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Planning scheme for field on the edge of the Loose Valley Conservation Area

There will be a public meeting to discuss a controversial housing scheme on the edge of the Loose Valley.

Millwood Designer Homes has submitted an application seeking to build 36 homes on Dimmocks Field off Cripple Street, Maidstone.

The site is on the border of the Loose Valley Conservation Area, adjoins several listed buildings and runs behind existing homes in Broadoak Avenue, Buxton Close and Richmond Way.

The green-field site bordering the Loose Valley Conservation Area
The green-field site bordering the Loose Valley Conservation Area

The meeting has been called by the North Loose Residents Association whose planning chairman Sean Carter said: “We acknowledge that it is a quality application with a low density of only 18 homes per hectare, but there are major issues concerning the extra traffic in Cripple Street.

“It is also the gateway to the Loose Valley and provides an important green wedge which runs through to Loose.

“There’s concern for wildlife. The application is reasonably sympathetic in that regard, but the field currently hosts a number of birds including the Dunnock which is at risk.

”Birds and wildlife are being increasingly squeezed out.”

Sean Carter
Sean Carter

Cllr Mike Hogg (Con), who represents South Ward, had previously successfully argued to have the site removed from the Maidstone council’s draft Local Plan, after it was included by planning officers.

He said: “I am very unhappy that this site has come forward again. There is a lot of wildlife on this field.

“I’m also unhappy that the applicant has not engaged with Tovil Parish council or the residents of Tovil about the scheme, even though it falls within Tovil Parish.”

Bryn Cornwell, chairman of the Valley Conservation Society, said: “The plans show there will actually be three vehicle accesses from the field onto Cripple Street in one of its narrowest sections just before a blind bend. This is simply not acceptable.”

Mark Burgess, a resident of Richmond Way, is opposing the scheme and with neighbours has begun a petition.

He said: “We hope to get lots of signatures. The general feeling is that residents do not want this to happen.”

The public meeting will be at The Vine Church in Boughton Lane on Thursday, October 2, starting at 7.30pm.

*View the application details on www.maidstone.gov.uk

Planning application 14/503167 refers.

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