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LATEST: Landowners backing Lenham Heath garden village

Wednesday 17th June 2020

A new report before Maidstone Council on the proposed Lenham Heath garden village indicates today the five principal landowners remain committed and have submitted a joint letter of intent.

In addition the council has been approached by a developer acting for three smaller landowners wishing to make their land available too.

The council’s ‘redline’ for the village now includes 776.7 acres with the principal landowners covering 531.4 acres (68%), additional interested landowners 16.6 acres (2%), other land to be retained 124.2 acres (16%) and remaining land 104.5 acres (13%).

Initially the council earmarked 900 acres for 5,000 homes. Now the target is 4,000 homes.

Homes England in a partnership proposal has provided the council with a letter of intent to share land promotion costs up to £3m – seen by the council as ‘very positive’ not only financially but for its expertise and credibility.

The report, by the council’s Director of Regeneration and Place (William Cornall), comes before the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on June 24.

The Lenham Heath proposal is one of four garden community proposals to be considered by the council after seven were submitted in the ‘call for sites’ exercise. It must consider how many should go out to consultation in the next public consultation stage of the Local Plan Review later this year.

The possibility of a new M20 junction is still being explored by the Maidstone Council/KCC infrastructure working group and key stakeholders. A possible location for the junction has been safeguarded in the revised masterplan. Mr Cornall comments: “Securing a new motorway junction is always a long-term ambition that will require political consensus and lobbying at all levels.”

The revised master plan also makes provision for 16 acres of employment land and two further links to the A20 inclusive of bridges across the railway line.

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