St. Mary's Island Residents' Association Ltd. (SMIRA)
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to questions that are frequently asked at SMIRA meetings, or in emails to

Dogs on St. Mary's Island
  Dogs to be kept on leads
  Dangerous dogs
  Is your dog barking too much?
Car Parking on St. Mary's Island
  Problems with non-resident parking
  Consultation regarding the introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone
  New development to have dedicated parking spaces for school drop-off and pick-up
Do any buildings on St. Mary's Island have flammable cladding?
Finsborough Down Bund Containment System
  Why were the trees on Finsborough Down removed?
  What is an encapsulated bund?

Dogs on St. Mary's Island

On St. Mary's Island dogs must be kept on a lead, as part of the Island Regulations, except in the dog run area on Finsborough Down where dogs can be let off their leads. Please use the dog run and encourage your children who are taking the dog out to use it too.

If residents encounter a dog (that can be any breed, it doesn't need to be a Section 1 listed dog) causing fear, alarm or distress in any public place then it's a dangerous dog and needs to be reported to the police (phone 101) under the Dangerous Dogs Act Section 3.

Below is a diagram showing who to contact about incidents with dogs causing "fear, alarm or distress".

Dangerous dogs

Is your dog barking too much?

It's normal and natural for dogs to bark but when barking happens a lot, or goes on for a long time, it can be annoying and upsetting for your neighbours. If you're out a lot, or you're just used to the noise, you might not realise just how bad it is.

This leaflet from DEFRA is designed to help you work with your neighbours to sort out any problems caused by your dog barking without having to involve the authorities. Click here to access the PDF leaflet.


Car Parking on SMI

Car parking on SMI is an increasing and serious concern. Theenforcement of parking regulations in the terms of the lease at the Watersmeet Apartments and the enforcement of a two-hour time limit in the Ship &Trades car park has exacerbated the situation.

Residents who are most affected by these developments are those living in roads closest to HMS Chatham Bridge such as Marine View and Haven Way. Most of the parking issues on these roads are caused by non-Island residents who commute to London or work locally where inadequate parking is provided by their employers and it was these same people that caused the time limit at the Ship & Trades car park to be enforced.

Controlled Parking Zone

As Medway Council have either adopted or are close to adopting most of our roads, our Ward Councillors, Andrew Mackness and Habib Tejan, arranged for a consultation document to be sent to all SMI residents to determine their interest in introducing a residents’ parking permit scheme on the Island. The response to the consultation document was substantial but this is not an initiative devised by the Council but simply, by request, a consultation to ascertain the need and interest of all the residents.

At a recent SMIRA meeting, Cllr. Andrew Mackness said that a proposal for the CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone) will be drawn up by Ruth Du-Lieu (Assistant Director Frontline Services & Director) and this will be consulted on, but we’re not sure when.

New development to have dedicated parking spaces for school drop-off and pick-up

As part of the new Azure development there will be dedicated parking spaces for school drop-off and pick-up at the back of the new Assisted Living apartments. There will also be a new zebra crossing near the bus stop on Island Way West to help parents with children using the dedicated parking spaces for ‘school drop-off’.


Do any buildings on St. Mary's Island have flammable cladding?

After a full audit of the materials used by Countryside Maritime Limited in the build out of all previous phases (built by the JV) and all phases currently under construction at St Mary's Island, they have not made use of aluminium composite cladding on any of the properties.

On some of the newer builds there is some dark grey cladding which is thin concrete and not flammable. The material which looks like timber on some properties is believed it to be cementitious board, which is inert.


Finsborough Down Bund Containment System:

This refers to the containment system on Finsborough Down that was built as part of the contamination remedial works before any houses were constructed on SMI.

When the Island was redeveloped the top soil was removed, as necessary, to eliminate toxic materials. Some concrete and other materials were collected at the eastern end of the Island and piled up to form Finsborough Down. This was then completely encapsulated in a sophisticated containment system designed by Ove Arup, the engineering company, who also oversaw the construction works. There are no radioactive materials present in the contained spoil.

The encapsulated system is constantly monitored by CMT as part of their land management responsibilities and Ove Arup are appointed at regular intervals to test a number of specifically located permanent test holes, and the water quality in the surrounding French drains, to check for signs of any toxicity (heavy metals etc.). These tests have been carried out and the results recorded since the beginning of the development of SMI and no leakage has been detected from the system to date. Ove Arup have advised the Trust that the design has stood up very well and that the regular independent testing of water samples ensures that this continues. 

However, on the advice of Arups some large trees have been removed, as a precautionary measure, from the edges of the Finsborough Down. This is to prevent tree roots penetrating the containment system located there. The species of tree that were cut down should never have been planted on the Down because their roots could penetrate the barrier underneath the Down.


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This page last modified May 3, 2018