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Huge majority say No to Wouldham allotment developments, reveals MP Tracey Crouch

By Alan Smith
MP Tracey Crouch announces the results
MP Tracey Crouch announces the results

Wouldham residents have comprehensively rejected a proposal that would have allowed housing development on the village’s allotments in exchange for a financial contribution towards a new village hall.

Ninety percent of voters opposed the plans.

The majority of the parish council had been in favour of the scheme suggested by Trenport Investments, but there had been strong opposition from some villagers.

Tracey Crouch, the MP for Aylesford and Chatham, and Tonbridge and Malling borough councillors Dave Davis and Roger Daltry were not directly involved in the proposals, but decided to ballot the village to find out the view of the majority.

The controversial allotment site
The controversial allotment site

Ballot papers were issued to each of the village’s 913 voters and they had a week to post their returns at the village post office.

The ballots were then counted on Friday night by councillors called in from other areas to ensure the count was independent.

Ninety per cent of those who voted - 243 people - said they were opposed to building on the allotments. Ten per cent - 27 people - said they would support housing if the access were not from Oldfield Drive. However that shrank to just two in favour if the access were from Oldfield Drive.

Cllr Davis (Con) said: “The result is very, very clear.

“The strength of feeling in the village has been fully tested.

Ditton Borough Councillor Carol Gale helps with the count.
Ditton Borough Councillor Carol Gale helps with the count.

“My colleagues and myself were completely impartial in the process, but we are pleased that the ballot has resulted in a clear message.

“It is now up to Wouldham Parish Council to decide what it intends to do.”

The parish council is due to meet this evening in the village hall at 7.30pm.

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