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Mall site proposed for 350 new homes

REDEVELOPMENT plans for The Mall – formerly the Chequers Centre – could see another site for new housing in the centre of Maidstone.

Aproposal unveiled to Maidstone Council planners show there could be at least 350 new homes built as part of a mixed-use scheme. An 11th-hour update to the coun-

cil’s draft local plan – designating sites to meet the perceived need for 19,600 new homes between 2011 and 2031 – revealed a potential in- crease in town centre housing as a result of the proposals for The Mall. A council spokesman said: “The

fabric of the Mall is ageing and there is a good prospect of its redevelop-

Concern over

church care THERE are fears over the future upkeep of St John the Baptist Church in Harrietsham. The church’s friends group, a registered charity, is now down to two members – the vicar and a secretary – meaning its fundrais- ing activities have ceased. Without more members of the charity, funds to undertake any necessary repairs and4

ment over the timescale of the plan. It’s possible development will come forward in phases.” Capital & Regional, co-owner of

The Mall, unveiled its £100m project to modernise the shopping centre as wewent to press. Proposals include the creation of

a new entrance and department store on Gabriel’s Hill, a new bus in- terchange and car parking. Town centre manager Bill Moss

said: “The more housing in the town centre, the better. Let’s get peo-

ple back into Maidstone. “Everyone knows that The Mall

needs new flooring, ceilings and lighting – but Capital has gone much further and said it is prepared to invest £100m in this masterplan for the future of Maidstone. “However, it is my belief that if

the [out of town] Newnham Court scheme gets the go-ahead, it will want to take that investment away.”

Details of local plan

10-11, 36-37 March 2014 No. 203 News Super sportswoman

AN indefatigable schoolgirl who performs netball, trampoline and dance has won an outstand- ing achievement award.

DIY cyle ride to Paris

A BUS driver raised money for Demelza House by cycling from London to Paris on a bike he built himself.

Music event in doubt

SLOW progress within the parish council may hamper the staging of popular Bearsted Green event Music on the Green.

School seeks head

A NEW head teacher is being sought for Madginford Park Jun- ior School, which was put in special measures. 14

Council tax to rise

TAXPAYERS will be asked to help cover shortfalls. 17

Stones’ legal threat COURT case may settle football pitch row. 32

Comment 42-43 Duke to open town’s new hospital Parish Councils 54-55

A PROPOSAL to make councillors pay for their errors, parking prob- lems at Maidstone Studios and, once again, the Co-op proposal for Lenham are all scrutinised.

HRH Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, is to officially open KIMS – the new hospital in Maid- stone.

The Queen’s cousin (right) will visit the Kent In- stitute of Medi- cine and Surgery on Wednesday, April 2 to per- form the official opening, as a rep- resentative of Her Majesty. The £85m hospital has been six

years in the planning and almost two years in construction. The independently-owned pri-

vate tertiary hospital will offer services to the NHS by agreement with the local hospital trusts and NHS commissioning bodies. Covering seven acres, KIMS will

serve a catchment area of 1.7 mil- lion patients and employ more than 350 clinicians. Work is now about to start on the adjacent Maidstone Medical Cam- pus, which will offer a medical training centre with graduate and

post graduate teaching facilities for doctors and nurses, plus student accommodation, in conjunction with lead universities, research and development facilities, as well as a neurological rehabilitation and care centre, a specialist paediatrics unit and a specialist women’s health unit.

Details of the duke’s itinerary

have not yet been announced, but it is anticipated he will be shown around the new hospital by the Dickmann family, who have been the instigators of the scheme

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DISSATISFACTION with bus serv- ice 59 is raised by Boughton Mal- herbe and Broomfield and Kingswood; Members in Bred- hurst see the borough council’s new play strategy as a chance to improve the village play area; Detling decides to give all house- holds in the parish poppy seeds to mark the century since World War I began; Regret is expressed in Hollingbourne over the “humilia- tion” suffered by the the depart- ing clerk; Lenham is seeking volunteers for a spring clean.

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