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HOUSING: Councillors warned to expect 40% MORE housing - but no new roads

Thursday 13th September 2018

MAIDSTONE'S borough councillors have been warned to expect 40% MORE housing on top of the 17,600 they have committed to in the recently-adopted Local Plan.

As part of the Local Plan Review, scheduled for 2022, Maidstone could be hit with around 24,000 homes in total.

This would increase the number of dwellings which must be built annually from 800 to 1,200 per year over the life of the Local Plan.

The borough councillor took part in a workshop on September 3 where the stark realities were laid out.

Maidstone Borough Council admits shortfall on new house levy

Conservative group leader John Perry said: “I don’t know where we’re going to put them all. We have been voicing serious concerns about infrastructure.

"The roads can't cope as it is. We will need to work with Kent County Council – after all, it is the body to provide the schools and build the roads.”

But the Liberal Democrat-led borough council is currently taking legal action against Tory-run KCC, over its concerns that funds released by property developers are being spent on studies for a Leeds-Langley relief road rather than on highway changes tied to specific developments.

MBC claims it has sought the costly High Court action - funded by the council tax-payer - to achieve "clarity" on the issue despite the application for a judicial review having been thrown out at the first stage.

MBC's leadership remains committed to the concept of "modal shift" which ecourages local people to walk, take buses or cycle, rather than take the car which Tory opponents have claimed is totally inadequate to cope with the housing numbers in the pipeline.

MBC Liberal Democrat leader Martin Cox admitted to Daily Downs Mail recently that he is "not 100% sure" that modal shift will work.