This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Four editions delivered to over 88,000 homes every month Maidstone East Edition Maidstone East Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

FREE Maidstone Town | Maidstone East | Maidstone South | Malling

Town slipping down the ‘shopping league’

A TOWN centre programme manager is to be appointed to recapture

Maidstone’s reputation as a shopping destination. The town is facing a number of challenges, not least its decline in re- tail popularity.

the cabinet heard – although the peak position of 33 followed the opening of Fremlin Walk.

Maidstone Council’s cabinet heard that there were more empty shop units compared with competing cen- tres and a lack of large units and sites to attract anchor retailers. The town slipped in its retail posi- tion from 33rd out of 2,500 towns in the country in 2007 to 52nd in 2013, chiefly due to a lack of investment,

Despite a number of restaurants opening in the town, there was still an under-representation in the mid to high-end restaurant market and a lack of integration between the town centre and retail outlets on the other side of the River Medway. Traffic congestion continued to be a problem and there were limited

Popular garden centre closes

GREEN-fingered gardeners in Maidstone have been shocked and saddened by the unexpected closure of a popular and long-established garden centre. Grafty Garden

Centre had been a focal point of Grafty Green for almost 30 years, drawing customers from far and wide. Now, residents

have been asked to give their comments on a proposal for 14 family homes and offices on the former garden centre plot. Details of the redevelopment scheme, being marketed by Quinn

Pauline Parkinson (right) with staff and family

Estates of Littlebourne, near Canterbury, were due to be unveiled during a two-day consultation at the Grafty Green Village Hall. The garden centre business was set up in Harrietsham by Pauline Parkinson in 1980. It moved to Grafty Green six years later, where it 5

Downs Mail Late-night culture

MAIDSTONE Museum is open until 9pm on Thursdays. For in- formation see the Maidstone Council-sponsored 12-page Bor- ough Update in the centre pages.

comes of age DOWNS Mail president and re- tired chairman/editor Dennis Fowle addressed The Roundabout Lunch Club at the Dog and Bear in Lenham, on his book “So I started a newspaper”.

The Downs Mail was 18 years in April and reaches more than 80,000 households in the Maid- stone area through four editions (Town, East, South, Malling).

opportunities for office space in the town centre, fuelled by the attraction of out-of-town business parks. The council has set aside £100,000 for the appointment of a programme manager who will work with busi- nesses, landowners and stakehold- ers for two years to deliver a five-point action plan: town centre living; employment and retail; cul- ture and leisure; transport; and pub- lic realm and connectivity.

KCC weighs

up lorry parks KENT County Council has failed to rule out using the site of the now closed Aylesford Newsprint as a large lorry park for Operation Stack. KCC wants to relieve congestion on the M20 corridor when periods of bad weather or strike action in France force the closure of the Chan- nel Tunnel.

Currently, the coastbound motor-

way is closed between two junctions when Operation Stack is imple- mented, but KCC wants at least one dedicated parking area for lorries to enable traffic to flow freely. The 38-hectare


Newsprint site, which closed in Feb- ruary, is being considered by KCC for this purpose.

A spokesman for KCC said the au- thority shared Tonbridge and Malling Council’s aspiration for em- ployment at the site, but would only go as far as to state that it does not form part of any lorry park- ing plans “at the moment”.


May 2015 No. 217 News

Town sport success

MAIDSTONE’s rugby and foot- ball clubs have been celebrating winning their respective league titles.

Halfway house off

A CHARITY has pulled out of converting a former pub into homeless accommodation after a price increase. 4

Traveller requests

MAIDSTONE Council has asked 241 landowners if they would allow their land to be converted into gypsy sites.

8 Fifty homes consent

FUTURE residents of a controver- sial scheme allowed in Bearsted will have to pay ongoing maintenance costs. 10

Comment 46-47 34

A PLEA is made for dog owners to to keep their pets on leads.

Crime Reports 35

MORE than 20 chickens were stolen from an outbuilding.

Obituaries 40 Parish Councils 50-51

AN objection was made to a plan for longer licensing hours at a pub in Bredhurst, where 25kg of snowdrops were to be delivered; complaints were made about the sale of caravans in Broomfield and Kingswood; rats were roam- ing between gardens in Detling; preparations were being made for this year’s Olympicnic in Downswood; a grant of £500 was agreed to fight a motocross track in Lenham.

Award winning salon


For ALL your Mobility needs Newnham Court Shopping Village Notcutts Garden Centre, Maidstone (Next to Pennies Nursery) TEL: 01622 631511 

Charterwood 01622 739001



Mon-Sat 9-5 Sunday 11-4 FREE Parking

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64