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Santas on run JOIN the fun by taking part in the Santa Run on Saturday, De- cember 14 at The Gallagher Sta- dium, Maidstone, in aid of the Heart of Kent Hospice. The entrance fee of £15 in- cludes a Santa suit for you to keep and free admission to the Maidstone United game that follows the 500m run. Runners should arrive at 1.30pm for a 2pm start. Book at, email fundrais- or call 01622 790195.

Variety show THE talented ladies of the Far- leighs WI are putting on a Christmas Variety Show, with song, dance and comedy antics. There are two performances

in theWI Hall, Forge Lane, East Farleigh, on Friday December 13 at 7.30pm and on Saturday, December 14 at 2.30pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, and include tea and mince pies. Call Daphne on 728167 or Ann on 814561.

Christmas dates MAIDSTONE Mencap mem- bers are organising a Christmas concert with Maidstone Oper- atic Society on Saturday, De- cember 7 at Cobtree Hall. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets cost £5, and include refreshments. Call Ann on 07842 149995.

Ipads to reduce

paperwork MAIDSTONE Council hopes it can save money by giving councillors Ipads. The council predicts that eliminating most paperwork by providing all 55 members with Apple’s popular tablet comput- ers will save £10,000 per year. Fifteen councillors are being

given Ipads for a six-month trial, at a cost of £5,000 funded from a budget underspend in 2012-13. If this is successful, the schemewill be rolled out to all members next year. Cllr Richard Lusty, chairman

of the planning committee, is one of the members taking part in the trial. He said: “We have to make sure we tell the public at meetings that we are using our Ipads, so people don’t think we are tapping away on the computer talking to some- body over the internet.”

Al fresco plan MAIDSTONE could go more continental, with a planned ex- pansion of the street café scene. Cllr Malcolm Greer, cabinet member for regeneration, would like to see the top sec- tion of Earl Street – from Pud- ding Lane to Week Street – closed to traffic between 10.30am and 5pm, allowing restaurants to spread on to the pavement.

22 South

Supermarket plan revealed

PROPOSALS for a supermarket at Springfield Park in Maidstone were expected to be on the desks of borough council planners as the Downs Mail went to press. They are unlikely to include the 16 riverfront apartments previously proposed, saidWYG Plan- ning and Environment, which is working for Augur Buchler on a plan for the two-hectare va- cant site off Royal Engineers Road. The news follows a well-attended public exhi- bition, outlining the company’s proposals for a supermarket, with 3,000 sqmof shop floor, a fill- ing station and a 300-space car park.

Mary Davidson, fromWYG, said: “Most people

were supportive of a supermarket at this end of town and the jobs it would create, but half were against the housing, particularly the access to it.” “Our application is now likely to include more landscaping in this area to protect the views of Springfield House.” She said consideration will be given to a dona-

tion from the developer to enlarge the church hall at nearby St Faith’s and for a stand-alone doctors’ surgery and pharmacy, facing Royal En- gineers Road – both requested during the con- sultation.

Reduced pub parking ‘a recipe for disaster’

THERE are concerns that a scheme to build two de- tachedfour-bedroomhousesnext toapubinBoughton Monchelsea could cause parking problems. Maidstone Council’s planning committee granted planning permission for thedevelopmentonland tothe east of Albion Inn in Green Lane, part of which was a pub garden. The other part is the pub car park, which will lose fiveof its10spacesasaresult of the scheme. MrCoates,anobjector, said: “Wehaveamajor park-

ing problem in the village.When the pub is busy you can’t park near it so you get double parking, which causes a lot of congestion. People also park on the pavement outside houses opposite the pub. “Two of the parking spaces at the pub are taken up

by the landlord and staff, which will leave only two or three spaces. The owners are going to extend the pub sowe are going to have a problem.” Cllr Tony Harwood,acommitteemember, felt thesit-

uation was a “recipe for disaster”, but fellowmember CllrMartinCoxsaid: “Iwouldhopealocalpubwouldat- tract local people and the two spaces should suffice.” Maidstone Council could not refuse on this ground

Spaces will be lost from the Albion Inn’s car park in Green Lane, Boughton Monchelsea

asKCCsaid therewerenosafety issues, so itwas given planning consent through 12 votes in favour and one abstention. Mr Gosling, speaking on behalf of the pub, said the

feeling in the villagewas that local people did notwant theAlbion Inntobecomederelictandtherewereplans to run it as a real ale pub.

Listing to preserve The Mote's Tabernacle The

Tabernacle, which is to become a listed


ONE of Maidstone’s most iconic buildings – the 104-year-oldTab- ernacle atThe Mote CricketClub ground – is to be listed by Eng- lish Heritage. The Tabernacle was built by

the 1st Lord Bearsted for his pri- vate use next to the main pavil- ion he financed for the club. He made his fortune when he set up a tanker business transporting oil worldwide. He saw the opportu-

ST FAITH’S Church, near BrenchleyGardens, is planning a programme of festive events. There will be a family carol service with coffee and cake at St Faith’s hall in Ringlestone at 11am on Sunday, December 1. The Fairtrade market is at the

hall from noon to 3pm on Satur- day, December 14. The next day, there will be carols at 4pm, fol- lowed by carol-singing in Ringle- stone from 5-6pm. The candlelit

nity as he travelled with the fam- ily trading company, which in- cluded decorated seashells among its specialities.Heneeded a name for his new business – and he called it Shell Oil. Lord Bearsted lived in Mote

House on the family estate of Mote Park. He died in 1928, and the park was sold to Maidstone Corporation for £50,000. The cricket groundwas left in trust to

Christmas services at church

carol service at the church is at 7.30pm on Sunday, December 23. On Christmas Eve, there will be a Christingle and crib service at 4pm. Hot drinks will be served at 11pm before midnight Holy Communion service at 11.30pm. The Christmas Day communion service is at 10am. Call Rev Jackie Cray on 01622 851822 or Rev Phil Sheldrake on

Mote CC. He enjoyed cricket and was the only team member to change in the Tabernacle. The building – with kitchen, fire- place, toilet and shower as well as a large room – was also the centre of business and entertain- ing.

The cost of upkeep was a chal-

lenge first for the Band of Broth- ers cricket club and later for Mote CC. Three years ago it was close to demolition, but a cam- paign raised about £60,000 to re- store the building, while maintaining the key historical features. Now it serves as The Mote Youth Sports Centre. The club’s development chair-

man, Dennis Fowle, said: “We are very proud of our renewed Tabernacle and that it is now seen fit by English Heritage for listing to protect it for ever.”

Fraud alleged THE former boss of Age Con- cern in West Malling will ap- pear before Maidstone Crown Court on November 29. Keith Austin (62), of Tovil

Green Lane, Maidstone, is charged with siphoning more than £217,000 from the organi- sation’s funds. Delays over the case are thought to centre on the paperwork, going back a number of years. Austin is also now thought to have cancer.

Have you got news for us? Phone our News Desk on 01622 734735

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