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Appeal due on industrial units at Woodcut Farm near Leeds Castle

Friday 27th January 2017

THE developers behind a failed application to build industrial units at Woodcut Farm near Leeds Castle have lodged an appeal.

This would occupy the eastern end of the Kent International Gateway (KIG) site and opponents fear, if granted, will open the floodgates for a full-scale industrialisation of the area near junction 8 of the M20.

KIG was a vast freight marshalling site which would have cut a swathe across the Bearsted parish. It was defeated after a massive campaign.

The influential Bearsted and Thurnham Society told members this morning by email that Roxhill has appealed to Maidstone Borough Council (MBC).

The move was widely expected as the Local Plan inspector did not dismiss it in his interim report.

Leeds castle boss Sir David Steel is opposed to the site being developed as is Leeds borough councillor Gill Fort who warned of "KIG2 just around the corner."

The society told members: "Woodcut Farm - We have also received confirmation from MBC that Roxhill has lodged an appeal against MBC’s planning committee’s refusal last July to grant planning permission for commercial development at Woodcut Farm, which is between the A20 and M20 at J8, ie. the easternmost part of the former KIG site.

"This means yet another public inquiry. We will keep you informed of further details from the planning inspectorate as we receive them."

An MBC spokesman said: "I can confirm an appeal has been lodged but the planning inspectorate has not yet provided a start date. Once this has been received, all relevant parties will be informed."