5,000 LENHAM HOMES: Scheme costs tax-payer £69,000 - so far
Thursday 26th September 2019
MAIDSTONE Borough Council has spent nearly £70,000 of tax-payers' money on its hush-hush plan to build 5,000 houses on Lenham Heath.
The leader of the Liberal Democrat controlled authority, Cllr Martin Cox, disclosed the sum last night in answer to a member's question during a meeting of the full council.
He said that £68,817 had been spent to date and was under the £75,000 budgeted for the period.
It was in response to Lenham independent councillor Tom Sams' question about how much public money had gone on "exploring" a so-called "garden community".
Cllr Cox said that £150,000 had been set aside to pay for the explorations.
At least nine landowners have been approached to secure 600 acres of mainly farmland.
Lib Dem-led MBC, which has announced itself as the "master developer" of the scheme, submitted the secret proposal as part of its "call for sites" process between February and May this year.
A number of landowners have been requested to sign non-disclosure agreements.
The council has hired Barton Willmore, the planning consultants, to make the approaches to landowners.
A four page document distributed by the consultancy says the borough must accommodate 10,500 houses on top of 17,600 contained in the Local Plan.
The scheme could see a new M20 motorway junction and high railway station.
SEE NEXT EDITION OF DOWNS MAIL (WEALD) FOR SPECIAL REPORTS ON LENHAM HEATH DEVELOPMENT
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