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LATEST: Otham houses protester calls for new independent legal team for appeal

Monday 29th June 2020

A leading campaigner against the plan for 421 houses in Otham countryside, next to the ancient church, is calling on Maidstone Council to appoint an independent legal team at the public inquiry if Bellway Homes goes to appeal.

David Hatcher, chairman of Chapman Close Residents’ Association, welcomes the latest powerful rejection by Maidstone Coúncil’s Planning Committee. (click here for report)

He says: “The councillors rightly were concerned about the future wellbeing of residents, both existing and those who would have to live on this road-locked site if it went ahead.

“Bellway were clearly just focussed on the millions of pounds they stand to make from victims living there, while they walk away. 

 “We will now  focus on convincing the council’s Policy and Resources Committee that the risk of losing at appeal is much less than officers would have us all believe.  Those same officers have apparently facilitated Bellway presentations to councillors on the merits of developing this site, even though there was considerable opposition even when it was being considered for the Local Plan over three years ago.

  “lt will be interesting to see how those same officers will now change their stance when the issue comes before the Planning Inspector and they are expected to defend the elected representatives’ decisions.  The council’s decisions needs to be supported by an independent newly appointed legal team.

  “The cost of this appeal will at least be finite for ratepayers, whereas the cost of poor planning if it were to go ahead would be infinite in terms of health and finance for residents and road users of our town for years to come.”


421 Otham houses plan refused again - click here