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News


Governor’s son buys woodland


A LARGE chunk of the King’s Wood at Broomfield has been sold to the son of a former governor of the Bank of England,Robin Leigh- Pemberton,we can reveal. John Leigh-Pemberton, who runs


a fencing firm in Doddington, was one of a number of buyers for the 10 lots put up for sale by a firm of Buckinghamshire land agents last autumn. It is understood that he bought


woodland to thewest of Broomfield Road andwill use it for coppicing. Mr Leigh-Pemberton (53) con-


firmed the purchase, but refused to say howmuch he paid for the plot. The farmer is registered as an offi-


cer of Torry Hill Chestnut Fencing Ltd, based in Ladewood Hill, Dod- dington at CompaniesHouse. His


father


Lord Kings- down (left), who died five years ago aged 86, was Gover- nor of the Bank of England for a decade be- tween 1983 and


1993waswell-regardedin the bank- ing world and famed for his in- tegrity. Hewas chosen for the role by the


then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and was an appointment which caused some surprise at the time, given his relatively brief time in the City. Lord Kingsdown’s tenure was marked by banking collapses and


market turbulence, although he sur- vived intact. The family of the American


heiress LadyOliveBaillie,who once ownedLeedsCastle,put 453 acres of woodlandupfor sale last September for a combined price of £2m. On her death in 1974, Lady Baillie


bequeathed the castle and grounds to a charitable trust to be enjoyed by members of the public. She had spent a considerable chunk of her fortune in the restoration of Leeds Castle. But a large tract of landwhichbor-


ders the castle grounds was left to her family,who decided to sell it in lots via the agents JohnClegg&Co. The land, which included almost


all of the King’sWood, is protected by lawfromcommercial or residen- tial development. The only viable industry on such


land is coppicing to sell wood for burning, post-making or fencing. The wood is popular with dog


walkers and ramblers and has be- come a haven for many forms of local wildlife, including roe deer, buzzards, red kites and butterflies.


£2,000 fine for building


ALANDOWNERhas been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs for breaching planning regulations. Maidstone Borough Council


(MBC) successfully took the case to theHighCourt inLondonafter treeswere felledandengineering works took place on a piece of woodlandwithinanArea ofOut- standing Natural Beauty in Hollingbourne. Planning officers were in-


formed of the works in October last year, andsubsequent investi- gations revealedthat thebuilding work being carried out required planning permission under the Town and PlanningAct. A temporary stop notice was


served on the land byMBC, but it continued to be breached and


was later followed by an injunc- tion from the High Court. A fur- ther prosecution was also taken out by the Forestry Commission. Last month, construction ma-


chinery and vehicles were brought on to the area, which al- lowedMBCto take the case to the next stage – the court hearing. The landowner said they had


been unaware of the terms of the injunction andwanted to build a property for their family. CllrClive English, chairman of


MBC’splanning committee, said: “This is the culmination of eight months ofhardworkby theplan- ning enforcement team. “Thiswas a clear casewhere an


individual has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the plan- ning process.”


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