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EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dems want to swap Lidsing for Marden in Local Plan

Wednesday 6th October 2021

THE Liberal Democrats will tonight attempt to swap a controversial housing scheme at Lidsing for the revival of another at Marden.

At this evening's full council meeting to decide on Maidstone's housing future, Cllrs Clive English and Tony Harwood will put forward an amendment asking to remove a 2,000 house scheme at Lidsing from the Local Plan Review (LPR).

They have asked for  Marden's recently defeated 2,000 house scheme to be inserted instead after a meeting with a senior planning official.

The Lib Dems are ready to revolt against the LPR over fears it would not survive scrutiny when it goes to the Secretary of State at the next stage of the process.

Three Tory Boxley borough councillors are thought to be sticking to their guns by opposing the LPR and voting against the ruling Conservative administration on Lidsing, which is on their patch.

The Lib Dems also want to remove the sites blocked off in the LPR for the route of a possible Leeds-Langley relief road and have sought numbers to be reduced on the the Invicta Barracks site in Maidstone.

Cllr English confirmed the amendment had been sought.

Conservative Cllr Lottie Parfitt-Reid said: "This appears to have been a carefully calculated move by the Lib Dems. Yet the people of Marden have been given absolutely no warning of this - disgraceful."

Cllr English said Labour members were backing the Lib Dems in their opposition to the LPR but the five independents are split.