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Property tycoon Fergus Wilson heads off criticism over Wateringbury highway works saying he’s not to blame

Property tycoon Fergus Wilson has attempted to head off criticism that road closures around one of his controversial properties are anything to do with him, insisting “don’t blame me”.

Barriers went up on Monday around his Victorian terrace on the corner of Redhill Road and Tonbridge Road in Wateringbury, near Maidstone.

The reduced lane is not helping traffic
The reduced lane is not helping traffic

It has meant a reduction in the length of the carriageway and has added to congestion at the already busy crossroads.

Together with his wife Judith, Mr Wilson, who lives in Boughton Moncheslea, created one of the country’s most successful buy-to-let empires, amassing 900 properties worth at its peak an estimated £250m.

Over the past four years the couple have been selling off their holdings and it is this part of that process that has led to the most recent controversy.

In June, Mr Wilson, who owns numbers 182, 184 and 186 Tonbridge Road at the crossroads, drew criticism after an application was submitted to increase the height of the buildings by two storeys, in order to maximise their sales value. They fall within a conservation area.

The property tycoon was anticipating complaints because in December 2019 Tonbridge and Malling council intervened to carry out compulsory repairs to his building after the council said it was in danger of having masonry fall off onto pedestrians below.

Fergus Wilson: Don't blame me!
Fergus Wilson: Don't blame me!

To carry out the work, lane closures were put in place that left villagers facing traffic chaos for months.

He and his wife were later left with a £166,000 court bill after unsucessfully taking the council to court over what they claimed to be an "awful" renovation that left their red brick Victorian village house a multi-coloured "laughing stock".

The current works are being carried out by KCC who said it was routine maintenance to the traffic lights there that would continue until August 7.

But Mr Wilson has a different take on affairs. He said: “It is all to do with the pavements subsiding and carrying underneath telephone cables.

“There are considerable drainage problems at the crossroads. Some questions have no answers and this is one of them!

“But in any case, don’t blame me!”

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