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‘Let’s act fast to avoid a rise in homes target’

THE borough's housing target could swell beyond the current 18,560 if the

local plan is not adopted soon, warns the leader of Maidstone Council. Lib Dem Cllr Fran Wilson cam- paigned to reduce the controversial housing target (initially 19,600) – be- tween 2011 and 2031 – while in op- position to the ruling Conservatives. But less than three months after re- gaining the role of council leader eight years since she was in charge, Cllr Wilson has admitted that she has “failed” to reduce the target. Furthermore, both the Lib Dems and Conservatives have warned that London's rapidly increasing popula- tion – up by 100,000 every year since 2008 – could force the borough to ac- cept an even higher target. Cllr Wilson told full council:

spokesman] and myself over the past 18 months to achieve this and we've failed.

“The leader of Kent County Coun- cil [Cllr Paul Carter] did all he could to find a way and he failed. “Kalc [Kent Association of Local Councils] provided a further report and MBC, in the interests of trans- parency, sent that to yet another in- dependent consultant. His verdict was that it would not stand up to the inspector's scrutiny.

“Everything has been tried to reduce our housing need assessment. No one worked harder than Cllr Tony Harwood [Lib Dem planning

“It would now be advisable to ac- cept the 18,560 housing need assess- ment and to understand that as yet no utility or highways authority have provided any evidence to en- able us to substantially convert that figure into a lower housing target. “There is a well-substantiated re-

Rockers let hair down

MAIDSTONE proved it could rock with the best of them, in spite of the rain, when the Ramblin’ Man Fair paid its first visit to the town. Thousands endured

Sunday’s downpours at the rock weekender in Mote Park and, in spite of complaints about the noise from residents, Maidstone Council has confirmed it is in talks with organiser The Rock Collective about a repeat performance next year.

port in the independent magazine for housing professionals that indi- cates that the latest revision in pop- ulation figures puts existing housing data in question and that calcula- tions on which local authorities have based their figures for housing need have probably underestimated pop- ulation growth. “I beg everybody to work together to actually resolve our local plan.” Conservative Cllr David Burton, chairman of the strategic planning committee, said: “The impact of mi- gration to and from London will have an impact on the South East. “There is some uncertainty about if and when it will come to fruition. Delay in the local plan increases the risk that housing numbers need to increase further.” 12

Cash query as

bypass agreed MAIDSTONE Council is set to press ahead with the Leeds-Lang- ley bypass, but there is still no indi- cation of how the scheme will be funded.


Award winning salon

SO HAIRDRESSING 01622 739001

The proposed road linking the A274 south-east of Maidstone with the A20 near M20 Junction 8 has been an aspiration for more than 30 years. It has become even more im- portant in recent years, with the council's local plan target of 18,560 homes between 2011 and 2031 in- cluding about 4,000 homes along the Sutton Road corridor. Previously the link road idea had caused divisions but the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board, con- taining borough, county and parish councillors, has recommended the inclusion of the scheme in the Inte- grated Transport Strategy (ITS), which will form part of the local plan. But Cllr Paul Carter, who lives in Langley and repre- sents Maidstone Rural16

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

Charterwood August 2015 No. 220 News Fun on the river

ALMOST 100 boats lined along the Medway for the informal boat gathering, collated by River Medway Boaters. 4

Involve replaces Vam

LOCAL charity Voluntary Action Maidstone is to change its name to Involve. 26

Delays expected

OPERATION Stack misery is set to continue despite political interventions.

31 Show crowd increase

A TOTAL of 77,000 visitors at- tended the Kent Show – up 2,000 from 2014. 40

Comment 46-47 34-35 Crime Reports 35

ITEMS were stolen from a cricket pavilion in Otham.

Obituaries 38-39

TRIBUTES were paid to Alistair Black (79), who was a Maidstone borough councillor for Fant ward.

Parish Councils 50-51

THERE was little interest in an emergency plan at Broomfield and Kingswood; a car had en- tered tee lake in Downswood; rats were problematic in Detling; there were reports of travellers in Glebe Field, Harrietsham.

Rubbish pick-ups

PAID-FOR bulky refuse collec- tions now include Saturdays. For information see the Maidstone Council-sponsored 12-page Bor- ough Update in the centre pages.


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

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