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News Slower traffic


by design now HOUSING estates are being de- signed to control traffic speed to 20mph through layout and traffic- calming measures, Kent High- ways have told Maidstone/Kent Joint Transportation Board. There is no need for a policy for a legal 20mph limit as this is self enforcing, without the need for signing and road lines, says KCC. Police support this policy be- cause they lack the resources to enforce legal limits.


Maidstone Liberal Democrats had requested a 20mph limit in new housing developments, but KCC says the issue is part of the current Kent Design Guide.


Brexit traffic


EARLY signs of the impact of Brexit on Maidstone area traffic are encouraging, the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board heard. Cllr Val Springett said Opera-


tion Stack had been a nightmare for the Bearsted area but Opera- tion Brock seemed to work well. KCC Highways said there were no Government proposals for more lorry parks.


downsmail.co.uk


Another step closer to 181 Pea Fields houses


PLANS for a 180-plus housing scheme in Barming has inched closer to going ahead – but with conditions attached. The Taylor Wimpey scheme off Oakapple Lane is now subject to a working group thrashing out issues regarding open spaces and traffic management. It appears there is now a reluctant consensus on the plan (pictured)for 181 houses on land known locally as Pea Fields, after strong opposi- tion to the development. Barming Parish Council spokesman Fay Gooch said the roads are not wide enough for buses and would create a rat-run to avoid congested Hermitage Lane. Maidstone Borough Council's planning committee heard there were few reasons to deny the devel- opment. But Cllr Tony Harwood gained approval for a motion to form a delegation to work with other bodies to work on concerns


about open spaces and bus routes, rat running and road lay-outs. The scheme cannot go ahead until these concerns are satisfied. Committee member Cllr Eddie Powell called for a full geo-physical report into the area, given the number of recent sinkholes.


Officers said the applicants had satisfied the requirements for site investigation and would carry out more intrusive surveys as the pro- ject progressed. Suggestions that


reptiles could be moved to Mote Park met with challenge and it is hoped displaced animals could find a new home closer by.


If members chose to reject the ap- plication outright, committee chair- man Cllr Clive English warned: “This is a lost appeal if ever I saw one...we will end up in a very diffi- cult situation.”


Six councillors voted for Cllr Harwood's motion, three ab- stained and three were against.


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