orderForm.noItems Maidstone Weald Edition Maidstone Weald Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

April 2017 We are 20! community it serves. Inside,

we celebrate this milestone with a special edition of Downs Mail.

‘Bullying’ flyers aim to get homes agreed

VILLAGERS fighting a 220-home scheme were targeted in a leaflet cam- paign by the builders on the eve of a court hearing to decide its outcome.

Families in Headcorn had flyers posted through their doors with “propaganda” from developers DHA Planning, who represent the firms hoping to put houses on the Hazelpits Farm site near the school. They say Headcorn Parish Coun-

cilwas “frustrating” their will to de- velop land between Ulcombe Road and Mill Bank, which would have 40 per cent affordable housing. The parish council objected to the

plan, despite it being given outline permission by Maidstone Borough Council in November, 2015. More than 120 villagers attended

a public hearing, and a judicial re- view into the plan was heard in the High Court onApril 4, with the gov- ernment to rule on the outcome. In the leaflet,DHArefer to £21,000 having been spent by the parish

council on legal costs, as of February 2016. “That figure will be consider- ably higher should your parish council lose the appeal. “The parish council ... is spending

your money. If you don’t think it is right that parish council funds should be spent frustrating this

Members of the parish council and its legal team went to the judicial review into the plan at the High Court in London

scheme, let them know.” Council chairman Lyn Selby said:

“I don’tknowwhatDHAthink they can achieve by doing this. It feels like they are bullying us. “We can only assume DHA felt

theywere going to lose and thiswas a last desperate throw of the dice. They seemed to want us to back down before the court hearing.” One villager told the Downs Mail


they thought the leafletwas “propa- ganda” and objected to it being put through her letterbox. DHA Planning refused to com- 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

ment but said they had been asked to put out the leaflets by the landowner and would-be developers.

FREE No. 240

News Help for hedgehogs

TWENTY years ago, DownsMail landed on doormats for the first time, heralding a new era in local newspaper publishing. It has become a firm favourite with readers and advertisers, trusted for fair and accurate journalism. Two decades on, it is still a family-run company based in the heart of the

A HEADCORN couple are preparing for an influx of orphaned baby hedgehogs in need of care.

3 Archbishop’s praise

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has praised the work of volunteers in Maidstone.

HUNDREDS turned out to pay tribute to a much- loved musician.


Tributes to Mr Music 12

Ex-drug addict fined 15

A FORMER heroin addict drove a car without insurance or a licence.

Stones’ new stand

A CROWD of 3,000 attended for the opening of the new north stand.

18 Driver in court again

A DRINK driver banned from road got behind wheel for mercy mission 18

Obituaries Comment

34 36

Parish Councils46-47

THERE has been a marked increase in the number of fly- tipping incidents in Broomfield; a cleaner has been employed at the village hall in East Sutton; concerns have been raised about crossing the road near the rail station in Headcorn; flag-flying duties have been given to a resident in Linton.

Crime Reports 47

A SHED was stolen from a commercial plant in Boughton Monchelsea; a flatbed trailer was taken from a driveway in Coxheath; three caravans were set alight at a site in Water Lane in Headcorn; number plates were stolen from a car in Linton.

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