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Flats plan unveiled


APLANto demolish a 38-bed care home at Larkfield and redevelop the site with a three-storey block of apartments has been unveiled by the Abbeyfield Kent Society (AKS). If approved, the charity will de- molish the two-storey 1965-built St Martin’s in Martin Square, and build 74 extra-care units, with 54 set on affordable rent. Twenty of the 54 units will be earmarked for ex-service personnel aged over 55 and in need of extra care housing. The remaining 20 will be sold as Older Person’s Share Ownership (OPSO) units. There will be 52 one-bedroom units and 22 will have two bed- rooms.


Communal facilities will include


a lounge/café and sun lounge, buggy store, activity and training rooms, therapy and hair salon, as- sisted bathrooms and two separate landscaped gardens. There will be 35 parking bays and eight spaces for cycle storage. AKS expects the scheme to gen-


erate 30 new jobs. Staff at the exist- ing home will be offered alternative employment at the so- ciety’s other sites. AKS said in its application to


Tonbridge and Malling Council that it was “working with the cur- rent residents and their families and KCC to support them to find suitable re-housing and allowing them the time to do so”. The charity said the home was


no longer financially viable due to cutbacks in KCC funding. Also, there was now a demand for homes where people could lead an independent life with support such as carers coming to visit them to provide for specific needs. East Malling and Larkfield


Parish Council chairman David Thornewell said local people were concerned about the existing resi- dents and the effect on them of being moved elsewhere, but this was not a relevant planning issue. The scope for any objection


could only be on planning grounds such as the building’s appearance and parking provision. He added: “There is a worry of contractors, for example parking in Martin Square car park, which at peak times is already full up, and also that any disturbance from the demolition and rebuilding work is kept to a minimum. “The parish council will be seek- ing assurances on these issues.”


Bull poised for Co-op start


WORK is due to start on converting the former Bull public house into a Co-op store after planning permission was granted by Ton- bridge and Malling Council. The Co-Operative Group took a 20-year lease on the pub at the Holborough Road and High Street junction last September. Permis- sion has now been given for anATMcash machine at the front of the building. A single-storey extension will be built at the side of the property,


there will be a new plant and servicing enclosure and trees will be re- moved. Part of the wall in Holborough Road at the bus stop will be demolished to provide a new access to the site. The new shop will replace the Co-op at 46-48 High Street, which includes the post office. The store at 11 High Street will not be af- fected.


Pub conversion


WORK was due to get underway on converting the former Red Lion public house at 96 High Street, Snodland into eight flats. A letter from the developer, ACS


Ltd of Crowhurst Road, Surrey to local residents said: “The works will be carried out in reasonable working hours.“ There will be three flats on the ground and first floor and two on the second. The existing property will be refurbished and extensions will be added to the rear and side.


Pathfinderswalk


MEMBERS of Pathfinders, a church-based group for 10- to 14- year-olds, walked from St Bene- dict’s Church, Paddlesworth to All Saints in Snodland to learn about pilgrimage. All Saints was a strategic point


on the route from Winchester to Canterbury, being close to where pilgrims crossed the Medway. The Rev Mandy Young, curate


at Snodland, said the walk fin- ished with an outdoor service at All Saints.


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