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Alan Smith

Alan Smith joined the Kent Messenger as a trainee sub-editor in 1989. In 1998 he switched to a reporting role, chiefly on the Kent Messenger and subsequently on Kent Online.

Plan to extend car park by castle branded ‘bonkers’

12 April 2024
Plan to extend car park by castle branded ‘bonkers’

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for a u-turn over a decision to extend a town centre car park near a castle.

1

1,300-home plan would have ‘devastating impact’

11 April 2024
1,300-home plan would have ‘devastating impact’

A parish council is urging people to attend a public meeting after a “huge amount of concern” was raised over plans for 1,300 homes on farmland.

Prominent mansion’s price tag drops £3.5m

11 April 2024
Prominent mansion’s price tag drops £3.5m

The asking price of one of Kent’s most prominent historic homes has dropped by £3.5m - with an option to buy just the house and 20 acres for £12m.

2

Boundary changes ‘confusing’ for voters

11 April 2024
Boundary changes ‘confusing’ for voters

Recent boundary changes have left voters confused after they’ve found themselves in two places at once.

1

Retirement home proposed for parkland

10 April 2024
Retirement home proposed for parkland

A specialist developer of retirement homes is planning a new 50-home complex.

Lioness inspires new girls’ football team

10 April 2024
Lioness inspires new girls’ football team

A girls under 10s team who’ve been playing competitive football for the first time say they have been inspired by Kent-born footballer Alessia Russo.

Parking charges to be introduced despite huge opposition

09 April 2024
Parking charges to be introduced despite huge opposition

A council has gone ahead with introducing new parking charges across a borough despite thousands of people opposing the plans.

5

10-year battle with landowner over dumping ground delayed again

09 April 2024
10-year battle with landowner over dumping ground delayed again

A judge has given a landowner “one final chance” to get legal representation before he is sentenced in a long-running planning dispute with a council.

18

‘My 11-year-old daughter will leave home at 7am and not get home till 5pm’

08 April 2024
‘My 11-year-old daughter will leave home at 7am and not get home till 5pm’

Parents have set up a petition calling for a new non-selective school to save their children spending two hours on the bus each day.

82

Flood alerts issued for large parts of county

07 April 2024
Flood alerts issued for large parts of county

Spring tides bring a risk of coastal flooding from mid-morning tomorrow with some rivers affected too.

1

‘It’s meant to be a beautiful urban oasis but it’s a polluted eyesore’

07 April 2024
‘It’s meant to be a beautiful urban oasis but it’s a polluted eyesore’

Fishing tackle, syringes, traffic cones, soiled underwear and drink bottles and cans were just some of the things found in a litter-strewn millpond.

31

ANPR cameras to catch out ‘fast and dangerous’ drivers

07 April 2024
ANPR cameras to catch out ‘fast and dangerous’ drivers

People have given their backing to an ANPR camera scheme to catch motorists using a bus-only route as a cut-through.

23

Long delays at tunnel crossing

07 April 2024
Long delays at tunnel crossing

Journeys through a key river crossing are taking an hour longer than normal after an earlier accident.

1

Headteacher leaves notes on neighbours’ cars in parking row

07 April 2024
Headteacher leaves notes on neighbours’ cars in parking row

A parking row has broken out between residents who want to park near their homes and a head teacher trying to keep them away from the school site.

‘Unsanitary mess creates bad impression of County Town’

06 April 2024
‘Unsanitary mess creates bad impression of County Town’

A “constant mess” of disposable nappies and rotting food from black sacks torn open by foxes and cats needs addressing, says a councillor.

22

Aeroplane to become school library

04 April 2024
Aeroplane to become school library

An aircraft fuselage and an oil rig’s liferaft have become the latest additions to a special school’s innovative learning hubs.

‘The tide is turning towards us’

04 April 2024
‘The tide is turning towards us’

A Green Party candidate is hoping it will be fifth time lucky when he stands at the next General Election.

6

‘We’d be mad to refuse permission’

04 April 2024
‘We’d be mad to refuse permission’

Councillors have approved plans for a nine-storey block of 118 flats despite it having only 27 parking spaces.

9

NatWest announces another bank closure

03 April 2024
NatWest announces another bank closure

NatWest customers have been told their local branch is closing with the nearest now more than four miles away.

1

‘This could be a disaster for some village halls’

03 April 2024
‘This could be a disaster for some village halls’

A charity has spoken of its ‘shock’ as the council withdraws a rates discount worth hundreds of pounds.

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