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for flood prize EFFORTS against flooding in Yald- ing could be handed a £10,000 boost after a flood campaigner was short- listed for a national award. GeraldineBrownwasput forward

for the FloodLocalHeroes awardby Maidstone and The Weald MP Helen Grant following her 16 years of community work for local flood- ing. Andnow, out of 140 nomineesput

Anotherincursion at Larkfield park

TRAVELLERS have moved back onto a popular park in Larkfield for the second time in six months. The families - in five caravans -

forward nationally, Geraldine has been named in the final six for the award. Shewas due to find out if she has

won on November 28 at the House of Commons. The overall winner will be

awarded a £10,000 fund to go to- wards their local community’s flood preparedness efforts or a local flood relief charity of their choice. The award is sponsored by Covea

Insurance and NFU Mutual, and Mrs Grant is hoping the Yalding parish councillor will be honoured with the prize. Mrs Grant said: “There are many

marvellouspeople inMaidstone and the Weald with whom I have worked closely in addressing our complex local flood management challenges.”

pulled on to Gighill Green in Lunsford Lane on Sunday October ,, releasing dogs on the popular public open space and setting up washing lines within hours. It is un- derstood the fami- lies in- volv ed have been offering tree felling services to residents in the area. Parish council chairman David Thornewell says more has to be done to stop the travelling com- munity running circles around the police and local councils. He says the job ofmoving on trav-

ellers for a second time will run into thousands of pounds The last inci- dent, in early summer, costing the parish council £1,200, with the trav-

Rural road is not fit route to new homes

RESIDENTSmoving into 210 new houses approved by Maidstone Borough Council could bring se- vere traffic problems, a local coun- cillor haswarned. Plans for the development on land

south of Forstal Lane in Coxheath were approved by the council’s planning committee, despite serious concerns over access. The onlyway on to the site by ve-

hicle will be along Forstal Lane, barelywide enough for two cars. The developers have vowed to

make the road wider ahead of the works commencing, but concerns remain for Cllr RichardWebb. He was one of eight to speak

against the proposal at themeeting, but after two hours of debate, plan- ning permissionwas granted. Cllr Webb said: “Forstal Lane is

exactly what it says – a lane. The road is not wide enough for a car and a lorry to pass, and to get it to the level of width KCC have asked for, they will have to tarmac over the verges – and some of the resi- dents have checked their deeds and this land is their own.”

ellers simply moving on to take up temporary residence elsewhere in the area. He said: “They just seem to be

doing the rounds. These incidents have affectedWest Malling, forcing the closure of the village hall, and Leybourne, and now they are back in Larkfield. The police told resi- dents that this was a civil trespass when they reported it and that they couldn’t do anything and obviously the council offices were closed be- cause it was the weekend. These travellers know and play the sys- tem.” The council’s legal team served an eviction notice but it took aweek to enforce. Cllr Thornewell held talks with Laddingford Engineering in an effort to increase security further on the public land, near the M20. Valdemar Kalinin (pictured), of

the National Gypsy-Traveller-Roma Council said recently that local councils must provide designated traveller sites or “tolerated zone” which gypsy convoys can move onto. He said: “It comes down to racial prejudice against this com- munity.”

Cllr Richard Webb (inset) says Forstal Lane does not provide suitable access to the proposed devel- opment of 210 new homes

On the night, Cllr Susan Grigg

added: “The infrastructure is not ca- pable of copingwith this. There is a sound argument to reject this pro- posal on grounds of access.” Anumber of other issueswere de-

‘Spooktacular’ at the farm

batedby councillors on the night, in- cluding the provision of Section 106 funding relating to the project and late-night bus services. KCC’s highways department took

on boardconcerns about traffic from the development turning right and heading towards Well Street and into Loose, and proposed amend- ments tomake it almost impossible for cars to turn right.However, traf- fic leaving the sitewill have to drive

MAKE the most of the October half-term holiday at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park’s Halloween Spooktacular in Maidstone. Brave kids are invited to the vintage village to knock on doors and

discover who – or what – is lurking behind them from October 21-31. The award-winning attraction at Sandling, near Maidstone, has a few

other tricks up its sleeve to turn its usual exhibits into frightening farmhouses and horrifying homes. Youngsters can try pumpkin carving, dressing up and the Ugly Bug Ball. On October 25, there will be more spooky goings-on with Kent Life

5-6pm and, for older visitors, from 7-8pm. If you would like to know more about any of the above, call 01622 763936.

through Coxheath. The application had previously been deferred to allow investigation into alternative access to the site, but once that proved impossible and KCC had determined the planned access on Forstal Lane was safe, any rejection on the grounds of access was not feasible. With the development being part

of the Local Plan, itwas then passed, but CllrWebbwas frustrated. “It’s clear this road is not going to

After Dark, This event includes a spine-chilling tour suitable for under-eights from

be able to cope with it,” he added. “Residents are tellingme they are so concerned, not just about the roads but the effect the whole develop- mentwill have on them.”



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