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Marlon Brando proves he's still a contender in row over village development

Marlon Brando as he was in the Godfather, filmed in 1972
Marlon Brando as he was in the Godfather, filmed in 1972

Marlon Brando may no longer be with us but he is still playing in a part in trying to fight developers in a quiet Kent village.

The Godfather star was deeply attached to a country lane near Selling, and was even pictured there with his Godson.

Now developers are hoping to put industrial storage in the area, and Brando’s personal assistant has stepped in.

She was so outraged to hear of plans to ‘industrialise’ the lane, that she has joined the campaign to stop it.

Rumours were rife for years that Brando spent time in Faversham and the village - and they have just been proven beyond a doubt.

According to his former personal assistant, Caroline Barrett, who looked after the Academy Award winner for many years, the Godfather first came to Selling for a weekend in 1986 and loved it so much he stayed for six months.

He regularly visited Faversham and continued coming back to the area over the years, bringing with him friends and family to the British bolt-hole.

A few days before he died on July 1, 2004, he is even said to have expressed a desire to return to his beloved Selling.

Ms Barrett, of Studio City, USA, said: "He loved the beauty and tranquillity of Selling and Sheldwich and in particular Owens Court Lane.

"He adored the peaceful little lane now under threat from a planning application to convert a small farmyard into an industrial storage and distribution centre, incorporating car parking for 23 cars and six goods vehicles.

"This will totally destroy the character of this rural lane.

"What Marlon particularly commented on were the medieval, Tudor and Georgian listed buildings dotted along Owens Court Lane, surrounded by the most beautiful natural countryside.

"A few days before he died he said ‘If only I could see Faversham and the charming country lanes again’.

"Many of us that Marlon brought to Selling are still regular visitors, and I just hope that the people of Faversham and the surrounding areas will read this and object so we can save Owens Court Lane."

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