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Council approves 250-home estate on arable fields off Hermitage Lane, Maidstone

By Alan Smith

A developer has won praise for a scheme to build 250 homes on 9.5 hectares land off Hermitage Lane, in Maidstone.

Members of Maidstone council’s planning committee said that Swan Property and its agents had worked well with planning officers and local ward councillors to mitigate concerns for the development to the west of the lane, opposite Maidstone Hospital.

The developer was leaving a minimum of a 30m buffer zone between the site and an adjacent ancient woodland, was proposing 40% affordable housing, and was making contributions towards improvements at both the junction with Fountain Lane and Junction 5 of the M20, at either end of Hermitage Lane.

250 homes on their way
250 homes on their way

It was providing 25 allotment spaces and the scheme was at a low density of 27 homes per hectare.

Cllr Tony Harwood (Lib Dem) said the site was sustainable, close to both Barming Station and the bus routes serving Maidstone Hospital.

The plans left room for an access to an adjacent plot of land expected to come forward at a later date for a further 50 homes.

Only Cllr Christine Edwards-Daem (UKIP) raised any concerns, pointing out that it was still building on agricultural land and extending the urban area.

Outline permission was granted by 11 votes to zero, with two abstentions.

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