Grave concerns over Maidstone planning documents

As you may well be aware, Maidstone Borough Council has issued its draft Core Strategy Strategic Site Allocations and draft Integrated Transport Strategy for public consultation.  These are important documents which will determine the development and growth of the Borough up to 2026.

The Maidstone district committee of CPRE Protect Kent has grave concerns over the suggestions put forward in these proposals, which do not support the regeneration of Maidstone’s town centre that is so desperately needed.  We will be making our thoughts known to the MBC in no uncertain terms.

As a valued supporter of CPRE Protect Kent in Maidstone Borough, you may also wish to respond to these public consultations, and we would urge you to do so.

Our concerns can be summarised as follows:

  • The Council is proposing that 10,080 new houses are built in this period. This represents an additional population of about 25,000 at current house occupancy rates, which is nearly a 20% increase on the current population. No particular new services are included to meet this increase other than some minor transport ideas.
  • The housing sites proposed are: one along London Road; two of the large fields near the hospital either side of Hermitage Lane; and very large areas either side of Sutton Road in Park Wood, as well as just over 1000 new houses in the major villages.
  • In addition there are proposals for major industrial or commercial development at two sites at M20 motorway junctions. At J7, retail and possibly medical services will be allowed around and beyond the Notcutts area.  At J8, industrial and commercial development is proposed on sites which include land where the Kent International Gateway was recently so strongly opposed.
  • Industrial and commercial development at these sites will have a major adverse effect on Maidstone’s town centre and the town’s setting in open countryside.

Details can be found on the Maidstone Borough Council website:  http://www.maidstone.gov.uk

The full documents can be viewed, and responses made, online or at the Council’s offices.  Replies to the consultation are required by 1 October 2012.

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