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Countryside idea to curb homes target

KCC believes Maidstone Council’s housing target is too high – yet has earmarked previously unallocated greenfield land near Detling Aero-

drome, Leeds and Kingswood for large new housing developments. The county council has formally objected to the borough council’s assessment that 19,600 new homes are needed in the borough between 2011 and 2031, believing only 14,500 is needed, of which 6,000 have already been built. A40-page report says the town’s infrastructure is already “at or above” capacity and that urban sprawl must stop.KCCleader Paul Carter has endorsed the response, which objects to several key pro- posed locations in the draft local

plan, including a touted 930-home scheme south of Sutton Road, di- rectly next to his home in Langley. He has instead called for Detling Aerodrome and surrounding greenfield land to become a “mini Kings Hill”, with 1,000 homes, re- tail and employment, despite being located in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which has the same planning pro- tection as a national park. There would be road improvements and a new junction off the A249, costing

Active awards

victim of cuts THE axe has fallen on the Active Maidstone Awards, as part of a cost-cutting exercise by Maidstone Council. The awards were introduced 23

years ago as the Youth Sport Achievement Awards to celebrate the achievement of local people who had shown talent and dedica- tion to their sport, or to clubs be- lieved to have made a difference to the health of the community. Re-branded this year as the Ac-

tive Maidstone Awards, the scheme is considered to “no longer have a clear place in the remit and priori- ties of the community develop- ment team”, according to officers.

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£4m. The report also earmarks the de-

velopment of 550 homes on a site north-west of Kingswood that was rejected by Maidstone Council, and 200 homes east of Upper Street, Leeds. This would include a £20m by-

pass of Leeds village and a £5m spur road from Leeds Road to serv- ice the Kingswood extension. Land east of Church Road, Otham, would also take 450 homes, the report said. 47

Emily aims to bowl them over

A BOWLS player from Bearsted has been chosen to compete for a cov- eted place on the England team. Emily Ferguson (17) will play in a

four in the trials at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa, on May 26. She will be one of 40 hoping to be selected by Bowls England for a place in the country’s under-25s squad. Bowls England will select 20 players and two reserves to participate in the Junior International Series at Ballymena, Ireland, from July 18-20. Bowls England chief executive

Tony Allcock said: “Selection for the junior international trial is an honour for all of the players involved.”

Emily had a hugely successful outdoor season in 2013, which

caught the eyes of the international selectors, with top performances in the Bowls England national mixed pairs (finalist) – partnered with Perry Martin and in the Kent Women’s two-wood singles, where she walked away with the title. Emily plays for Milton Regis Bowls Club near Sittingbourne.

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The Big Ye llow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.lincolnfur May 2014 No. 205 News Health services risk

THERE is concern for the future of Maidstone Hospital after the Gov- ernment said it could close “failing” hospitals.

3 Shopping centre fear

A CAMPAIGN aims to save the for- mer Granada cinema, which could be demolished in a scheme to improve The Mall. 4

Supermarket support

A NEW Morrisons at Springfield Park was accepted in principle, which could scupper Tesco’s scheme for Maidstone East.

6 Concern for Lenham

RESIDENTS have raised objec- tions at the local plan’s sugges- tion to expand the village by 1,500 homes. 12

Eight-week closure

GAS works will close Spot Lane in Bearsted. 16

Election special SEE all candidates. 40-41

Comment 44-45

PLEAS are made for more bunga- lows in the borough and improve- ments to roundabouts, while the ownership of The Mall shopping centre is investigated.

Crime Reports 45

POLICE made an appeal for infor- mation after two Patterdale dogs were stolen from a rear garden. Clocks were also taken in a burglary.

Obituaries 50-51 Parish Councils 62-63

A STREET lighting trial had been conducted in Bredhurst; Detling apologised about the Villager of the Year awards; funding cuts meant Hollingbourne had to in- crease rents for users of its pavil- ion and playing field; dog mess was a concern at Leeds.

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