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Boxley Parish Mail

CHAIRMAN: Ivor Davies CLERK: Pauline Bowdery ASST CLERK: Melanie Fooks Parish Office, Beechen Hall,Wildfell Close,Walderslade, ME5 9RU

Tel: 01634 861237 email: Website: Contact details for parish councillors can be obtained from the parish office, the Useful Contact Details leaflet or the website

Development threat could

Council opposes car park

cost money BOXLEY Parish Council will put money aside in next year’s budget to protect the parish from development. Concern was expressed at the

last parish council meeting that further revision to Maidstone Council’s new Core Strategy re- sulting from Government pres- sure on local authorities to provide more housing, could mean the parish council having to launch a legal battle to save areas in the parish from being built on. Cllr Tony Harwood recalled

that during Maidstone Coun- cil’s consultation on strategic sites for its Core Strategy over the summer, the parish council had had to set up public meet- ings to keep members of the public informed. He said that the parish will again have to keep parishioners well in- formed and may have to fund legal advice as well. Indeed, even before the origi-

nal Core Strategy was finished, proposals had been released for out-of-town shopping at Newn- ham Court. “I suggest there will be more development on a bigger scale than we’ve even thought about so far and with new sites com- ing out of the woodwork.We’ll have to think quickly,” he said. Members agreed that a con- tingency sum should be in- cluded in the parish council’s draft budget for 2013/14.

for caretakers THE parish council is currently looking for two caretakers to cover the weekends and a cou- ple of midweek slots at its hall inWildfell Close,Walderslade. The positions are based on

six hours per week, worked on a shift system (one week on, one week off), at a rate of £6.37 per hour (enhanced rate at weekends). The successful can- didate will greet and hand over the hall to hirers and clean and close the hall at the end of the hire. Full training will be pro- vided.

Further details are on the parish council’s website or can be obtained from the parish of- fice. The closing date for re- ceipt of applications is Monday, January 21.

Two vacancies Spreading grit to beat weather

IT HELPS everyone if residents put grit from the salt bin on the road when snow has fallen or ice has formed, preferably after first clearing the snow from the footpath and road in front of their houses. If all residents cleared just

twowheel-size tracks in front of their house, everyone would benefit. Salt bins are placed where

there are gradients on roads and where there are safety issues in

Plan to fell birch RAYMOND Jelfs has applied to fell a protected silver birch tree at 15 PloughmansWay,Walder- slade. He said: “The root struc- ture is ruining any lawn and beginning to lift our drive.” Maidstone Council will deter- mine the application.

bad weather. The contents are for the road/public footpath and not for residents’ drives and garden paths. The grit should be scattered

on theroadonlywhenyou know that traffic will be using the area, as vehicles activate the salt.

KCC should come around and

refill all the salt bins. However, you can ensure that yours is on the list by ringing 08458 247800.

Hornbeam can go MARK Basham has been given permission to fell a protected hornbeam tree at 15 Green- sands,Walderslade. He said the tree could damage the house if it was to fall. Maidstone Coun- cil granted permission on con- dition the tree is replaced.

COUNCILLORS voted almost unanimously against a sugges- tion to build a 60-space car park and two new houses in Boxley village.

Members discussed a feasibil-

ity study submitted to the coun- cil for car parking and two residential dwellings. It was generally accepted that local councils were now, more than ever, under pressure from the government to allow develop- ment in the countryside. But, as the parish council was the cus- todian of the countryside around Boxley, it was the coun- cil’s duty to stop precious areas being built over. Cllr Tony Harwood said he

could understand why the church and businesses in the village required additional

parking spaces, however “car parking on the scale proposed would do such damage as to be unsupportable by this parish”. Several councillors agreed,with many saying that allowing the proposal would set a precedent for future development. Only Cllr Geoff Smith thought

that members should explore the idea further and postpone a decision. Cllr Ann Spain said that, while

she felt sorry for the church, which was going against the grain of many religious groups and attracting more members than before and neededmore car parking space, she could not sup- port this proposal. The chairman then suggested

that members should balance whether if, as it appeared, the

main users of the car park would be motorists travelling from far afield to the church and the Kings Arms, towhat ex- tent the proposal would posi- tively benefit parishioners against any negative environ- mental impact. After further discussion, the council decided that, while ac- knowledging the need for addi- tional car parking in the village, not least to access the Pilgrim’s Way and Kent Downs AONB, this proposal was not accept- able. It recommended instead that

the church, pub and any other interested parties should con- tinue to negotiate with the Eu- ropean School of Osteopathy (ESO) to allow car parking along their drive to the ESO.

Tree trimming

at village hall THE parish council has been granted planning permission fromMaidstone Council to un- dertake coppicing, branch re- duction and crown lifting on trees around the hall and the car park. The scheme will see the re-

moval of branches away from the hall structure and to also stop vegetation encroaching on to and over the car parking areas. It is hoped that thework can be carried out without dis- rupting activities at the hall.

Age Concern AGE Concern will be hiring Beechen Hall everyWednesday and Friday from this month. Any elderly person seeking company, something to do and a hot meal can apply to attend. The cost will be £8 per session (£18 if you require transport). Anyone who would like details should call Age Concern Malling’s Rachel on 01732 848008.

Water meter help PROPERTIES in the south of the parish will have compul- sory water meters installed by South EastWater in 2013. If there is sufficient interest

the parish council will arrange for a visit from the company to its March meeting in Grove Green. Information is available on the parish council website.

You can e-mail the Downs Mail — East 23

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