This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Maidstone South Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

February 2017 Inspector cuts 900 off homes target

THE number of homes to be built in Maidstone as part of the contro- versial Local Plan should be re- duced by 900, according to a government inspector after a seven-week inquiry. Robert Mellor’s 35-page interim

report largely vindicates Maidstone Borough Council’s approach but will now build 17,600 new houses instead of 18,500 by 2031. Local MP Helen Whately said

shewas “frustrated by the failure to take into account” the many con- cerns raised by residents during the inquiry at the town hall. Two public meetings have been

called by Cllr Gary Cooke to dis- cuss the impact on residents in south Maidstone. Cllr Cooke said hewas “very dis- appointed” by the report, which he said is “full of inconsistencies”. Mr Mellor ruled that house-

building on A274 Sutton Road could be mitigated by providing bus lanes and road widening. He also warns that a relief road running between south Maidstone and theM20– which would relieve congestion through Willington Street, Langley, Shepway, Leeds and Otham – will meet a “signifi- cant funding challenge”. Special report, pages 4&5 Comment, page 42

Concert farewell to a musical maestro

INSPIRATIONAL Maidstone musician Jeffrey Vaughan-Martin will be remembered at a one-off concert in the town in the spring. Musicians from across the region

have been queuing up to take part in the tribute to the music maestro, whodied last year after a lifetime de- voted to the art and many years as leader of the Maidstone Choral Union and the Maidstone Singers. The concert, entitled Celebrating

Jeffrey – A Life in Music, will be at Mote Hall, in the centre of town, at 3pm on Sunday, March 19. A collection of 80 players are ex-

pected to form the “JVM All Stars” and more than 100 singers in a JVM Choir, pulling together talent from the groups that featured in his life. They include Maidstone Youth Music Society (MYMS) and West Malling Community Choir, with performances promised by Paul Beniston, FraserBowles and percus- sionist Evelyn Glennie. Set pieces will include personal favourites of the musician, including

the Dambusters March. The proceeds from the concert will

help establish a Jeffrey Vaughan Martin bursary for young musicians from the area. Mr Vaughan Martin, whowas 78,

and lived atArran Road, Maidstone, studied at the University of Wales and Oxford University before mov- ing to the town in 1978. He was a

music teacher and spent the final 21 years of his working life as a special- ist music inspector in Kent. He founded and directing a num-

ber of musical venture, including in 1978 the Kent School Symphonic Wind Band, renamed the Kent YouthWind Orchestra in 1985. He set up the MYMS, led the Maidstone Choral Union from 1974 to 2008 and set up The Maidstone Singers in 1991. In the finalweek of his life hewas

still active, working with the West Malling Community Choir. Jeffrey was treasurer of the Methodist Church onUnion Street – a location used in the Maidstone Jazz Festival,which he helped found. Tickets, from £10, with conces-

sions, and free places for under 12s, are available from MalcolmWithnall from or call 01622 736392.


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Recycling reminder

A FOOD recycling sticker will ap- pear on bins as a reminder to residents. For more, see the Maid- stone Borough Council-sponsored 12-page Borough Update inside.

FREE No. 238

News Right demo fizzles

A DEMO against the expansion of Maidstone Mosque attracted only 20 far-right supporters who stayed an hour.

Leeds Castle in cuts

FALLING revenues are forcing Leeds Castle management to make cuts.

8 Edie’s sensory appeal

THE parents of Edie Hughes have backed an appeal for a special sensory appeal. 10

M20 bridge charge

A DRIVER faces charges over the collapse of the M20 footbridge last summer.

Snow brings chaos

THE first snow of this winter brought problems for the roads.

Homeless helpers

SHOPPERS in Maidstone raised £1,000 for homeless people.


Parish Councils 32 Crime Reports 32

A CHIMNEY pot was stolen from the garden of a house in Marsham Street.

Obituaries 33 Comment 42 - 43 22 12 6 

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