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Hermitage Lane green corridor Merlin Project takes flight in Maidstone and in Tonbridge and Malling

A campaign to wend a green corridor through the ever-expanding housing growth along the Hermitage Lane and A20 corridor in Maidstone is gaining momentum.

The MERLin project (The Medway Ecological Riverine Link) is the brainchild of former Maidstone borough councillor James Willis, who has been lobbying both Maidstone and Tonbridge and

Malling councillors to co-operate to help form the proposed green link stretching from Barming church to the River Medway at Allington.

A map of the MERLin Project (44908779)
A map of the MERLin Project (44908779)

Mr Willis said it was an opportunity to expand active travel and to open up nature to the public.

Supporters held a Zoom meeting this week which was attended by a number of councillors from both authorities, with Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour and Independent councillors attending. Stuart Jeffery, leader of the Maidstone Green party was also on the call along with several Aylesford parish councillors.

Maidstone resident and keen cyclist Chris Passmore from Barming chaired the meeting.

He said: "The MERLin meeting gathered together the biggest group of cross-border councillors in recent times and there were some excellent contributions from a number of councillors, campaigners and residents on both sides of the border on how we can focus on maximising the green space and active travel in this area."

Cyclist and MERLin supporter Chris Passmore
Cyclist and MERLin supporter Chris Passmore

He said: "There has always been a green gap between Allington and Aylesford, but that is being swallowed up by uncontrolled housing developments.

"We are aiming to ensure a green corridor is created. Just bringing everyone together for discussion is useful in itself."

The meeting set up five working parties to focus on key areas of the MERLin route and representatives are also due to meet Maidstone council officers on Tuesday to discuss the issues.

Anyone wishing to attend the next Zoom meeting on March 22 should contact Mr Passmore on chris.passmore33@gmail.com

Read more: All the latest news from Malling

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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