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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


Notcutts forecast inaccurate THE story in the Maidstone October edition of Downs Mail needs to be read and under- stood in the cold light of day and appreciate the real facts and not necessarily those as spouted by the developers. At an exhibition arranged by the develop-


ers and tenants of the proposed development at Notcutts, some of the information pro- vided was, to say the least, disingenuous. The “map and diagram” of the proposed development gives the impression of a stand-alone rural development. There is no indication of the othermassive on-going and proposed next door developments, i.e.KIMS and Maidstone Medical Centre, both of which will massively increase the traffic flow and congestion formost of the day. The latterwants car parking spaces for 1,200 ve- hicles as part of the development,while Not- cutts is proposing 900 such spaces. The roads in that area cannot currently cope dur- ing rush hour. The proposals include adding traffic lights


and pedestrian crossings at various points in the locality which will impact not only on the local roads but add even longer queues to traffic trying to leave the M20 at J7, where queues already build up during the evening rush hour. All of this is without the already agreed development of over 140 dwellings on land


I welcome shopping village Dear Sir – I amsick of the whining town cen- tre vested interests complaining about the J7 retail development. I live in Bearsted and I welcome it. The town centre is a disgrace – costly and inadequate parking, jobsworths fining you for staying a minute too long or stalking you in case you drop a crumb, pound and charity shops everywhere, old-fashioned opening hours still rife, grotty pubs and clubs leaving stinking rubbish around, a useless riverfront blocked off by a dual carriageway and, in- sultingly, councillors talking as if we are lucky to be allowed to visit. Well get this. I don't have to go there, I go


where they try to please me - Bluewater and the new J7 development, places where PC anti-car councillors can't play their childish games, where I'mwelcome. More of these please and shut up town cen-


tre, learn what being customer friendly really means or become another Gravesend. Frankly, it’s what you deserve. StephenWilliams,Ware Street, Bearsted


No vote without computer Dear Sir – In the East edition of the Downs Mail, you carried a story inviting us to vote for our favourite park. How are people with- out access to a computer supposed to vote, given that the only option given is via the website? Whilst there are obviously computers in li- braries etc, many people still have no idea how to use the internet. I am sure there are many elderly people who use the parks regu- larly who must have felt disenfranchised by this article.


MGaherty, Bearsted


Homes not in Mote Park Dear Sir - Please let me assure Andy Hol- brook (letters, October) the proposed resi- dential development is not in Mote Park but on four acres of the Mote Cricket Club site owned privately by trustees. This development has been discussed with Maidstone Council over many years and the


50 East


You can write to us at: Downs Mail, 2 Forge House, Bearsted Green Business Park, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME14 4DT or e-mail: info@downsmail.co.uk


within the TV studios grounds. Jason Lewis is quoted in the article as saying:“We expect to not only keep traffic flows as they are, but to improve them”. You really do have to wonder about the logic being used to sup- port such a statement. As for Land Securities development direc-


tor Chris Ward's comments that the devel- opment would “complement, rather than compete with” Maidstone town centre, you need to read that comment in conjunction with the story in the same edition of Downs


“The proposals also include dualling the road between the KIMS and Bearsted Road round- abouts. Where will this extra land come from? The protected nature reserve or the cremato- riumgroundsas theopposite side of the road is a steep bank?”


Mail that an £8m refurbishment of The Mall Shopping Centre in the town has been post- poned as a result of Next's successful plan- ning application to build a superstore on the site next to but west of the A249/Bearsted Road roundabout adjacent to Notcutts. Ward adds that improved bus and park


and ride facilities will enable shoppers to stay in Maidstone to spend more money after shopping atNotcutts. When did he last go shopping for food etc. on a bus? If some- one goes to the shopping village they are not then going to get on a bus into the town and


key layout of our current proposal was strongly encouraged at a meeting we had with Tory, Lib Dem and Independent group leaders. This also included supportive Lib Demcouncillors for High Street ward andTo- ries for Shepway North. Our club is grateful for a £15,000 grant from the council to help us with substantial costs of preparing a plan- ning application. We work very closely with the council to submit a satisfactory application suited to our magnificent ground and respectful of neigh- bours while enhancing the environment of Mote Park in a sensitive way. It is seen as an enabling development and commits us to finance a major improvement to the site facilities. Kent County CricketClub walked away in 2005 because these have be- come so faded and outdated for first-class cricket and modern sporting needs. The club would like to see the Maidstone festival re- turn.


Now we have a bid of about £4m for these


four acres to enable us to build an excellent new pavilion and other significant improve- ments to secure a centre of sporting excel- lence for generations to come. We see many benefits for the local commu-


nity and will consult shortly with neigh- bouring residents who we respect and cherish their friendship. We think Maidstone will once again be


very proud of a popular and magnificent sports ground and community facilities. Our volunteers work very hard to achieve this and we are grateful for so much local help and support.


Glen Aukett, chairman, The Mote Cricket Club.


MPs not worth my vote Dear Sir-Iwould just like to endorse An- thony Lang’s letter (Kent is place for air- port). He has put in to print the opinions of the


vastmajority of people. It seems we are here merely to finance numerous public en- quiries that feather the nest of politicians’ legal profession associates who meet in the bars and clubs surroundingWestminster.


carry shopping with them while they shop for more and then get the bus back towhere they have parked at the shopping village. Most people once they have bought their shopping just want to take it home. There is nothing in the development about


noise levels and how these will be abated for those of us living oppositeWeaveringHeath. Then there is the light pollution, especially during the autumn, winter and early spring months. By sending all the traffic to the en- larged New Cut roundabout the noise levels will increase tremendously and last for many more hours of the day so much so that we will not be able to sit in our garden dur- ing the summermonths. Speaking to one of the developer's representatives at the above exhibition he said there was nothing in the plans to alleviate the noise levels. When it comes to the formal planning ap- plication Iwill of course be objecting, citing the above as some of the reasons for refusing planning application. Despite Eric Pickles' localism legislation, I confidently expect MBC to totally ignore any objections. When are the next local elections? The


local MPs were very vociferous when in op- position to the proposedM20 J8 KIG devel- opment and successfully prevented it once they came to power.Will they act in a simi- lar vein when this application hits MBC's desk? I amnot holding my breath. Ian Stuart, Coppice View,Weavering


I have not voted since 1990 as there is no


one to vote for. Unfortunately the press ap- pears to have joined the circle, under the pretext of PC. I amamazed that you actually printed his


letter.Well done, DownsMail. Richard Lawson, Langley


Keep Green play area open Dear Sir – I have been a resident of Bearsted all my life, and have always enjoyed the fa- cilities available on The Green. I have played for the football teams and the cricket teams, and played on The Green as a child. As an adult, I try to get involved in local community events. I have helped organise and sell tickets for Music on the Green, and the annual charity cricket match. Despite this, I do not normally get involved in po- litical issues in the village. However, on this occasion, I will make an exception. Whilst attending the farmers‘ market re-


cently I noticed that the children’s play area had been closed. Upon closer inspection I discovered that this was due to its state of disrepair. As this is an integral part of the village green, I was amazed and disap- pointed that this had been allowed to hap- pen. Furthermore, I amgiven to understand that this is the first step to its permanent closure. If this is for financial reasons, I would


have thought that keeping this and the other facilities on or around the village green up to standard would have been a priority. If it is a case of the council not being able to af- ford to maintain or even replace the area, then I have to ask what our council taxes are being spent on and, if it is a financial issue, why can’t the play area be treated as a pri- ority and the monies made from the com- mercial ventures on the green be used? So much has been done over the past cou-


ple of years, commercialising The Green to attract people from outside the village and to make money from events that were once free to those who live in the village that it appears that it appears that the very basic things have been allowed to suffer. I attract- ing more people to use the Green, we now


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