Published: 11:31, 29 November 2019
| Updated: 08:36, 02 December 2019
A popular restaurant will not be converted into flats.
But councillors last night ignored recommendations and instead denied the application.
Coxheath and Hunton's Cllr Lottie Parfitt-Read had previously called the decision to be heard at a Planning Committee on Thursday night.
Cllr Parfitt-Read said: "I'm absolutely thrilled with the committee's decision.
"A lot of hard work went into preparing a case to prove the application should be refused, I'm pleased to see the right result come out.
"I thought everything about the proposal was wrong. Coxheath doesn't need more retirement flats."
The Spice Lounge opened in 2007 at the former site of The Bell in Heath Road.
Owner Anha Ali closed the site in June, saying at the time: "Unfortunately, in the last two years patterns and spending habits seem to have changed, with a general decline in the use of the restaurant. In the first half of 2019 use of the restaurant for dining in is very poor."
Mr Ali reopened in October for Christmas.
Tory Cllr Parfitt-Read added: "It would be unreasonable to ask a business to keep running that didn't wish to run, however that doesn't justify complete taking the opportunity away for another business."
James Willis, Lib Dem candidate for Maidstone and The Weald said: "I am pleased common sense prevailed and councillors unanimously voted to reject the plans. If elected as your MP I will work hard with residents to support community resources and infrastructure. I think it important Maidstone and the Weald’s MP is accessible and available to support his or her constituents."