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PROTESTERS are stepping up their campaign to save open countryside near Aylesford from a plan for 600 homes. The outline application by Croudace Homes for land east of Hermitage Lane comes after MaidstoneCouncil approved 244 homes at nearby Preston Hall. The scheme has been in the

offing since spring, when Maid- stone Council included Bluebell Wood in its draft strategic hous- ing allocation – despite a petition signed by over 2,000 opponents. Residents say the development would mean another 3,000 car journeys a day in the area and the loss of farmland, ancient woodland and wildlife. The New Allington Action

Group held a protest at the Mid Kent Shopping Centre in Alling- ton, urging people to make their objections known to Maidstone Council. James Willis, a resident and vice-chairman ofNAAG, said: “It has been great to see the strength of feeling against the slaughter and chaos of this Croudace plan.” The proposals for land oppo-

site Maidstone Hospital would further close the gap between

Malling Edition November 2013 No. 199 Woodland homes protest

Members of NAAG get their message across at theMid Kent

Shopping Centre

Maidstone and the urban corri- dor west ofM20 Junction 5. The applicant says the scheme includes land for a school, com- munity centre and affordable housing that would create a self- sufficient and attractive neigh- bourhood for families. Croudace also says housing would be limited to the south of the site, with none proposed in the Tonbridge and Malling bor- ough.Twoaccess roads would be established – one off Hermitage Lane and the other from Howard Drive, demolishing 102 and 104 Howard Drive. Mr Willis described the plans

as short-sighted and damaging, saying: “Croudace has put in out- line plans, cramming in over 500

New water main set to be laid through country park

A NEW water pipeline is to be built across Leybourne Lakes Country Park in a major scheme by South EastWater. The £6 million project, which

will start next April, involves laying a main from the com- pany’s water treatment works at Burham to mains which feed Maidstone, Larkfield, Ditton, Leybourne and Aylesford. Construction at the country

park will take place from Sep- tember or October 2014 and is due to last six months. The proj- ect will include cutting a new pipe across the 230-acre park from close to the roundabout at New Hythe Lane and Papyrus Way and across to the section of Lunsford Lane between Ley- bourneWay and the A228. The connection to Ditton will

cross under the M20 and join re- newed pipework at the junction of Station Road and the A20. Draft maps of the proposals were presented to the Leybourne

Lakes users panel and affected residents and parish councils will be consulted. South EastWater officials said

the entire project is likely to take about a year to complete. They would do their best to minimise the effect of the works on the park and keep open the foot- paths and routes around it. There would be full reinstatement of the land. Deliverymanager James Smith

said: “Our engineering and envi- ronment teams have been work- ing to ensure the impact this work will have on the environ- ment is minimised.”

Inside this edition: MACEY’s Meadow in West Malling is one of 15 tradi- tional community orchards in line to benefit from lot- tery funding. For more de- tails see this month’s four-page supplement by Malling Action Partnership, which supports people, businesses and events in the 10 parishes in the Malling area.

homes on a greenfield site, clearly showing an access road and footways to be bulldozed through the much-treasured BluebellWood.” Fellow campaigner Diana Lewins added: “Local people demonstrated how much they value BluebellWoods earlier this year. We are urging local resi- dents to write to the council.” Residents are invited to NAAG’s meetings at the Sir Thomas Wyatt pub on London Road at 7.30pm on Mondays. Comments on the outline plan

(ref: 13/1749) should bemade by November 14 at www.maid- or email case officer Peter Hockney at devmancorpo-

Life coach in benefit fraud

A HIGH-profile Maidstone life coach and kung fu teacher has expressed his regret after he ad- mitted aiding and abetting a £28,500 benefit fraud. Lee Jacobs

(36) of Lidsing Road, near Bredhurst, pleaded guilty to helping for- mer partner Hayley Everest (37) of Pochard Close, St Mary’s Island, Chatham, dishonestly claim £28,513 in income sup- port, housing and council tax benefit between July 2009 and April 2011. A black belt in karate, Jacobs

once taught self-defence and self-protection for Medway Council, the authority he helped Everest defraud. Jacobs is a director of Kung

Fu 4 Life, based in King Street, Maidstone, which specialises in wing tsun martial arts, and refers to himself as “Sifu”, which is Cantonese for father or teacher. In one of his online boasts, he says he can help peo- ple “navigate life challenges with ease”. The fraud centres on the fact Jacobs was not declared as Everest’s partner when they lived together and raised five children in Gillingham. He told Downs Mail their

time together was riddled with financial problems, due to the travails of his life-coaching and kung fu company WT Leader- ship, which was eventually dis- solved in February 2012. This followed the dissolution

two years earlier of another of his companies, Martial Arts School of Excellence. He


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