orderForm.noItems Maidstone East Edition Maidstone East Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

June 2017

Rustie to be panto’s Fairy Godmother

RUSTIE Lee, the TV cook and star of the Bafta- nominated "Real Marigold Hotel", will play the Fairy Godmother at this year's panto at the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone.

Cinderella runs from December 1 to 31. Rustie, famous for her infectious laugh, has been on our screens for decades and is still a reg- ular on ITV's This Morning. She has also ap- peared in West End shows such as South Pacific. A spokesman for the Hazlitt Theatre said: “Rustie is very much one of the nation’s favourites. We believe that she will prove to be a big draw in our production of Cinderella .”  More Hazlitt panto news, page 14

Planners will defend Woodcut site appeal

MAIDSTONE’S planning officers must prepare its case against an appeal into the refusal of the Woodcut Farm development at junction 8 of the M20.

In whatwas seen as a surprise de-

cision by the borough’s planning re- ferrals committee, a second decision to block Roxhill Development’s plans for the sitewas upheld. But just as thiswas being digested,

two more applications came to light – another from Roxhill and one for a “multimedia campus”with arena, hotel, casino and heliport. The three-person referrals panel

had the power to back the planners’ concerns that to fight the appeal would be costly and likely to fail. But it throws the council’s Local

Plan into some difficulty, as the 46,000sqm Woodcut Farm site is the major employment opportunity needed to support its massive house-building ambitions.

The Roxhill plan for commercial

units, offices and warehousing on farmland off the A20 near Bearsted was rejected last year. When developers indicated they

would appeal, Maidstone Borough Council’s planning chiefs suggested the council did not fight it. Thiswas rejected in April. The planning referrals committee

is rarely used, but could have over- turned the 13-member planning committee’s decisions. The officers had argued that the

casewas indefensible at the appeal – scheduled for the autumn – because MBC's LocalPlan includes Woodcut Farm, earmarked for employment. Council planning chief Rob Jarman warned an “alterna-

6 Woodcut Farm: New

plans are on table TWO more schemes have been submitted for the site. A scheme from Roxhill

Developments would fit the borough's criteria in the Local Plan, with more, smaller warehouses and industrial units. Instead of 15 buildings, there will be 19 on a site of 45,000sqm. The Triple A Multimedia Group has plans for an arena, hotel, casino and heliport, with backers in Hong Kong. But Triple A wants to bring in a

strong educational element, not least an academy offering courses in arts-based subjects. Triple A CEO Terry Armstrong

01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

wrote to MBC saying: “Research will confirm ... the benefits in terms of jobs and tourism for Maidstone in particular and the region in general will be immense and generate sustainable economic growth.”

2 DINE FOR £25 Sunday Lunch with the voucher on page 2 Obituaries 38

Comment 42-43 Crime Reports 55

AN ATTEMPT to steal a mountain bike was foiled when neighbours disturbed a thief in Bearsted; a woodchipper was stolen in Boxley; eight pedigree hens and a cockerel were stolen from a gar- den in Thurnham; burglars took cash from a house in Boxley.

Parish Councils54-55

COUNTY councillor Gary Cooke promised draft route plans for a new new relief road through Leeds; the number of businesses up for sale in Lenham is causing concern; there has been an in- crease in dog waste in Detling; the Lenham community warden noted a new snack bar in the car park of Victoria’s nightclub.

Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel

FREE No. 242

News Dentists leaving

THE popular Wrigley Dental Prac- tice is to lose its founders, Alastair and Pari Wrigley, who are moving on.

New school doubts

BEARSTED’S new primary school may be in doubt over plan- ning concerns.

Princess Royal visit

PRINCESS Anne dropped in on Maidstone’s Save the Children shop. 29

LITTER wardens were suspended amid claims of staff being paid bonuses .

Wardens suspended 31

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