orderForm.noItems Maidstone East Edition Maidstone East Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

August 2017

FREE No. 244

Martha’s lile lamb a star of show News

MARTHA Connolly has a little lamb! And Wilma certainly at- tracted plenty of attention at this year’s Kent Show. Wilmawas making her first ap- pearance at the show, which this year attracted over 80,000 visitors. The purebred Romney has

been raised to walk to heel with Martha (12), who has developed her farming at Cobtree Young Farmers’ Club in Sandling. Martha said: “Young Farmers’

is a great way to socialise and to learn about the countryside.”  See our show report and pictures on page 30

Woodcut Farm appeal delay ‘is good news’

THE much-anticipated appeal into the Woodcut Farm development near junction 8 of the M20 in October been postponed until next year.

The four-week hearing is now scheduled to be heard from Tues- day, February 6, which is seen as good news for the council planners, who are constructing the case sup- porting the authority’s refusal of the plan for a massive commercial de- velopment. The Planning Inspectorate, based

in Bristol, wrote to Maidstone Bor- ough Council (MBC) with its deci- sion, saying the number of witnesses wishing to take part had been a sig- nificant factor. The hearing will most likely be

held at the town hall in Maidstone. It is the latest twist in a saga which started last year, with elected coun-

cillors twice rejecting the application by Roxhill Development, despite of- ficers latterly advising the authority should not try to fight the appeal. Bearsted borough councillor Denis Spooner said: “I’m not that bothered by the delay, because it means it gives MBC’s planning team more time to prepare the case. “All the councillors on this side of Maidstone are very much opposed to Woodcut Farm, but the council wants it for local employment. “Officers have found themselves

in an invidious dichotomy, but at the end of the day, the officers do what the councillors tell them.” Officers said to fight the appeal

might be costly and unsuccessful. Woodcut Farm is in the LocalPlan earmarked for employment needed for the council’s large house-build- ing programme. Asked if council planners can

build a robust case to fight the ap- peal, having pleaded previously not to, Cllr Spooner said: “I’m sure they’ll put their backs into the job.” Ukip councillor EddiePowell said:

“How ironic that the very people whowanted us not to contest the ap- peal made by the developers are nowthe oneswhomust go and fight it. It’s democracy in action.” Other third party organisation will also be making significant represen-

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

tations to the inspector. The steering group for the Kent DownsArea of Outstanding Natural Beauty will tell the inspector that the Hollingbourne Vale section of the AONB– the setting for the proposed development – has recovered well after being intensively cultivated in recent years and should be consid- ered "sacrosanct".

Home Alarms supplied and fitted visit or call 08000 199622 Obituaries 32

Comment 34-35 Crime Reports 47

SHRUBBERYwas cut without the owner’s consent in Detling; a pick-up was broken into in Bearsted and tools stolen; a set of keys were stolen from the front door of a house in Lenham; cladding was removed from a building in Lenham.

Parish Councils 46-47

COUNCILLORS in Otham ex- pressed concern that the police report did not contain sufficient detail; potholes in Broomfield and Kingswood are now consid- ered to be dangerous and must be repaired; a parent and child event has been agreed in Harri- etsham; there have been com- plaints of noise in Downswood.

Allotments saved

ALLOTMENT holders in Lenham are a step closer to having their plots saved from being de- veloped in Lenham. 3

Lenham luxury

WORK on ten houses around Glebe Pond ‘will start before Christmas’.

11 Council’s M20 vow

THE borough council has pledged £500k to ease junc- tion 7 congestion. 18

Board’s road relief

A SOUTH Maidstone relief road has received cross- party approval.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48