Published: 14:33, 12 August 2014
A campaign group fighting housing plans in Coxheath is calling for a united front with other protest movements across Maidstone.
Sally and Gavin McDermid of Aspian Drive founded Hands Off Coxheath to fight what they regard as the excessive housing allocations for the village in Maidstone council’s draft Local Plan.
Mrs McDermid said: “We are aware of course that other areas and villages have their own groups opposing allocations in their areas.
“We think there might be lots of ways we can help each other: sharing contacts, advising on tactics that have worked.
“We are currently liaising with Keep Linton Green, but are looking to expand our contacts further.”
She said that when residents first had to find their way through the planning system, it could be daunting. She said: “Maidstone council is not particularly helpful. You have to go out and look for the information you need.”
Mrs McDermid praised her local ward member Cllr Brian Mortimer, and Parliamentary campaigner Jasper Gerard, both Lib Dems, for the assistance they had given, but she said: “I’d like to emphasis we are not politically affiliated. We would welcome help from other parties with open arms if it were offered.”
Mr McDermid said: “It is vital that residents make their views known before the council finalises the Local Plan. Once that is set in stone, there will be no point at all in complaining about individual planning applications further down the line.”
Members of Hands Off Coxheath are planning to picket Maidstone Town Hall ahead of next Tuesday’s scrutiny committee meeting which will discuss the Local Plan.
She said: “Our members will be there from 5.30pm. (The meeting starts at 6.30pm.) It would be good if other groups would like to join us.”
*Hand Off Coxheath can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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