Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Maidstone council is investigating alleged planning breaches at Roundwell Park

The Roundwell Park development site in Bearsted is being investigated for possible breaches of planning permission.

Residents in nearby Cross Keys have complained that a hedgerow was removed that was shown as being retained on the original plans and have also objected to the construction of a flood retaining wall, which they feel has increased the likelihood of flooding to their own properties.

The flood barrier at Roundwell Park
The flood barrier at Roundwell Park

One resident, who asked not to be identified, said: "A brutalist flood barrier wall now snakes across the site and is extended further by an earthen embankment hiving off a third of the floodplain.

"Clearly this increases the risk of flooding to our homes contrary to the stipulations of the Environment Agency."

Maidstone council has confirmed it was investigating complaints, but said no details could be released at this stage.

However, it is understood that although the removal of the hedge was not in itself a breach of planning permission, the developers had done so in order to re-locate the site offices closer to the entrance and the developers did need planning permission for that. They have been invited to submit a retrospective planning application.

A separate investigation is being carried out into the drainage issues.

The "brutalist" flood wall
The "brutalist" flood wall

The site has planning permission for 50 homes granted in December 2019, but so far construction has not progressed beyond the ground-works.

The area was previously called Lilk Meadow as it has the Lilk Stream running through one corner.

Historically, the plot floods both from the Lilk Stream and from above, with water running towards the site from Water Lane during heavy rainfalls. The land is known colloquially as The Bogs.

The site's developers are the Ramac Group.

Director James Hambling said: "We have applied for permission to move the site offices because they were where the affordable housing is to be built. Clearly they would have to be moved at some point.

"As far as I am aware all the drainage issues on the site are discharged."

He said: "Progress has been slow over the winter due to the poor weather and we've had a few hiccoughs, but we should be able to crack on now."

Mr Hambling estimated the first homes would be completed by the spring of next year.

The flooded site pictured in 2016 before construction began
The flooded site pictured in 2016 before construction began

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More