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Homes agreed in

ADEVELOPMENTof seven new homes has been given the go- ahead for land on the edge of Detling. Hillreed Homes has received planning permission to build five detached and a pair of semi- detached houses on land at Hockers Farm, which would lead to the extension of Orchard View.

Hilda’s youthful secrets

spite of objections Village ‘needs new families’

There were five letters of ob- jection and Detling Parish Coun- cil opposed the plan. Cllr Mark Housden, chairman of the parish council and a resident of Or- chard View, told the planning committee: “The development is overcrowded – there should be six houses, not seven. The house in the south-west corner of the development is far too close to 12 Orchard View, which has east-facing windows, causing loss of light and privacy. “The overcrowding issue

could also be alleviated by a re- alignment of the units or by hav- ing smaller units, so retaining seven houses.” Cllr Housden also felt there would be insufficient parking. His views garnered sympathy from committee member Cllr Richard Ash, who noted that the parish council was not against

WHENHilda Browncameinto theworld, King GeorgeVwasonthe throne and England was enjoying its last year of peace before the outbreak of WorldWar One. A century later, spritely

DETLING Parish Council chair- man Mark Housden believes the village needs to attract families. He told the planning commit-

tee that hewas in favour ofmore housing, and the development at Hockers Farm, butwas against it in its current form. He said: “As a village which in recent years has lost its primary school and only shop, Detling needs to attract newfamilies.”

housing development in Or- chardView, but wanted its views taken into account. “It is a shame the parish coun-

cil was not listened to. If they had, they could have got a slightly different scheme,” he said.

However, Cllr Tony Harwood applauded council officers for negotiating a scheme that would provide a fitting boundary to the open countryside and Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Nat- ural Beauty. “The weatherboard- ing that wraps around the properties is a step forward,” he said.

Planning permission was granted unanimously.

Hilda, who lives in Bearsted, has just celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends. She still leads an independent life and at- tributes her youthful com- plexion to her face cream. Born on October 13, 1913

to Henry and Nancy Costen, Hilda spent her childhood in Burham. Her father worked at the brickworks and Hilda andher brothers,Harry,George and Lee, attended the village school. The family home – Rose Cottag – which stood next to the Windmill pub in Rochester Road, has since been replaced by modern houses. Hilda,whois pictured with herchildren,went toworkat theFosterClark canning factory inHart Street, Maidstone, and thenAylesford papermill. She met her husband Dick, just before World War Two, and settled

downtoabusy lifeasafarmer’s wife. They had three children, Barry (now 72), Valerie (71) and Anthony (69), followed by nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Daughter Valerie Chittenden said:“Mumhas alwaysworked hard. She

knewhowtomake butter, pluck pheasants and skin rabbits.” Besides running his farm at Detling, Dick became well-known in the

Maidstone area as a haulage and demolition contractor. In the 1960s and 70s, Hildaworked at the Sharp’s toffee factory in St

Peter’s Street, Maidstone. At the age of 67, she beganworking as a vol- unteer cook with Age Concern in Fant Lane. Valerie,wholives inWeaveringStreet, said: “Shebakedeverything her-

self and my parents’ kitchen would be full of lovely pies on a Sunday morning ready to go on the Monday.” Widowed20years ago, Hilda still leadsanindependent lifewithadaily

visit from one of the family. “She still does her own cooking and even after retiring, hasalways done gardeningor something,” saidValerie. Be- sidesafamily partyandabirthday card fromtheQueen,Hilda celebrated her big day with a trip to Folkestone for a fish and chip lunch.

16 East

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