11 February 2019 for prior approval for a change of use from premises in light industrial use class B1(c) and land within its curtilage to two dwelling houses. This application was initially refused by Ashford Borough Council but allowed at appeal.