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HOUSING REBELLION: How to take part in Sunday's marches to protect rural Kent

Thursday 25th November 2021

AROUND 20 residents' groups in Kent are to stage protest marches in their rural communities on Sunday to highlight opposition to housebuilding.
The movement, which could see many thousands of supporters attend, hopes to persuade the government to change its policy on so-called "garden villages".
Save Our Heath Lands, under pressure by Maidstone Borough Council to take 5,000 homes, will take part, claiming there are 11,000 acres of Kent countryside under threat.  
A spokesman said: "We want to put pressure on the national government to change its policy now, not when it is too late."
The groups hope to hold Prime Minister Boris Johnson to his pledge that building should be "not on green fields, not just jammed in the South East, but beautiful homes on brownfield sites, in places where homes make sense".
The government has vowed to building 300,000 houses nationally each year.
Maidstone borough, under new rules, will have to build 1,200 a year but critics say the infrastructure, roads and services cannot cope.

LIDSING: Meet at Blacksmith's Barn at Bredhurst, ME7 3JU, 10.45am Sun Nov 28

LENHAM: Kent Day of Action - Lenham History Walk 2pm (meet Lenham Cross) Sunday, Nov 28

TOVIL: Valley Conservation Society - meet Ivy Mill Lane, just in front of Bockingford Steps, (ME15 6DP)  11am on Sunday, Nov 28.

Taking part: Against Lidsing Garden Development; Birchington Action Group; Borden Residents Against Development; Broadwater Action Group; Burham Says No To Further Development; Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Residents Development Group; Eccles Action Group; Farms, Fields and Fresh Air Faversham; Friends of Dukes Meadow; Friends Of East End - Benenden; Friends Of Old Park and Chequer's Wood; Hartley: Save Our Fields; Keep Kent Green; Keep the East Cliff Green; Meopham Village Not Town; Protect Land West of Teynham; Residents Against Ramslye Development; Rural Protection Group; Save Capel; Save Capstone Valley; Save Old Wives Lees from Industrial Solar; Save Our Heath Lands; Save Our Orchards Selling Village; Save Prince's Parade; Save Turnden; Stop Exploitative Development in Dover District; Stop Overdevelopment of Paddock Wood; Valley Conservation Society (Tovil) and Westgate and Garlinge Action Group Against Housing Development.


The signs are ominous for the Save Our Heath Lands group as Maidstone Borough Council appears to be inching closer to securing a deal with the local landowners, which has thus far been a sticking point.

Homes England, the government agency partner with Maidstone Borough Council's proposal at Lenham Heath, has reported all the option agreements, now in their final form for each landowner, were issued during the week commencing October 4. An MBC report said: "The landowner’s agents have now concluded their briefing meetings with all but one of the principal landowners, this final meeting is due to take place w/c November 15. It is envisaged that the majority of these agreements will have been entered into by the end of this month."

SOHL has consistently claimed the landowners not signed and in some cases are unwilling to do so.