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Call to keep footpath green

RESIDENTS in Loose fighting to retain their green public footpath have presented a petition to County Cllr Eric Hotson. Cllr Hotson sits on the Maid-

stone Joint Transportation Board, which is trying to progress a plan to develop a cycle route and bri- dleway between Loose and the town centre, as part of a greater scheme to alleviate traffic conges- tion to the south of the town. Residents in Kirkdale Cottages

fear that widening the path and making it hard-surfaced will at- tract quad bikers and argue the scheme is ill-researched and ill- thought out. The residents launched an online petition and raised 210 signatures within 36 hours. By the time they presented it to

Cllr Hotson the following day, the number had risen to 289, along with seven pages of comments. Kirkdale Cottage resident Hilary

Hunt said: “We have been very gratified by the huge amount of support given to our online peti- tion.

“Kirkdale footpath is a key fea-

ture of this lovely green conserva- tion area valley, which many people (including Loose Parish Council and Loose Amenities As- sociation) have for decades worked to protect and enhance.” Cllr Hotson spent more than 45 minutes with the residents, walk- ing Kirkdale and the footpath, vil- lage lanes and the millstream path. Mrs Hunt said: “He knows

Loose well – the views, the valley, the lovely path, the historic village – and listened to the wide range of concerns about a proposal which would create a scar along the side of the conservation area valley and create an unsafe cycle route into and through the village.”

Chimney fire FIREFIGHTERSwere called to a chimney fire in Postley Road, Tovil. They removed a wood-burn-

ing stove prior to rodding the chimney. Kent Fire and Rescue Service

is reminding people who use open fires or log-burning stoves that it is vital to make sure they are in good working order for the winter.


To turn the public footpath into

a cycle route, its status has to be changed to that of a bridleway. Mrs Hunt said: “The width and surface required for this multi-use are very damaging to a rural con- servation area. “Cyclists say this route is not vi-

able. There is no evidence that local people need, want or will use this cycle route if created. “We want KCC to protect and enhance the conservation area val- ley and village, its character, its ecology, everything it offers. We want KCC to carry out its duty of care for the people who live here, not make daily life less safe for us. We want KCC to create a safe and sustainable cycle route; there aren't many options, but with imagina- tion and determination, it's possi- ble.” The petition is still open for sig- natures – search Kirkdale on – and residents say they will present updates to Cllr Hotson at regular intervals. There is also a link to the petition

from the Loose Amenities Associa- tion Facebook page, where there is more information about the associ- ation’s campaign.

Carol concert THERE will be an uplifting serv- ice of carols performed by Maid- stone Choral Union, at All Saints’ Church, Mill Street on Saturday December 12. The choir will be conducted by Martin Hindmarsh with Brian White and Stephen Westrop on the organ. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm

start. Tickets are priced £12 on the door.

Read all the latest editions of the Downs Mail at Maidstone Town Xmas 2015 5

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