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News


Play centre raid POLICE are studying CCTV footage after a raid on a children’s play centre run by Apprentice star Felipe Alviar-Baquero.


Thousands of pounds in cash was taken from Tiny Town, in Sheldon Way, Larkfield. Mr Alviar-Ba- quero (pictured),


who lives at Kings Hill with his wife Jennifer, asked locals to come forward with CCTV footage after cameras on the premises were stolen. He offered “lifetime mem- bership” to anyone helping with a conviction. Days later, a film came forward that appears to show two vehicles and four individuals. Anyone with information can call


01622 604100 or Kent Crimestop- pers, anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting reference 13-0224.


Friends need you


THE league of friends atMaidstone Hospital is in urgent need of vol- unteers to staff its hospital shop, host the trolley service, man its busy tea bar and sell books. If you can spare a few hours a


week, call Jacqui on 01622 224781. Money raised by the Friends is


used to buy medical equipment and make improvements.


downsmail.co.uk


Councils join to take on Royal Mail’s site


THERoyal Mail site in the centre of Maidstone has been bought jointly by Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council. DownsMail understands the price


tag was somewhere between £4.5m and £6m, according to awell-placed source. The former Maidstone mail centre


and delivery office site in Sandling Road will be replaced by a ‘land- mark’ mixed-use development in- cluding retail space, homes, offices, increased parking and an improved interchange between buses, trains and taxis. The purchase of the 3.5-acre site, to


be completed in September, will “create a better place and it is also a great business opportunity for both councils”. According to a joint statement:


“The two authorities will seek to produce a master plan for the site. It is hoped that as this develops, they will be able to promote collaboration with other landowners in the vicin- ity, whichwould form the basis for a broader scheme encompassing


Maidstone East railway station and the former Old Vic pub. “The masterplan is expected to


take three to five years to complete. Consultants will be appointed to en- sure that the scheme is as attractive as possible to private sector partners and is welcomed and supported by residents and local businesses.” Cllr FranWilson, leader of Maid-


stone Borough Council, said: “This is a strategically important regener- ation project and by working in part- nership to purchase the site we can secure the best outcome for the county town. “The area has been an eyesore for


a number of years. Working together we can create something that resi-


Papa’s 16 Malling August 2016


dents will be proud of and which will bring the jobs and homes that the town needs.” Gary Cooke, KCC’s cabinet mem-


ber for corporate and democratic Services and a local Maidstone member said: “Kent County Coun- cil is keen to see and help promote schemes that benefit and promote Kent as a great place to live, to work and to have fun. "Maidstone is our county town


and should reflect values and lifestyles that we wish to promote throughout Kent. The regeneration of the Maidstone East area provides a unique opportunity to do exactly that and in away that also provides financial benefit to the county’s ratepayers.” “Our property team has been working on this scheme with col- leagues from Maidstone ever since Royal Mail took the decision to mar- ket the site and I amdelighted to see all those efforts come to fruition.” AKCCspokesman refused to dis-


close the price tag, which it claims is commercially sensitive.


Barn Fish & Chip Restaurant & Takeaway 01732 84 84 88


A big thank you from all the staff to all our customers 497 London Road, Ditton, Aylesford ME20 6DB


www.papasbarn.co.uk


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