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Planners throw out woodland homes

A PROPOSAL for 500 homes to the east of Hermitage Lane in Allington

was unanimously refused by Maidstone Council’s planning commiee. The Croudace Homes proposal, which would was for land border- ing Maidstone Hospital and Howard Drive, was refused on three grounds:  Development of the southern field would have needed a link road that would have eroded an- cient woodland, known locally as Bluebell Wood.  No contribution towards a country park, seen as essential to maintain the open gap between Allington and Aylesford and the built-up area to the west in Ton- bridge and Malling.

 The provision of 30% affordable housing was contrary to policy that encourages 40% in urban fringe sites. There were 900 letters of objec- tion from residents. Ann Bates, who lives in Howard Drive, repre- sented more than 2,000 members of New Allington Action Group at the committee meeting. She said: “This site is part of the last remaining green corridor on this side of Maid- stone and will be totally compro- mised by development. “It has massive biodiversity, with ancient woodland at its heart, large

arable fields and orchards and is surrounded by a trees and hedgerows. If you are truly com- mitted to maintaining the gap be- tween Barming and Allington, and Aylesford and Ditton, you cannot allow development on this land.” The proposal was to develop two fields. The northern field, which in- cludes a reservoir, was earmarked for 380 homes in the council’s adopted local plan in 2000. Cllr Dan Daley, a ward member

for Allington since 1990, felt the de- veloper and its agent, Bar- ton Willmore, stoked fury

10 Medical centre Strawberries cream of the crop

MEREWORTH soft fruit farmer Marion Regan was delighted when her Baby Jubilee strawberries, grown at Hugh Lowe Farms, were judged the tastiest at the Kent County Show. The three-day festival got off to a soggy start but the sun finally came out on the second day. 33

Inside this edition:

SEVERAL venues in the Malling area will open their doors for visitors to ex- plore for free. For details see the four- page supplement by Malling Action Partnership, which supports people, businesses and events in the 11 parishes in the Malling area.

‘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 proposal was rejected. Franz Dickmann, president of 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 of the Newnham Court

25 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 the borough coun- cil’s success in recycling.

New supermarket

THE Powerhub building in St Peter’s Street is set to become a supermarket after a suc- cessful planning appeal. 8

Road figures concern

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

Robbers punished

PRISON sentences were given to three men for violent raids on shops in Larkfield and Snodland.

Community garden

NEW facility has opened in disused goods yard. 26

Money for M20 JUNCTION 4 given boost.33

Comment 27

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

Obituaries Crime Reports

30 34

Parish Councils 42-43

COUNCILLORS in Aylesford were invited to the opening of a gypsy site; the clock had stopped working at the church in Birling; picnic benches were vandalised at East Peckham; a maximum of £5,300 was set aside for the possible cleaning of the war memorial in Leybourne; a new mower was cutting grass at the church in Mereworth; early morning tractor movements were being addressed in Offham.

17 16 4

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