Maidstone South Edition Maidstone North Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

December 2017 October 2017

Campaign begins to saveHeatherHouse

‘£1m win will help care for Charloe’

A MAIDSTONE couple whose baby daugh- ter suffers from a “life-changing but not life- threatening” condition have scooped £1 million on the National Lottery. Adam and Amy Pryor’s numbers came up

A MUCH-loved community centre at Park Wood in Maidstone is to be shut by the council - unless a last-ditch effort to save it succeeds.

Heather House in Bicknor Road,

just when the family ‘s future started to look a bit grim as Charlotte, who is eight months, needs constant one-to-one care and frequent hospital visits. Adam said: "I don’t believe in fate but on

which is a favourite venue for the Heather House Short Mat Bowls Club,will close its doors forever on November 30, despite the fight to keep it open. Maidstone Borough Councillor

this occasion I think I might, the timing of our win really couldn’t have been better. “Charlotte needs almost constant one-to-

Matt Burton has been fighting to keep the facility running until a re- placement can be found. But a council officer - who esti-

one care and has frequent hospital appoint- ments so we had decided that Amy would not return to work at the end of the month as originally planned.” 3

mated immediate repairs to be around £20,000 - decided it was no longer fit for purpose and ordered that no further bookings beyond October should bemade. Cllr Burton and county council-

lor Gary Cooke remain hopeful they can persuade Maidstone Bor- ough Council to reverse the deci- sion. He said: "Over the past few

MP urges minister to review local plan

months, I have been in discussions about a replacement for Heather Housewhich iswell-used and very popular in an area not exactly com- ing down with community facili- ties. "Gary and myself wanted to ex-

MAIDSTONE MP Helen Whately has called on the local government secretary of state Sajid Javid to halt the Local Plan.

The Local Plan, which proposes

plore the cost ofmaintaining the fa- cility while a replacement was found. “Then, out of nowhere, the offi-

cer visited the site and said unilat- erally that he was going to shut it down. “Surely it is worth to pay the money to fix the faulty boiler and other repairs to keep it alivewhile a plan to replace it is solidified.

17,000newhomes and has been pro- nounced "sound" by a government inspector, is set to be put before the planning committee for approval on September 27. Mrs Whately is concerned the plan

– which sets out development policy for the next 15 years – will harm at- tractions like Leeds Castle and leave villages such as Lenham, Harriet- sham and Headcorn unable to cope with the extra numbers. But the Tory MP for Faversham and Mid Kent was warned she is playing

"high risk" game as the

secretary Mr Javid could easily in- but I remain hopeful that we can

communities and local government "I am disappointed, naturally, crease the housing allocation or

persuade the council to reverse the decision." Cllr Burton – who has already

the borough at the mercy of On Leeds Castle, Mrs Whately

gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition to save the facilitiy - is also to seek interimfunding. Aspokesman forMaidstone Bor-

ough Council said: “Following dis- cussionswithward councillors and users of Heather House the final decision concerning the future of the community centrewill be taken at the next Communities, Housing and Environment Committee.” Committee chairman councillor

wrote: “The specific issue is the in- clusion in the plan of an industrial employment site at Woodcut Farm, a rural location near to junction 8 of the M20, and on the approach to the castle…Developing this site would have far-reaching ramifications for the countryside and heritage assets.” Mrs Whately is worried the Local

John Barned said: “Whilst we ap- preciate that Heather House is an

Plan does not include sufficient in- vestment in roads. She said: “Many thousands of houses are being built in this area, without meaningful development of roads (or any alternative to car trans- port) – when congestion is already

Local councillors John Barned, Matt Burton, Gary Cooke and Marion Ring are concerned about Heather House’s closure speculative applications.


affecting the ability of residents to travel to and from work or access services in and around Maidstone. "I strongly question whether these locations can be deemed sustainable for this level of housing.” Mrs Whately added: “I wish we

important community resource, the cost of immediate and long-term repairs to the fabric of the building are vast. “Given the pressures on council

could have solved this locally, but we’re running out of time. That’s why I have asked the secretary of state to personally intervene." MBC's Cllr Clive English, chair-

man of the planning committee, warned Mrs Whately her appeal to Mr Javidwas "high risk". He added: "Calling in the Local

Plan will not necessarily mean there will be a reduction in housing num- bers - it could go the otherway. "The delays caused by calling it in

budgets it is not a financial com- mitment that we should undertake without looking into all options first and deciding the best way for- ward.” The petition statement says: “We


mean that developers would slip any number of applications through as we would no longer have the powers to refuse them as we would- n’t have an emerging Local Plan. "It would be good if the secretary 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

of state did reduce the numbers, but this rarely happens. It's a bit of a high risk strategy."

the undersigned ask that Maid- stone Borough Council commit to maintaining Heather House com- munity centre, Park Wood as a use- able community facility until such time as concrete plans are con- firmed for a replacement facility to be built. “Further to this, we the under-

signed ask that Heather House re- mains open to the public for as long as possible during this replacement development period.” If you would like to lend your

support, you can visit www.thepe-

Obituaries Obituaries 34 Parish Councils 37

IT HAS been agreed that a CCTV camera owned by the parish council in Tovil should not have been removed from its location in Wharf Road/Church Road.

34 Parish Councils 37

EIGHTEEN laurel bushes were stolen from gardens in Allington; a bicycle was taken from outside a property in Upper Fant Road; the clutch cable on a motorbike was cut in Hart Street; a rear tyre was damaged on a people carrier in Hastings Road; a car was broken into in Union Street but nothing was stolen; two council bins were stolen in Allen Street; sunglasses and a mobile telephone in Consort Close.

Crime Reports 37 Crime Reports 37

PARISH councillors in Barming said they are happy for PCSOs to be out on patrols rather than at- tending council meetings; a rogue trader had been operating from door-to-door in Loose; a Barming councillor has resigned.

DIESEL was syphoned from two dumper trucks at a building site in Barming; power tools including nail guns and drills were stolen from a van in Allington; silver birch trees were cut down in Hadlow Close; wheelie bins were set alight in St Peter’s Street; a wheel was stolen from a Ford Ka in Cooling Close.

Comment 46-47 web design google promotion ecommerce•• 01622 880840 Comment 46-47

FREE No. 248


No. 246 News

M2 works planned Used stamp appeal

MAJOR works to the M2 at J5 have been welcomed but will bring disruption locally. 4

A CHILDBIRTH charity has ap- pealed for used stamps this Christmas.

Jason at the Hazlitt MP lashes far right Shop closure Pitch problems?

THE popular designer clothes shop, Zee & Co, in Maidstone has closed.


AS THE Stones progress in the FA Cup and league, there are wor- ries about the club’ pitch.

20 Racist is locked up

MAIDSTONE MP Helen Grant has attacked far right group Britain First. 10

A RACIST who abused police offi- cers has been sent back to jail..

16 Local Plan adopted

JASON Donovan is to appear at the Hazlitt Theatre next year in a special one-off show celebrating his career.

BOROUGH councillors have adopted the Local Plan for more than 17,000 homes to be built.

4-58 3

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

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