This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - over 83,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone South Edition November 2013 No.199 Parish’s homes move ‘out of order’

BOUGHTONMonchelsea Parish Council has been criticised for instructing a legal expert to rubbish Maidstone Council’s five-year land supply esti- mate.

Maidstone Council leader ChrisGarland believes evidence from a document leaked to Downs Mail proves the parish council set out to delay a plan- ning application for 600 new homes – and that this could now backfire and actually speed up the process. The document is a 12-page letter on behalf of the

parish council by town planner Paul McCreery to Bill King, clerk to Christopher Lockhart Mummery QC. Mr McCreery made it quite clear that the parish was happy to part with the land at Langley Park – but only in exchange for £1.25m. This is the amount the parish council says it would need to improve community facilities and infrastructure in Boughton Monchelsea to accom- modate a further 600 households and comprises:

 £500,000 towards replacing the village hall;  £100,000 to upgrade adjacent playing pitches and provide amulti-use games area;  £150,000 for extra sports changing facilities;  £500,000 towards upgrading footpath and cy- cleway links between the village centre and the new development. However, the parish council’s vice chairman Ian

Ellis told Downs Mail that when Maidstone Coun- cil, together with developer TaylorWimpey, failed to come up with an acceptable offer to “mitigate community impact”, the parish council invoked plans to challenge the council over the complex issue of how it calculates land supply – a tactic which could delay the planning process. The letter said: “Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council wish Counsel to provide a written opin- ion to the effect that he agrees that Maidstone do have a five-year land supply. “Armed with that opinion, Boughton

P6 I’ll quit, says Lib Dem chief

FRAN Wilson has offered to quit as leader of Maidstone’s Lib Dems after concerns were raised behind the scenes by group back- benchers. Cllr Wilson,

who has been a member since 1997, has writ- tentoher 18 groupmembers to say she plans to stand down at the end of the year and will resign from the council in May 2014, a year be- fore her term as a councillor is due to end' .

Her offer of resignation is due

to be discussed by the Lib Dem executive group on October 30. It is not the first time she has vowed to stand down: on at least two occasions she was per- suaded to carry on. But the feeling in the group is

that this time her resignation will be accepted. Cllr Wilson, who has been

trying to carry the burden of leadership while struggling with family problems in recent months, has met with chief ex- ecutive Alison Broom to dis- cuss her decision and pulled out of a planned meeting with

leading Lib Dems Paddy Ash- down and Nick Clegg. Backbenchers have become increasingly critical that Cllr Wilson has not fought their group’s corner well enough over the ruling Conservative group’s proposals to build new homes in open countryside, in- cluding over 1,000 units pro- posed in the draft core strategy for the Allington/Barming area. What caused further rows

was the successful motion she seconded as a planning com- mittee member, tabled by her group deputy Tony Harwood, to give the go-ahead to the de- velopment of a Sainsbury’s convenience store and eight homes in Loose Road, Maid- stone, in September. There were objections from

54 residents and North Loose Residents’ Association and it was felt that the Lib Dems should not be seen “doing the Conservatives’ dirty work”. Cllr Wilson told Downs Mail

she had made a “proposal” to her group and would not dis- cuss it in public before her group had made a decision. Cllr Wilson, whose husband

Scientists’ experiment pays off

TWOscientistshavesetupagin distillery inMardenthat they claim is the first established in Kent for 200 years. Norman Lewis and Andy Reason put their savings and redundancy

money – theyworked together at GlaxoSmithKline – to set up the Anno distillery inPattenden Lane. Theyare pictured with Andy’s daughter Kim, who helps with the administration and marketing.

Full story: page 10

John has also been amember of the borough council in the past, has lived in her High Street ward for the past 38 years. Her profile on the local Lib

Dem page says her motto is: “The day I think everything is done is the day I leave, as there is always something more to do”.

Constantly checking UK prices to get you the lowest price

The Big Ye llow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.lincolnfur

Tesco puts in new plan for store

TESCO has re-submitted plans for a supermarket in Staple- hurst. The retailer’s original appli- cation was refused by Maid- stone Council in May – four months after permission was given for a 2,975sqm Sains- bury’s supermarket on the other side of the road in Station Ap- proach. At the time, Tesco said it would consider whether to re- submit its proposal for the car park at Staplehurst Station, ap- peal, or walk away. The latest move by the retail

giant confirms Tesco’s determi- nation to pursue its plan for a store in the village, in spite of the Sainsbury decision. A spokesman for the super- market chain said: “Naturally, we were disappointed by the council’s decision, but would still very much like to bring for- ward our store in Staplehurst, and from what people are say- ing, there is a need, with many local people welcoming the competition and choice two su- permarkets would bring.” She said the revised plans

took account of calls for further landscaping at the proposed re- placement commuter car park, but the basic details for the 2,983 sqmstore (about the size of Tesco in Tenterden), filling station and 203-space car park remain the same. The spokesman said Tesco

was looking forward to consult- ing with residents over the plans in the coming weeks. If approved, the store would

be built on Staplehurst Sta- tion’s car park, owned by

Kent cyclists most at risk in Maidstone

Helen promoted to sports minister

Police not to blame for road death


P8 P3

Next stage for solar farm proposal

P30 P14

Anger over ‘lawful’ gypsy decision P31

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48