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HOUSING: Otham 440-houses appeal closes - Maidstone awaits its fate

Tuesday 1st December 2020

THE six-day Bellway Homes appeal to permit 440 houses off Church Road, Otham, concluded last evening – and now this rural area of Maidstone awaits its fate.

The inspector is expected to give his ruling early in the New Year.

Three times Maidstone Council rejected the planning application due to highways safety in narrow Church Road and serious addition to congestion in the nearby roads, notably Willington Street, Deringwood Drive (Downswood) and Spot Lane (Bearsted)

Bellway made a late proposal to widen parts of Church Road, notably close to the proposed southern entrance to the site and also on two bends.  But Maidstone Council witnesses said parts of the road would still be only 3.8m wide and 5.5m were required.

There were also objections due to the damage to the setting of the ancient Grade One listed village church and nearby Grade Two listed buildings.

Bellway challenged all objections and said an application would be made for substantial costs against the council.