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Hermitage Lane: 3,712 homes to be built along key route between Maidstone and Aylesford in next 20 years

By Ed McConnell

Development in and around Hermitage Lane could see the equivalent of a village larger than Bearsted built on the area in the next 20 years, we can exclusively reveal.

The route has been swamped by housing schemes in the past few years, and by 2027 it is set to have 3,712 more households than last year. According to census data that equates to more than 8,500 people.

Four developments have already been built or are under way, with nine more sites earmarked.

The 840 homes will be built opposite the new business park at the top of Hermitage Lane

Traffic reached breaking point after a McDonald’s drive-thru, Aldi and Poundstretcher opened last year. Now Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch is urging residents to object to the latest proposal to build 840 homes, a school and a GP surgery at the junction with the A20 London Road, describing it as “absolutely barking”.

The proposed 840-home development

Gladman Developments and the Trustees of Whitepost Field have lodged an outline application with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, with a decision on whether the development is feasible due from mid September.

If successful, a link road connecting Hermitage Lane and the Poppy Fields roundabout in Allington will also be built on the 33.7-hectare Whitepost Field. Seven hectares of the site will be used as community and green space. Plans can be found at bit.ly/whitepostfield

Miss Crouch said the number of homes – including 235 social houses – is “simply unworkable”.

Tracey Crouch MP is urging residents to object to the latest planned development

The building of up to 1,025 homes at Whitepost Field, which lies opposite the McDonald’s drive-thru and stretches towards Allington, is described as suitable and deliverable in the council’s local plan, with the authority saying work could be started within five years.

Miss Crouch said: “I could not think of a more inappropriate area to build 840 homes than right next to the junction of Hermitage Lane and the A20.” Miss Crouch also urged constituents to object to the Aylesford Quarry 146-home proposal, off Rochester Road.

There will be an exhibition at Aylesford Community Centre today (Thursday) from noon to 7pm and more information, including how to register views, can be submitted at www.aylesfordlakes.co.uk

Bellway's Edge development is just one of several developments along the route

No end in sight

In addition to the gridlock caused by the new retail park at the A20 junction, more than 100 hectares of land is set for development in the next 20 years.

Croudace is set to build 500 homes at Blue Bell Wood, Bovis has built 249 at Orchard Fields opposite Maidstone Hospital, Weston and Redrow is behind a 208-home development at nearby Preston Hall and Bellway’s 69-apartment Edge estate has replaced the former nurses’ home near Oakapple Lane.

Additionally 2,646 homes, including Gladman’s 840, have been earmarked for the key route. A 1.4-hectare site, providing room for around 40 homes, has been identified but as yet no exact housing figure has come to light.

These homes will be spread across nine sites covering 87 hectares, with eight of those rated as suitable and deliverable and one – with room for 381 houses – suitable but undeliverable within the period.

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