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BEARSTED: The Bogs' builders in legal planning action

Friday 30th April 2021

DEVELOPERS at a controversial building site in Bearsted face an investigation for alleged breaches of planning permission.

Maidstone Borough Council confirmed there is a case ongoing but have refused to disclose further details.

The site, known locally as The Bogs, has been dogged by controversy because locals felt it was an inappropriate place to attempt the building of 50 houses.

A large concrete structure designed to contain flood water from two springs which run into the meadow.

Locals fear its construction may displace water into their properties.

The Lilk stream and a feeder spring flood into the meadow with a near constant flow from Water Lane.

Downs Mail reported last year that work started almost three years after the first bulldozers moved in to clear the site. Since work started in earnest, little beyond the ground preparation has been achieved, mainly caused by bad weather.

 A local resident said: “The place is a total mess. It looks like The Somme. Most of us around here have always maintained this is not the place to build houses as it is prone to flooding.

“There is a reason why it is known as The Bogs.”

Developers RAMAC are understood being advised to submit a retrospective planning application for the relocation of the site office closer to the entrance.

We understand a separate investigation is being carried out over drainage.

RAMAC estimates the first homes will be built by spring of next year.

An MBC statement said: “Maidstone Borough Council can confirm that there is an investigation currently underway at Roundwell Park in Bearsted.  However, due to legal reasons further details cannot be disclosed.”

Borough councillor Denis Spooner said: “I was always opposed to building here for all the reasons articulated over the years but it got passed so that’s that. It’s a difficult site to develop with colossal upfront costs for the flood defences and a bridge.”