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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone East Edition September 2011 No.173 Commercial schemes may threaten landscape and homes along M20 corridor

Quarrying plan could be ‘detrimental’

PROPOSALS to quarry sand from more than 60 hectares of land on two different sites in Lenham are being strongly op- posed by villagers. Plans have been unveiled to extract sand from a 58.7-hectare site at Chapel Farm, which fronts sections of Lenham Heath Road and a part of Bull Hill, and a 3.9-hectare square plot at Boltons Field, which borders Rose Lane and Lenham Forstal Road. Both locations are surrounded

by homes. Local county coun- cillor Jenny Whittle, who has

been in contact with concerned residents, has sent written ob- jections to KCC, which is re- viewing its minerals policy. She believes that if either of

the schemes go ahead it is “likely to have a highly detri- mental impact on [residents’] quality of life and the value of their properties, as well as cre- ate damage to the environment, historical landscape and local economy”. The two schemes could pro-

duce an estimated 4.5mil- lion tonnes of sand and gravel. Chapel Farm landowner Andy

PLANS for an energy-from-waste plant near Leeds Castle could threaten its future as a major tourist attraction, it is claimed. Leeds Castle Foundation has made a “strenuous objection” to KCC, which is currently reviewing itswaste site options, one ofwhich was submitted by Sheppy Ltd for a 2.5-hectare site parallel to the castle’s car parks, in Ashford Road, near Holling- bourne. It would recover energy from waste construc-

tion wood, with a capacity of 250,000 tonnes a year. The castle’s chief executive Victoria Wallace

said: “It is inconceivable that such a facility could be located directly adjacent to this sort of heritage

Church’s splash hit!

Landowner Andy Barr says the Chapel Farm development would only take place once this existing quarry in nearby Lenham Forstal Road is closed

Barr believes the fears are based on “misconceptions”. Full story – pages 12 and 13.

Castle fury over waste site idea

property without causing adverse effect. “Loss of business as a result would jeopardise

the charity’s ability to maintain the castle, plac- ing its very future in danger.” In an email to Hollingbourne Parish Council,

Mrs Wallace described it as “the stuff of night- mares”. Mrs Wallace said: “The ground water and spring systems across the area all flow into the park, and converge in the Len Valley. Significant work has been done by the Foundation to ensure the water’s quality, which could be completely undermined by run-off from stored waste for in- cineration on the plant. The castle also uses ground water for all its domestic water supply;

ADAM Collett is a picture of happiness as he splashes water in his back garden. His joy is all thanks to the generosity of Bearsted Com- munity Church, which funded the special sand- and-water table. Adam’s wheelchair fits under it. The disabled five-year-old is a pupil at Five Acre

Wood School for children with severe learning problems. His mum Sally Collett said: “He has sensory processing dis- orders so this sand-and-water table is amazing for him.” It was purchased with money from a sponsored bike

ride by church members. Sally, who attends the church’s monthly coffee mornings at

Cafe Madginford, said: “The church has been so supportive and I have made friends, whose children play with Adam.” As a special treat, Sally was given vouchers to spend at Bluewater. A £520 cheque was also presented to Stuart King, who

heads a group called Total Impact, which works with disad- vantaged children on Maidstone estates.

OAK AND PINE The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 0800 652 0102 Digital Solutions Ltd

the risk of cross contamination is a major threat.” The objection


cludes: “The Foundation con- sider it imperative that this site be deemed absolutely inappro- priate for waste management.” Local county councillor Jenny Whittle has also opposed the proposals. An appraisal of the site by

KCC says there would be “po- tential impacts on landscape, biodiversity and heritage”. The Grade I-listed castle attracts over 600,000 visitors a year and employs more than 250 people.

Village shop raided P4

High Street makeover begins

THE political arguments are being replaced by temporary traffic lights, road closures and diversions Yes, the contractors are mov-

ing in to the High Street. The sound of pneumatic drills and mechanical diggers are herald- ing the long-anticipated re- vamp of what used to be the vibrant heart of the town but is now a poor relation to the shopping axis ofFremlinWalk, Week Street and The Mall. Work on Phase 1 of the proj-

ect – from Mill Street to The Mall – began on Monday, Sep- tember 5, andwill be complete by next summer. Inevitably, some temporary traffic changes will be needed. FromMonday, September 19, access to Lower High Street will be

Town ring road plea A NEW ring road should be built in Maidstone. That is the view of Cllr Val Springett, who said: “I would love to come out of Bearsted, turn left and whiz on a bypass and go round the outside. “We have to say, 'we need

it, how can we achieve it'.” Full story – page 14

Job focus on M20 J8 P16

Festival wows visitors P33


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