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Pub homes

plan revised A DEVELOPER has made an- other attempt to build three homes behind a former high street pub in Staplehurst after losing an appeal. Raspberry Homes lodged an appeal after Maidstone Council failed to determine its applica- tion for The Pride ofKentwithin five months.Aplanning inspec- tor dismissed the appeal, saying it would cause visual harm to the conservation area. However, the inspector was supportive towards the principle of housing in the location and raised no objection to the amount of units proposed, which has encouraged the de- veloper to resubmit a proposal that it claims has rectified the grounds for refusal by simplify- ing the roof profile and improv- ing the boundary treatment along Chapel Lane. Maidstone Council will deter- mine the application.

Light-fingered A24-year oldman from Yalding has been sentenced to 60 days in prison for shoplifting. Stuart Taylor, of Kenward

Road, stole a light fitting valued at £30 from a shop in Maid- stone. He pleaded guilty before Medway Magistrates when he appeared in court on October 23.

Prison staff set to lose their jobs

STAFF have been told their jobs are to go following the news that East Sutton Prison near Maid- stone is to close. The future of themanor house, which has been a punishment centre since 1946, has still to be decided. The Ministry of Justice re-

cently announced that as part of its reforms, which will see fe- male inmates held closer to home and offered community employment, there will no longer be a need for dedicated women’s open prisons. Justice Minister Lord McNally

said: “The closure of East Sutton Park follows a steady reduction in the women’s female prison population. “We will only close it once

new resettlement faculties are available across the country, of- fering better options for the great majority of female offenders. “The decision is in no way a

PHILIPPE and Karen Debax-La- tour have with- drawn their planning applica- tion for a home next to the closed Harrow Inn in The Street, Ulcombe.

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any secret that older buildings are more expensive to run. But we are closing the prison so that inmates can be closer to home and in line with our reforms to reintroduce them to society and the world of work before they leave prison. “While this is an old building

reflection of the hard work and commitment of staff, nor of the prison’s performance.” All staff will be offered rede- ployment or voluntary redun- dancy. The service does not expect compulsory redundan- cies.

The prison cost £2.6m to run

last year, representing a bill of £48,842 per inmate. A spokesman for the Prison Service said: “I don’t think it’s

Pub home plan dropped

and in the male prison service we have been looking to close older prisons, in favour of more modern premises, I can’t say whether the age of the building was a deciding factor.” The fate of the prison building,

its farm, extensive gardens and farm shop “will be announced when we have made a decision about what we will do with it. “We aim to have alternative fa- cilities in place within 12 months,” said the prison spokesman. The move brings the number of prisons shut or earmarked for closure to 21 since 2010.

Industrial plan for farm B B FIRMIN Farms has applied to turn a redun- dant agricultural building in Boughton Monchelsea into light industrial use. The proposal, which will be determined by Maidstone Council, relates to Unit 1 at Camp- field Farm in Haste Hill Road,which bounds the Boughton Quarry Camp.Asupporting statement said: “The size of the premises is small, cover- ing only 257 sqmgross floorspace and this scale is likely to result in a minor level of use.”

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