Bearsted Parish Council are very keen to keep residents up to date with information relating to Project A. During the three recent open consultation days that were held we were made aware that there is lots of information being shared that is incorrect and, in some cases, completely unfounded.

Here we will provide answers to questions that have been asked about the project during these open visits and communications received so far.

Project A stems from a number of issues, complaints and suggestions the Parish Council have received over a number of years. These include but not limited to:

  • Anti-social behaviour in the Church Lane Car Park
  • Limited parking in the Church Lane Car Park over flowing on to Church Lane.
  • Parking at various location on the Ashford Road
  • The current surface of the Church Landway public footpath
  • A waiting list of over 20 for allotment plots within the Parish of Bearsted
  • No toilet facilities for allotment plot holders
  • No toilets for members of the public
  • More lighting on the Church Landway
  • Moving vehicles on the Church Landway
  • Litter/lack of bins in the area
  • Security of properties on the Church Landway

A number of these issues have been looked at by our Environment Committee and Traffic Committees but no one solution could be found.


Why was announcement made in May 2021?

In Autumn 2020 Bearsted Parish Council were approached by a local landowner with a suggestion to donate a parcel of land. This became a legal matter for which the Parish Council discussed in a closed meeting. This was in accordance with the Admissions to Meetings Act 1960 and our standing order 10a (xi).

Once all legal matters were resolved the Parish Council announced the ideas included within Project A. Due to Covid restrictions we were unable to make this announcement with members of the Parish present including allotment holders which we would have preferred to do.


What are the stipulations/constraints of the transfer of land?

The transfer of the parcel of land requires Bearsted Parish Council to lease land to the Bearsted and Thurnham Tennis Club adjacent to their existing leased land within a ‘Long Stop Date’ (2024).

Bearsted Parish Council are not permitted to use the donated land (or any part of it) for any purpose other than as allotments or gardens without the consent of the Transferor.


Why have the results of the informal consultation not been published?

The working group are evaluating the results that were presented to them.  They feel there has been questions raised that require further investigation before the results can be fully understood and presented to stakeholders. The working group understand this is causing frustration but they want to be able to answer as many questions as possible to assist the community with their outstanding concerns about the project.  


The design is finalised

No, this is incorrect.

Bearsted Parish Council had to investigate whether many of the issues they faced could be resolved and to do this they hired the services of a Landscape Designer to draw an outline of the suggested project. Once BPC had a better understanding of what could potentially be achieved for the residents of the Parish and legal matters resolved the idea of Project A was announced.

The design will not be finalised until the consultation period is complete and all interested parties
have had an opportunity to give feedback.


Tax-payers will be paying for Project A

Bearsted Parish Council receive a precept which come via council tax. In line with BPC’s Reserves
Policy each year the council resolve to earmark £5,000 of the precept so that any project work that is required within the Parish can be carried out. Project A will be part paid for with earmarked reserves with further funding applied for from other sources including grants which will be applied for.


The Parish Council will subsidise the expansion of the Tennis Club

No, this is incorrect.

The Tennis Club will be raising their own funds to pay for the expansion they plan going forward.


Why can’t the Tennis Club use the donated land?

If the Tennis Club used the land east of the Church Landway it would not give BPC the opportunity to address a number of the issues currently facing residents such as parking in the local area and additional allotment plots.

The Tennis Club have suggested that splitting courts across the public footpath would not be
practical to the clubs’ activities and access to their club house.


Allotment plots are smaller than the existing plots

No, this is incorrect

The outline just shows how many allotment plots could fit within the suggested new allotment
garden. The plot sizes are not decided and BPC would welcome feedback from allotment plot
holders on this matter.


Current 6ft allotment sheds will be replaced with ‘sentry box’ shed.

No, this is incorrect.

No decision has been made about the specification of sheds on allotment plots. If allotment holders suggest they would like 6ft sheds then this could be accommodated, if they wish to transfer existing sheds this can be considered. BPC would welcome feedback from allotment plot holders on this matter. However, we must take care in not transferring any diseases to the new area as the existing plots have Mares Tail.

It will take years to get the ground on the new allotments as fertile as the old allotments.
This is not true as far as BPC has been informed the land has been lying fallow for many years and is in a great fertilised condition.


There is not a waiting list for plot holders.

This is incorrect.

There is a list of over 20 residents within Bearsted waiting for an allotment plot. BPC are not
permitted to share the names of these people due to the Data Protection 2018.


There are vacant plots at Church Lane Allotment Garden

During the lockdown period, quite rightly, the Church Lane Allotment Association did not want to show perspective plot holders available plots. However, since lockdown has eased perspective plot holders have viewed plots.


How will plot holders transport materials to their allotment plots?

The additional car park is likely to be next to the opening to the new allotment garden and there is a suggestion that there will be trolleys available for plot holders to use if they need to transport items to their allotment.


The council are going to move allotment holders from The Street to the new allotment garden so they can make that site available for re-development.

No, this is incorrect.

There is no plan to move any allotment holders from The Street allotment Garden to the new
proposed site.

There is no plan to sell or re-develop The Street allotment garden.


Allotment holders will be responsible for children using the Children Garden.

No this is incorrect.

Bearsted Parish Council have never indicated that allotment holders would be responsible for
children using the Children’s Garden. The idea of the Children’s Garden would be for organised
groups/schools/clubs that are supervised by their own DBS checked leaders. At no time will children be allowed to roam the allotment areas.


Allotment holders will be responsible for cleaning the toilet

No this is incorrect.

There is a suggestion that a toilet would be an addition to the allotment garden but no confirmed process about toilet cleaning has been finalised.


The only people to benefit out of Project A are the Tennis Club

No, this is incorrect.

  • There will be an opportunity for more Bearsted Residents to join the allotment garden and
    benefit from all that comes from being a plot holder; exercise, friendship, education, mental
    health benefits to name a few.
  • There will be opportunities for Children to experience gardening and time in nature.
  • There will be the opportunity for those living with Dementia or other restricting illnesses to
    enjoy a peaceful explorative quiet area.
  • An extended car park will give relief to cars parking on Church Lane and patrons having to
    walk further.

There will be additional cars travelling up church lane for the extended car park.

A survey is yet to be carried out. BPC are aware that when the car park is full, which is the case most weekends, cars that are unable to find space in the car park return back down Church Lane and attempt to find the closest space to park on the highway. This can often cause an obstruction on Church Lane. If there were additional parking spaces available cars would not need to park on the highway.


Security is an issue in the Church Lane car park and will get worse.

BPC have investigated options to increase the security at the Church Lane car park.  Councillors voted on the 15th March 2022 to install 1 Automated Number Plate Recognition camera and 2 CCTV cameras to capture data and anti-social activities which will then be shared with Kent Police.  



This particular area of Bearsted has many facilities; the allotment garden (currently with 30) Holy
Cross Church, Bearsted & Thurnham Tennis Club, Bearsted Bowls Club, Girl Guides, the Scouts as
well as the ever-popular Bearsted Woodland Trust. Some of our local sports teams and fitness
groups also use the Elizabeth Harvie field. Bearsted Parish Council are looking at ways to improve the facilities for the residents of Bearsted for the future and see the offer of the land as a way to do this.