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MOTE ROAD TOWER: Local councillor says 'we need houses'

Friday 17th July 2020

ONE of the local councillors whose ward takes in the site of a proposed 15-storey tower block in Maidstone town centre is resigned to the project with the message: "We need the housing."

A massive 181 flat project is planned for Mote Road - currently a car park near the entrance to the Romney Place Sainsbury's - will have just 47 car parking spaces. Office space is also planned into the scheme.

The site was included in a series of  "opportunity" locations for development promoted by Liberal Democrat-led Maidstone Borough Council, a list that also included Len House.

Asked if she supported the project, Liberal Democrat member for the High Street ward, Cllr Denise Joy said: "Support is the wrong word. I understand that we need housing in Maidstone and I live very near to it. 

TOWER BLOCK 'WILL BLOCK OUT THE SUNSET'

15 STOREY BLOCK OF FLATS PLANNED IN MAIDSTONE TOWN CENTRE

"It's a two-sided coin - we need the housing and that's where we are. If we could turn everything down and leave it as we are that would be great but, unfortunately, these people have got to live somewhere."

Conservative borough member Jonathan Purle said: "This proposal is just another step closer to the 'Croydonisation' of Maidstone.

"A lot of people will want to know why so many people from London need to live in Maidstone like this and will dispute the supposed need to carry on building them flats."

Some local residents have greeted the news with dismay, particularly those who feel they will longer be able to enjoy sunsets which could be obscured by the building.

One is considering "resurrecting" the Think Before You Build campaign which helped to see off another massive building proposal across the river at the Broadway which would have seen the war memorial removed and relocated to another part of the borough to allow for more cars.

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