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downsmail.co.uk Maidstone South Edition


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


April 2017 Twice the fun as rival pantos revealed


THE county town will host two pantos this year when the Hazlitt Theatre faces competition from The Maidstone Studios at Vinters Park. Cinderella and Peter Pan will go


head to head at Christmas in a fes- tive battle for bums on seats. A spokesman for the Hazlitt said: “Bring it on. All competition is good.” But marketing and devel- opment manager Michelle Wood- land said: “It would be wrong for us to say it is not a concern. “A successful panto means the theatre can run for the rest of the year.”


8


Consultation plan on relief road options


A PUBLIC consultation on options for a relief road to ease congestion on south Maidstone will be held before the end of the year.


A Kent County Council-led scheme will come up with a series of proposals to first be considered by affected parish councils. Cllr Gary Cooke, who is leading


the campaign for a Langley to Leeds relief road, said the scheme would cost "north of £50m". KCC's head of transportation, Tim


Read, said the authority must work hard in the next two years to make the case that a relief road will bring "significant benefits" to Willington Street, Wheatsheaf and the A274 Sutton Road, to justify it being built. KCC has set a timescale of deliv-


ering a proposal by 2019 so that it can be included in a reviewed Local Plan in 2021, after which funds could be sought. But topographical and other surveys will be carried


KCC’s Tim Read outlines the relief road


plans watched by MP Helen Whately and Cllr Gary Cooke at a recent public meeting


out soon to assess the suitability of each route. By going alone, Cllr Cooke and


KCC have side-stepped Maidstone Borough Council and the cross- party Joint Transportation Board. The JTB has been mulling over three options for a relief road for months.


Cllr Cooke said he was acting "without necessarily the support from other authorities", a clear refer- ence to tensions between KCC and MBC over the effects of its house- building programme on roads. MBC transport chief David Bur-


ton, who represents Marden and Yalding, said he "completely" sup- ports a Leeds-Langley relief road. Current strict rules mean levies


01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT


maidstone@martinco.com 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent


can only be charged on develop- ments for specific projects, but once Maidstone's Local Plan is adopted, raising funds will be easier. Ukip accused Cllr Cooke of an “election stunt” ahead of the KCC polls on May 4.


FREE No. 240


News Allotment facelift


A SHEPWAY mum is leading a posse of gardeners to transform overgrown allotments into a community green space. 3


Langley Park opening


LANGLEY PARK primary school has been officially opened by MP Helen Whately.


Goobye, Mr Music


JEFFREY Vaughan Martin was remembered at a special concert in his memory. 10


New secondary plan 14


PLANS have been revealed for a new science school to be run by a local trust.


Conmen target old


POLICE have warned older residents to be on guard for fraudsters.


17 Pupils up in court


LOCAL students have taken part in a mock courtroom competition.


Obituaries 32 34 Crime Reports 46


A BOARDMAN bike was stolen from a garage in Allington; prop- erty was damaged maliciously in Straw Mill Hill; jewellery and a mobile phone were taken in a burglary in Highland Road; a skip was stolen from a builder’s yard in Courtenay Road.


Parish Councils 46


DATES for the annual parish meeting in Barming have been announced; the Tovil fete will be held at the Kent Fire and Rescue Service station; an asbestos issue was identified in the Brooks field shed in Loose; a quote of £7,500 has been obtained for the cleaning and restoration of the war memorial in Barming.


Comment 47 01622 880840 5 


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