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Maidstone stadium plan decision soon

COMPROMISE: Bowden Brown
COMPROMISE: Bowden Brown

A DECISION on Maidstone United’s plan to build a stadium at Whatman Way is imminent.

A week after Stones chairman Paul Bowden Brown threatened to sue Maidstone Borough Council if his application was delayed any longer, the two parties resolved their differences in clear-the-air talks.

A joint statement said: “Maidstone Borough Council and Maidstone United FC are working together to finalise details of the proposed development at James Whatman Way, so that the planning committee can consider the application as soon as is practicable.”

The timing depends on the presence of great crested newts on the town centre site.

Bowden Brown said he and the council agreed a compromise, moving buildings away from sensitive areas, but English Nature must agree.

The council is seeking an urgent meeting with English Nature. No date has been set.

The news comes a week after Bowden Brown accused individuals of obstructing the application.

The Stones chairman was livid that an English Nature newt survey would have delayed the application by another 12 months.

Bowden Brown said he had three options: “One, I could have delayed the application until next June and produced a report that proved there were no newts on the site -- as our original findings showed.

“Two, I could agree to a compromise with the council and English Nature. Three, I could have sued. I was advised we had a strong case, but there are always delays when the lawyers get involved, so I went for the compromise.”

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