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A PLAN for a large medical campus and university, adja- cent to Maidstone’s new hospi- tal off M20 Junction 7, has been revealed. The 187,000sqm Maidstone Medical Campus – covering a size of more than 26 football pitches – could see thousands of people living and working on a site that borders the £90m Kent Institute of Medical Sci- ence (KIMS), which has a catch- ment of 1.5million patients and host 350 clinicians when it opens in April next year. The development would be

more than 12 times the size of KIMS, according to an outline application, which proposes: Seven separate development zones

By Andy Archer

Maidstone East Edition September 2013 No.197 Big campus plan unveiled Proposed medical campus

New women’s and children’s hospital University campus Halls of residence for 300 stu- dents 116 care-assisted units and a day centre in a dedicated ‘neuro-rehabilitation village’ Research and development unit Path labs, offices and accom- modation for doctors 650 bed spaces for nurses and medical students.

The sheer scale of the devel- opment has caused concern to residents of Bearsted Road who fear they will be overwhelmed. Although the plan contains a clause that would provide parking facilities for residents of Gidds Pond Cottages, they fear replacing their current 15- bay on-street parking with a car park is insufficient to compen- sate for the upheaval on land to the side and rear. Anna Gray, who lives in

Gidds Pond Cottages, said: “We were given the impression, ini- tially, that this was to be just a hospital way at the back of us. No way were we aware of the scale of this development and how the plans changed so drastically.”

P20 Scorching success for Olympicnic

THEspiritof2012was out inforce as the people of Downswood marked12months since the Lon- don Gameswith an ‘Olympicnic’.

Despite soaring temperatures,

no quarter was given as partici- pantsenjoyedtug-of-war, running, eggandspoon, relays, sackraces, piggyback contests and three- legged races.

There was even time for some

wellywanging as15-year-old Ollie Lung followed up his success last year–the inaugural Olympicnic– with the overall title. The event was opened byRev Steve Hughes and organised by Downswood Parish Council. Cllr Simon Roberts led volunteers and coun- cillors who gave up their time.

MPE Football Club, led by John

Leaf, did the white lining, barbe- cue and face painting. Families whowere less active enjoyed pic- nics at theevent, heldat Mallards

A BRONZE Ageman found in a field near Hollingbourne could be the saviour of a site ear- marked for industrial develop- ment.

Residents in Hollingbourne, Harrietsham and Bearsted, who are opposed to the development of land near J8 of theM20, hope the latest archaeological discov- ery in the area will reinforce their argument that the land should stay as open country-

Children enjoy the piggyback race

Way Open Space. Cllr Roz Cheeseman, of

Downswood Parish Council, said: “It was good to see so many fami- lies keeping that Olympic spirit alive and taking part in all the events.Wehadfunracesaswellas serious running races, along with

side. The area is known to be a site of historic and archaeologi- cal interest and Maidstone Mu- seum contains many of the artefacts that have been un- earthed there, including Roman cooking pots and coins. But the 3,500-year-old man, discovered close to a Bronze Age cow, could be the conser- vationists’ biggest ally yet. Archaeologists unearthed the skeleton – believed to be that of

welly throwing. Congratulations to all our winners and everyone else who took part.

“It made the event very special

and MPE football club ran a very successful barbeque which will help them too. See you all again next year?”

Bronze Age man could help fight development

aman in his teens or early 20s – in a 3ft deep barrow, next to a field known as No Man’s Acres, on the border of Holling- bourne and Harrietsham. The body was buried in the classic crouched position asso- ciated with the Bronze Age, with his knees tucked under his chin and his hands across his chest. Some 30 people were working

on the burial site P18

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Deal keeps Kent Life in operation

A CHARITABLE Trust has stepped in to protect a popular Maidstone tourist attraction – and with it, 30 jobs. The Cobtree Manor Estate

Trust has teamed up with Con- tinuum Kent Life Ltd to operate Kent Life for a further three years. The trust, which was set up

to manage the estate left to Maidstone by twelve-times Mayor Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt- Drake, had leased the land to KCC, which in turn sub-let it to Continuum, whose arrange- ment was due to end this month. Now the trust has stepped in

with a deal whereby Contin- uum will continue to manage the visitor attraction and her- itage centre until March 2016, giving the trust time to consider all future options. Without the trust’s interven-

tion, there were fears that the museum could have closed. Trustees believe thiswill give

them time to fully review the operation and plan a “procure- ment strategy” for the future. Cllr John Wilson, chairman of the Cobtree Manor Estate Char- ity Committee, which adminis- ters the estate on behalf of the trust, said: “This is an interim measure which will help the trust assess the possibilities.” Ideally, the trustees would

like to see the land north of the Medway – combining the Cob- tree Golf Course, Cobtree Manor Park and Kent Life – linked with a river walkway to the town. Cllr Wilson said: “We do not

make the most of the river in Maidstone. The Medway is often described as the ‘jewel in Maidstone’s crown’ but all we see from the town centre is warehouses. “In the long term, our vision

is to combine the various parts of the Cobtree estate – the golf course, the park and the rural museum – with aP3

River festival ‘might have to change’

Village school may double in size

P8 P3

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