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News Garage plan

‘too large’ APROPOSED triple-bay garage and home gym would tower over historic cottages within the conservation area at Addington Green, it is claimed. An application for the de-

tached L-shape building, in the garden of Shelmerdene – a property on the green – was submitted to Tonbridge and Malling Council. The building would also include a tractor mower and garden store and home office. But neighbours have raised a number of issues, complaining about the “unacceptably high density and overdevelopment of the site” and saying the de- sign would dwarf adjacent his- toric cottages which have a lower elevation. There was also concern that

“the gym is of such a size that it could be used for commercial operations which could in- crease the noise and intrusion for extensive periods of the day.”

Formore local news

Access threat helps to scupper homes scheme

THE owner of a dance and events venue in Tonbridge Road, Maid- stone said she was prepared to re- fuse developer access had a scheme for five homes been approved. Margaret Preedy (pictured) lives at No 33, from where she has run her dance studios for 15 years. She strongly objected to a pro- posal to develop on the former Budget Rent-a-Car site nearby, and told Maidstone Council's planning commit-

tee, before its decision to refuse the scheme: “The only access to this pro- posed site is across private land, owned by me. There is no inde- pendent access. “I have the right to move this ac- cess at any time with two months’ notice, which I could be forced to do to protect my business, thus making these plans non-viable.

“I run classes six days and

evenings a week for adults and chil- dren as young as four years old. I run school holiday clubs with chil- dren on the premises all day. I have

The premises in Tonbridge Road

party and wedding bookings in for every weekend this year, and into fu- ture years.

“It would be wrong to accept that any of these events could be watched by overlooking residents. This past week, in excess of 1,400 people came through my front door. Over a year there could be 100,000 visitors. “The front windows of the pro- posed development will be less than 2m from my busy car park with my guests leaving late in the weekday evenings and past midnight at the weekends.

“I will not be prepared to accept

any complaints that may arise from this and will insist on no windows facing my premises and full sound insulation used in the build.” Mr Atkins, representing the appli- cant, said the site had been marketed for business use for two years, but had no takers. However, Cllr Stephen Paine, a member of the committee, said: “I think I have supported every brown- field regeneration scheme since I be- came a councillor [in 2008]. “But for this one I really do have concerns. The layout is very dense and there is a lot of overlooking. It has happened before, when we have had housing next to a business, the residents start a campaign. Before you know it, a successful business will have an enforcement notice, which is the last thing we will want.” Cllr Brian Clark, also on the com- mittee, said: “It is ironic that a Rent- a-Car site caused less harm than housing but we are shoehorning in large family homes. I can see some great problems if this goes ahead.” The committee voted to refuse due to the proposal's cramped design and its lack of amenity area.



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