Maidstone Borough Council last night (16th October) rejected the plans for a business park at Waterside Park by Junction 8 of the M20, in a move welcomed by CPRE Kent.
We believe the planned development of warehouses, industrial premises and offices would have been hugely detrimental to the countryside setting of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the important heritage setting of Leeds Castle.
CPRE Kent was just one of many organisations opposed to the scheme – there were also objections from Kent County Council, Natural England, the Kent Downs AONB Unit, the Kent Wildlife Trust, Leeds Castle, the Joint Parishes Group and many local people.
Brian Lloyd, Senior Planner for CPRE Kent, said “This is greenfield land in the open countryside where development should not be allowed under either local or national planning policies. We seriously questioned the claimed economic benefits to Maidstone. There is no justification for developing in this location when considerable employment land has already been identified in area such as Ashford, Swale and Canterbury which would not impact on an AONB and on one of the county’s prime heritage and tourist sites.”