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VOTE NOW: Should Lib Dem council suspend house-building programme?

Thursday 5th December 2019

MORE than 1,300 people have responded to our survey to assess the impact Maidstone Borough Council's (MBC) massive housing programme is having on residents and their communities.

We have posed the question of whether the Liberal Democrat-run local authority should suspend any further development as readers fear the roads and the public services cannot cope.

We are asking: "Given mounting concerns among residents about house-building, traffic on the roads and the squeeze on public services, should Liberal Democrat-controlled Maidstone Borough Council consider the suspension of any further development?"


More than 95% have voted yes.

The Lib Dem administration is committed to building 17,600 houses in the Local Plan, passed two years ago, with another 10,500 potentially in the pipeline when it is reviewed. Yet only 6,500 units have so far been delivered.

Our readers worry that the roads can barely cope with current traffic levels before MBC commits the borough to another 22,000.

Recently, MBC has become a self-styled "master developer" behind the proposed 5,000 house development at Lenham Heath and brokered the secret deal to buy the leasehold of the Lockmeadow cinema and leisure complex using £19.1m of public money. 

The authority also promoted a number of Maidstone town centre "opportunity sites" which included a 14-storey tower block of flats which would have meant the removal of the War Memorial.