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News


downsmail.co.uk Police ‘no-show’ at hit-and-run


A SUTTON Valence man says he is surprised that police failed to attend the scene of a terrifying hit-and-run incident in Headcorn.


Justin Poulter (57) was at the den-


tist when a 4x4 bearing false plates smashed into the back of his Mer- cedes estate outside Foodie’s Empo- rium in North Street on January 7. The driver of the car spun the


SUV around and drove over the foot of Foodie’s Emporium manager Chris Church (41), who had run out- side to try and stop it. IT systems executive Mr Poulter


was attending an urgent appoint- ment at the Smiles dental surgery with an abscess and parked up at around 3.30pm. A few minutes later, the 4x4, thought to be a Mitsubishi, ap- peared to jump a red light, lost con- trol and went into father-of-three Mr Poulter’s car. The driver then turned the car around, said a witness, and sped off in the opposite direction.


GOVERNMENT demand for new housing in Maidstone has de- creased from a potential 1,569 units a year to around 1,200 due to a change in methodology. The change follows widespread


protests in southern England, and now puts greater emphasis on the country’s largest urban areas. The current demand is for 883 houses a year but a new target of 1,214 has been announced. The council’s head of planning


and development, Rob Jarman, has warned of a new Government approach in the spring for assess- ing housing need and this could increase or decrease demand in Maidstone.


Justin Poulter with his wrecked Mercedes car after it was damaged by a hit-and-run driver in Headcorn


Mr Poulter said: “I was coming


back from the dentist, walked around the corner and saw my car about 50 feet from where I had parked it, against the pavement on the other side of the road.


“He must have hit my car very


hard to do that amount of damage. We rang the police and they said they might try to intercept it, but I’ve no idea if they did or not. “I was very surprised they didn't


come to the scene. We hung about for about an hour and half. but po- lice didn't appear.” Father-of-one Mr Church, of Hawkhurst, said: “I went outside and tried to speak to the driver of the 4x4, but he gave me a rather un- savoury gesture and drove off over my foot. The bumper on his car was hanging off. My foot was sore for a while, but there was no lasting damage. We hung about for the po- lice but they didn’t show up which is surprising.” The registration number of the


4x4 is registered to a silver Ford Explorer, but witnesses felt sure it was a charcoal grey Mitsubishi. Kent Police said enquiries are on-


going. The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner’s office was ap- proached for a comment but did not respond.


Housing relief Pop up lane to disappear Traveller sites


THE controversial pop-up cycle route in King Street, Maidstone, is to be completely removed by Kent County Council (KCC). A report to Maidstone Joint Transport Board said the borough is to progress rejuvenation of its Mall bus hub. A section between Wyke Manor


Road and Church Street was re- moved within hours last year when local taxi drivers found their King Street waiting area had disap- peared overnight. And the part of the pop-up through the property build-out at the eastern end of the street caused a major new Maidstone traffic bot-


tleneck – and fierce anger among drivers. Government funding for the lane was dependent on it being built quickly and without the nor- mal consultations and scrutiny. KCC says it now seeks developer funding to progress a permanent and consulted ‘solution’ for King Street which enables Maidstone Borough Council’s cycling strategy to link Mote Park with Maidstone East Station. The county council says the new


road measures in Earl Street will re- main with minor adjustment to the new ‘parklet’ seating areas to allow for extra loading and park- ing.


TWO mobile homes sites for gyp- sies and travellers owned by Maid- stone Borough Council at Water Lane (Ulcombe) and Stilebridge (Marden) are to benefit from £1m improvements. They will include road and street lighting, sanitary and wash facili- ties, metering water and electric supplies and site signage.


Report delay


WELL over 2,000 responses were received to Maidstone Borough Council’s Local Plan Review public consultation. To give officers time to consider comments their report has been delayed until March.


The award­winning Downs Mail newspaper is delivered fortnightly door­to­door in selected areas, and is available to pick up from major supermarkets and local stores in the Maidstone and Malling boroughs. The papers are free to read online, as is the Daily Downs Mail news service. Find them at www.downsmail.co.uk.


We can post the newspaper to you for an annual subscription of £25 for 24 editions. For details, email info@downsmail.co.uk or call a member of the team on 01622 630330.


Editorial Editor Simon Finlay simon.finlay@downsmail.co.uk Editorial team: Online news editor Jade Schopman jade.schopman@downsmail.co.uk Chris Lawson chris.lawson@downsmail.co.uk Lindsay Roberts lindsay.roberts@downsmail.co.uk Obituaries Neil Nixon neilnixon22@gmail.com


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Sales Manager Sara Henslow sara.henslow@downsmail.co.uk Accounts: accounts@downsmail.co.uk Mail Publications Ltd Forge House Bearsted Green Business Park Bearsted, Maidstone ME14 4DT Call us: 01622 630330


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