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Local plan housing target is under fire


THE housing target for Maidstone borough could be in jeopardy due to concerns raised in the run-up to the recent council election. The opposition Lib Dems had al-


ready vowed to rip up the draft local plan and reduce the 19,600 tar- get between 2011 and 2031. And if Conservatives retain con-


trol, discontent among backbench councillors could force the cabinet to make major changes to the local plan, whichwould have to be voted through by full council on two sep- arate occasions before it is adopted. Local MP Hugh Robertson has


also raised an objection, which fol- lows KCC leader Paul Carter’s at- tacks on the high housing target. At the end of the six-week public


consultation, backbench member Cllr Nick deWiggondene revealed he had asked council leader Cllr Chris Garland to withdraw the draft in its current form, adding that many in his partywere pressing the leader to revisit the plan. He said: “The problem we have


had all along is the MBC officers saying it [lower figure] isn’t going to work. But the pressure on some vil- lages is massive. If we can actually get away with a lower number of houseswe should do that.” Incoming mayor Cllr Richard Thick, a Conservative who repre-


sents Headcorn, said: “Alot of peo- ple are very unhappy with it. I, for one, am very unhappy with the plan.We can’t cope with the amount of development proposed.” Officers at Maidstone Council maintain the figure is objectively as- sessed and evidence based to meet Government requirements. Plan- ning committee chairman Cllr Den- nis Collins said it was unlikely the draft planwould be “pulled” but he did concede: “I am confident the plan will be revised, with a number of alterations which will make it more palatable to4


‘Pre-loaders’


hit bar trade LICENSING laws aimed at turning Britain into a café culture have failed completely, according to landlords in Maidstone.


Pupils from the Holy Family Catholic school, Park Wood, at the exhibtion Pupils learn of life on land


NEARLY 3,000 children and staff from 48 primary schools were treated to a visual and highly practical lesson in farming and the countryside at Detling’s Living Land exhibition. The free school event was staged by the Kent County Agricultural Society as part of its charitable objective to educate 3


GURKHA RESTAURANT 112 WEEK STREET, MAIDSTONE ME14 1RH


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Bar and nightclub takings are de- clining in the county town as youngsters drink heavily before coming to the town to party, the town’s night economy forum heard.


Bar managers and club owners are now planning their own cam- paign to turn trade back to the “halcyon” days of the 1980s when clubbers came out at 8pm – and were back home in bed by 3am. The town’s night econ- omy forum heard that


46 Morrisons threat


MAIDSTONE Council could face a judicial review after changing its mind over the Morrisons proposal. The planning committee refused the supermarket idea for Spring- field after backing it on principle at an earlier meeting. The developer may now contest the ruling at court. Full story - page 32


Constantly checking UK prices to get you the lowest price


The Big Ye llow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.lincolnfur niture.co.uk June 2014 No. 206 News Patient care criticism


MAIDSTONE Hospital fails to meet basic standards of care, according to a Care Quality Commission inspection.


4 Village road re-opens


AFTER a sink hole appeared six months ago, the B2163 through Leeds will at last re-open to traffic at the end of May. 5


Street clutter call


A LOCAL councillor has called for planning restrictions to halt the proliferation of estate agent signs in the borough.


Local plan update


KCC wants a lower housing tar- get and large new housing devel- opments in Detling and Kingswood. 22-23


Bye to hospice chief


INJURED Kate Bosley has left her role.


27


Parking fines galore TOWN in national top 10.30


Comment 33


THE council is criticised for ignoring local wishes and refusing the supermarket proposal for Springfield; a local shop is praised for supporting a stroke sufferer.


Obituaries 36-37 Crime Reports 47


RECORDS, books, ski equipment and a Citroen vehicle were stolen in a garage burglary in Union Street.


Parish Councils 47


THE prospect of large housing developments in bordering Tonbridge & Malling concerned residents in Barming; some residents opposed the decision for all dogs to be put on leads in the playing field at Loose; a parish council election cost Tovil £4,000.


6


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