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LATEST: Maidstone planners eye more garden villages

Thursday 4th June 2020

Specialists are at work investigating where and how more garden villages could be located in Maidstone borough.

Maidstone Council has already agreed to progress a plan for a garden village for up to 5,000 hóuses at Lenham Heath. But with Government demanding about 28,000 in Maidstone’s Local Plan the search is on to limit further unpopular pressure on the urban area.

Two areas of Maidstone have previously been promoted by land owners for garden-village-style developments.

1. One is in the Kingswood area where the landowner has regularly been rebuffed by Maidstone Cóúncil, even with his offer to make a very substantial financial contribution to a major new strategic road bypassing Leeds and Langley.

2. The other is at the top of Detling Hill on land which currently includes Detling Business Park with easy access to the A249 and therefore the M20 and M2. But this land forms part of the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – a big barrier to overcome.

The council is now working on a major review of its Local Plan and large garden villages are being considered as a significant feature.

The coúncil’s proposals are scheduled for publication in October. A major public consultation will be held, probably running from October 30 for six weeks to December 13.

** Maidstone has written to the Secretary of State for housing seeking relief for the 28,000 hóuses demanded. To date about only about a quarter have been built. The impact of these houses on local transport, education, NHS services and more has led to Maidstone public rebellions about severe deterioration in quality of local life.

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