orderForm.noItems Maidstone Weald Edition Maidstone Weald Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

GCSE students look to the future September 2017

STUDENTS across Maidstone were celebrating some top marks in this year’s A level and GCSE results.

Invicta Grammar School head Julie Derrick said the A level grades were the best ever, allowing students to go on to “the best universities”. Sutton Valence School celebrated its best ever GCSE results, including a 70% increase in the top A* grades - pictured from left to right are Nina Harman, Alex Webb, Fergus Fowle, Tiggy Teare, Francis Romano, Sam Grindlay, Ellen Crombie . More results and reaction on pages 18 & 19

Sports club plan for homes agreed

AHARD-fought match with planning officers has finally ended in approval for two houses on land owned by Staplehurst Cricket and Tennis Club.

Councillors on the borough’s planning committee unanimously rejected a recommendation to refuse the three-bedroom semis on scrub- land after hearing of its importance to the future of the club. Officerswere concerned about the layout, the loss of trees and the pos- sible effect on the conservation area, but committee members accepted the case that the sale of the land with permissionwas crucial to the neces- sary investment by the club. The club’s John Swannick said he

was delighted with the decision, but not the length of time it had taken – the decision came over a year after the planwas sumitted. Hesaid: “The champagne remains

on ice; there are now conditions that have to be determined before this is finalised.” The delay in winning approval

means the club, which had secured match funding for two tennis courts from the Lawn Tennis Association and the English Cricket Board, will need to be reconfirmed, having fallen into a new financial year. The club hopes to be in a position

to put detailed proposals to mem- bers at its AGM in January. It says the approvalwas crucial for winning funding and being able to increase membership at the club. Mr Swannick said: “We have a

huge cricket following, but tennis courts way past their sell-by date,

and by upgrading these using money from the sale of a small piece of land with permission, we can achieve our club improvement pro- gramme.” In the meantime, Mr Swannick thanked the club’s planning adviser, Richard Sonnex, Staplehurst bor- ough councillors JohnPerry and Cllr Louise Brice and Staplehurst Parish Council for their steadfast support. Cllr JohnPerry said: “I do not wish

to be too critical about the time it has taken to reach this position as I know that our planning officers do a very difficult job and there have been ab- sences within the department and many new faces. “However, I ampleased that com-

mittee members accepted that their objections were marginal and the case we fought extremely hard for was accepted.

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

“They also recognised how hugely important the club is to the community. The strong case for re- taining open space and encouraging more people to play sport is a key part of this and is a policy

6 Home Alarms supplied and fitted visit or call 08000 199622 Obituaries 34 Parish Councils 36

THE PCSO for Loose was unable to attend the parish council meet- ing; growth of ragwort has been spotted at two sites in Headcorn; a damaged seat in a bus shelter in Heath Road, Coxheath, was re- ported; Norman Kent of the Nu- venture bus firm attended the meeting at Marden, warning new homes could slow buses down.

Crime Reports 37

A HORSE box trailer was stolen in West Farleigh; a lawn mower was stolen from a shed in Staplehurst; a flat in Headcorn was broken into and cash stolen; a saddle and rid- ing tack was stolen from an out- building in Yalding; a farm container in Hunton was burgled.

Comment 46-47

FREE No. 245

News Lay preacher retires

LAY preacher Hugh Grainger has retired after 50 years in the pulpit.

3 Making plans for Nigel

THE widow of GP Nigel Minett is to walk the Grand Canyon to raise funds to battle the cancer that killed her husband.

6 Kristian’s silver medal

LENHAM School runner Kristian Samwell Nash has won another medal. 14

Gypsy site rejected

PLANS for an expanded traveller site were thrown out by councillors.


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