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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone Town Edition June 2012 No.182 Town boundary could expand

ALARGEscheme containing up to 600homes and a 1,000-space park and ride facility on 80 acres of greenfield land could signal the ex- pansion of Maidstone to the south east. Developer Taylor Wimpey is developing a proposal for Langley Park, just outside the town boundary next to the Parkwood Indus- trial Estate off the A274 Sutton Road, which also includes a 20-acre country park and po- tentially a new primary school. Initial meetings have already been held with Maidstone Borough Council, as well as Lang- ley and Boughton Monchelsea parish coun- cils. A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey, which

owns the freehold of the land, said: “We are currently in the early stages of developing pro- posals to build between 450 and 600 homes at Langley Park. “The scheme will provide high-quality

A TOWN centre speech therapist has been hailed for 23 years hard work and dedication at the inaugu- ral Celebrate Maidstone awards – one month before retiring. Winnie Morrow, who manages

the therapy services for the chil- dren’s team at Foster Street and UnionStreet,was one of11people given a Star of Maidstone award at theMercure Hotel event. Winnie, who retires in June, was praised for being a “dedicated pro- fessional”. “Winnie always puts the needs of the children and families first,” said a testimonial from staff. “Her passion and dedication to her work has been inspiring to follow. “She has such a massive heart

for the children of Maidstone and indeed for everyone sheworks with and comes in contact with.” The event, organised by the Ju-

bilee Church and Training Centre, attracted almost 200 guests. The

MAIDSTONE is the most favoured location in Kent for business. Almost a quarter of all jobs created or retained indirectly by a county-wide inward invest- ment agency last year were in Maidstone, and the town con- stantly jostles for the top slot with Ashford, frequently win- ning, as the most popular desti- nation for business. Mandy Bearne, director of marketing and research for in- vestment promotion agency Lo- cate in Kent, said: “Certainly, Maidstone is up there, always one of the top two most popular

homes, including a large proportion of family housing, to fulfil a recognised requirement in the area, and will also deliver much-needed affordable homes.” The area south-east of the town has, for a number of years, been considered by Maid- stone Council as an option for large-scale de- velopment. But a large expansion of Maidstone in this direction has always been conditional on es- tablishing a new ring road link to M20 junc- tion 8, which is off the agenda for the foreseeable future, due to a lack of funding. In 2009, the area was earmarked for 2,700 homes inthe council’sStrategic HousingLand Availability Assessment survey, but Maid- stone Council’s allocations document has not yet been published. Until then, any applica- tion would be difficult to justify, as it would be contrary to council policy protecting green-

InspirationalWinnie is a real star

awards were decided by a judging panel consisting of Celebrate Maid- stone chairman Neil Pattison, Downs Mail president Dennis Fowle, Maidstone Council chief ex- ecutive Alison Broom, Dan Maud- hub ofWonderful Creative Industry and Shepway volunteer Dave King, who won the lifetime achievement award. Neil plans to run a similar event

next year, but with a “twist”. He would like to hold it at Maidstone United FC’s new ground in James Whatman Way. “We are not going to do exactly the same thing but it will havethe sameflavour and level of excellence,” he said. “We gave awards to peoplewhohad gone be- yond whatwas expected of themin the role they were performing, made an impact over a period of time andwere creating a legacy.” A full rundown of award win- ners is on page eight

destinations for businesses coming to Kent. “There are many reasons why companies come to Maidstone. Oftentheywanttobeinwest Kent, but can’t find what they are looking for, or at a price they can afford. They often want easy access to the station, and there is a wide selection of property on offer here.” Since 1997, when Locate in

Kent was set up, Maidstone has attracted the second largest per- centage of companies compared to other boroughs, although the investments have not necessar- ily been as high in terms of jobs.

field land. Ninety per cent of the site is in the parish of Boughton Monchelsea, whose chairman Stephen Munford said: “Even though most of it will be built within our boundary, it will predominantly be seen from Langley andwill impact that village most. It would very much close the gap between Maidstone and Lang- ley.” As Downs Mail went to press, Cllr Munford

said his parish council was still determining a view on the proposal. The spokesman for TaylorWimpey added:

“We will hold a public exhibition in the sum- mer to give local people the chance to view the scheme and tell us what they think. “The feedback we receive will be used to

help develop our proposals andaplanning ap- plication will only be submitted afterwe have consulted fully with the local community.”

Cash to fight

Celebrate Maidstone award winner Winnie Morrow

Business boom in the county town Recent percentages of jobs

have been much higher, how- ever, and Mandy said: “It is not clear why this is. Maybe Maid- stone’s attractiveness and prop- erty offer has continued, where it has waned in other areas.” Since 1997 the companies at- tracted to the county town have included Clydesdale Bank, Site Wizard, Cattles Invoice Fi- nance, Svenska Handelsbanken and GML Construction. The figureswere revealed to a meeting of borough councillors and representatives of Kent In- victa Chamber at a meeting in Maidstone. Cllr Malcolm

alcohol abuse MAIDSTONE has been singled out as one of ten top communi- ties to lead pioneering work to tackle booze abuse on the streets of Britain. The county town, which has already received widespread commendation for its Commu- nity Alcohol Partnershipsmodel, is to get £90,000 over two years to help further educate young- sters about the dangers of binge and underage drinking. The money will be spent on a high-profile awareness campaign in the town’s 14 senior schools, as well as supporting the innova- tive Urban Blue Bus, a late-night free water bottle promotion around the town’s pubs and clubs and an increased presence at volatile ‘hot spots.’ Local authorities were asked to

bid for a share of a£1m“Alcohol Fund” launched by Tory peer Baroness Newlove, to help make their towns safer and better places to live. The Baroness, whose husband Garry was killed in a drunken attack in 2007, has campaigned tirelessly against Britain’s binge-drinking culture since his death. Angela Painter, chief executive

of theKenwardTrust,whochairs the substance misuse sub-group of the Safer Maidstone


New mayor Rodd receives robe P3


Knightrider Street closure calls P21

First class care at home

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