St. Mary's Island Residents' Association Ltd. (SMIRA)
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East Bund 2015

Latest News

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SMIRA Newsletters:

Click on the list item below to go to the required section:

Formal residents meeting


Easter Egg Hunt


SMIRA Ltd. has a New Board

Following the 2018 AGM and recent Board meetings the Board is currently made up of:

Director and Chair: Ms Mandy Samrai
Director and Treasurer: Mrs Yvonne Bishop
Director and Deputy Chair: Mr Glenn Rogers
Company Secretary: Mr John Tower

Chatham Maritime Trustees: Ms Mandy Samrai & Mrs Yvonne Bishop see below


Our two Trustees on the Board of Chatham Maritime Trust

Ensuring residents voices are heard is key for SMIRA. Because SMIRA is an integral part of Chatham Maritime Trust's governing structure we have two nominated Trustee positions on the CMT Trustee Board. The full Board composition and structure is shown below.

CMT Trustees


SMIRA Ltd. Membership

St. Mary's Island Residents' Association Ltd. (SMIRA) is a company registered with Companies House, limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. It has a set of binding Articles of Association. Membership is limited to one resident in each household and is fixed to that address.

If you move house on the Island you will need to fill in a new membership application form. Because of this many residents believe that they are members of SMIRA when they actually aren't. If you aren't sure whether or not you are a member you may email with your name and first line of your address and you will receive a reply confirming (or not) your membership at your current address.


Why is SMIRA a limited company?

St Mary’s Island is part of the Chatham Maritime Estate. On 4th June 1995 a planning application was approved by Gillingham Borough Council between them and The Urban Regeneration Agency, Countryside Maritime Ltd and Kent County Council (for the educational facilities) for the development of SMI.

The Urban Regeneration Agency, set up by the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, was part of English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency for England. It was responsible for land acquisition and major development projects, in SMI’s case in joint partnership with private sector developers.

Because of the large government investment a trust was set up in 1994 to manage the estate after development for at least 100 years. This became Chatham Maritime Trust and its structure is currently governed by four member organisations: Medway Council, Home England, SMIRA and SouthCo (the commercial organisations south of the basins).

The Trust's purpose is solely for the management and maintenance of the Chatham Maritime Estate and the immediate and surrounding community, and so not diverted by external matters. As a charitable trust, it doesn’t have shareholders who require dividends. The Trust has representation of local interests on its Board, ensuring that the future control of the Estate will reflect the wishes of its occupiers, investors, and other stakeholders. Finance for future maintenance of the Estate is secure within the Trust, and cannot be spent on other, external, projects.

Because SMIRA is an integral part of Chatham Maritime Trust's governing structure and is also funded by the Trust, when it was set up it had to have a proper structure itself with financial controls and a legal basis to its operation. Therefore SMIRA was set up as a limited company, as the easiest way to comply with the legal guidelines behind its creation. In this respect SMIRA is quite unlike most residents' associations but then most other associations are not set up as part of a government project.

In 17 January 2007 Ruth Kelly, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, announced proposals to bring together the delivery functions of the Housing Corporation and English Partnerships to form a new unified housing and regeneration agency, the Homes and Communities Agency (which has since been renamed Homes England).

Roles of SMIRA Directors and Honorary Officers:

Responsibilities include:

  • Corporate probity, transparency and strategy.
  • Conducting the Company meetings and progressing the Company business to conclusion where appropriate.
  • Setting the Agenda for Board meetings. 
  • Liaison with the Company Secretary and Hon. Treasurer.
  • Signing off the Annual Accounts after approval by the Board.
  • Chair SMIRA Board Meetings and AGM.
  • Draft and publish the annual report etc.
  • Official correspondence with key stakeholders, etc. 
  • Strategic liaison with partners listed above.
  • Respond to enquiries from residents for advice/representation.
  • Maintain/re-build working relationships with:
    Medway Council, Chatham Maritime Trust, Homes England (HCA), River Ward Councillors, Kent Police (Medway), Environment Agency, Moat Housing, Orbit Homes, Optivo (Assisted Living), Countryside Properties, Redrow Homes, Peel Ports, Chatham Docks, Dockside Outlet, Marina Developments, Arethusa, Arriva, DMC Health, SMI School, SMI Church, SMI History Group, SMI Youth Club and SMI Active Retirement Association.
  • Represent SMIRA at the following meetings and events, often in normal working hours:
    SMIRA Board – every six weeks including pre-meeting surgeries and the AGM in December.
    Chatham Maritime Trust/Board – quarterly plus sub-groups if appointed.
    Medway Council Road Adoption / Landscaping Steering Group – quarterly.
    Countryside Properties – ad hoc onsite usually in response to resident issues.
    Medway Independent Police Advisory Group – quarterly.
    MOAT Housing – pre-Board meeting surgery and ad hoc onsite.
    SMI School and Church – as invited.
    Youth Club, Active Retirement Club, History Group, Community Centre, Surgery and Pharmacy – Regular liaison, updating and sharing information.

Responsibilities include:

  • Support and deputising for the Chair as above, including daytime availability.
  • Scan fortnightly Medway Council list of new planning applications, inform the Board, and comment on potential adverse effects on SMI if applicable.
  • Operational liaison with partners listed above.

The remaining Directors share other portfolio responsibilities commensurate with their daytime availability and experience and include:

  • Feedback and assistance in the resolution of issues and requests for information that are referred to them by all residents, not just Members, in all Sectors of SMI. SMIRA considers the spread of Director locations when recruiting for this reason.
  • Administration and composure of informative and constructive social media to registered residents only.
  • Contributing to, compiling and editing the newsletter delivered to every residence annually.
  • Negotiating the Company insurance to ensure adequate and comprehensive cover for the scope of responsibilities and tasks undertaken. 
  • Working with Arriva buses to make sure that bus timetables co-ordinate with commuter trains from Chatham.
  • Health and Safety.
  • Liaison with the SMI School, Church, Youth Club, Active Retirement Association and History Group.
  • Neighbourhood Watch establishment, recruitment and coordination in all Sectors
  • Accessible access issues throughout SMI and Chatham Maritime.

The office of a Director shall be vacated if:

  • They cease to be a Director by virtue of any provision of the Act or they become prohibited by law from being a Director; or
  • They become bankrupt or make any arrangement or composition with their creditors generally; or
  • For more than six consecutive months they have been absent from meetings of the Board held during that period; or
  • They are removed from office under Section 303 of the Companies Act or by Extraordinary Resolution of the company.

HONORARY TREASURER – Under Companies House Rules, this role does not need to be a part of the Company structure and can be carried out by a Director or Member if necessary.
Duties include:

  • Updating and reporting the Company financial position at regular Board meetings and responding to Members’ questions at the AGM.
  • Regular liaison with our bank, ensuring that bank signatories are up to date.
  • Obtaining 2 director’s approval and signatures prior to payment of invoices.
  • Ensuring that invoices are paid in a timely manner
  • Maintaining the Company’s financial ledgers and bank account.
  • Submitting the annual accounts to, and liaising with, the appointed independent auditor and ensuring their submission to Companies House by the due date.
  • Completing and submitting annually a Business Risk Assessment to our insurer for each Director and Officer.

The Company Secretary and a minimum of two Directors must be registered with Companies House for SMIRA Ltd. to meet the requirements of Companies House and its own Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.
Duties include:

  • Companies House registration of appointments and resignations of Directors within 14 days and the keeping of the historic records of the same.
  • Submission to Companies House of the Confirmation Statement, previously known as the Annual Return.
  • Keep a list of both current and past Directors and Officers
  • Membership enrolment and register of members.
  • Keeping the SMIRA email list updated and ensuring legal compliance with GDPR, the new data protection law coming into force on May 25, 2018.
  • Fixing the dates of meetings.
  • Attend and report at each Board meeting.
  • Board meeting secretariat; writing up the minutes of meetings and distribution by email, prepare and circulate the agendas of meetings.
  • Receive and send all forms of communication.
  • Website hosting, maintenance, updating and responding to queries.
  • Keep both SMIRA notice boards up to date.
  • Ensuring compliance of the Constitution and Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.
  • Invitations to guest speakers at the AGM.
  • Preparation of AGM documentation: Invitation letter, Chair’s report, audited accounts (from Treasurer), Director nomination form and proxy form.
  • Ensure that each and every member receives due notification of the AGM and documentation.
  • Responsibility for keeping the Company records which are currently on 7 lever arch files.



Draft Innovation Park Medway Masterplan Consultation

Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council are seeking comments on the content of the draft Innovation Park Medway masterplan, which will provide a vision and guidance for consideration of future development proposals at the wider Rochester Airport site. The draft Innovation Park Medway masterplan takes forward these key sites identified for employment use in both Councils’ current and emerging Local Plans and highlights refreshed aspirations with accompanying design principles. The masterplan therefore articulates ambitions of both authorities’ Local Plans and sets out how this can be delivered.

Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council seek your comments on the draft masterplan.

The core ambition is to strengthen the performance of the local economy, to create jobs in order to secure growth and prosperity, and to realise the potential of the area whilst ensuring the long term operating future of Rochester Airport. The masterplan itself is not a planning application but it is expected that future development will follow the guidance in the masterplan.  

This is a formal stage in the preparation of the masterplan and is an opportunity to provide comment on the design principles in the draft masterplan; your views will shape these principles and the future regeneration of the wider Rochester Airport site. 

After public consultation your comments will be fed back into refining the draft masterplan where considered appropriate. The revised masterplan will then be submitted to Medway Council’s Cabinet for formal adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document, which will influence future development of Innovation Park Medway. Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council will also be adopting the masterplan for the purposes of economic development subject to formal approval.


The consultation period runs from Monday, 17 September until midday on Monday, 29 October 2018.

Details of the consultation, including the ‘Draft Innovation Park Medway Masterplan’ document and questionnaire are available online at

Paper copies of the masterplan will be available to view at the following locations:

  • Medway Council offices (Gun Wharf)
  • Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council offices (Gibson Building) 
  • Innovation Centre Medway
  • Rochester Community Hub 
  • Chatham Community Hub

To have your say:

  • Visit and complete the online questionnaire
  • Paper copies of the questionnaire will be available from Gun Wharf reception, Rochester Community Hub and Chatham Community hub during normal operating hours.

Completed questionnaires should be returned:

By post to: Regeneration, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR
By email to

Officers will be available to answer questions in person at two public information events at Innovation Centre Medway, Maidstone Road, Chatham, ME5 9FD on:

  • Monday, 1 October, 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday, 20 October, 10am – 1pm 

At the end of the consultation period, the council will collate and consider all responses received. Please note that all responses will be published on the council’s website but personal details will not be shown.


St. Mary’s Island Surgery News

Following a highly competitive tendering exercise between some large national health providers, DMC (our current provider) has just been awarded the contract to continue running the surgery for another 4 years.

We'll done to everyone involved.


Report from Sara Hitchen, Director of Primary Care at DMC Healthcare which has taken over the running of the St. Mary’s Island Surgery.

Sara attended the SMIRA meeting on 22nd May and her report to the meeting is replicated here:

  • DMC Healthcare was awarded the contract to run the surgery in February. They were given 5 days’ notice to come into the surgery and there were no admin staff and no clinical staff. DMC have been working with the Clinical Commissions Group for many years. Sara has been with the group for 5 years and has taken on four surgeries which had been in special measures and got them to outstanding.
  • Currently in the SMI surgery there are no locums; there are three doctors, a practice nurse, a healthcare assistant, a pharmacist prescriber, a practice manager and full admin quota. The staff are currently involved in a lot of backlog work such as patients in for health checks etc. Sara apologised that residents will be getting a lot of letters from the surgery saying that they need to attend for various checks because they’ve not been done in many years and the surgery want to look after the patients on their books.
  • DMC Healthcare are only commissioned for one year but they will be tendering for the contract for the next 5-10 years in July/August time. They’ve put about £15,000 into the surgery; medical equipment which wasn’t there, ECG machine, BP machines etc. and also do recruitment.
  • Sara is looking for Patient Participation Group members from the community to meet every couple of months with patients before giving feedback to the Practice. This is to remove any bias in comments which will eventually be given to the Care Quality Commission. That way the Practice can improve on anything which is not up to patients’ standards.
  • In August the Practice is organising a fun day which will also be educational, e.g. staff will be there to show residents how to do CPR on children and adults. They will also be looking at the winter surgeries, flu etc.
    On average there are 32 appointments per clinician per day (64 a day) however the surgery is suffering from patients who book appointments but then don’t show up (DNA - Did Not Attend). This is why they are doing more appointments on the day as the bookable appointments get abused, which is unfair on residents who do want an appointment. It tends to be the younger population who book appointments for their children and then do not arrive. If a patient regularly doesn’t turn up for their appointments they are written to and told that if it continues they will only be able to book an appointment on the day.
  • There are six clinical rooms in the surgery so they want to expand the service to include children’s clinics in the afternoon twice a week. They also hope to extend the practice opening hours to be a seven-day service 8:00am to 8:00pm and they have made an application to NHS England to that effect.
  • One problem the surgery has found is that parents picking up their children from the school have been parking in the surgery parking bays preventing doctors, who have been on house visits, from parking in their bays. Parents who have been asked to move their cars have been abusive to the doctors and surgery staff. Last month an ambulance couldn’t get to the surgery on an emergency call because of inconsiderate parking. Fortunately, because the surgery is equipped with a defibrillator treatment was initially able to be given in the surgery.
  • A resident asked whether the surgery would be improving the methods of getting repeat prescriptions. Sara said that currently Prescription Clerk Sharon is getting the 200-300 prescriptions a day ready and delivered to the pharmacy within 24 hours. However, the software system that Dr Lawrence introduced seems to lose a few of the prescriptions when they go to the pharmacy and the surgery can’t find out why. Sharon keeps a log book of prescriptions sent to the pharmacy. If patients are on regular medication they can write X2 MONTHS on the prescription and the surgery will give them two months medication. This will save money if you pay for your prescription and it cuts down on the number of visits to the surgery to put in prescriptions. Before they will do this, however, you must have had a medication review with the doctor.
  • A resident asked why the MyGP system that Dr Lawrence introduced wouldn’t work for repeat prescriptions as it seems to redirect to another website which asks for a long login PIN number. Sharna Lewis, who is the practice manager, explained that the practice would be moving to use Patient Access, which is the NHS England system ( Sharna said that once the surgery staff have had their training on Patient Access and everything is set up and the surgery has collected ID from patients then the PIN numbers will be sent out (usually by email). Patient Access lets users book appointments, get repeat prescriptions but also see all your patient records, scans, blood tests and medication you have received.
    You won’t need MyGP anymore. All patients will be contacted to tell them of the change, either by email or text message, or if the surgery doesn’t have either then the patient will receive a letter.
  • A resident said that she had been given a form for a blood test by the surgery but that they couldn’t do one for 11 days. Sara explained that legally they don’t have to do blood tests in the surgery and they don’t get paid for doing them. However they do offer a blood test service but they can only do blood tests up to 11:00am. This is why there are blood test clinics. The practice nurse (who works Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and the Health Care Assistant (who works Tuesday and Thursday) are able to take blood but the tests must be done by 11:00am when the laboratory comes to collect them. Because of the backlog in medical reviews, many of which require blood tests, there is currently a long waiting time for blood tests. All 3,800 patients are having their records reviewed. Over time it is expected that appointment times for blood tests will reduce considerably but, for the time being, Sara apologized for not being able to accommodate all patients’ requirements for blood tests. On occasions when the lab hasn’t collected them some of the staff have taken them up to the hospital themselves.

Sara said that the Island residents had made the staff all feel very welcome and she thanked everyone.


Highway Adoption Works - Tappan Drive, Deering Close, Little Victory Mount, Henrietta Chase,

This letter is to inform you that VolkerHighways Ltd on behalf of Medway Council via the current adoption of roads paid for by the Developer intend to undertake repairs to the highway in your local area that may affect users of the highway, including yourself.

We will be undertaking these works starting on 2nd July 2018 and it is estimated the works will take up to 8 weeks to complete, working hours will be between the hours of 08:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday. Please refer to on-street notice boards for specific dates within each road.

Access to pedestrians on the footway will be maintained at all times, with regards to the resurfacing works on the carriageway there will be days when access will be restricted you will be notified of these dates again on the – street notice boards.

Should you require any advice on the day of works, please ask one of our operatives to refer you to the on-site Supervisor (please see guidance notes overleaf).

We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience or delay you may experience. With your co-operation, Volker Highways Limited will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum.

Yours faithfully
Mr Sohail Hussain
Projects Manager (On behalf of Volker Highways Ltd)


MOBILE TEL: 07769 301843


VolkerHighways Ltd
Arnolde Close
Medway City Estate

OFFICE TEL: 01634 719860


We strongly recommend that you follow the precautionary measures listed below:-

1. DO NOT walk on the freshly laid material because it may stick to your shoes and be transferred to carpets, wooden floors, paved driveways etc. Please note that Volker Highways Limited WILL NOT be held liable for any damage caused in this way as it is your responsibility to ensure that shoes are clean before entering your property.

2. AVOID driving across the fresh material e.g. to or from your driveway. Not only would this damage the new surface, it may also cause damage to your tyres, paintwork or paved driveway.

3. OBSERVE the traffic control measures that will be in place during the operation.


Chatham Maritime Trust Watersports Centre and new Office

A planning application has recently been submitted to Medway Council by CMT for two new small buildings, the Watersports Activity Center on the Southside of Basin 2 and the CMT Estate Office building on the East side of Basin 1.

Chatham Maritime Trust is holding an open session for St. Mary’s Island residents and members of the public to visit our office at the Observatory to see the plans for the new buildings, to meet the architects, ask questions and let us have your views.

This will take place on Wednesday 27th June from 3pm to 7 pm; we look forward to welcoming you to the Trust office. If you wish to reserve a carparking space at our office please contact Elona at the Trust, they will be allocated on a first come basis.

Here are the elevation plans of the new Watersports Centre to be built on the dockside next to where the current watersports containers are.

Watersports Centre elevation

Watersports Centre elevation 2

The full plans and documents can be found on the Medway Council planning application site:


The Care Quality Commission report on the Island Surgery under Dr Lawrence

We felt that residents may want to see the Care Quality Commission's report on Dr Lawrence's surgery. CLICK HERE for the PDF file.

Please note that the SMI Surgery is currently being run by a DMC Ltd, in partnership with Medway NHS, since Dr Lawrence’s departure;

As from 1st April DMC Ltd has the temporary contract for managing the surgery until the public procurement process is completed later this financial year.

Until further notice the normal opening hours of the Surgery are now 8:30am – 6:00pm Monday to Friday.

The Surgery IS registering NEW patients NOW.

A new Patients’ Participation Group (PPG) will be set up soon. It will be run by patients along similar lines to a school PTA. A chairman & minutes secretary etc. will be required.

From 1st April there will be a permanent male GP, plus Dr (Ms) Edwards, plus another female GP 1day/week, plus apermanent female prescribing pharmacist, a female nurse 3days/week, ‘Val’ (the existing HCA) the other 2 mornings, and a full complement of admin and reception staff, including a Practice Manager, and a Practice IT administrator.

In addition, there is an extra nurse and GP ploughing through ‘backlogs’.

All patients with long term medical conditions are being asked to attend for a full medical check-up within the next few months in order that records can be brought up to date. From April, there will be SaturdayNurse Clinics for those patients unable to attend for these checks during the week. These include long term conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, etc.

The new nurse has 20+ years’ experience and can administer immunisations, blood tests, diabetic requirements, cervical smears, COPD, and travel advice/jabs.

Pre-bookable appointments are available now a month in advance.

The DMC Team and Management are very grateful for the forbearance and patience shown by patients over this difficult period, and are very grateful for the flowers and cards delivered by residents.

Sara, DMC Manager, SMI Surgery.


Parking Consultation: Abandoned

CLICK HERE for a copy of Ruth Du-Lieu's latest letter suspending the CPZ consultation.


A letter from Ruth Du-Lieu, Assistant Director Frontline Services, Medway Council

To all households on St Marys Island                                  April 2018

Dear resident

Controlled Parking Zone proposals - St Mary’s Island

I wanted to take this opportunity to write to all residents and clarify the ongoing process to consider a controlled parking zone on St Mary’s Island. I have been made aware of a number of mixed messages on social media and unofficial letters circulating which is not helpful.

Firstly I would like to make it very clear that at this stage of the process, no decisions have been made about parking restrictions on St Mary’s Island. Controlled Parking Zones are only ever implemented if the majority of residents demonstrate that they are in support. If, after consultation, the majority who respond show they do not support parking restrictions the scheme will be halted and no further consideration will be given to dealing with parking issues.

Controlled Parking Zones are put in place to aid residents by controlling who is able to park in the area. There is a cost to residents i.e. the permit, but this cost is necessary to fund the enforcement and the administration. A controlled parking zone that isn’t enforced is simply not worth putting in as lines and signs alone will not deter the most determined of motorists. After all of the enforcement and administration costs have been met, any residual funds are invested back into the maintenance of the highway network.

  • Annual resident permits cost £30.00 per permit and can be purchased by those residents that own vehicles that are registered with the DVLA at their address on the island.
  • Visitor permits cost £2 per day and can be purchased by SMI residents.

Full details can be found at

Following an initial survey of residents in 2016 and a follow up survey in 2017, it was identified that the majority of those who took part did feel that there was a parking problem and that it may be resolved using parking restrictions such as a Controlled Parking Zone. This was followed up with an exercise to design the scheme i.e. the layout.

The current stage of the process which we are working through, is to investigate options for operating the scheme. For example the hours to restrict parking , the roads if not all roads, the days of the week etc. Until we have looked at all possible options no formal proposal can or will be made to residents. However, once we have decided on what options can be offered, we will then write to each property and invite the household to respond giving their preference and saying if they support a Controlled Parking Zone or not. Results will then be analysed and if there is found to be a majority supporting a particular scheme it will then be implemented. Conversely, if the analysis shows that the majority of those households who respond do not support any options for a Controlled Parking Scheme no scheme will be progressed.

At this stage I am unable to confirm a timetable going forward. I am keen to conclude the process and will undertake to keep all residents informed by letter.  If you have any queries please direct them to myself or your councillors who are working with the Council to resolve parking issues on the island for residents who requested a solution to be found.  

Yours faithfully

Ruth Du-Lieu
Assistant Director Frontline Services
Medway Council

Please copy in our Councillors Andrew Mackness [] and Habib Tejan [] in all communications. However, SMIRA will not be dealing with enquiries about the parking consultation.


SMIRA has nothing to do with a flyer coming through people’s letterboxes

Recently people have been getting a flyer through their letterboxes headed “IMPORTANT”. Although the flyer mentions our website and that we hold hold six weekly meetings (the next being on the 10th April) this flyer has nothing to do with SMIRA.

The flyer tells residents to go to a Facebook Group which is not the Offical SMIRA Facebook group.

The flyer also says that residents will not get a vote on the implementation of a controlled parking zone. Although there will not be a ballot residents WILL be able to choose whether or not they want a parking scheme. See the letter from Ruth Du-Lieu, Assistant Director Frontline Services, Medway Council above.

All enquiries should be referred directly to Ruth Du Lieu at Medway Council []; please copy in our Councillors Andrew Mackness [] and Habib Tejan [] in all communications.


Some residents are unaware of SMIRA's achievements since its inception

The St. Mary’s Island Residents’ Association Ltd. (SMIRA) is run by unpaid volunteers who work, on behalf of the residents, with various agencies and entities which have an influence on life on the Island. Some residents, particularly those who have arrived more recently, are unaware of exactly what SMIRA has achieved since it was set up.

These are some of the achievements made by the SMIRA Board of Directors for the benefit of members and all St. Mary's Island residents:

  • Founding and sustaining SMI Castaways Youth Club. We now have a Youth Leader financed by CMT.
  • Supporting the SMI Active Retirement Association - (SaintARA).
  • Prime and additional funding, with others, of the SMI History Group.
  • Campaigned for SMI Pharmacy to be established.
  • Negotiating with the School for the introduction of the rear pedestrian access path.  This was paid for, later resurfaced and continues to be maintained by CMT.
  • Introduction of School Bus (600) by petitioning Medway Council/Arriva Bus Company and presenting at a full Council meeting.
  • Introduction of bus shelters and later telemetry screens to the Island.
  • Negotiating an additional bus stop at Tappan Drive.
  • Introduction of parking restrictions in Island Way East to allow bus access to facilitate and formalise the bus route all the way around the Island in a clockwise direction.
  • Negotiating the ever-changing bus timetable to best serve commuters.
  • Campaign to make SMI/Chatham Maritime Trust public areas and pathways more disability-friendly.
  • Successful campaign, helped by CMT, to negotiate a licence with Peel Ports resulting in the re-establishment of the pedestrian bridge over the caisson under HMS Chatham Bridge.  On-going maintenance and new decking and balustrading by CMT.
  • Reinstatement of the Disabled Bays at the Ship & Trades car park.
  • Worked with the Environment Agency to challenge fly infestation on SMI, including the facilitation of a two-year fly survey and the reporting back of the results and conclusions.
  • Represented residents and challenged Peel Ports on the ‘wood chip’ nuisance issue in Chatham Docks.  Facility eventually shut down.
  • Campaigned for signage, litter bins, dog-waste bins etc. on all the bunds, River Walk and Central Walk.
  • Lobby for the adoption of all SMI roads and street lighting, through a SMIRA Road Adoptions Steering Group, with the Council, all developers, CMT and our ward councillors.  We have co-chaired and recorded the minutes of quarterly meetings over a period of 11 years.  We anticipate that the adoptions will be complete at the end of this year but, unfortunately, will not include roads in the final build-out.
  • Successfully campaigned for the construction of two new zebra crossings giving safer access to the community hub to pedestrians and, particularly from the Assisted Living facility.  These are funded by Countryside and will be constructed during the summer school holidays.
  • Lobbied successfully for the soft landscaping on our primary and secondary roads to be transferred to CMT rather than the Council, thus ensuring better quality and maintenance.
  • Dog run enlargement and improved secure enclosure.
  • Responded, where felt necessary, to major planning applications where the quality of resident’s lives could be affected.
  • Facilitated and financed a number of resident drop-in and other meetings at the community centre covering issues such as Tour De France, Meet the Doctor, Parking Permits, and major planning proposals.
  • Responded to an invitation from Countryside to be part of the initial Master Plan Consultation for the Island ‘build-out’.
  • Facilitated the purchase and installation of two defibrillators for our community hub with part funding from our ward councillors.
  • Initiate and maintain good relations with our immediate neighbours in Chatham Docks to try and mitigate noise and dust pollution.
  • Lobbied for and succeeded in the provision of emergency winter gritting this year from Medway Council (although SMI doesn’t meet their criteria).
  • Campaign to get commercial waste removed regularly from around Dockside and the marina.
  • Campaigned for new fully enclosed waste bins on green spaces, adjacent to Machine Shop Number 8 and the bus stops at Dockside. Additional mesh low-level infill panels to the perimeter balustrade to the marina and slips to mitigate the pollution from wind blown rubbish.
  • Tidying up of the Community Centre area with planting and a Christmas tree.
  • Planting of crocuses, anemones and daffodils to bunds, Central Walk and the community hub.
  • Assist with Summer & Winter Fayres at Community Centre.
  • Connect with residents through an annual complimentary newsletter delivered to all households in November, the SMIRA website, two noticeboards and the official SMIRA Facebook group.
  • Regular meetings with stakeholders (mostly during business hours) including Chatham Maritime Trust, Medway Council, the developers, Arriva Buses, Medway Independent Police Advisory Group, Medway Police and the Developers.
  • By invitation, representing resident’s interests at preliminary meetings with DMC Health at SMI Surgery and giving feedback prior to the formation of a Patients Participation Group (PPG).  We did intend to help to facilitate the recruitment of the PPG but this is now under review.
  • Ensure that St Mary’s Resident’s Association Ltd. meets the legal and corporate requirements of Company’s House and abides by its Articles of Memorandum.
  • Respond, on an as received basis, to resident’s enquiries through

This is not a totally inclusive list and some projects are still being undertaken.


David Taylor and the rest of the SMIRA Board to step down at the next AGM

There is an update below

A letter from David Taylor, Chair of SMIRA:

My Position:

Following the vitriolic and personal comments in recent days by some members/residents on some of the St Mary’s Island Facebook pages regarding SMIRA in general and Allan Sneller and myself in particular, I would advise the following: It is my intention to resign as a Director and Chairman of SMIRA but, in the interests of continuity, I intend to do this at this year’s AGM on the 7th December.
I am delighted to say that I have persuaded Allan, whose contribution to SMIRA as Vice Chair I could not do without, to continue (subject to ongoing long term health issues) as a Director until the AGM when he will also step down.

I have been advised since the meeting on Tuesday evening that Peter Haigh (Director) and Barry Woolford (Director) will also be resigning at the AGM. Steve Gargano (Director) has resigned with immediate effect as has Sam Rainbow (Director). Bob Muid (Company Secretary) is also standing down at the 2018 AGM, as is our Treasurer, Lily Leaver.

The continuity that I refer to above will enable SMIRA to work with our Councillors, CMT and the Council on the adoption of the roads and landscaping on the Island. This will not include the new development.

It will also allow plenty of time for SMIRA Members, who are prepared to serve and fulfil the duties of company directors and officers on the Board of SMIRA Ltd., particularly those who have been so critical of the way they perceive SMIRA operates, to advise our company secretary, Bob Muid, at who will arrange the necessary documentation to be registered at Companies House.

I would also advise that any Member who seeks to remove any Director or Honorary Officer from the Board can do so by contacting all Members giving 21 days notice of a proposed EGM and giving details of the proposition/s.  A minimum number of 65 Members are required to sign in favour of holding that EGM before it can be formally called.                                                       
Should the Board at any time between now and the AGM propose and carry a vote of ‘No Confidence’ in me, I will be happy to resign with immediate effect.
Finally, I would like to thank the Board, Honorary Officers, residents, ward councillors, CMT and the Council for their kind support to date.


Since it would seem that some members/residents are unhappy with the way they perceive that SMIRA carries out the business of looking after the best interests of Island Residents, I would state the following:
a) SMIRA hold eight regular meetings every year and an AGM once a year.  Our ward councillors, officers of the Council and our PCSO regularly attend these meetings and respond to residents' questions. The dates of these meetings are given in the previous years November Newsletter and are shown on our website and noticeboards.
b) According to the Constitution, only SMIRA Members are entitled to attend these meetings but some years ago the Board agreed that, to be more representative and transparent, any resident should be welcome to attend. More recently, SMIRA have arranged a one hour pre-meeting surgery at which residents can have a confidential meeting on their specific problem with a SMIRA director, ward councillor, our PCSO or a representative of CMT or Moat Housing.
c) The meetings have a set comprehensive agenda and an update of each agenda item is reviewed.  Accurate minutes are recorded at each of the meetings and placed on our website once they have been formally adopted at the following meeting. AOB is the last agenda item and each attendee is specifically asked if they have any matter to raise.  Any matters raised are responded to at the meeting if at all possible or carried over for a response in a ‘Post Meeting Note’ in the minutes.
d) Most recently, with Allan Sneller and Bob Muid’s time consuming efforts, SMIRA have launched a Residents' Facebook Group. This initiative was taken to ensure that residents received more regular, comprehensive and accurate information and it seems that this has been well received.

Rotation of Directors:

a) At the AGM, two Directors retire by rotation each year and can, if they wish, offer themselves for re-election.  This proposal is then put to the vote of the Members in attendance.
b) If Members wish to nominate a Director they are invited, in advance of the AGM, to collect and complete a ‘Nomination for Director’ form from our Registered Office.  The nominated Director is required to sign the form acknowledging acceptance of the nomination and the Proposer and Seconder must also sign. The form must be delivered to our Registered Office 14 days before the AGM.  In the 13 years that I have been a Director of SMIRA, there has never been a ‘Nomination for Director’ form presented.
c) Any Director or Honorary Officer seconded to the Board between AGM’s has to be ratified by the Members in attendance at the AGM.  This means that the Board are happy to accept new Directors or Honorary Officers, if a vacancy exists, between AGM’s.

Allan Sneller’s Contribution:

I would like to place on record that, without Allan’s help and input as Vice Chair, much of what I believe SMIRA achieve would simply not be possible. Allan works tirelessly for SMIRA and most of the improvements that you see, and there are many around and beyond the Island to facilitate disability, stem from him.
Allan supports me at many meetings that we jointly attend during the day, which we couldn’t do unless we were both retired and, apart from what Allan substantially contributes to the meeting, it demonstrates SMIRA’s commitment to the subject.

Next SMIRA Meeting:

Our next SMIRA meeting takes place in the Meeting Room at the Community Centre on Tuesday the 10th April 2018 commencing at 7:00 p.m.
I will Chair the meeting as usual and I will be adhering to the normal regular Agenda (shown on our meetings page).
Should any resident wish to attend the meeting to raise a matter outside the Agenda, or offer themselves to serve as a Director, they will have the opportunity to raise that matter under AOB.

David Taylor                                                                           24/03/18
Chair, SMIRA Ltd


A letter from David Taylor, Chair of SMIRA
Update on my Statement of the 24th March 2018:

Allan Sneller:
Allan Sneller advised me last night that as a result of his deteriorating health, much associated with the ongoing Facebook traffic attacking him personally, he has decided to resign as a Director and Vice Chair of SMIRA with immediate effect.

This has saddened me and I would like to place on record the gratitude of the Board and what I know to be the vast majority of residents for his work in administering the official SMIRA Facebook Group and the Community Facebook which he took on at the request of others.

Allan has served as a Director of SMIRA for nine years and has contributed much to our community and what the Island is today.  In particular, he has been alongside me at all the meetings and in the background driving the adoption of our roads and landscaping and this is just one of SMIRA’s many achievements that will stand as a testimony to all his hard work and professionalism.   I wish him well.

Sam Rainbow:
Sam Rainbow, a SMIRA Director, has advised the Board, on 24th March, that she has resigned with immediate effect.

Lily Leaver:
Lily Leaver, our Honorary Treasurer, has advised the Board that she will be resigning at the SMIRA AGM in December.

My Integrity:
Firstly, I would like to advise that I have never personally joined any Facebook Group, although I was in favour of forming the SMIRA Facebook Group, ratified by the Board at the time, for the purposes of keeping qualifying residents better informed on developing events and issues, guiding and referring them or helping them where possible and appropriate.  However, I am not a member of the Group, relying, as Chair, on feedback from others.

I realise of course that when a person volunteers to serve a community, especially as a Director of a limited company, as SMIRA is, your management and best endeavours can sometimes attract criticism and require explanation.  However, I feel that our regular (six weekly) open meetings and our AGM provide that platform for Members and SMI residents alike.

Since the acrimonious meeting of the 20th of March 2018 I have, through third parties, been kept up to date with some of the wildly inaccurate and vitriolic traffic on various Facebook groups and hence my decision to resign at our AGM in December.

More recently however, a small number of people, none of whom I personally know, have exchanged postings on Facebook that I now have records of and which call into question my integrity. The postings imply that the positions and offices that I have held in recent years on two Community Interest Companies (CIC’s) and with Chatham Maritime Trust together with any association that I may have had with Cllr. Andrew Mackness, appears dubious at best and potentially worthy of investigation, presumably, for financial gain.

For this reason I would like to put the record straight:

1) ‘Community First’
This was an initiative supported by Central Government to award funding, subject to scrutiny, to foster and sustain other voluntary groups in the local community.  The fund had to be distributed within a period of three years or the outstanding balance returned.
The propriety, management and distribution of the funds was overseen by Medway Citizens Advice Bureau acting as our ‘Fund Partner’.
At the time I joined as a Trustee the funds were in place and I, together with a number of other Trustees from River Ward, whose names are on record and included Cllr. Andrew Mackness, hosted meetings in various parts of the Ward informing local people of the fund and encouraging applications.
‘Community First’ funded, among others,

  • Equipment for the SMI History Group for presenting their findings to the local community.
  • Chatham Scouts to help finance their attendance at an International Jamboree in Essex
  • A Kick Boxing Club in Chatham.
  • Improvements to St Margaret’s Banks gardens.
  • Funding of ‘River First’ CIC.

At no time did I, or any Trustee, receive income or expenses in discharging the objectives of the Community First initiative.

2) River First CIC
River First CIC was born out of the Community First initiative and continued to fund community projects and needs in River Ward.
I was appointed Chair and a Trustee along with others, including Cllr. Andrew Mackness, and, again, it was overseen by Medway Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
One of our projects involved the prime funding of a Breakfast Club at Brompton and Westbrook Primary School after being advised that some children were arriving at the school without breakfast. As far as I know, the School now self funds the Breakfast Club and an Afterschool Club.

In April 2017 it was decided to close River First CIC but a balance of £1,534.00 remained unallocated.
It was decided by the Trustees that this sum be transferred to Medway Sunlight Rotary Club, a Registered Charity of which I am a member but not on the Board, to be ring fenced for disposal to the benefit of River Ward.
I have attached a letter from Medway Sunlight Rotary Club, confirming receipt and safekeeping of that money and I understand that one of the projects that may partially benefit is the provision of a disabled swing somewhere in River Ward.

At no time did I, or any Trustee, receive income or expenses in discharging the objectives of the River First CIC.

3) Chatham Maritime Estates Ltd.
My Association with and the closure of Chatham Maritime Estates has been mentioned, presumably because I am a Trustee of Chatham Maritime Trust.  However, I will leave Chatham Maritime Trust to respond to this comment separately.

4) SMIRA Ltd.
Over the period of 13 years that I have served as a Director of SMIRA I have held all Offices from time to time, some for reasons not of my choice, at the same time.

I wish to place on record that, for all that time and in whichever Office I have acted, I have never received any income, expenses or payments other than against receipts for items of stationery which are shown on the accounts.  

SMIRA’s accounts, being a limited Company, are independently audited every year and those accounts are signed off by the Board and put before the members for adoption at the AGM.  As required, the accounts are sent to Companies House and they have never been subject to further enquiry.

I also wish to place on record that I have never received any income, expenses or payments without receipts from any of the community projects that I have initiated, supported or been associated with, including the Island Youth Club, Active Retirement Club or Medway Sunlight Rotary Club. 

I reserve the right to take legal action in this matter if so advised.

David Taylor                                                                          27/03/18


Medway Volunteer Bureau
Third Floor Kingsley House
37-39 Balmoral Road
67 Broadview Avenue

FAO Dan McDonald

3rd June 2017
Dear Dan

Closure of River First CIC and transfer of accrued financial balance to Rotary Club of Medway Sunlight Trust Fund

Can I, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Medway Sunlight Trust Fund, thank you and the other Trustees of the River First CIC for the very generous donation of £1,534 to our Trust.  I can reassure you that the money will be wisely spent and our Trustees will be discussing ways that we can benefit River Ward in the spirit that the CIC was originally established.

May I also apologise for the tardiness of this letter which in no way reflects our attitude towards your donation – it merely was due to the “manic” activity by our Rotarians leading up to the Bank Holiday to ensure that our main fundraiser the annual Dragon Boat Challenge went off so successfully.

I will ensure that we keep you updated on any projects involving River Ward – once again many thanks for your kind support.

Best wishes

Rotarian Bill Parkinson
cc. Sakina Lowe, Financial Controller


Statement from Chairman of Chatham Maritime Trust

In response to the vitriolic comments made about SMIRA and its representatives on social media by a minority group, I would like to place on record Chatham Maritime Trust's full support for SMIRA and its representatives for the hard work that they do on a voluntary basis for the community of St. Mary's Island. As an organisation SMIRA makes an important and valued contribution to the overall management of St. Mary's Island and it is a great shame that some residents fail to acknowledge and appreciate the great work that they do and what they have achieved.

The Trustees of Chatham Maritime Trust do not condone the destructive actions of this small unrepresented group of residents and give their full backing to SMIRA.

Chatham Maritime Trust is keen to engage with all residents in a positive and respectful manner; if anyone has an issue that they would like to discuss then the team at the Trust office is happy to enter into conversation.

Chatham Maritime Trust is transparent in the day to day management of the organisation and responds to the comments made regarding the dissolution of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd as follows:

From 1 April 1997 to 31 March 2013, Chatham Maritime Trust carried out it estate management operations through its wholly owned operating subsidiary Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd. This is normal practice for charities to set up trading companies.

In 2012 the Trust's accounting advisors Reeves & Co LLP and legal advisors Vertex Law LLP advised the Trustees that there were no financial or legal advantages in continuing to separate the Trust's charitable and estate management activities in this way. Therefore, the Trustees unanimously decided to cease the operations of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd at the end of the financial year on 31 March 2013. At this date all the trade and assets of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd were transferred to Chatham Maritime Trust.

Since 1 April 2013 until its dissolution on 20 March 2018, Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd continued to exist as a dormant company with no assets. It was kept as a dormant company in order to retain the name of the company in case it was useful to the Trust in the future.

In July 2017 the Trust's current accounting advisors MHA MacIntyre Hudson pointed out that additional time and costs were being incurred every year, albeit relativity small, in producing the Chatham Maritime Trust Trustees' Report and Accounts, due to the need to consolidate with the accounts of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd, even though it is dormant. They recommended that Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd be dissolved and as the Trustees did not have any plans to bring the company back into operation, their recommendation was accepted and, on 28 July 2017, the Board unanimously agreed to dissolve Chatham Maritime Estate.

Following completion of the dormant company accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017, a Striking Off application was submitted to Companies House in December 2017. On 2 January 2018 Companies House posted the First Gazette notice in the London Gazette, giving notice that the company would be dissolved in two months if there were no objections. Subsequently the company was dissolved and the Final Gazette notice published on 20 March 2018.

Andrew Mackness
Chairman, Chatham Maritime Trust
27th March 2018


Dr Lawrence leaves St. Mary's Island Surgery

"It is with great sadness that I have decided the time has come to leave St Mary’s Island Surgery. The pressures associated with running the surgery as a single-handed practitioner without adequate infrastructural support are extreme. From the humble beginnings of the portacabin we have grown to a sizeable practice. I wish to express my greatest gratitude for the support received from my patients. During the 18 years that I have had the privilege to serve you as a family doctor I have not only gained patients but also friends. Your primary care services will continue to be delivered from the premises by a new provider. I wish everyone the very best of future health."

Dr Lawrence

Dr Lawrence resigned his post on Friday 9th February

UPDATE 12 February
Sarah Vaux, Chief Nurse at Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Following enforcement action at St Mary’s Island Surgery by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Medway CCG has been working with Dr Stephen Lawrence, NHS England, the CQC and the Local Medical Committee (LMC) to improve patient care.

Dr Lawrence has agreed to step down from the practice and a temporary alternative provider – DMC Healthcare – has been brought in to ensure services continue to be available for patients at St Mary’s Island Surgery.

Patient safety and quality of care are of the utmost importance and we are doing everything possible to ensure this is maintained for people registered at the practice. Patients can call us if they have any concerns about their treatment. The number is 01634 335281 or email The helpline is available from 8am to 5pm.

As well as making appointments at the surgery, patients can also obtain health advice from a pharmacy or by calling 111. They can also attend the walk-in centre at Balmoral Gardens.”

UPDATE 13 February
Further to yesterday's announcement that Dr Stephen Lawrence has agreed to step down from St Mary's Island Surgery, NHS England South East has released a statement:

"The GP who provides services at St Mary's Island Surgery has been suspended from NHS England's performers' list of practicing GPs and is therefore not currently treating NHS patients. The GP has been suspended while a review of his professional practice as a doctor takes place. We are unable to provide further information whilst the review is ongoing.

"NHS England works alongside the General Medical Council (GMC) to review the practice of individual doctors as necessary, in order to make sure that GPs deliver high quality care to their patients, in line with the required standards."


SMI Parking Permit Consultation goes ahead

Following the interim SMIRA meeting (on 20th Marrch 2018), SMIRA have sought clarification from Medway Council regarding the Parking Consultation and Ruth Du-Lieu, Assistant Director, has confirmed the position as follows:

I understand that there have been some mixed messages around the consultation process for the CPZ on St Marys Island. My apologies for this.

I can confirm that when we get to the stage of consulting the residents of St Marys Island, ALL residents will be given the opportunity to say Yes or No to the proposed residents parking scheme. This is why we urge all residents to take part in the consultation as it is then a fair and democratic decision to progress a scheme or not.

As part of the consultation, residents will also be given the opportunity to give their views on the proposed scheme, good and bad,  so that these can be analysed and fed into the results which will be published. If the majority of residents who take part in the consultation indicate that they do not want a residents parking scheme it will not go ahead.

I hope this serves to clarify the process. I understand that we do not have a go live date for the consultation yet as we are still discussing options with the school.

Kind regards

Ruth Du-Lieu
Assistant Director
Front Line Services Medway Council
Regeneration, Culture, Environment & Transformation
Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR

16 February at 18:30–20:30 at St. Marys Island Community Centre

Notes from the meeting on 16th February about SMI Contolled Parking Consultation

This very important event was co-hosted by SMIRA and MEDWAY COUNCIL officials from the Parking Design Team, together with a Parking Design Consultant. It launched the formal consultation process for the potential introduction of parking controls across SMI.

All households should engage in this process (whether you're For or Against this issue), especially the subsequent written questionnaire process.

The objective of the Meeting wasn't to decide the outcome but simply to introduce the Consultation Methodology, and to explain some of the options that the questionnaire will propose. Click on the link above for short notes taken at the meeting.

A few weeks after this event every SMI postal address will receive a questionnaire via Royal Mail with a 21-day completion and return deadline. Statutory agencies (999 services etc) will also be consulted.

Following analysis of YOUR written feedback, MC will decide which options, if any, to implement.

It is vital that YOU respond to the questionnaire as comprehensively as possible because the consensus views will prevail.

Parking is already an important issue on many parts of SMI, and is likely to affect every home as the final build-out of Azure completes, the Atlas Place assisted living units open, and the school enlarges its intake. No part of SMI will be immune from parking issues and it's important that every resident engages with the process.

Whatever the outcome, once implemented, it will be very difficult to un-do, and probably at least 5 years before the Council can afford to re-run this expensive exercise.

Please don't say at a later date you weren't consulted folks; please make every effort to get involved.


Draft revised Medway Guide to Developer Contributions and Obligations - YOUR opinions sought

Medway Council's Guide to Developer Contributions 2014, a Supplementary Planning Document, sets out what obligations and contributions will be required for future developments. Developers are expected to take account of, and meet the requirements of, this document before submitting planning applications to the council. It is designed to help developers know what the council is likely to require for new developments in Medway.

Please note that the Guide to Developer Contributions 2014 is being reviewed and updated to reflect more up to date information.

The draft revised Medway Guide to Developer Contributions and Obligations is available for consultation between 26 January to 9 March 2018. You can view a copy of the draft Guide on our website.

Please submit your comments by 5pm on Friday, 9 March 2018.

The Guide name has been updated to reflect new sections that set out what is expected from developers (rather than contributions) for issues such as air quality and sustainable drainage.

We need to update the 2014 Guide to take account of changes in recent years, but as the new Medway Local Plan progresses there will be new development sites and we will have to assess the associated infrastructure needs, which could be over and above the standards in the current Guide.

A further review of the Guide will be carried out in 2019 to reflect the draft Local Plan.

Please email your representations to

Following the end of the consultation, the council will collate and consider all responses received. Please note that all responses will be published on the council’s website.

Jill King
Section 106 Officer
The Planning Service, Medway Council , Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR
01634 331594


Medway Estuary and Swale Coastal Flood and Erosion Risk Strategy

Public consultation is now open. Have your say on the proposed flood and coastal risk management options.

Find out more and share your views on our dedicated strategy website and online consultation. Consultation closes 5February 2018

Search 'Medway Estuary and Swale' at

Medway Estuary Flood Risk

For more information or queries please contact the project team on:


Chatham Interface Land Development Brief Consultation

All responses must be received by 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017.

Notice of Regulation 12 ‘Development Brief’ Consultation
Medway Council is seeking comments on the content of the Chatham Interface Land Development Brief 2017. The Chatham Interface Land Development Brief has been drafted to update the Interface Land Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document ‘Development Framework’ adopted in October 2010, in order to reflect the changing economic and planning circumstances and enable the development of this key regeneration site to be brought forward. 

The development brief identifies the potential for a residential-led development with opportunities for supporting commercial uses (office, café/restaurant). It will ensure that the site is developed in a manner that complements the existing Historic Dockyard and is of a design appropriate to its sensitive historic setting.

This is a formal stage in the preparation of the Development Brief. Once adopted the Development Brief will be a planning guidance document and will be a material planning consideration against which decisions can be made on development proposals.

The council is keen to hear from residents, businesses, organisations, community and interest groups to help inform the development brief. The consultation period runs from Friday 10 November to 22 December 2017. Comments must be received in writing or email by 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017.

You can view the Development Brief consultation document online at:
Copies of the documents are available at the following locations for the public to view:
·          Medway Council offices, Gun Wharf Reception, Chatham (during normal office hours)
·          Chatham Library: Community Hub Chatham, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TX  
·          Gillingham Library: Community Hub Gillingham, High Street, Gillingham, ME7 1BG  
·          Rochester Library: Community Hub Rochester, Eastgate, Rochester, ME1 1EW 
·          Strood Library: Community Hub Strood, 133 High Street, Strood, Rochester, ME2 4TJ  
·          Rainham Library: Birling Avenue, Rainham, Gillingham, ME8 7LR 
·          Rainham Contact Point: 1-3 Station Road, Rainham, Gillingham, ME8 7RS
You can find details of the locations and opening hours of these buildings at: or by telephoning 01634 333333.
For details of information available in other formats and languages please telephone 01634 333333.
You can make your responses to the consultation questions in the following ways:
By downloading the questionnaire at:
By email:

By post:
Planning Policy
Regeneration, Community, Environment and Transformation
Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR

Following the end of the consultation, the council will collate and consider all responses received. Please note that all responses will be published on the council’s website but personal details will not be shown.

Thank you for your interest in planning for the Chatham Interface Land sites.

Prematha Velayutham-Smith MRTPI

Senior Planner-Policy
Regeneration, Culture, Environment & Transformation
Medway Council
Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR
Tel: 01634 331290


Contractor Parking

Do you have problems with Countryside contractors parking in your streets? If so please email Phil Barret, Senior Project Manager, Countryside Properties at with details of cars parked and he will take action.


Christmas Fair 2017

It’s that time of year again, and due to the tremendous success of our previous Christmas Fairs we are hosting our third consecutive Christmas Fair here at the Community Centre on Saturday 25th November 2017, 2.00pm-5.00pm

Calling all Stallholders : We are looking for stalls to fill our hall and be part of our special event. If you would like to join in, please contact us to reserve a table. We are looking for all things Christmas. . . cards, wrapping paper, crafts, gifts, tombolas/ raffles, decorations, food / drink, games ….
Or if you would just like to help, we welcome your call !

Contact: Vanessa or Nicole on 01634 890072 or e-mail
(Stalls are free of charge,with a voluntary charitable donation on the day)

Keeping with our trusted  format and seasonal tradition,  we will have our annual visit from Santa in Santa’s Grotto, music and entertainment,  food and drink galore, along with a variety of delightful stalls selling  cards, crafts, decorations and gifts to purchase for the special occassion.   We will have the much appreciated attendance from the Salvation Army band and in addition this year we will have a separate special performance from the fabulous Harmony Choir.
We will also be repeating our ‘Donate a Present’ for the Salvation Army.


Dogs and St. Mary's Island

Below is a diagram showing who to contact about incidents with dogs causing "fear, alarm or distress". Further below is a link to a document about dogs barking too much.

Remember that on St. Mary's Island there is a dog run area on Finsborough Down where dogs can be let off their leads. Please use it and encourage your children who are taking the dog out to use it too. In all other areas on St. Mary's Island dogs must be kept on a lead (as part of the Island Regulations).

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 then it's a dangerous dog and needs to be reported to the police (phone 101) under the Dangerous Dogs Act Section 3.

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.


Pier 5 Bar

Pier Five Bar and Kitchen

Shepherd Neame has opened a new bar and restaurant, Pier Five Bar and Kitchen, at the end of the pier at Chatham Maritime. The bar serves handcrafted beers and lagers, craft spirits and cocktails whilst the kitchen serves gourmet burgers, superfood salads, flame-grilled chicken and oven-baked pizzas.
Vegetarian options are available throughout the menu and allergies and intolerances can be catered for with prior notice. For further details and opening times click on their website..


Road Resurfacing

By now residents of Sectors 2, 4, 6 and 12 will have seen the writing on the tarmac outside their houses advising which dates their respective roads will be closed for resurfacing.
Please ensure all vehicles are removed from the streets on those days by no later than 7am. Cars left in situ will be lifted away by Council contractors and delay the reopening of the roads to the rest of us.

Please be aware that the remedial roadworks commencing on Monday 24th in Sectors 2, 4, 6, & 12 INCLUDES the public pavements too. So if any of your vehicles are parked across any part of the public pavement they'll also be lifted away to permit access for the council contractors to fix sunken blocks etc.

You should be able to re-park overnight from around 6pm onwards

If you've managed to miss the white painted messages on your road surfaces the schedule of work is planned as:-

  • Monday 24th - Sector 4 "Fishing Village" (Dunlin, Phalarope, etc).
  • Tuesday 25th - Sector 12 (The Pinnacles).
  • Wednesday 26/27th
    Sector 6 part 1 (Apollo Way)
  • Thurs 27/28th
    Sector 6 part 2
    (The Ave & Ringlet)
  • Friday 28th
    Finishing off.


Maintenance works - River Walk and playgrounds closed

Weather permitting, the riverside walk will be closed for resurfacing works from next Monday 3rd July to Thursday 6th July inclusive.

In preparation for the summer holidays, the three play areas - Shark Park, Starfish and Tadpoles  will be closed for the next two weeks for general maintenance which includes cleaning of the impact matting.    

Medway Local Plan Briefing Note – January 2017

Medway Council is preparing a new Local Plan to provide direction on the future growth of the area. The aim of the Local Plan is to ensure that Medway grows sustainably, to provide land for the homes, jobs and services that people need, whilst protecting and enhancing the qualities of the area’s environment and heritage.

Cabinet approved a Development Options document in December as the basis for consultation on an early stage of preparing the new Local Plan. The formal consultation runs from 16 January to 6 March 2017. Full details of the consultation document, supporting information, survey form and consultation events are available to view on the council’s website at:

Copies of the consultation document are also available to view at council libraries and Community Hubs across Medway.

Comments should be submitted in writing to the council’s Planning Policy team by 5pm on Monday 6 March 2017 to be recorded and considered as part of the development of the new Local Plan. Comments can be made:

A copy of this document can be downloaded by clicking here.

Publicising the Local Plan consultation

A public notice has been placed in the Kent Messenger, notifying people of the start of the consultation. Emails and letters have been sent to over 1000 people, organisations and businesses on the council’s Local Plan consultation database. The consultation has a high profile on the council’s website. Summary documents and flyers have been printed and are being distributed across community venues in Medway. Planning officers held a briefing session for Parish Councils on 17 January, and have their support in promoting the Local Plan consultation in villages. Posters will be placed in local areas to publicise exhibitions planned across Medway.

Community exhibitions

The Planning Service has arranged a number of exhibitions in community venues across urban and rural Medway. These are aimed at residents, local businesses and community groups who would like to find out more the Local Plan work. All these events will be staffed, so that people have the opportunity to speak to a Planning Officer. People do not need to book, and we would appreciate any help that you can give in publicising the events.  Details are set out on the next page.  Officers are also arranging a series of topic based meetings to discuss technical issues in the emerging Local Plan.

There will be a Community Exhibition at the St Mary's Island Community Centre on Wednesday 1st March between 6:30pm and 8:30pm.

Local Plan Development Options Consultation - Exhibitions

Wed 25 Jan

6pm – 8.30pm

Room 9, Gun Wharf, Chatham, ME4 4TR

Sat 28 Jan

10am - 12pm

Jubilee Hall, Pottery Road, Hoo St Werburgh, ME3 9BS

Mon 30 Jan

2.30pm – 4.30pm

Parkwood Community Centre, Parkwood Green, Parkwood, ME8 9PN

Sat 4 Feb

10am - 12pm

St Margaret's Millennium Centre, Gatekeeper Chase, Rainham, ME8 9BH

Tues 7 Feb

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Guildhall, High Street, Rochester, ME1 1PY

Fri 10 Feb

10am - 12pm

Stoke Village Hall, Allhallows Road, Lower Stoke, Rochester, ME3 9SL

Sat 11 Feb

10am - 12pm

Riverside Country Park, Lower Rainham Road, Gillingham, ME7 2XH

Tues 14 Feb

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Sunlight Centre, 105 Richmond Road, Gillingham, ME7 1LX

Wed 15 Feb

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Lordswood Leisure Centre, North Dane Way, Chatham, ME5 8YE

Sat 18 Feb

10am - 12pm

Cliffe Memorial Hall, Church Street, Cliffe, ME3 7PU

Mon 20 Feb


Cuxton Social Club, 104 Bush Road, Cuxton, ME2 1EZ

Tues 21 Feb

5:30pm - 7:30pm

Innovation Centre Medway, Maidstone Road, Chatham ME5 9FD

Thurs 23 Feb

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Former library, Bryant Road, Strood, ME2 3EP

Sat 25 Feb

10am - 12pm

Chattenden Community Centre, Swinton Avenue, Chattenden, ME3 8PH

Mon 27 Feb 6.30pm – 8.30pm Halling Community Centre, High Street, Halling, ME2 1BS

Wed 1 Mar

6.30pm – 8.30pm

St Mary's Island Community Centre

For further information

The Planning Policy team can provide members with copies of flyers, summary consultation documents and posters publicising events, if these would be helpful in liaising with residents, groups and businesses.
If members would like any further information about the consultation, please contact the Planning Service on:
Telephone 01634 331629


Foul pumping stations on St. Mary's Island: change in reporting problems:

SMIRA are pleased to tell you that the Foul Pumping Stations on St Mary’s Island have now been adopted by Southern Water. 

Residents experiences any toilet "back-up" issues should now contact Southern Water directly either by calling:
0330 303 0368 or via their website

Although it may still be Willow Pumps on call - out, the problem must now be reported directly to Southern Water.

For your information the pumping stations are located on SMI as follows:

109095 – Island Way West; (by Sector 14)
Between Redshank Road and Partridge Drive

110630 – Station B Island Way West; (by Sectors 7/8)
Near Tappan Drive

110631 – Island Way East. (by Sector 4)
Near Goldcrest Bus stop


Parking changes at the Ship & Trades

Paul Brown, the General Manager at the Ship & Trades has sent SMIRA a statement regarding the changes to parking outside the pub.

Following on from a lot of feedback over the last 18 months since I became General Manager at the Ship & Trades we have introduced a system to control and limit the abuse to the car park shared by the Co-Op, Chip Shop and ourselves.

The situation had got so bad that I was dealing with residents coming into the pub after circling for 20 minutes saying that they couldn't get to do shopping at the Co-Op or a pint here.

We looked at lots of options including barrier systems, pay and display and patrolling. We settled on an ANPR system with a company called CPM (who also monitor various other areas around). The ANPR gave us a time limit meaning that customers who wanted to go to the Co-Op or Chip Shop were not discouraged having to pay 50p every time they went shopping and a barrier system that was ruled out due to vandalism concerns.

We decided that our expansion was the right time to do this as our increased capacity was only going to make the issue harder to control.

We gave a months’ notice both on social media and on notices all around the three businesses to give our customers as much notice as possible of the upcoming changes. When the camera was turned on and tickets were issued we did encounter a problem with the camera's line of sight.

Unfortunately when a delivery lorry, large vehicle or even someone parked directly in-front of the bins at the Co-Op it has blocked cars exiting the car park. This has resulted in a number of long stay tickets being issued as when the car leaves the second time around.

This is being addressed by CPM and between us we are looking at re-siting the camera meaning that there will be no line of sight issue. I will update in due course when this has been completed.

The decision to monitor our car park has been done with our customers’ best interests at the heart of the decision we have made. This has not been to punish customers, but to drive away people that were car-pooling, leaving 3 cars here all day to take one to work, or to jump on the coach to London or numerous other things that clogged up the spaces limiting this for genuine customers. We have had a tough time trying to work out which appeals are genuine and which are people just chancing their arm.

Extending your stay at the Ship & Trades for more than two hours is simple, genuine customers who want to be here for more than two hours or even have one too many drinks to drive and leave the car over-night can simply register their car to get more time. This information is on social media and on every entrance and exit to the pub and restaurant. We serve around 1000 people on an average day so communicating this to every customer has proved very hard, so entrance and exit signs have been the best way to go.

Should there be a need to appeal for a customer who has received a ticket for an over-stay then please appeal directly to CPM along with a proof of purchase (which the pub can provide but a bank statement is OK). In the event of a long stay ticket needing to be appealed please provide details directly to the pub along with your appeal and we shall speak to CPM.

We try and support every customer with appeals, however there is obviously an element of people that have previously abused the car park that we cannot help which is why proof of purchase is key in getting any appeal moved forward.

I would also like to add that I and my team are here to help, we have all been subjected to a lot of verbal abuse and unfortunately on two occasions bordering on physical abuse. This has included on social media where some of the language has been disgraceful. Neither I nor my team deserve this and people doing this will not be helped with their appeal.

Should anyone have any further comments or questions please direct them to a member of management at the pub.

Paul Brown
General Manager, Ship & Trades


Arriva bus timetable from September 2016

Arriva have issued a new bus timetable (download here in PDF format). There are changes to buses leaving St. Mary's Island in the morning from 06:24 to 09:40, including the school bus. Three commuter buses in the morning are now leaving 5-6 minutes earlier than previously, to better connect with the trains to London. The school bus has a new time (07:32am), the 09:05a.m. bus now starts at 09:00am and the bus which was at just before 10:00am now starts at 09:40a.m.


Pedestrian walkway over the caisson under HMS Chatham Bridge is now 'unofficially' open

The official openeing of the pedestrian walkway over the caisson between Basins 1 and 2 will be on Wednesday 10th August at 10:30 am.

Caisson bridge

SMIRA would like to make you aware that, after a period of three years, the pedestrian walkway over the caisson, under the HMS Chatham Bridge, between Basins 1 and 2 is now open again.

Those residents who used this access to the Co-Op and Dockside Outlet Centre previously will know that it provides a much safer route away from the main road, particularly for children and older residents who will not now have to use the bridge.

This is yet another example of SMIRA, who have been working alongside Chatham Maritime Trust on this over this period, looking after the best interests of SMI residents both in the short and long term to make our lovely Island sustainable and a pleasant place to reside.

I want to express my particular thanks to Chatham Maritime Trust, who headed up the protracted negotiations with Peel Ports in securing the licence that made this possible, and went on to finance the construction of the new walkway and it's ongoing maintenance.

David Taylor, SMIRA Chair, 6th july 2016


Medway Council's Planning Process (for sheds etc.)

A new planning application fee rule has been introduced which increases Medway Council's planning fee but also specifically a planning fee will now be required where permitted development rights have been removed (such as on St. Mary's Island).

Previously applications for things like sheds did not require a fee to be paid (if planning permission was only required because the permitted development rights have been taken away). This will no longer be the case from mid January 2018.

Medway Council aim to determine planning applications within 8 weeks for minor/other developments, 13 weeks for major applications and 16 weeks when accompanied with an environmental statement or within timescales agreed in writing by the applicant/agent and case officer.

To determine a planning application certain information is required.  You will find full guidance on

For example a planning application for a shed will require a completed Householder application form, a 1:1250 scale site location plan, a 1:200 or 1:500 scale block plan, elevations and floor plans, both at a scale of 1:100 or 1:50.

You can submit your application on paper or via the planning portal (  If you submit by paper you require 2 sets of document.

Householder application form,
This form is the first on the list of application forms titled ‘Planning Permission for works or extension to a dwelling’ under the householder development heading.  The application form needs to be completed; guidance on the questions can be found by clicking the question mark adjacent to the forms.

Site location Plan
This is a plan that identifies your property within its surrounding area.  A site location plan must be at a scale of 1:1250 show at least two main roads and surrounding building and the direction of North.  The properties shown should be numbered to ensure that the exact location of the application site is clear.  The application site must be clearly edged with a red line, including all land necessary to carry out the proposed development.  A blue line must be drawn around any other land owned by the applicant, close to or adjoining the application site.  
You may have a copy of these with your deeds, if the requirements above are met you can supply this, alternatively you can purchase a copy from

Block Plans
This is a plan that shows the layout of your site including the position of the shed.  Block plan must be at a scale of either 1:200 or 1:500 based on an up-to-date Ordnance Survey map.  Block plan must show all the features of the site e.g. buildings.
You can purchase the base line at the correct scale from and then draw the features on including the shed.

This is a scaled plan showing what the proposal is, for example for a shed the elevation would be at a scale of 1:100 or 1:50 and show the four sides of the shedThis would show all features including doors and windows.

Floor plans
This is a scaled plan showing the layout of the building, for example a shed would show the size and use of the shed including the position of doors and windows.  Floor plans must be at a scale of 1:100 or 1:50.  

You may wish to use as a tool to search for similar applications to your proposal.  In the case of a shed you could enter MC/15/3676 and see the above requirements in plan format.


Island Pharmacy changes its opening hours

As a result of "Medoc" moving to Gillingham Business Park, where there are several pharmacies nearby, the Island Pharmacy has changed its opening hours.

As from the 28th May 2016 the opening hours will be from 8:30a.m. to 6:30p.m. Monday to Friday. The pharmacy will be closed for lunch between 1:00p.m. and 2:00p.m. every day and no longer open at weekends and bank holidays.

Matthew thanks you for your support in the past and going forward.


Council adopt roads in Countryside Sector 1 and Barratts sector 5

Notices have gone up in Countryside Sector 1 that this sector's roads have now been adopted by the Council as have those in Sector 5 (Barratt’s).

Adopted roads so far include:
The Ring Road: Island Way West and Island Way East.

Countryside Sector 1:  The Crescent, Foxtail Close, Haven Way, Marine View, Meadowsweet View, The Pintails, Pochard Close, Sandling Way, The Whimbrells and Woodrush Place. 

Barratts Sector 5:  Bradfords Close, Cheldoc Rise and Goldcrest Drive.

As far as residents are concerned, this flags up a fundamental change in the reporting of issues associated with the roads and pavements, but not the landscaping yet in Sector 1.

Any issues regarding the roads and pavements but not the landscaping on adopted roads should contact David Dodd at Medway Council at: or mobile 07780 704199.

Any issues regarding the street lighting on adopted roads should be reported to Russell Taylor at Medway Council at:  or 01634 331404 (Note the number on the lamp standard before reporting).


Youth Club to reopen

The Youth Club has been closed for over a year and many young children between the ages of 10 and 14, both on and off St. Mary's Island, have been prevented from experiencing what many of us enjoyed and remember from our own younger days.    

We now have a Youth Worker funded by Chatham Maritime Trust, and plans are now underway to open the Club again on the 16th September. The Club opens on Friday evenings at the Community Centre between 7:00pm and 9:00pm but not in the holidays between terms.

We always need volunteers who can assist the youth worker in order to keep the club open. Volunteers who can give up their time for one Friday evening a month from 6:30 to 9:15pm are still needed to help set-up equipment and just keep a watch or get involved if they wish.

If you feel that you can give just one Friday a month for no more than nine months a year to this very important and worthwhile activity, please contact David Taylor on 01634 893447 or 07817 845402 or email  


Chatham Maritime Trust Food & Drink Festival goes from strength to strength

Food & Drink Festival 2016Food & Drink Festival 2016Food & Drink Festival 2016

Thousands attended the third Chatham Maritime Trust Food and Drink Festival held on the bank holiday weekend 28th-30th May 2016. People packed Dock Square and the south of Basin 2. The number of stalls selling food and drink was increased over 2015 with virtually every nationality of food represented and music was provided on the bandstand sponsored by Bose. The Rotary had their human fruit machine entertaining the crowds and raising money for charity.

Food & Drink Festival 2016Human Fruit MachineFood & Drink Festival 2016

On Sunday 29th, Medway Sunlight Rotary Club ran their Dragon Boat Challenge on Basin 2. The picture below is of the Kent Boat and Ski Club dragon boat well ahead of Mighty Frogs (ACS Imaging) and FM Conway. The Dragon Boat races were won by The Only Way is P-Way (Pod-Trak Ltd.) with Kent Boat and Ski Club second just 0.21 seconds behind them and ABC Networks in 3rd place.

Dragon Boat Race 2016

Kent Police are looking for volunteers to join the St. Mary's Island Speed Watch Group

Kent Police   Community Speed Watch (CSW) is an initiative that allows groups of residents to volunteer and contribute to the safety and quality of life on St. Mary's Island by helping to reduce excessive speeding on roads and particularly those vehicles crossing HMS Chatham Bridge onto the Island.   SpeedWatch
The objectives of Speed Watch are:

  • to increase the public awareness of speeding
  • to reduce deaths, injuries and collisions 
  • to improve the safety and quality of life on local communities

Operating a risk assessed roadside site during daylight in 30 miles per hour (mph) speed limits, a group typically of three Community Speed Watch volunteers monitors the speed of passing vehicles using a portable speed indication device. They record the speed and identify details of the vehicle travelling at or above the nationally specified speed threshold (35 mph). The registered keepers of vehicles observed repeatedly or speeding excessively (speed limit plus 50%) anywhere in Kent during a 12 month period are then sent warning letters and advice by Kent Police.    

Kent Police are looking for volunteers to join the St. Mary's Island Speed Watch Group.  Training will be given to interested residents.  To register your interest, please contact our PCSO, Helen Kristic by email:  


Planning Application MC/14/3433 for waste transfer station at end of St. Mary's Island

An application has been made to Medway Council for planning permission to change the use of a warehouse to a waste transfer station at Chatham Docks on the St. Mary's Island side. This has given rise to many concerns by residents and you may wish to comment on the planning application to Medway Council before the closing date of 20 April, 2015. St. Mary's Island residents have experienced many problems in the past (flies, dust and smells) from waste storage and sorting facilities sited at the east end of the Island.

The actual application form is not of a high standard and is full of contradictions. You may read it by clicking here (PDF).
According to the application form (above):

Section 10 – vehicle parking: there are no parking spaces for cars
However, a car park is shown on the plan as is a lorry park.

Section 19 – Employment: there are no employees

Section 20 – Hours of opening: there are no hours of opening

20 tonnes of hazardous waste are listed in Section 22 but in Section 23 it states that there will be no hazardous waste. This may well cause concerns for residents of the Island.

You can see the location and plans here:
Design Statement
Site Layout
Site Location Plan

You may wish to comment on the application to Medway Council and any comments should be in writing and reach the Council by 20 April, 2015. Please remember to include the planning application number MC/14/3433. All comments received will be published on the website and may be viewed by the public to comply with the Access to Information Act 1985. Please note that any comments received in a letter or email format do not require a signature. If you wish to email your comments please send as an attachment.

E-mail to
Visit their website - click here.
Send a letter to the address below:

Mary Smith
Planning Service
Housing and Regeneration
Regeneration, Community and Culture
Civic Headquarters
Gun Wharf
Dock Road
Kent ME4 4TR

PROPOSAL: Change of use from warehouse to waste transfer station


St Mary's Island - Shrubs being pruned for Flower Arranging

Someone is pruning large numbers of shrubs with secateurs and removing all foliage. It appears that the cuttings are being used for (commercial?) floristry, this is not a homeowner taking a few cuttings. This is not kids vandalising shrubs or shrubs being pruned as they are too high/in the way etc. They are being carefully pruned to remove foliage, far in excess of normal trimming.

This was first noticed last Friday at Dunlin Drive (Red Hebes, probably pruned to the point they will not re-generate) and Sandling Way (Brachyglottis Sunshine, which will probably recover).

Please keep a watch out and notify Yusuf Çinar (Community Officer), 01634 338163, or Grant Leathwhite (CMT Estates Officer) 07867 507187 if you see anything suspicious.


Works on St. Mary's Island

CMT's contractor, Turfsoil, will be carrying out maintenance in a number of areas across the estate including re-planting in SMI Shark Park Play Area and will start planting the wildlife area on Finsborough Down.

Remedial works to the paving around the Blue Crane will continue and the whole area will be closed to pedestrians for a week or so.

The remedial works to Finsborough Slipway, i.e. handrails, paved area and viewing platform are underway and the area will be closed to pedestrians for the next 2-3 weeks.

Painting and repairs to the Central Viewing Platform at the end of the Central Walk should be completed this week.

The Bell Mast will have scaffolding erected around it to enable painting of the mast.


Colonial House Planning Application

There is a proposal to demolish Colonial House and develop the site into mainly residential with a small retail element. Colonial House is the large redbrick building on the south side of Basin 2. SMIRA has sent a letter to the Planning Department of Medway Council with some of our concerns over the current proposal.

It is a reasonably dense development with 270 dwellings (the entire final phase of SMI developement will only be about 500 dwellings) which overlooks Dock Square and the design is not very attractive. Some of the blocks are quite high for their location with minimal landscaping.

You can read the letter by clicking here.


Outfall 15

The developer, Countryside Maritime, is due to start work on Outfall 15 on the Riverside Walk between the Blue Crane and The Causeway on Monday 1st December. This work is anticipated to take approximately six months.

Outfall 15 forms part of the enabling works for the final phase development of St. Mary's Island.

Should residents have any problems with these specific works, Daniel Nicholls from Raymond Brown contractors can be contacted by email or telephone:, 07867 577861.


Machine Shop No8

HCA's Consultant, Campbell Reith, has been conducting further inspections and analysis of the Machine Shop structure over the last few months to establish the extent of work required to bring it back into a serviceable condition.  Due to significant concerns about the structural integrity of the roof the building will have to be closed to the public for health and safety reasons.  Further evidence of corrosion has been found in particular joints in the roof and as such sections of metal could fall from the building posing a risk to the public.  These problems were not identified in previous inspections as the cracking resulting from the corrosion effects was hidden from view by the paint system.  Heras fencing will be erected around the structure and this will remain in place whilst the remedial work is carried out.         

Machine Shop No8


Riverside Walk Street Lighting

Groundworks, Chatham Maritime Trust's contactor, have started on the Riverside Walk street lighting on the stretch where there was previously no lights.

This will be a long project and will involve working around the works for Outfall 15 which Countryside's contractor is due to start in October.

Outfall 15 forms part of the enabling works for the final phase development of St. Mary's Island.

A residents has been in touch: "Just thought you may like to see this photo, lights just come on for the first time.
Good to see that the reflector has been fitted and all the light is pushed forward. Also LED and the
colour rendering is great, this will be great for those evening walks and to be able to see all the dog muck
and be able to avoid it."
Riber Walk lights

Concerns regarding an increase in flies on SMI

In recent weeks residents have reported a noticeable increase, from time to time, in the number of flies on SMI. This has been particularly unpleasant when taking advantage of the warmer weather and attempting to eat outdoors. Residents should know that SMIRA maintain a regular and good dialogue with the Environment Agency, who are responsible for protecting the quality of our environment and, where possible, ensuring that no commercial operation threatens our right to a healthy and nuisance-free way of life.

This was well demonstrated in recent years when, as a result of many complaints to the Environment Agency by residents, the recycling of wood products in Chatham Docks was terminated.

We are concerned that a recently approved increase in the scope of an Environment Agency permit issued to a new recycling company that has taken over an existing recycling operation in Chatham Docks is the cause of the reported increase in flies.

Whilst we are not, of course, suggesting that this action and operations is the cause of all flies and pests, it is important that the Environment Agency are made aware of any factual information regarding this matter.

SMIRA are therefore advising that, should any resident feel a noticeable increase of flies at any time, they should contact the Environment Agency at that time, recording their concerns.  Copy to:
Telephone the Environment Agency Hotline on 0800 80 70 60
Telephone Medway Council on: 01634 33 33 33


Problems with back-up of foul sewage on SMI

The foul sewage system on SMI, including the 3 pumping stations, is in the process of being adopted by Southern Water. This could take a few months yet and we know that some residents are finding difficulty in getting swift remedial action in the event of a blockage. SMIRA have taken this up with Southern Water who have advised that, until further notice, if residents experience this problem they must call:

WILLOW PUMPS on 01634 820840 or (out of hours) 07714 481182

Willow Pumps advise that they will send someone to check the reported fault within an hour.

Southern Water will eventually adopt the system, at which time any further problems must be reported directly to them. SMIRA will advise residents again once the adoption has taken place.

Please advise us by email on if you have any problems with this arrangement.


Changes to Security - A letter from the Interim CEO of Chatham Maritime Trust

Much has changed on the Chatham Maritime estate since the first residents moved into St Mary’s Island back in the 1990s. We are now approaching the final stages of the build and by 2019 we will have a ‘full-house’ of 1700 residences on the island alone, together with, south of the basins,  the universities’ campus, the Medway Police Station, the Dockside Outlet Centre, Dickens World and many other businesses, large and small.

Times have changed, needs have changed and technology has changed too – all of which have led the Trust to conduct a thorough review of the security measures in place across the estate. A task group was formed to conduct the review, which included a representative of SMIRA, .

Happily we can report that Chatham Maritime is a very safe place to live and work – in 2012 the crime rate was 27% lower than the national average. Nonetheless, as result of this review we are looking into enhancing and updating the security and safety facilities and we want to share our intentions with you.

All the CCTV cameras on the estate will be upgraded to current models with better night-time vision, better resolution and many with automatic number plate recognition. Additional cameras will be installed to cover the River Walk. Along with this new lighting will be installed along the River Walk where currently there is none. Many of the cameras will have remote on-line access for the public for the first time (except those overlooking children’s playgrounds) so that residents can see what’s going on from any computer.

Cameras will be monitored 24/7 by specialist local contractors who will respond on the ground within minutes when a problem is spotted. There will also be a public hotline to the control room to enable you to report any incidents or concerns 24/7.

Of course there will still be plenty of on the ground monitoring: a new Estates Officer will drive round the estate in the current badged vehicle, patrolling the open spaces and footpaths daily and checking the playgrounds and safety equipment. A vehicle security patrol will check the whole estate every evening and will lock the Community Centre when needed. The Trust will also offer to pay for full-time PCSO cover for the estate – increased from the half-time cover we have at present. Our maintenance and cleansing contractors will be out there as usual, providing another visible presence on the ground and reporting on any estate problems.

We are confident that this plan provides an exceptional degree of surveillance of the estate. Though immediate savings are only modest, the investment in the CCTV network will make the service affordable into the future.

As you may appreciate it will take a while to get these new proposals fully in place but our target is  to have everything set up and ready to go for April 2014. The contract for CCTV monitoring, response and patrol will be tendered in February 2014, allowing implementation and mobilisation time. As the plans progress we will make more information and regular updates available on the CMT web site and through SMIRA representatives.

Full details, such as the telephone number of the hotline, will be communicated to everyone living and working on the Chatham Maritime Estate in good time for the rollout of the new scheme.


Southern Water Surface Water Rebate

All the properties on St. Mary's Island have soakaways which drain either into the River Medway or the basins, therefore you do not have to pay for surface water drainage as rain water does not go into the public sewers. There is usually a charge of around £20 a year automatically put onto your bill for surface water drainage.

All residents will be getting a rebate and will be contacted by Southern Water before the end of April 2014. It is taking some time because Southern Water are investigating and contacting residents street by street. The have issued a letter which you should read by clicking here.

Should you have any queries please let Bob Muid know (Secretary, SMIRA) (

The rebates will be backdated to the date when Southern Water were first informed about the surface water drainage arrangements for the neighbouring properties. If your enquiry is the first it will be backdated to 1st April 2013, however some residents have been backdated to November 2010 and others to when their properties were built (those in Sector 2 - Redshank Road, Samphire Way, Woodlark Road).


Recycling Update, February 2014

Thank you to Medway residents for supporting weekly collections of recycling, food and garden waste

Recycling helps conserve natural resources, saves energy and reduces landfill 

Thank you to Medway residents for supporting the improved kerbside recycling collections.  From 28th October 2013 recycling, food and garden waste as well as refuse have been collected every week and it’s clear that residents are recycling more! 

Figures show that since the scheme started last October, an incredible 7,284 tonnes of waste was recycled in less than three months, compared to 5,733 tonnes in the same period the year before. 

Weekly recycling collections have been made possible by £14million worth of government funding won by Medway Council and Veolia Environmental Services.

Recycling and composting waste is around 50% cheaper than disposing of the same material in landfill or at an energy from waste plant.  For every tonne of waste landfilled, there is a £72 tax (£80 from 1st April 2014).  

For more information please visit

Audited recycling performance 2013-13

The DEFRA published recycling and composting rate for 2012-13 was 41% and this includes material collected at kerbside, recycling points and the three household waste recycling centres.  

Special offer to boost food recycling

From Monday 27 January, compostable kitchen caddy liners to take food leftovers can be bought at selected Medway libraries as part of a six-week trial.  The liners are £1.50 for 26, a competitive price to encourage more residents to recycle their food waste in their brown bins.

Libraries at Chatham Community Hub, Hoo, Rainham, Strood, Walderslade and Wigmore will stock them for a six-week trial. If successful, other libraries could be added.  While caddy liners are convenient, newspaper or kitchen roll can be used as an alternative.

Recycling food and garden waste

From the start of weekly collections the crews will collect up to the following amounts of garden and food waste per household:

1 brown wheeled bin and 2 additional open sacks of garden waste
4 open sacks of garden waste

Collecting garden waste is a service that councils can make an additional charge for outside of the council tax payment. The majority of councils within Kent charge extra for garden waste collections with charges for a fortnightly collection service ranging from £30 to £43 per wheeled bin each year. Not only have Medway continued to provide this service free of charge we have also increased the collection frequency to weekly, effectively doubling the number of collections and opportunities to dispose of garden and food waste.

In order to maintain this as a free service we need to ensure that the collections run as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. If garden waste allocation is not restricted, it would be impossible to plan the number of vehicles required to deliver the service. This uncertainty would mean more vehicles and crews needing to be on stand-by therefore incurring additional costs.

If residents regularly have extra garden waste and do not want to wait for the next scheduled weekly collection they may want to consider home composting.  Home composting provides residents with their own supply of nutrient rich compost and is the best way to deal with garden waste and various non-meat food wastes.  Discounted compost bins can be purchase from or by calling 0844 571 4444.  Alternatively residents can dispose of garden waste by taking it to any of Medway’s three household waste and recycling centres.

Bulk Collections and Reuse

Each household in Medway is entitled to one free collection of up to 3 non-electrical bulky items per year.   Extra collections cost £18 and an express service (within 48hrs) is available for £30.80. 

Electrical items are no longer accepted as part of our bulky collection service. All electrical items big or small can be collected from your home free by calling 01795 434126 or email

There are many charities and organisations that are able to take what you no longer want or need and give them a new home including Neighbourhood Furniture Store  (01795 478550).

Why is it important to sort your recycling?

Recycling helps conserve natural resources, saves energy and reduces landfill.  You can ‘do your bit’ by sorting all your recycling into the containers provided by the council.

  • Blue reusable bag: for all paper and card (e.g. newspapers, cardboard tubes, egg boxes, junk mail, takeaway menus, etc.)
  • White reusable bag & clear sack: for all glass bottles/jars, plastic bottles and rigid household plastic packaging, metal food and drink cans, empty aerosols and clean foil
  • Brown wheelie bin: for garden waste and food waste (e.g. dead flowers, pruning’s, vegetable peelings, fish and meat bones, teabags, plate scrapings, etc)

Separated clean paper and card is cheaper to recycle because it doesn’t need to go through a mechanised sort process. Its purity tends to be higher and so becomes more attractive for industry to use, resulting in the material being recycled nearer to home. In the absence of paper and cardboard, other recyclables are also cheaper to sort. If all paper and cardboard was presented separately (in the reusable blue bag), around £1million of your Council-tax money could be saved each year.

By agreeing to collect paper and cardboard separately, Medway, in partnership with Veolia, have been able to accept a wider range of plastic packaging for recycling in the white reusable bags and clear plastic sacks. This improvement was put in place in direct response to request received from residents.

For more information on all the materials that can be recycled at kerbside, at our household waste & recycling centres, reused or home composted please visit


Thefts from vehicles

Just to make you aware that there were two thefts from vehicles on the Island overnight. Please remember to lock your car and make it as secure as possible.


Vehicle crime often happens when people leave their belongings on display for others to see. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a thief to break in to your car or vehicle and steal your property.

Follow these simple guidelines to reduce the risk of you becoming a victim of this type of crime:

  • remove all valuables including portable sat nav systems, mobile phones and laptops, even if you’re only away from your vehicle for a few minutes
  • clean suction marks from your windscreen if using a portable sat nav – these show a potential thief that it might still be inside
  • don’t hide valuables in the boot or glove compartment as these are the first places a thief will look
  • thieves steal number plates to use in other crimes, you can fit tamper proof number plate screws to help prevent this.

Has anyone tried to sell you a second-hand sat nav system or other electronic equipment in unusual circumstances? If so, contact your local police station or call 101 and report what has happened. You can also call Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Kent Police Visit the Kent Police website for more crime prevention information and details of your local police station.



Street Lights

We have received a communication from Russell Taylor, Assistant Engineer Street Lighting:

I have noticed from a recent night scout report that the seven lights (IWW021, IWW023, IWW025, IWW028, IWW029, IWW031, IWW032) on Island Way West just past the school are still out.

Our contractor has attended a couple of times to try through a process of elimination to locate what is happening with these lights. I know they have upgraded the fusing in the feeder pillar, but that repair obviously did not last very long.

They have now informed me that they believe there is a private cable fault between the feeder pillar located opposite Main Street and the first lamp column out (IWW032), a distance of around 35 metres.

Rather than try and locate the fault and put a new joint on the cable, which I don't want to do because a lot of the cable either runs under a planted area of bushes, or goes across the carriageway to IWW032, I have ordered them to locate the duct and feed complete new cable.

I was hoping to give you a definite date when this is to be done, but I am still waiting for a date from our contractor (who I am chasing).

Please accept my apologies for the delay, but as soon as I get a date, I will inform you.


Highway improvements and carriage resurfacing works

Medway Council is due to commence works to construct a central island on Maritime Way to prevent right turns for traffic coming off the Island and trying to go to the Ship & Trades on Monday 2nd December.  The work is scheduled for completion on 10th December. There will be traffic controls in situ (two-way signals) manually operated at peak times. 

Highway improvements and carriage resurfacing works are to be carried out in Bradfords Close, Cheldoc Rise and GoldcrestDrive.  Volker Highways Ltd on behalf of Medway Council intend to undertake repairs to the highway which will affect users of the highway.  Footpath improvement works are to be conducted between 8am and 4pm from Monday 11th November with an estimated duration of 3 weeks.  The contractor will endeavour to maintain access to the footpaths but due to the nature of the works this may be disrupted at certain periods. 

Carriage resurfacing works to Goldcrest Drive will be carried out between 8 am and 4pm on Monday 25th November.  The road will have to be closed during the working hours but the contractor will maintain access to the road when possible but again, due to the nature of the works, this may be disrupted at certain times.  During the course of the resurfacing works it will be necessary to restrict on street parking although access to properties will be maintained during the works when safe to do so.  Volker Highways apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused by these works.


Public consultation on environmental permit application at Chatham Docks

Public consultation is continuing on the Environment Agency's decision to transfer and vary an
Environmental Permit to Street Fuel Limited – a new operator at the Chatham Dockyard site in Kent.
Street Fuel Limited has applied for a transfer application for the site currently operated by Nordic
Recycling Limited. A further application has been made by Street Fuel Ltd to vary the permit, which will
allow additional types of waste to be treated at the site (such as construction and demolition materials, metals and mixed municipal household wastes i.e. black sacks).

The Environment Agency are minded to grant the application (see their report). The public may still make representations via the EA website and the closing date for comments has been extended to 28 February 2014. Most of our objections have been overruled in their report.

The application would allow processing of dusty construction materials, noisy metal work and malodorous recycling of household waste.

If varied, the Environmental Permit will continue to ensure the site is run without causing harm to the
environment and human health.

Area Environment Manager Rob Wise said: "An environmental permit sets out stringent operational
conditions that a site must adhere to. We monitor these conditions and will take action to ensure that
standards are maintained. We will not transfer or vary an environmental permit, for any site, if we
consider it will harm human health or cause significant pollution to the environment."

"We want to work with the local community to make sure that this site is run in a considerate way. Giving
people the chance to come and speak to us and find out more information is a vital part of our
consultation process. Having an open dialogue with residents gives us the opportunity to understand
and address their concerns."

At these meetings details of the application can be viewed (also see below) and officers of the Environment Agency will be on hand to answer questions and receive comments / objections.

These arrangements have been put in place following exchanges between the Environment Agency and SMIRA. SMIRA would encourage residents to attend and register their concerns.

Details of the application can be viewed below (some of these files are big - size indications noted):

Due to the previous amenity issues and high public interest from operations in the Dockyard,  the Environment Agency asked the operator to submit a separate odour, dust and management plan (see above), to protect the environment and local community. 

You will see from the application that one of the directors does not have a good track record in that he was prosecuted for the illegal tipping of a controlled waste in 2010.

It is important that individuals lodge any objections as the more people respond the more the Environment Agency will take note. It is likely (due to the responses they've had already) that the consultation period will be extended.

After discussions between Jon Griffin at the Environment Agency (EA) and our councillors Andrew Mackness and Criag Mackinlay and David Taylor of SMIRA, we can confirm that the EA are willing for the  consultation to be extended until END OF SEPTEMBER 2013 and that the EA are also willing to carry out a full consultation on St. Mary's Island to ensure a thorough process is followed.

Please see a letter from Mark Reckless MP, to David Taylor (SMIRA) explaining that he is to join our Councillors in making formal representations in support of residents and against the application.

To take part in the consultation, please use the following link:


Arriva Buses

SMIRA have worked hard with Arriva Buses and Medway Council to improve the bus service to and from St. Mary's Island. The Council are funding a Saturday service for the Island on a use it or lose it basis.

Bus Timetable page 1 .PDF (very large file) 1.3Mb

Bus Timetable page 2 .PDF (very large file) 0.9Mb


Maintenance works on St. Mary's Island

Work is to commence on extensive remediation of the trench drains on Finsborough Down. Be aware of moving plant machinery. 

River Wall works.  The HCA has confirmed that the contractor, FM Conway Ltd, has recently been appointed to conduct remedial works to the river wall extending from the Blue Crane (located west of St. Mary's Island) down to the Historic Dockyard.  The works include both riverside and landside repair works to the wall in preparation for handover to Chatham Maritime Trust next year.  Works have started and are programmed to be completed early next year.  


Machine Shop No. 8 

This is the open framed building adjacent to the Dockside Outlet Centre.  This has been closed for a while now due to concerns over the safety of pedestrians walking below the structure.  Inspections by the HCA early in 2013 indicated that parts of the roof structure were corroding and some smaller sections had already fallen off.  The decision was therefore taken to close the structure until emergency remedial works could be designed and conducted to halt the immediate corrosion of affected elements and to repair the sections that were considered at risk of falling away from the structure.  The HCA has confirmed that design of the emergency repair works has now been completed by their consultants and that a contractor is being sought to carry out the works at the earliest possible opportunity. 


Sector 4F Properties go on sale

The last phase of building in the fishing village will begin soon and the properties have gone on sale. The site plan can be viewed here

Sector 4F

Sector 4F has planning permission to build 15 dwellings with garages, associated parking and amenity spaces. Details of the original planning application of 2008 can be found here.

The site layout is available as a PDF (very large file) by clicking here.



Before each SMIRA meeting, at 6:00-6:45pm in the Meeting Room of the SMI Community Centre there will be a residents' surgery.

There will be a CMT representative, a ward councillor and a representative from SMIRA present at the surgeries to answer questions and help residents with problems. CMT will also possibly arrange a couple of Saturdays throughout the year as the Saturday surgeries proved popular.


New bus stop at Tappan Drive

On Wednesday 26th June Medway Council will start the construction of a bus stop on Island Way West at the junction west of Tappan Drive.  Works should be completed by Friday 28th June.  There will be traffic control signals (2 way signals) in operation at off peak hours.   


Look out for the Brown Tail Moth

It is brown, hairy with two orange spots on the lower part of its back. It poses a hazard to animals and people as the hairs can cause rashes, breathing difficulties and skin irritation. If you see it on any part of the Estate, please report it to Chatham Maritime Trust on 01634 891888.

If Island residents find it in their gardens, then call Fen Pest Control on 01580 754839 to clear shrubbery and spray infested areas (residents will be charged a reduced rate).


Radar speed signs for the Island - and consultation

Since August 2012 residents have asked that we try to do something about cars speeding onto the island.

SMIRA has found a radar speed sign which shows the car’s speed and if it’s over 30mph it also shows SLOW DOWN. It is designed and built in the UK and complies with all current regulations. SMIRA has funded the purchase of one sign and Chatham Maritime Trust have funded a similar sign.

Medway Council have rejected permanent installations for the signs; they only service signs which they purchase but which were too expensive for us. However, they have suggested that we move our signs to various locations on the island so that drivers don't get too familiar with their positions. To this end the Council are willing to install posts for us. So that we can move the signs we are having them converted to solar power which will only cost us approximately £100 etxra.

Speed sign

In order to determine residents wishes for the location of the speed signs SMIRA are conducting a consultation.

On the map below, the potential locations for the radar speed signs are marked as red boxes. We would like your opinion on these and any other potential locations. Please email with your comments by Tuesday 2nd July 2013..

SMI map

Cllr. Andrew Mackness is willing to contribute to the installation of the signs. David Taylor (Chairman of SMIRA) wants to acknowledge the co-operation between SMIRA, CMT and our councillors in order to progress this project.


Recent burglaries on St. Mary's Island

Although St. Mary's Island is a low crime area, in February 2013 there were a small number of burglaries on the island. These have generally but not exclusively resulted in the theft of cars. The perpetrator has been apprehended.

Our PCSO, Sue Kemsley, has asked SMIRA to "put out" the following communication to residents to remind them about security and safety.

Following a small number of burglaries / thefts on SMI Medway Police advise residents of the following:

  • Be vigilant in your security regarding both your house, garage and vehicle.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are locked. Remember: burglars can gain entry to your property even through very small spaces
  • Don't leave keys in obvious hiding places or near doors and make sure they are kept out of sight
  • Consider outside lighting or CCTV. It keeps would be thieves at bay.
  • If you see anything suspicious actually taking place then call 999
  • If you wish to report something you saw or know about but the crime is not actually taking place call the non emergency number on 101

PCSO Sue Kemsley together with Grant Leathwhite of CMT Land Management will be carrying out a focussed walkabout on SMI over the next few days.

This will involve the checking of car doors to see if they are locked, checking for open windows on properties that appear vacant, and labelling any items, such as bicycles, that appear to be left unattended and attractive to potential thieves.

Please make sure you secure your bicycles, lock your cars and houses.

SMIRA would like to thank Medway Police and CMT for their urgent and constructive approach to this very unfortunate occurrence.

Finally, SMIRA would like to make a timely reminder to residents that, if they wish, they can form a Neighbourhood Watch Group in addition to those that already exist on SMI by contacting our PCSO Sue Kemsley on 07772226226.


Final phase build-out on St. Mary’s Island

Countryside Maritime Limited (CML), a joint venture between Countryside Properties and the landowners, Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), working in partnership with PCKO Architects, have unveiled their plans for the final phase build out on St. Mary’s Island and made a public presentation at the SMI Community Centre on Thursday 10th January 2013.  

The entire St. Mary's Island site has planning permission for 1,700 homes plus a range of community facilities. To date, 1,361 properties have been constructed leaving 339 homes to be agreed. The aim is to submit a planning application by the end of February 2013. This would include a proportion of affordable housing and potentially new community facilities such as a small café, restaurant, a community office and extra care housing to enable elderly people to live as independently as possible on the island.

Some of the proposals are controversial as far as some residents are concerned and one of our local Councillors, Andrew Mackness, has serious concerns about the amount of social housing proposed (28.61% in the final phase). Although social housing is very important, because of the way the island was built out, the last phase has more affordable housing than the earlier phases and this could dramatically change the demographic.

There are also issues that residents brought up at the SMIRA meeting on Tuesday 15th January. Because of these it was proposed that SMIRA set out the objections and encourage all residents to write to, or email, Cllr. Andrew Mackness as soon as possible (before the end of February).

To this end we have presented the facts below and put together some points and arguments you may want to consider in your communication with Cllr. Mackness.

Cllr. Andrew Mackness writes:

As you will be aware there has been much concern raised by residents about the build out of SMI in relation to affordable property which was originally highlighted by myself.  Much of these concerns were voiced at the consultation.  I have raised this issue on many occasions and will continue to do so along with Craig (Cllr. Mackinlay), to support residents’ concerns that we share.

Irrespective of the planning permission already granted a number of years ago, it cannot be right to allow any density of affordable housing to increase above current levels already established on the island, if the quality of the island and a lifestyle which people have bought into, is not to be affected in a negative way.  We must all work together to achieve the best outcome possible for all residents.

Whilst much has been achieved by SMIRA and the Councillors in River Ward to reduce the build out figure of around 28.61% affordable against the current levels of 12.45%, to 13.26%, with the introduction of an Extra Care Facility, we must not necessarily stop negotiations there. We should try to ensure the balance of affordable is further reduced as it seems are the wishes of many residents. Perhaps more elderly would assist in addition to those we have already secured to offset the affordable elements.

I would suggest that we await the detailed results of the consultation and then decide a move forward which could involve a petition of some nature that Craig and I could present at full council.


CML’s proposals regarding the social housing
It is the intention of CML to provide the quota of affordable housing that is set out in the original outline planning approval and associated s106 Agreement.

To summarise – to date the following numbers have been developed:
Private Dwellings - 1,118  Affordable Dwellings - 159  Total Dwellings - 1,277        
Affordable Percentage - 12.45%

The following are currently under construction or have full planning permission:
Private Dwellings - 84   Affordable Dwellings – 0  Total Dwellings – 84 
Affordable Percentage - 0%

The remainder that benefits only from the Outline Permission is as follows:
Private Dwellings - 242   Affordable Dwellings – 97  Total Dwellings – 339 
Affordable Percentage - 28.61%

Therefore the total numbers will be:
Private Dwellings - 1,444   Affordable Dwellings – 256  Total Dwellings - 1,700
Affordable Percentage - 15.06%

On this basis as set out above there are 97 affordable housing units that need to be provided. CML are looking at providing 60 of these within an Extra Care Facility, for the elderly and people with disabilities, which would have a number of benefits including the following:

  • It will help to build on the existing community facilities (school, surgery, pharmacy and community centre) creating a central hub on the Island.
  • It will build on the sustainability of the community as a whole.
  • It reduces the level of traditional affordable housing to be provided on the remainder of the Island.

When this proposed facility is taken into account it would leave 37 affordable units to be provided from the remaining 279 units which is a level of 13.26%.

Care will be taken to ensure these are located to ensure they are not fronting areas of public realm in order to alleviate concerns raised about lack of maintenance to front gardens on these properties, for example where they are located on the Central Walk.

In addition there may also be some scope to look at the split of the tenures (i.e. rented and shared ownership) of affordable housing being provided between the traditional affordable housing and the Extra Care Facility. CML are in discussions with Medway Council about these issues.

Points and arguments:
Both CML and Cllr. Mackness are keen on the Extra Care Facility for the elderly and people with disabilities. This is not a private ‘warden controlled sheltered housing’ scheme where people buy an apartment in the complex; it is a rented apartment scheme run by a social landlord (such as Century 21). The landowners (HCA) are also in favour of such a facility so, although SMIRA can’t be given any assurances at this stage, it is relatively likely that such a facility will gain planning permission. At the last SMIRA meeting Jill Brotherwood, from Moat Housing, raised the fact that the elderly were being encouraged to remain in their own homes where they could be cared for more cheaply. However, the HCA is a government body and they have said that there is money that can be applied for to support extra care facilities.

Some residents, at the SMIRA meeting, stated that when they purchased their houses, in the first phases, they were told that SMI would be a flagship development with no social housing. Whether there is any evidence for this is yet to be determined.

It should be considered that, whilst Medway Council have a policy for all developments to have 25% affordable housing, when the final phase on SMI is built the total number of affordable homes across the island would only be 15.06%.

Jill Brotherwood (Moat Housing) has said that almost 50% of the social housing on SMI is shared ownership and it may be possible to increase this number in the final phase proportion of social housing. This is something residents may want to stress in their communication with Cllr. Mackness.


We had thought about doing a template letter for residents but when members of Council planning committee get lots of the same letter it has less impact than residents saying the same thing but in their own words. However, we have put together some ideas below:

Dear Councillor Mackness

I am a resident of St. Mary’s Island and am concerned about certain aspects of the proposed masterplan for the final phase build-out on the island.

The first is the proportion of social housing in the final phase which is nearly 30%. I am aware that the developers, CML, are proposing to build an extra care facility for the elderly and disabled which would subsume 60 of the 97 social housing units. I am in favour of such a scheme.

I would like to see the balance between rented and shared ownership tip in the favour of the latter as residents would then take a more active interest in keeping their outside areas tidy and attractive…

Emails should be sent to:
Letters should be sent to: 4 Church Lane The Historic Dockyard Chatham Kent ME4 4LF


Cllr. Andrew Mackness has concerns about the levels of affordable housing in the final phase

Affordable housing will eventually be 15.06% across the island and in the final phase of build out it will be 28.61% because there is some catch up to be made. An accurate breakdown of the numbers of affordable housing on the island is presented below.

Councillor Andrew Mackness has concerns about the high levels of affordable housing in the last phase. Although social housing is very important, because of the way the island was built out, the last phase has more affordable housing (28.61%) than the earlier phases and this could dramatically change the demographic. He has suggested that we could lobby for elderly assisted accommodation as an alternative to social housing.

If members of SMIRA would like to lobby Andrew Mackness about their concerns about the density of social housing in the final phase, he will seriously take it forward. It may be also useful to include Dave Harris, Development Manager at Medway Council in any communication. It would be better for individuals to lobby Andrew rather than just have SMIRA make a representation.

CML have addressed Cllr Mackness's and SMIRA's concerns, as in their presented masterplan there is shown an extra care facility for the elderly. However, there is no guarantee that Medway Planning Committee would approve the extra care facility as there are quite a lot in medway already.

The final phase of development is likely to take 5-10 years as it will be market driven. For the first time SMIRA (David Taylor) has been invited to attend meetings at the masterplan level along with the developers, the council and CMT. The proposals to come out of that meeting will be presented to the public from 9:00am to 9:00pm on Thursday 10th January 2013 at the St. Mary's Island Community Centre.

The social housing on the island is likely to be under the control of Moat Housing and they generally have more control over social housing than shared equity housing.

CML addresses Cllr Mackness's and SMIRA's concerns

Andrew Usher from Countryside Maritime Ltd (CML) has provided us with a full breakdown of the numbers of affordable and private dwellings. It remains the intention of CML to provide the quota of affordable housing that is set out in the outline planning approval and associated s106 Agreement.

To summarise – to date the following numbers have been developed:
Private Dwellings - 1,118
Affordable Dwellings - 159
Total Dwellings - 1,277
Affordable Percentage - 12.45%

The following are currently under construction or have full planning permission:
Private Dwellings - 84
Affordable Dwellings – 0
Total Dwellings – 84
Affordable Percentage - 0%

The remainder that benefits only from the Outline Permission is as follows:
Private Dwellings - 242
Affordable Dwellings – 97
Total Dwellings – 339
Affordable Percentage - 28.61%

Therefore the total numbers will be:
Private Dwellings - 1,444
Affordable Dwellings – 256
Total Dwellings - 1,700
Affordable Percentage - 15.06%

On this basis as set out above there are 97 affordable housing units that need to be provided. CML are looking at providing 60 of these within an Extra Care facility which would have a number of benefits including the following:

  • It will help to build on the existing community facilities (school, surgery, pharmacy and community centre) creating a central hub on the Island.
  • It will build on the sustainability of the community as a whole.
  • It reduces the level of traditional affordable housing to be provided on the remainder of the Island.

When this proposed facility is taken into account it would leave 37 affordable units to be provided from the remaining 279 units which is a level of 13.26%.

Care will be taken to ensure these are located to ensure they are not fronting areas of public realm in order to alleviate concerns raised about lack of maintenance to front gardens on these properties, for example where they are located on the Central Walk.

In addition there may also be some scope to look at the split of the tenures (i.e. rented and shared ownership) of affordable housing being provided between the traditional affordable housing and the Extra Care Facility. CML are in discussions with Medway Council about these issues.

CML, therefore, seem to have taken onboard comments about the development and have presented a proposal which addresses our current concerns.


St. Mary's Island Community Centre - Parking restrictions

The Community Centre Car park signs are now up and tickets can be issued to drivers who are illegally parked. Having listened to the concerns of residents, anyone may park in the car park as long as they are safely within a bay. Commercial vehicles and overnight parking are not allowed. CMT are still waiting for details of the drop off marshalling proposal from the school.

CMT are hoping that they will not need to issue any parking tickets and that the signs are sufficient to ensure people park safely. Any legitimate user of the Community Centre who receives a penalty notice can appeal, in the first place, to CMT.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is Chatham Maritime Trust considering imposing parking restrictions at the Community Centre?
A: We have received a number of complaints from paying users of the centre that they cannot park when attending meetings or classes. The Doctors surgery has also commented that their allocated spaces are often used by those not visiting the surgery.

Q: What is the aim of imposing parking restrictions?
A: To prevent the persistent misuse of the car park. We do not intend to stop genuine users of the Centre and Doctor Surgery from parking.

Q: What restrictions are proposed?
A: Permit Parking only between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Q: Who will be entitled to park in the car park?
A: All current users of the Community Centre and Doctors surgery patients, so long as they park within a bay.

Q: Will there be an Appeals process?
A: Yes. If you contact CMT on the date of issuing the parking ticket and you have a valid reason to be parked in the car park, the ticket can be waived. If after the date of issue or if you are not a user of the Centre or the Doctors surgery you can Appeal direct to UK Parking.


Installation of a new bus shelter at 'Stones Roundabout':

On Thursday 13th December the new bus sheter at Stones Roundabout was installed. Both the purchase and installation were financed by our River-Ward Councillors, Andrew Mackness and Craig McKinley, from their ward fund. Our thanks go to both Andrew and Craig for this very generous gesture.

In addition, SMIRA is in discussion with the Council to get a system of telemetry installed on the Island bus stops.


Adoption of SMI Secondary Roads:

Whilst the adoption of the ring road is underway, SMIRA will continue to work with Medway Council to progress the adoption of the Island secondary roads and, in addition to CML, both Redrow and Barratt’s will be invited to such future meetings in order to include their developments in this objective. This process will take some time but SMIRA is determined to ensure that all SMI roads are adopted as soon as possible and will keep you advised of progress.


Adoption of Island Way West / Island Way East - location of double yellow lines

The resurfacing of the ring road is complete. The small roundabout near Fisherman’s Village will be dealt with once the final phase of building work in the vicinity has been completed. Once all the remedial works have been completed the ring road will be adopted by Medway Council and this is expected by the end of June 2013.

Parking restrictions will be introduced on and near the school roundabout and on the ring road at the pinch point (where there is only room for one vehicle to proceed at a time).

SMIRA representatives, Councillor Andrew Mackness, Kerry Rudge (CMT), Sue Kemsley (PCSO) and Yusuf Çinar (Assistant Community Officer) met with a council officer and representatives from Arriva (the bus company) to determine the position of the new double yellow lines to be painted on the island roads. Consideration of sight lines was paramount, particularly at the point where the ring road crosses Central Walk. There have been many issues with cars parking in such a way that the buses cannot proceed around the island.

Recently there was a problem with a car parked near the school, blocking the road and preventing a fire engine getting to a callout on the island. An altercation occurred between the car driver and the firemen and eventually the car was moved. However, this sort of thing must be prevented in the future.

As part of the consultation process we have the maps showing the positions of the parking restrictions:
1. Area surrounding the roundabout near the school
2. Island Way West/Island Way East where it crosses Central Walk
3. Island Way West between Redshank Road and Partridge Drive

From a survey SMIRA conducted on the Traffic Regulation Orders many residents were concerned about speeding on Maritime Way and from the 'Stones Roundabout' to Restharrow Way. Although a majority have requested a lowering of the speed limit on the island to 20mph we have been told that a 20mph speed limit on the island would only be advisory and not enforceable.

The results of the survey are as follows:
63% wanted a maximum speed of 20mph and 37% 30mph.
73% wanted double yellow lines near the school; 27% didn’t.
92% were in favour of re-introducing the walking school bus.
80% were in favour of putting double yellow lines where the ring road crosses Central Walk.

SMIRA are working with our new PCSO, Sue Kemsley, to do speed surveys on the roads that residents were most concerned about. A temporary radar sign will be used to indicate speed and drivers exceeding the speed limit will be noted. It is intended to deploy this at Maritime Way on the island side of the bridge and on Island Way East.


Maintenance of the roadside landscaping:

The ongoing maintenance of the roadside landscaping to a fair and achievable standard, although not part of the road adoption requirement, also formed part of the agenda for our meetings with the Council. I am sure that most residents will acknowledge the very considerable improvement in the standard of our ring road landscaping and that it now appears to be regularly maintained. Much of this has been achieved as a result of the proactive approach to residents problems of Andrew Mackness who has proven a very valuable asset in working with SMIRA in the delivery of residents expectations. In addition to the good offices of Medway Council in bringing the parties together, I also want to acknowledge the efforts and goodwill of both C M L and the HCA, who have now succeeded SEEDA as joint developers of both the larger part and the remainder of St Mary’s Island.

SMIRA, along with Councillor Mackness, will now be monitoring the maintained quality of the ring road landscaping during a trial twelve month period and we will meet with Countryside and walk the Island on a regular basis to review the situation. In the case of the Countryside developed sectors this trial period extends to the secondary roads but SMIRA are now looking to engage with both Redrow and Barratt’s to explore improvements in the maintenance of the landscaping on the secondary roads in those sectors also.

Given the hard work and goodwill shown by all so far to achieve the improvements to our cherished roadside landscaping (Street Scene) that we see today, and to help SMIRA maintain the moral high ground in these matters, I would like to gently remind Island residents that many Island properties have strips of land forming part of the roadside landscaping which sit between the road and the footpath and the footpath and their boundaries. Many owners are not aware that they are responsible for the upkeep of these areas and some have therefore become neglected.

If you are unsure of the land you are responsible for you should consult your Deeds or contact the Land Registry. Chatham Maritime Trust holds some copies of the property transfer documents and may be able to assist. So you are aware, property owners do have an obligation, under the property covenants set out in the property Deeds, to maintain that landscaping and their front gardens to a fair and pleasant standard, thereby maintaining our street scene.

On behalf of SMIRA, the representative body of which many Island residents are members, I would like to appeal to all residents to maintain their frontages and, where applicable, these additional areas of landscaping in their ownership, and to please “do their bit” and discharge their responsibility for the benefit of us all.

Finally, I want to recognise the part played by Chatham Maritime Trust and to thank the staff for supporting and helping SMIRA to achieve our objectives and I think it reassuring that Chatham Maritime Trust, which recently took over from CML the ownership of the Shark Park play area and the Neighbourhood Centre, the area where the Community Centre is located, will now be able to play a fuller role in our Island Community.

David Taylor, SMIRA Chairman



Peel Ports Recycling Activities - January 2012

Recycling at Chatham Docks of various materials and wood-chip in particular.

SMIRA have been advised by James Whittaker, Development Director of Peel Land and Property, that the lease to Peel Ports to operate, manufacture and ship wood-chip in and out of Chatham Docks will be terminated at the end of March 2012.

In addition, SMIRA have been informed by the Environment Agency that the comprehensive recycling permit application, which also included baled paper, bio fuel and soil remediation, has been withdrawn by the Company in its entirety. This does not necessarily mean of course that the recycling of some of these materials will not continue in some form.

SMIRA will of course continue to engage with both Peel and the Environment Agency through the quarterly forum that has now been set up by Peel and meets again at the beginning of February.

Finally, SMIRA would like to thank Peel Land and Property for their considered actions and continuing to engage with us, the Environment Agency, our local councillors, our MP, Mark Reckless, local stakeholders and those residents who took action, over the wood-chip processing in particular, for the benefit of all.

David Taylor



Important Information Regarding Waste Collection from Medway Council - January 2012

I contact you with regards to the refuse collection service that takes place on St Mary's Island. It has been brought to the attention of the council that some of the residents on the island have purchased wheeled bins for their domestic household waste which is being presented in the bin on collection day.

Medway Council operates a kerbside sack collection for domestic waste which has been scheduled into our current contract and priced for accordingly, unfortunately, we cannot continue to empty waste from wheeled containers and as such are writing to all residents to explain that waste must be presented in sacks. The wheeled bins can be used for storing waste but the contents must be placed out by the resident in a sack on the day of collection.

Medway Council has introduced a garden and kitchen waste collection service, residents that have a brown bin for garden waste can now also place food waste into this bin for collection, we will be including information about this service with the letter.

Any spillages that occur as part of the collection services should be cleared at the time of collection and we would welcome any feedback regarding this so we can ensure that the service is carried out as it should be.

If you wish to discuss the matter further please contact me on 333008 or Amy Mason senior contracts officer on 333547 The monitoring officer for your area is amergit.biringh@medway telephone 333603

Miss M Chambers
Contract Services Manager - Waste Services Department
Front Line Services
Medway Council






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