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Re-opening of towpath delayed


A STRETCH of towpath beside the River Medway in Aylesford is to remain closed until at least 2015 after parts of the bank col- lapsed. A 1km stretch of the public riverside path between the village and Allington Lock was closed by KCC two years ago because it was deemed too dangerous to use. The council is investigating funding options but the repairs would be expensive so the proposed reopen- ing date has been delayed. The only alterna- tive route is along busy ForstalRoad and then rejoining the riverside walk via a footpath op- posite the entrance to Cobtree Park. Local Open Spaces Society representative


David Thornewell said: “This is an important link in the towpath which is continuous all the way from New Hythe into Maidstone.


Home conversion PLANNING consent has been granted to turn tourist accom- modation in Harple Lane, Detling, into a single dwelling. Eleven years ago permission


was given to convert a garage in East Lodge into a holiday let, and the applicants have now been permitted to convert this into a residential home.


Plan for house A PROPOSAL has been lodged to replace a mobile home with a three-bedroom house in Downs Oak Farm,West Street, Harrietsham. Maidstone Coun- cil will determine the planning application.


The section through Maidstone is now in a very good condition, following the work car- ried out with external funding. “KCC obviously has great financial prob-


lems and I know they are exploring all the options. “In the meantime I think it is important that


they provide amap of the alternative route to get round the closed section.” David Munn, KCC’s public rights of way manager for West Kent, said: “A study has been commissioned to look at the alternatives for providing a long-term solution to the on- going problem on this stretch of the river and a number of options have been identified. However, the costs for all these options are very high and funding opportunities are being looked at.


“A recent meeting of local councils and


other interested parties resolved that one op- tion in particular should be given priority and the county council will be carrying out more work looking at the feasibility of this option in the coming weeks and months. “The current period of closure extends to


2014 but, given the scale of both the funding and technical problems associated with this section of the river path, it is likely that this period of closure will have to be extended. “In the meantime, improvements have


been made to the section of the path that runs west from Allington and to a linking path to Forstal Road at Aylesford to at least provide an alternative route whilst the path is closed, although it is acknowledged that this is not an ideal solution.”


John retires as firm marks 50 years


WHEN Maidstone construction consultancy Evans & Langford marked its 50th anniversary with a reception at the Orangery, TurkeyMill, it also marked the retirement of the senior partner, civil engineering consultant John Evans, of Yeoman Lane, Bearsted. The business was formed by John’s father Jack


and Lewis Langford, and formost of the time it has been based at offices in King Street, Maidstone. John (pictured),whojoined thebusiness30years


ago, has handed over management reins to pres- entpartnersSimonRobertsonandEamonStafford. The business has been involved in many major projects in theMaidstone area, includingAylesford Newsprint, refurbishment of the Archbishops’ Palace, designing Knightrider Court, Victoria Court and Stacey Street. Itsmanyprojects also include restorationadviceonCanterburyCathe-


dral,CanterburyChristchurchUniversity,Dover Harbour cruise terminal, Tonbridge Police Station and several churches.


Solar plans A 16-PANEL solar photovoltaic display may be installed on the grounds of a Grade II Listed tim- ber-framed residential barn con- version in Ulcombe. John Kenward believes the scheme will reduce the carbon footprint of Jubilee Hall Barn in Stickfast Lane while minimising the visual impact of the devel- opment. The PV and solar thermal


panel arrays would be placed on the south-facing roofs of the annex and garage buildings, which are not attached to the barn. Maidstone Council will determine the application.


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