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KCC denies ‘siing on housing report’

KCC leader Paul Carter has been accused of “siing on” a document

that proves him wrong over Maidstone’s housing need. Cllr Carter told the Downs Mail in February that he had authorised an investigation into the methodol- ogy behind Maidstone Council’s assessment that the borough needs 19,600 homes between 2011-2031. Cllr Carter, who lives in Langley and represents Maidstone Rural North, felt this figure – reached by planning consultant GL Hearn – should be much lower.

Former borough council leader Chris Garland claimed in late March to have seen a draft copy of a consultant’s report which had up- held the process used by GL Hearn.

KCC declined Downs Mail en- quiries to see this draft report, so we requested it under the Freedom Of Information Act, but KCC said the report did not exist. Cllr Garland said: “I have seen the report. I have read it. Paul Carter had it on him when I was with him. The final paragraph says: ‘we would have done it a different way, but we would have come to the same number as 19,600’.” The FOI response said KCC had a number of preliminary meetings with Peter Brett Associates Ltd to “explore the potential for them to

Hop festival given Brand aid

complete a review and asked for some outline work to be under- taken [but] it was subsequently de- cided that there was no need for such external work to be completed for the county council to reach its conclusions and respond to the consultation.

“No reliance was placed by the county council on the views of ex- ternal consultants when submitting its consultation response. Accord- ingly there is, and never has been, a report completed by ex- ternal consultants that can be shared with you.” The

4 Medical centre

‘going ahead’ THE man behind the Maidstone Medical Centre says the scheme will still move forward – despite threatening to pull out if the Newn- ham Court proposalwas rejected. Franz Dickmann, president of

PROMOTERS of this year’s Hop Farm Music Festival in Paddock Wood have said they will be back with a bang next year. Despite a disappointing turn-out for the three-day event – and the last-minute cancellation of two headline acts – 12

War on rubbish

ENFORCEMENT officers are part of the council’s zero toler- ance approach to dropping litter. Full details are in the Maidstone Council-sponsored 12-page Bor- ough Update in the centre pages.

Kent Institute of Medicine and Sur- gery, submitted a letter to Maid- stone Council chief executive Alison Broom a few days before the planning committee decided not to allow Land Securities’ 28,000sqm retail development near M20 Junc- tion 7. Councillors felt the scheme would have been detrimental to the town centre. Last year Mr Dickmann was

given planning permission to build a 98,000sqm KIMS extension – MMC – that would include hospi- tals, a university and rehabilitation village. His letter said: “Should the Land Securities deal not be approved I will seriously reconsider investing in this scheme [MMC] and will therefore concentrate my attention on the alternative locations in Ash- ford or Kings Hill.” However, after the refusal 9

OAK AND PINE The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 July 2014 No. 207 News Paper funds to end

LOCAL charities are to lose a vital income stream inadvertently through Maidstone Coun- cil’s success in recycling.

UCA leaves town

THE University for the Creative Arts is this month closing its doors in Maidstone after 150 years.

10 Road figures concern

KCC is basing its traffic forecasts for some new housing schemes on projections from de- velopers, it has emerged.

New council leader

ANNABELLE Blackmore, from Marden, was voted in and will lead a minority Conser- vative administration.

23 Commissoner stays

ANN Barnes keeps job after C4 documentary. 24

Vandals wreck wall DAMAGE in Loose Valley.25

Comment 26-27

VIEWS on parking tickets, the state of a riverside footpath, im- migration and the cost of a night out in Maidstone are aired.

Crime Reports Obituaries

27 32

Parish Councils 33-43

A landowner declared no more footpaths would be provided in Boughton Moncheslea; Concern was raised at Broomfield and Kingswood about crop spraying near Leeds Castle; parking per- mits were the cause of unrest at Chart Sutton; complaints of low hot air ballon flying were made in Coxheath; dogs were banned from the recreation ground in East Farleigh; an unpleasant smell was reported in Headcorn.

14 4

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