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HOUSING: Barming Pea Fields development set for approval despite sinkhole worry

Friday 22nd January 2021





PLANS for a 180-plus housing scheme in Barming has inched closer to going ahead - but with certain conditions attached.
The Taylor Wimpey scheme off Oakapple Lane is now subject to a working group thrashing out issues regarding its open spaces and traffic management.
It now appears that there is now a reluctant consensus on the plan for 181 houses on land, known locally as Pea Fields.
There has been strong local opposition trying to prevent the development.
Maidstone Borough Council's planning committee heard there were few reasons to deny the Taylor Wimpey development.
But Cllr Harwood gained approval for a motion to form a delegation to work with other bodies to work closely on concerns about open spaces and the worries over bus routes, rat running and road lay-outs.
The scheme cannot go ahead until these concerns are satisfied.
Committee member Cllr Eddie Powell called for a full geo-physical report into the area, given the number of recent sinkholes in Barming. 
Officers said the applicants had satisifed the requirements for site investigation and would carry out more intrusive surveys as the project progresses.
If members chose to reject the application, committee chairman Cllr Clive English warned: "This is a lost appeal if ever I saw one...we will end up in a very difficult situation."
Six councillors voted for Cllr Harwood's motion, three abstained and three were against.