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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

Cup is cherry on the top of show prizes

LOOSE cherry grower Brian Piper maintained his supremacy at the Kent Show when he regained the national champion’s cup in the soft fruit marquee. His Kordia cherries were judged best in show to give him his 10th title in the 20 years he has cultivated modern varieties of cherries under protective nets and plastic in his Hubbards Lane orchard. Six other entries won their classes. The three-day festival got off to a soggy start but the sun came out on the second day. 33


01622 692343

OPENING HOURS: 12.00NOON - 2.30PM & 6.00PM - 11.00PM Tax rises beat

UK average INCOME tax payers in Maidstone and Tonbridge and Malling are see- ing their bills rise faster than the av- erage rate for the UK, according to a survey. In Maidstone, taxpayers pay an

average of £5,520 a year, an increase of 8% over five years, above theUK average amount of £4,985 which is an increase of 6.2% since 2006/7. Households in Tonbridge and Malling have seen an even higher hike, paying an average of £6,970 in income tax 14

arable fields and orchards and is surrounded by 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 area, 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, Barton Willmore, stoked fury among6

August 2014 No. 208 News

Fewer prison officers

STAFF levels at Maidstone Prison are going down at the same time as jails across the country suffer overcrowding.

THE Jubilee School will open a free school at Gatland House, Fant, after receiving the green light from KCC. 8

Prolific on potholes

MORE than 2,500 potholes have been repaired in Maidstone so far this year – more than in any other part of Kent.

12 Experienced oarsmen

A GROUP of rowers with an aver- age age of 67 won gold medals at the national champi- onships.

Motorists beware

WILLINGTON Street will stay closed till August 31.19

New supermarket POWERHUB wins consent.28

Comment 46-47 26

KCC responds to concerns about traffic alterations to the Running Horse roundabout and the river- side path near Barming Bridge.

Obituaries 30

MUSICIAN Eric Snowball, who ran his own shop in Upper Fant Road, is remembered, alongside other local people.

Crime Reports 43 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.

OAK AND PINE The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291

A BLACK chicken was stolen from a pen in the rear garden of a home in York Road.

Parish Councils 43

COUNCILLORS appointed Nicola Attwood as Barming’s new clerk; a poster was being designed warning those who allow dogs to foul in Loose could be fined.

16 4 Free school go-ahead

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