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Be prepared for a Scouts centre and 16 more houses on Cotton Lane in Dartford

An activity centre for children and 16 four bed homes have been given the go-ahead.

Stone Parish Council submitted an application in January to allow for the expansion of Scouting and Duke of Edinburgh Award activities in north Kent.

The centre in Cotton Lane is designed to serve the needs of the Brent 6th Scout Group and DofE Award participants, but the council also hopes to allow use for other community groups.

There will be a camping and recreation field, 16 homes and car parking for both.

Cotton Lane, Dartford
Cotton Lane, Dartford

Chairman of the council John Burrell said: “We are delighted that the scheme has been given the go-ahead.

“Uniformed groups and schemes such as DofE provide positive diversionary activities for children and teenagers, which are important, as engaged youths are statistically less likely to indulge in petty crime, recreational drugs and other antisocial behaviour.

“The whole community, and society in general, benefit from activities for youth that teach valuable life skills and positive educational experiences.

"Opportunities to participate in safe organised outdoor activities at little to no cost need preserving and supporting.

“In its current state, the site offers limited benefit to the community and represents an on-going cost to insure, maintain and keep free of unwanted incursion.”

Last year 1,200 teenagers from north Kent enrolled for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme but no dedicated venue exists at which they can undertake activities.

The Brent 6th Scout Group has been running since 2008 but its home at the Brent Primary School in London Road precludes expansion and an Explorers’ section to enable Scouts reaching 14 to continue with the group.

Group Leader of the Scout group Sue Ingram said: “Our mission is to enable more young people to access the fantastic movement of the Scout Association and with the great support from Stone Parish Council we are a step closer to achieving these aims.

“We have a great team and everyone’s enthusiasm and energy will help us to reach our full potential. This is great news for Stone and our thanks go to the parish council for helping to make our dream a reality.”

The development will also bring a number of highways changes to Cotton Lane, including in speed bumps, new pavements and street lighting.

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