News Warning after

garden thefts RESIDENTS are being advised to keep sheds and outbuildings se- cure after a string of thefts. Three were targeted between January 7 and 8 in London Road and Barleycorn in Leybourne. Power tools, garden appliances and a bicycle were stolen. Another shed was broken into in King Street, West Malling. Sgt Sarah Alvey said: “I would

advise residents to ock doors and windows and consider fitting a shed alarm or security light. I would urge anyone who sees somebody acting suspiciously to contact us on 101, or 999 if you be- lieve a crime is taking place.”

Crash arrest

A DRIVER was arrested on suspi- cion of drink-driving after a car ploughed into a wall in Maidstone. The silver Ford Mondeo was

travelling along Busbridge Road on January 15 when it crashed, nar- rowly missing a postbox. The driver (27) and a passenger

were taken to hospital, but their in- juries were not described as seri- ous.

New laws used to build 24 ats in Kingswood

A KINGSWOOD businessman has used controversial new plan- ning rules to erect a block of 24 flats in the village. Rob Schroeder, the owner of Kingswood Christmas Trees, has used new legislation to convert a fire-damaged industrial estate into accommodation without requiring planning permission first. Under the “ZA” permitted devel- opment rights (PDR) class, he can bypass normal application scrutiny for the three- storey development for a mix of one, two and three bed- room apartments at The Home- stead in Gravelly Bottom Road. Mr Schroeder, pictured, who has

been seeking formal planning per- mission for an 800 home eco village on his land, said: “The new rules mean if the site is a former indus- trial estate, you are allowed one house or flats there. “This was a site that was badly fire damaged a couple of years ago

destroyed by widening developer rights to convert many types of buildings to residential use without the usual consents.

Cllr Brian Clark won support

and this is an opportunity for apart- ments in a rural setting." Objector Hayley Roberts, of Cop- perfield Close, said: “This would put unnecessary strain on an al- ready overused and struggling in- frastructure. The roads around Kingswood could not cope…” Fears were expressed by borough councillors the town centre could be

from other members of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Com- mittee when he pointed to the town centre, where offices were con- verted to residential without the need for planning permission. He is now fearful many leisure fa- cilities and shops would not survive the COVID-19 lockdowns and could be converted to housing be- fore there was a chance for new businesses to take over. Currently, permitted develop- ment rights (PDRs) for a change of use from commercial, business and service uses (Class E) to residential apply to July 31 this year. Now Government proposes a

single PDR to enable change of use from almost any Class E property to residential.

A personal approach with The Family Funeral Service

Family Funeral service has been bringing its

personal service to Headcorn for 3 years now. We now offer a

friendly service to even more people in the Maidstone and surrounding areas.


The Family owned and family run business offers a personal approach, with the option of home visits and access to a friendly voice 24 hours a day. Operating out of Bearsted, Family funeral Service is run by Michael Lawrence, along with Karan at Bearsted, Rik at Barming and Jo at Headcorn – the team

Funeral Planner Of The Year 2018 South East London Region Winner

4 Cavendish Way, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone ME15 8PW

01622 920305 30

behind the second - generation business that has been helping families in the area for over 40 years.

During these difficult times, due to Covid restrictions, we have worked very hard to ensure each and every family still gets the personal service and that all their require- ments are fulfilled within the everchanging guidelines. We can offer lots of alternatives to the standard funeral and can arrange everything for you.

Michael Lawrence said: ”the loss of a loved one is never easy to cope with, and the added stress of making the arrangements can often bring further emotional upset. With our experience of making funeral arrangements we have learned how to help families have and be part of a meaningful service that celebrates life. Our approach is

simple, we sit with you in our office or your home or over the phone, taking you slowly and methodically through the various decisions that you will face and the options available to you. Sometimes it’s just good to sit and talk to someone with experience and compassion before making a decision.”

Contact Family Funeral Service on

Bearsted 01622 920305 Barming 01622 920300 Headcorn 01622 930306.

01622 920306 Find us at:

59 High Street, Headcorn TN27 9QA

Marlborough Parade, 6 Beverley Road, Maidstone ME16 9JN

01622 920300

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