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Bearsted and Thurnham residents were jubilant - along with the rest of the borough - when in 2010 after three years' campaigning they successfully saw off plans to create a road/rail freight interchange near the M20.
But although KIG is dead, a new proposal for a commercial business park between the A20 and M20 near junction 8 of the motorway is about to be revealed.
Development company Roxhill will hold a public exhibition of its plans on Tuesday (10). It is proposing 500,000 sq ft of employment space in “an opportunity to develop large-scale warehousing together with manufacturing and office space.”
Jason Dalby, the company’s managing director, said: “We would like to invite the local community to attend the public exhibition and learn more about our proposal.
“A new business park in Maidstone would play a key role in attracting new businesses, and jobs, into the area.
“It will also provide opportunities for existing local companies to expand without having to relocate, keeping skills and jobs within the Maidstone area. We believe it is an ideal site for such a development, bringing with it enormous long-term benefits to the area.”
The site is on the opposite side of the A20 to the Waterside Park development recently put forward by Gallaghers.
The public exhibition will be held at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel on Tuesday (Dec 10) between 3pm and 8pm.
The company promised a further public exhibition would be held in the New Year once its plans have been refined, but prior to a planning application being submitted.
A major difference between this proposal and the Kent International Gateway project is that Maidstone council opposed KIG and spent £1.7m fighting it at appeal.
However, in July last year, the council designated the area around junction 8 as a strategic location for employment with council leader Chris Garland (Con) saying it would be possible to have “robust conditions” that would “minimise intrusion and ensure plenty of landscaping.”
For more information, visit www.roxhill.co.uk
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