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Established 1946 National &

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Phase two of the play equipment is being built in Cobtree Manor Park

Play area takes shape

WORK is now well underway on installing the new play equipment at Cobtree Manor Park. Phase one of the play equipment, including a double cableway and a

rope swing, has been completed, with phase two (pictured), based on the theme of the old Maidstone Zoo, currently being built. There are plans to refurbish the car park, carry out tree works, lay new path net- works and create a sculpture trail. “Theaimof thework is to encouragemorepeople tocomeanduse the

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park,” said a Maidstone council spokesman. The play equipment is already proving a success, with visitor numbers increasing by 39% since itwas installed. A project information daywas held last month to showresidents and visitors some of the exciting de- velopments and to discuss plans still in the pipeline. Representatives of the council, along with the Cobtree Charitable Trust,were on site for users to find out more about the ongoing project.

Holiday drink-drive arrests

THIRTY-FOUR people were ar- rested for drink driving in Maidstone over the festive pe- riod.

Kent Police, KCC and Med-

way Council ran a joint anti- drink and drugs campaign between December 1, 2012, and January 1, 2013, breathalysing motorists across Maidstone and Kent, and arresting those who failed the breath test. Sergeant Hannah Brown said: “Driving under the influence of drink or drugs risks lives. Thankfully, only a minority of motorists think it’s acceptable to put the lives of others at risk. “Most drivers take appropri-

ate measures to ensure they don’t have to get behind the wheel after an alcoholic drink.” On average one person is

killed in a collision on Kent’s roads each week, and one in six of those deaths involves some- one driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Across Kent, 211 people were arrested for drink-driving dur- ing the Christmas campaign. People charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could get a six-month prison sentence, be banned from driving, receive a criminal record and get a fine of up to £5,000.

Poultry owner praised

THE owner of a free range chicken business in Stockbury was congratulated by Maidstone Council for making his company a success. Sean Cole was given planning permission to build a farm-

house at Cherry Tree Farm, Pett Road, after his company passed a financial test as required to activate an agricultural occupancy condition (AOC). The applicant was allowed permanent residency after initially

being given a three-year temporary consent for a mobile home while the business became established. Planning committee chairman, Cllr Richard Lusty said: “My congratulations go to the applicant for sticking with the busi- ness.”

However, Stockbury Parish Council’s concerns about the de-

sign of the home in anArea of Outstanding Natural Beautywere echoed by some planning committee members. Cllr Martin Cox said: “It’s not a very adventurous design. It looks more like Fa- ther Ted thanNorth Downs. It is not very inspiring.” The scheme was given unanimous planning consent.

Attack victim’s arm broken DETECTIVES have appealed for witnesses to an attack in Shepway that left a man with a broken arm. The victim, who is in his 40s, was assaulted near the parade of

shops in Northumberland Road at about 5pm on January 4. The suspect is amale aged about 17, of medium build, and about

5ft 6in tall. Hewore a white top, dark jogging bottoms and trainers. Anyone with information should call Detective Constable Claire Rumens on 101, quoting crime reference YY/260/13, or Crimestop- pers on 0800 555 111.

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