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LENHAM HEATH: Ashford MP Damian Green says MBC 5,000 house plan 'is wrong'

Friday 28th February 2020

FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green, the MP for Ashford, has rejected Maidstone Borough Council’s (MBC) plan to put 5,000 houses on Lenham Heath.
The Liberal Democrat-led MBC is the self-styled “master developer” of the scheme.
But Mr Green contends that the authority has “got it wrong” on its plan for Lenham Heath, which would adversely affect some of the communities on the edge of his constituency.
The former First Secretary of State  under PM Theresa May said: “I think it is a challenge for all councils to balance the need for more homes with the protection of the environment, and the way to do that is to choose appropriate sites, preferably on brown field land, as much as possible
“Maidstone Borough Council has got it wrong with its plans for Lenham Heath, which affects a lot of villages in my constituency. I support Helen Whately (Faversham and Mid Kent MP) in her opposition to the proposed development.
“There have to be more creative ways of creating the housing that is required.”
He said that the government’s policy of “levelling up”, where areas away from the south east and London become more attractive, might help reduce the desire to live in Kent.
Asked if the Government’s methodology should be challenged, he added: “I think that whatever methodology is employed, we have to remember we need housing, but the trick is to balance it appropriately.
“If there are opportunities in, say, Manchester, Glasgow or Leeds, it has to be good for reducing pressures on Maidstone and Ashford.”