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Riverside homes case withdrawn

MAIDSTONE Council has withdrawn its case against developers of a riverside park home site in Yalding. The council took John Hilden and Gary Haffenden to task over six alleged breaches of the site licence for RiverView Park,Hamp- stead Lane, covering occupancy and health and safety issues. But after four court appearances and more

than sixmonths of legal wrangling, the coun- cil withdrew the charges. Now, lawyers acting for the defendants say

they will seek costs against the council, while Messrs Hilden and Haffenden plan to press ahead with development of the site. Arecent appeal against non-determination

of a planning application regarding the site failed on a legality, but means the pair are able to erect up to 17 park homes on the land for occupancy up to 10.5 months of the year.

The pair had hoped to declare it a “12- month holiday site” as in other parts of the borough, but their efforts have repeatedly failed. Mr Hilden, from East Malling, said: “The council did not know what it was doing. For a public body to come up with so many dif- ferent scenarios and to take advice from three or four different advisers is ludicrous – not to mention expensive.” A spokesman for Maidstone Council said:

“We withdrew from proceedings to prosecute Messrs Hilden and Haffenden in accordance with the CPS Code for Prosecutors for en- forcers. “A number of factors were considered, in- cluding the current situation on the park and the considerable improvements which had been made since the time the offences oc- curred.”

The homes that are already on site at River View park in Yalding

Grants will offer a sporting chance

WEALD Rotarians are offering six training grants to people who have shown real talent and dedication in sport. Nominations are now being sought for the ActiveMaidstone Awards, sponsored byMaid- stone Borough Council and local businesses. The awards celebrate the talent, dedication

and achievement of local individuals, clubs and schools across sport and health in 2013. Nominations can be made in six categories:

 Outstanding personal achievement (indi- vidual)  Rise to the challenge (business, club, organ- isation, school)  Sports personality (individual)

 Fair play (individual)  Creating healthier communities (business, club, organisation, school, individual)  Maidstone health and sport hall of fame (individual)

All nominations are eligible for one of six training grants sponsored by the Rotary Club of the Weald of Kent.

Anyone can make a nomination, with a cel- ebration evening being held on January 24, 2014 at Maidstone Leisure Centre. For more details and to make your nomina- tion, visit and-leisure.

Tree ‘risk to house’ APROPOSAL has been submit- ted to remove a protected oak tree on land to the rear of 81 Bathurst Road, Staplehurst. Mr Savage’s application form

says the tree is damaging the foundations of the property. Maidstone Council will deter- mine the planning application.

Oak lifted near shop MAIDSTONE Council has given Chart Sutton Parish Council planning permission to crown lift an oak tree at the village green, so that pedestrians can better access the village shop.

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