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Homes agreed on disputed site

MAIDSTONECouncil has granted planning permission for 420homes on a site in Allington that it had fought to protect at an appeal just weeks earlier. A year ago the planning commit-

tee refused Croudace Homes’ appli- cation for 500 homes east of Hermitage Lane because develop- ment of the southern “hospital field” would have required the cre- ation of a link road that would have eroded ancient woodland, known locally as bluebell wood. In June, planning officers de- fended the council's decision to a planning inspector after the appli- cant appealed. This decision is ex- pected in October, but now the planning committee has approved a smaller scheme, for 420 homes, be- cause the southern field would re- main untouched. However, a separate application

for 80 homes on the contentious field is undetermined. The council received 196 objec-

tions. Angela Poletti, from the New Allington Action Group, said the applicantwas “playing the system” by lodging two separate applica- tions after originally being turned down. “It is quite clear that Croudace is running rings around the planning system,” she said.

“This would open the door to the scheme for 80 homes.” Cllr Roger Levett, ofTestonParish Council, said: “The additional traf- fic will place a great burden on the already overloaded A26 between Teston andWateringbury – particu- larly during rush-hour.” Cllr Dan Daley urged the com-

mittee to put a decision on hold until the inspector had made a deci- sion. He said: “This developer has waited 20 years to get this far – they can afford towait for about another six weeks to see what the Secretary of State has to say.” However, the land (minus the hospital field) had been earmarked in the council's emerging local plan for housing, so the committee's powers to refusewere limited. Concern was expressed about a

lack of open space on the site, but of- ficers felt a developer contribution of £71,820 towards the Keswick Drive Play areawas sufficient. Other contributions included £570,000 for improvements at the A20/Coldharbour roundabout and £168,000 for pedestrian and traffic movements at the A26 Tonbridge Road/Fountain Lane junction. The committee voted for the scheme with six members in favour and four against.



Young cricketers lift trophy

KINGS Hill Primary School pupils were the winners of the Tonbridge and Malling Kwik Cricket Festival. They beat Woodlands Primary

School in the final at Tonbridge School to claim the trophy. About 350 young cricketers

made up 31 teams from21 primary schools across the borough. The an- nual festival was organised by Ton- bridge & Malling Council and Kent Community Cricket.

St Katherine’s Primary School, Snodland won the most sporting team award. Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling,

Cllr Owen Baldock, presented tro- phies to the winning teams and cer- tificates were awarded to all those who took part. Cllr Baldock, said: “Once again,

we have been treated to a wonder- ful display of cricket fromall the tal- ented, enthusiastic young players.”

Supper club for children

PARENTS who bring their children along to aweekly supper club can enjoy a glass of wine while their children eat. The club is held at the Heart of Flavour café bar in King Street, Maidstone, from 4pm to 6pm every Friday. It costs £6.50 per child for a three-course meal, or £5.50 without the parent’s drink. Pro- ceeds go to the Heart of Kent Hospice.

01622 791111 Hall Road, Maidstone 01580 892733 Maidstone Road, Staplehurst 01580 892037 Station Road, Staplehurst 01233 850075 Ashford Road, High Halden

Malling August 2015 19

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