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Plans to convert The Kings Arms, Headcorn into flats rejected by Maidstone Borough Council's planning committee over parking fears

Controversial plans to convert an 18th-century village pub into flats have been rejected over parking concerns.

Members of Maidstone Borough Council's planning committee voted last night (Thursday) to throw out the bid to convert The Kings Arms in High Street Headcorn into eight apartments, two shops and build a detached home in the back garden of the Grade ll listed building.

The application was referred to committee after opposition from Headcorn Parish Council, who say the land would be overdeveloped and cited a lack of sufficient parking space.

The Kings Arms, High Street, Headcorn
The Kings Arms, High Street, Headcorn

This was a feeling echoed by Cllrs John Perry (Con) and Martin Round (Con).

Cllr Round, who represents Headcorn Ward, said the designs for the build were unattractive and compared them to the look of "communist accommodation or a student area." He said: "This site based in a corner. A corner site that is potentially for pedestrians and cars."

Councillors voted against the recommendation of council officers and rejected the plan, citing the Kent Design Guide, which recommend the minimum parking standards of 14 spaces, while 8 were offered by the applicant.

The committee also voted to allow a 28 home development in Grigg Lane, Headcorn, which a resident had attempted to refer to Secretary of State for Communities, Greg Clark, and another 13 properties on land east of Thatch Barn.

This week residents have been left angered after problems with the council's planning portal left them unable to view planning applications.

In July, MBC's planning committee backed 220 new homes next to the village primary school, in Kings Road.

The development, known as Hazelpits, was protested against by 60 villagers who filled the town hall’s public gallery.

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