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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Survey reveals majority of people are unconvinced about the benefits of Clockhouse scheme in Coxheath

04 December 2013
by Alan Smith

Residents are unhappy about plans for Clockhouse Farm

Residents are unhappy about plans for Clockhouse Farm

Villagers are not impressed with the sops being offered to them for putting up with another housing development.

Last month Coxheath Parish Council invited residents to an exhibition of Persimmon’s plans to redevelop Clockhouse Farm, off the Heath Road, just outside the village.

The parish council said visitors would learn about the “community benefits” the development would bring, including “local needs housing for local people, additional accommodation for the elderly, an element of market housing, modest commercial development creating employment opportunities and land made available for the provision of enhanced primary care services.”

But figures revealed at a parish council meeting showed what residents thought of the plans - with an overwhelming majority of those completing the exit survey opposed to every single aspect of the scheme.

Marjorie Johnston of Adam Close is one of the residents who have formed a group called Residents Against Coxheath Expansion (RACE) to fight this and other schemes in the village.

She said: “We are not being fooled.

“We were promised when the old Linton Hospital site was built on that it would be the last development.

“We were told that would provide affordable housing for local people, but when it came down to it, the homes were offered to people from across the borough.

Mrs Johnston said: “Homes for the elderly sounds attractive: but this will be an expensive commercial provision beyond the reach of most people.

“There is also no need for new commercial units; there are units within Clockhouse Farm that are vacant now.

“And as for a new doctor’s surgery, the developers are only offering to set land aside, not provide a surgery.”

Mrs Johnston conceded that both doctors surgeries in the village were already chock-a-block, but said: “They have some 12,000 patients on the books, but there are only 4,000 in the village. The rest are drawn in from outside.”

RACE argues that Coxheath cannot take more development. Heath Road, the 2163, is already very busy and traffic-calming measure have failed to prevent problems with speeding.

The survey showed that 47 people were in favour of local needs housing, but 318 against.

Some 32 welcomed new market housing, but 329 were against.

Eighty-one people supported plans for apartments for the elderly, but 280 were opposed.

While 172 supported land being set aside for healthcare facilities, 191 were opposed.

Other areas have also been put forward for possible development as a result Of Maidstone council’s “call for sites”. They are Linden Farm (40 houses); Olders Field (55 houses); three fields next to Aspian Drive, off Park Way, (370 houses).


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