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Lidsing Garden Settlement near Bredhurst sparks fury from Medway Council leader

A council leader says he is opposed to a neighbouring authority 'dumping' thousands of homes on their doorstep.

Alan Jarrett, leader of Medway Council, called the Lidsing Garden Settlement - which is one of the proposed new communities contained within Maidstone Borough Council's draft Local Plan review - "reprehensible".

From left: Cllr Roger Barrett, Bredhurst Parish Council chairman Cllr Vanessa Jones, Sue Harwood, and Cllr Martin Potter (53775496)
From left: Cllr Roger Barrett, Bredhurst Parish Council chairman Cllr Vanessa Jones, Sue Harwood, and Cllr Martin Potter (53775496)

The development close to the village of Bredhurst could see 2,000 homes built, as well as a primary school, secondary school, and a link to Junction 4 of the M2 motorway.

The period of consultation for the Local Plan review (Regulation 19) ended on Sunday.

During a meeting of the council's cabinet on Tuesday afternoon, Cllr Jarrett said: "We do not agree to the Lidsing development, neither will we as a local authority agree to it.

"It's a reprehensible proposal by Maidstone Borough Council to dump its housing needs - 2,000 projected housing needs - on Medway's southern boundary, pushing all those service requirements into Medway.

"Indeed, the prospectus for the development almost refers wholly to Medway facilities, such as schools, our hospital, and our road system, etc."

Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett

The Tory went on to say that some Medway Council-owned land had featured in the proposals, including land earmarked for a school and employment use, adding the authority was "extremely unlikely" to agree to handing these over.

Maidstone's Local Plan submission document includes a proposal for a secondary school "in the Capstone Valley area".

Last week, Maidstone councillors lost a motion which had proposed to extend the consultation period for another six weeks, which Cllr Jarrett said had been something his council had advocated.

Councillors across Rainham also wrote to Maidstone's planning department to express their objections to the plans.

A joint letter from eight councillors outlined their concerns which included the threat to the Capstone Valley and North Downs Rural Landscape ANOB, the impact on local services and highways infrastructure.

More information about the consultation can be found at bit.ly/3DR8z7b

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