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Idea for A249 estate after J8 plan refused


THE refusal of warehousing near M20 J8 could result in the extension of


the Detling Aerodrome Business Estate and a new A249 roundabout. The decision to submit a plan-


ning application to extend the es- tate by 20 hectares was made the day after Maidstone Council’s planning committee turned down Gallagher Properties’ 10.2-hectare proposal for a new business park in Waterside Park, south of the A20 Ashford Road. Landowner EJ Mackelden&Sons


Ltd says the development would fund a £5m roundabout close to the Bimbury Lane end of the A249, to- gether with an internal link road to Kent showground. “The plan has several major ad-


vantages for the Maidstone area,” said a company spokesman. “It meets Maidstone’s need for


adequate high-quality business space and is well located to motor- ways – both the M20 and the M2. “It is an extension of a well-es- tablished business estate which lives happily with neighbours and respects this part of an Area of Out- standing Natural Beauty. “It provides a desperately needed roundabout on this section of the A249 plus a 700m-long link road to take showground traffic off the A249, with substantial queue- ing space.” It would also eliminate left-in, left-out manoeuvres to and from the site and showground and con- trol traffic speeds on the A249. The spokesman added: “Our


Hot air balloon visits green


BEARSTED residents received an unexpected surprise when a hot air balloon landed on the village green. The balloon had taken


off from a backup site at Headcorn airfield early in the morning, with the intention of landing back at Leeds Castle, where it is based. However, the winds were


not favourable so the pilot landed on Bearsted Green because it could not get into the castle grounds. A spokesman for Airborne Balloons, which runs the castle’s balloon


rides, said: “Passenger balloons can land in quite small areas with little difficulty and this particular landing was normal.”


landscape consultant’s report shows business expansion can be absorbed within the natural topog- raphy, without significant impact or harm to the AONB. It is so well hidden most people do not know of its existence.” The 10.5-hectare business estate opened in 1964. In the past the council has indicated opposition to its expansion because of theAONB status. An application is expected in the near future. The council may have to contest a second appeal on the Waterside Park site after the planning com- mittee refused the scheme for the second time. The first appeal is due to be heard in theNewYear.


6 Help homeless


this winter THE Downs Mail is inviting read- ers once again to give their gener- ous support to Maidstone Churches’ Winter Shelter.


The campaign will run from December 8 until the end of February. Seven churches will take turns to open at 7pm to pro- vide a meal, warmth, company,


entertainment, a bed and breakfast. Last year 37 homeless people re-


ceived help. “The needs have not diminished,” said Salvation Army Major Grayson Williams (pictured), chairman of the shelter trustees. Readers can help by volunteering in the evenings, giving food, cash or small gifts, or helping out with pro- fessional skills.


To help, contact 07906 628413 or dianagordonuk@googlemail.com. Donations can also be taken to the


Salvation Army citadel in Union Street between 9am and noon.


THE BIG DEAL Free delivery and collection. Subject to terms and conditions.


Part exchange your old furniture for new!


The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.lincolnfur niture.co.uk November 2014 No. 211 News Commuter woe


RAIL travellers from Bearsted have formed a group to cam- paign for a better and cheaper service to London.


Jobs to be lost


UP to 400 full-time roles could be lost, as KCC aims to save £206m during the next three financial years.


23 Best of both worlds


OUR latest feature on youth employment and training focuses on the many ben- efits of apprenticeships.


30 Shopping disruption


TRADERS and customers will suffer four months of disruption when Week Street is dug up to lay a water main.


Unexpected arrival


VILLAGERS returning from a trip abroad were shocked to find a stowaway climbing out of a coach compartment.40


Comment 38-3946-47


ELECTRIC cars are the way for- ward, according to one letter writer.


Obituaries 42


TREVOR Bradley, a Maidstone rugby player who lived in Bearsted, is remembered.


Parish Councils 54-55


COUNCILLORS in Bredhurst urged objectors to a 450-home plan to send letters; bollards were installed in Harrietsham to deter travellers; a bridleway was report- edly impassable in Leeds; Speed Watch was to return in Ulcombe.


Crime Reports 55


TWO youths aged about 15 were said to have stolen a cap from a concrete post in Senacre; an at- tempt was made to burgle St James’ Church in Bicknor.


36 3


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