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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Why are planning officers taking a different approach to Boughton Lane, asks Brian Clark

17 July 2014
by Alan Smith

Maidstone council is being accused of double standards when it comes to planning decisions.

The borough’s planning officers have recommended for approval plans for 220-homes off Boughton Lane, Maidstone, even though it means driving an access through ancient woodland.

Only a short time ago, officers recommended refusal of a housing plan at Bluebell Woods, Allington, for just that reason.

Cllr Brian Clark Planners showing double standards

Cllr Brian Clark: "Planners showing double standards"

Kent County Councillor Brian Clark (Lib Dem) said: “The Boughton Lane project will see bulldozers ploughing through the centre of ancient woodland at Five Acre Wood.

“Furthermore, they are supporting a plan for only 30% affordable housing, when Maidstone’s own policy is for 40%. Again the failure to achieve 40% at Bluebell Woods was one of the reasons given for refusal there.”

Planners are citing the support of Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council for the scheme, but actually only a tiny section of the site falls within the parish boundary.

Most is within the unparished South Ward, represented by the North Loose Residents Association, which has vigorously objected to the plans, including providing a 1500-signature petition in opposition.

Cllr Clark said: “The same policies used to successfully protect ancient woodland at Bluebell Wood need to be consistently applied to protect ancient woodland at Five Acre Wood.”

The application will be determined by Maidstone’s planning committee next Thursday, July 26.

Application number 13/2197 refers.

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