Published: 14:00, 18 May 2014 |
Updated: 12:01, 19 May 2014
It’s not even on the list of proposed housing sites in Maidstone council’s draft Local Plan, but a field off Cripple Street is firmly in a developer’s sights.
Millwood Designer Homes, based in Tonbridge, is drawing up proposals to build in the field opposite the Loose Valley Conservation Area.
Now residents have learned that the scheme is still on the cards.
The company confirmed it was working on a proposal, but would not release any details.
It has told a local residents’ association that it intends to hold a public exhibition on the scheme at Vine Church in Boughton Lane on Thursday, May 29, exactly one week after the local elections, but has so far not advertised the meeting.
South Ward councillor Ian Chittenden (Lib Dem) has taken it upon himself to deliver leaflets to homes in the area urging residents to attend the consultation event, which will be between 4pm and 8pm.
He said: "I'm afraid the developers will give residents too little notice. This is a very prominent location and I urge residents to make their views known."
“But this really is outrageous. This field is supposed to be protected as part of the green lung separating Maidstone from Loose.
“In addition, the effect of putting more traffic onto Cripple Street, which is very narrow at this point, and on to the Cripple Street traffic lights at the junction with Loose Road, is unthinkable.
“Motorists already wait an eternity at the lights in peak periods.”
A spokesman for Maidstone council said: "It is the developer that is pressing ahead despite the council’s action to remove this site from the plan."
Maidstone council has determined there is need for 19,600 new homes in the borough by 2031, but even with some controversial sites included in its draft Local Plan, it has only identified allocations for 16,700 of them.
The 1,900-home shortfall means it will be very difficult for councillors to refuse any application - such as this one in Cripple Street - that helps to make up the shortfall.
Cllr Chittenden said: "Unfortunately as soon as the planning officers put the site forward in their initial proposals it gave encouragement to the developers."
He said it would be difficult for planning officers now to oppose the site when they had previously supported it.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.