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KCC argues it would be better to build on Detling Aerodrome than at Maidstone's rural villages

By Paul Francis

As many as 1,000 homes could be built on the site of the former Detling Aerodrome in Maidstone, according to a report by Kent County Council published today.

And long-standing plans for some kind of bypass round Leeds Castle could be resurrected after decades in which the scheme has been stalled.

The two proposals are set out in a report by KCC planners responding to Maidstone council’s blueprint, which says the County Town needs close to 20,000 homes in the area between now and 2031.

A house under construction
A house under construction

County planners say that number is too high, is unsustainable and undeliverable and would harm the quality of life for residents.

Instead, KCC suggests Maidstone’s house-building target be cut to 14,500 homes.

It also calls for several key sites identified as suitable for homes by Maidstone council to be scrapped or targets substantially reduced.

These include the development of Invicta Barracks and the Springfield site off the Royal Engineers Road, known as the spine road.

Cllr Gary Cooke claims zero hour contracts can work for employees as well
Cllr Gary Cooke claims zero hour contracts can work for employees as well

The idea of development at Detling Aerodrome, along with a new plan for some kind of ‘bypass’ around Leeds Castle to serve new housing developments, will be seen as major challenges to Maidstone Council’s own plans.

KCC’s report states: “Urban extensions as proposed will result in new centres of population that are not supported by adequate infrastructure and will be remote from key services. Road infrastructure, existing traffic congestion, potable water supply and sewerage provision present significant constraints to development around Maidstone.”

On the possible development of Detling, KCC states while it is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, that would not be a bar to development and KCC would agree to improve access via a new roundabout on the A249.

Maidstone county councillor Gary Cooke said: “I am especially pleased to see Kent County Council is proposing the upgrading of roads adjacent to Leeds that will effectively provide a partial bypass solution. This will not only provide relief to the centre of Leeds village but should then also help to alleviate some of the congestion that besets Willington Street.”

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