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Council considering 5,000-home village plan

A PURPOSE-built new village could be on the cards, as Maidstone Council works out where to build an extra 10,000 homes over the next 15 years. The self-contained village, which would include its own shops, community centre and doctor’s surgery, is among several op- tions being considered by the council as it tries to firm up its core strategy to meet fu- ture housing expectations. A mini “King’s Hill” is one of three choices facing the council, which is looking at providing up to 16,000 new homes by 2026. Some 6,000 of these have already been built. The council pulled its core strategy at the

11th hour when it realised the Government was rejecting a number of local authority plans in the South because of their shortage of housing provision. Maidstone’s original estimate of 10,080 was based on 2006 figures, but the growth

Police call to

crash witness POLICE have appealed for a “good Samaritan” who came to the rescue of a road crash vic- tim, to contact them. Officers are also seeking other witnesses to the collision in Boxley Road, Maidstone, that left a pedestrian with a broken ankle. The accident happened at around 2:30pm on February 18 at the junction with Curzon Road. A 26-year-old woman was walking her dogs when she was hit by a silver car travelling down Curzon Road. The victim managed to push

her dogs out of the way, but was struck by the vehicle and sus- tained a broken ankle. The driver is reported to have

failed to stop and crossed over Boxley Road, and into Glad- stone Road. Police said: “The womanwas helped by a good Samaritan, who took her home.” PC Ian Jackson said: “The col-

lision happened in broad day- light, so I’m hopeful that there are some witnesses who can provide some information to help our investigation. “It is an offence to fail to stop

at the scene of an accident so we are keen to trace the driver. “We would also like to speak

to the man who kindly helped the victim, to see if he can pro- vide any additional informa- tion, and to offer him our thanks.” Anyone with any information

is asked to contact PC Jackson by calling 101, quoting incident reference 18-0910.

Dog waste complaint A MEMBER of the public com- plained at Boxley Council’s meeting about an increase in problems with dog fouling along Chatham Road, Sandling. It was agreed to liaise with the resident about where warning signs should be placed.

28 East

in population failed to take into account a number of factors, including the influx of Eastern Europeans. The 2008 figures put estimates of housing

need closer to 16,000 units, with a further 4,500 required by 2030, council leader Chris Garland told members of the regeneration and economic development overview and scrutiny committee. The council has been consulting landown-

ers and developers as part of its strategic housing land available assessment (SHLAA) and the cabinet will assess the results at its meeting in March, along with the need for fu- ture employment land. But a purpose-built village, with homes

for the elderly, affordable and social hous- ing, with amenities, could fulfil a variety of requirements. A Watford company has put together a

plan for an “eco-village” at Broomfield which it says could be the key to funding

the Leeds-Langley bypass. Now, a second scheme, produced by PRP Architects for Golding Homes, details pro- posals for a £1 billion self-contained com- munity next to Leeds and Otham which would create a “garden suburb” offering housing and employment. It is understood several landownerswould

be willing to sell land to support the sustain- able development. As with the first scheme, the development could act as a catalyst for the Leeds-Langley bypass and encourage fur- ther investment close to J8 of the M20. The scheme is backed by Golding Homes, which manages most of the town’s social housing. Its director of development and re- generation, Chris Blundell, said the village would help Maidstone achieve its housing targets. The council will make a decision on build-

ing sites at Hermitage Lane and Langley in March.

Carl murder four charged

FOUR men have been charged with the murder of an ex- teacher and Royal Marine, whose parents live in Harriet- sham. Carl Davies (33) was mur-

dered on the French-adminis- tered Reunion Island on November 9, 2011, but his fam- ily, including mum and dad Maria and Andy Davies, were initially told his death was an accident. Mr Davies (pictured), who taught in Sittingbourne and on the Isle of Sheppey, had arrived at the Indian Ocean island just two days before he died and was working as a security guard on a ship. The four men who have been charged with his murder are be- lieved to be aged between 16 and 30 and were among 10men detained by French authorities investigatingMr Davies’ death.

making no further comments on this case. “We are in regular contact

A Kent Police spokesman

said: “This has been described by the authorities as a vicious crime but it has been confirmed there were no sexual connota- tions. A judicial investigation will now take place and this is a matter for the authorities on the island. As a result, we will be

Ladies’ football teams merge

LADIES’ football in Maidstone has been boosted by the amalga- mation of two of the town’s clubs. Maidstone Town Ladies and Maidstone United Ladies are join-

ing forces to raise the profile of the game, which is enjoying a resurgence following the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2012 London Olympic Games. From the 2013/14 season, a senior ladies’ team will play under

the Maidstone United name. The team will play in the London and South East Regional Women’s Premier Division (Step 4) – the league currently contested by Maidstone Town Ladies. They will play their home matches at the Gallagher Stadium on Sun- day afternoons. As well as the senior team, there will be girls’ youth teams at

ages under 10s and 11s. Anyone interested in playing for or sponsoring Maidstone United Ladies, can call Peter Spragg on 07956 340535.

Lenham gypsy plan accepted PLANNING permission has been granted to site four caravans for gypsies in Kilnwood Farm, Old Ham Lane, Lenham. The scheme is to provide two pitches containing two static and

two mobile caravans and two amenity buildings. It will be occu- pied by Oliver and Helen Matthews and their three children, who are all aged six or under. Maidstone Council granted consent on condition that stock-proof fencing is erected along the northern and eastern boundaries of the site with the adjacent woodland in the KilnWood nature reserve.

with the family of Mr Davies and will continue to provide any help and support that we can.” Mr Davies’ family started the Justice for Carl Davies campaign shortly after his death. More than 11,000 people have “liked” the campaign’s Facebook page and more than 3,000 people have signed an online petition asking the Government’s For- eign and Commonwealth Office to do more to support families whose loved ones are murdered abroad. Shops, pubs and businesses

have been selling “Justice for Carl” wristbands to help fund the family’s legal costs, which include paying for someone to translate documents from French to English.

Grit bins ‘raided

by residents’ NEW roadside grit bins re- quested by Boxley Parish Coun- cil have been raided for private use, councillors were told. Cllr Wendy Hinder said she

had been contacted by several people who had seen residents taking grit from one of the new bins and spreading it on their driveways. She said: “I would like to re-

mind residents that this is steal- ing and the grit is put there to help local residents move safely on minor roads. “I would ask them to bear in

mind that these roads are also used by children and the not so young and able. “It is no point in using the grit

on driveways if there is none left for use on the roads.” The bins were placed, at the request of the parish council, on potentially hazardous roads which do not come under KCC’s gritting programme.

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