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News Schools look


at merging VIEWS are being sought on the proposed closure of Loose infant and junior schools to create a com- bined school. Governors at Loose Schools’Fed- eration and KCC want to use the buildings on both sites, on the Loose Road, to create a three-form entry community primary school for children aged four to 11. Loose Infant School and Loose


Junior School, which have been federated since 2011, share a gov- erning body and executive head- teacher. The infant school was told it required improvement in its Of- sted report last summer. The governing body of The Loose Schools’ Federation views the pro- posal as a natural progression, which will further secure benefits for staff and pupils. Under the proposal, Loose Infant School and Loose Junior School would close in their current form on August 31 this year, re-opening as Loose Primary School within the existing buildings on September 1. The primary schoolwould admit


up to 90 pupils into the reception year each September and the school would have a total of 630 places. Jared Nehra, KCC’s area educa-


tion officer, said: “We support the proposal.”


downsmail.co.uk


Residents protest over playing field homes


MORE than 1,500 people have signed a petition and over 200 res- idents attended a public meeting to oppose a plan for 220 homes on playing fields at the New Line Learning Academy, off Boughton Lane, Maidstone. The protest meeting, organised


by North Loose Residents’ Associ- ation, was attended by the area’s Lib Dem borough and county councillors. Locals fear the pro- posal – put forward by KCC, Fu- ture Schools Trust and BDW Trading Ltd – would increase traf- fic and put pressure on the junction of Boughton Lane and Loose Road. The application includes the re-


A BUILDING yard in Foley Street, Maidstone, could be demolished and replaced with six houses in a terrace.


Matthew Gallagher’s planning application for St Luke’s Centre re- quests four three-bedroom and two four-bedroom homes. No parking spaces would be required. A sup- porting statement says the removal


location of the academy’s playing fields to a nearby field off Sutton Road, currently owned by Wards. Aplan to cut access through Five AcreWoodwas another concern, as was the potential impact on health services. Further large-scale applications


are expected along Boughton Lane and another in fields at the top of Cripple Street, according to Cllr Derek Mortimer (Lib Dem), who blamed Maidstone Council for en- couraging developers to target greenfield sites for new homes. A supporting statement said: “Significant open space is provided within the scheme, both formally


Homes plan for building yard


of a “redundant crossover to the site” would increase parking ca- pacity by up to three more cars in Foley Street. In 2009 an outline scheme for the demolition of the existing building and construction of six three-bed- room homes with on-street parking was accepted. Maidstone Council will determine the latest plan.


within the housing area, retained woodland around the scheme and with the provision of 8.65 hectares of new playing fields and a further 3.5 hectares retained for the acad- emy’s farm.” It says there remains the poten-


tial for the area of ancient wood- land in Boughton Lane to be transferred to the North Loose Res- idents’ Association for community use.


The applicants say the scheme


will fund the academy’s new Tiger Primary School, which opened on the NLLAcademy site in Septem- ber 2012. A rate of 30% affordable housing is proposed.


Choir invitation


ANYONE who loves to sing is in- vited to join The Square Mile Com- munity Gospel Choir. Rehearsals are held fortnightly at


The Salvation Army, 74-80 Union Street, Maidstone, from 4-5pm on Sunday afternoons. The next dates are March 16 and 30. Tea and coffee are provided. Call 01622 681808 for details.


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Maidstone Town March 2014


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