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Councillor 'punched in chest' at Tenterden Town Hall

Police are investigating reports of an outbreak of violence at a town hall when a councillor was allegedly punched in the chest.

A source described an "incredibly loud and aggressive screaming" heard on the staircase leading down from the council chamber after a Tenterden Town Council planning meeting that took place last night.

Tenterden Town Hall where the row took place
Tenterden Town Hall where the row took place

A councillor is said to have been struck in the chest during the heated altercation on the sweeping staircase of the Grade II listed building.

The alleged victim was said to have returned to the chamber of the building in Tenterden High Street claiming he'd been "punched in the chest", the source said.

Projects discussed at yesterday night's planning meeting included a controversial plan to build an apartment block in the grounds of Homewood School, with fears expressed the homes could be a magnet for "drug dealers, perverts and paedophiles" who might prey on vulnerable children.

The concern was dismissed by the developer, who said the apartments would be securely fenced off from the school.

The ugly scenes were condemned by Tenterden town and Ashford borough councillor Callum Knowles, who learnt of the disturbance after his return from a trip abroad.

Cllr Knowles said: "The town hall is not a playground. There's no room for intimidation and bully-boy tactics."

Cllr Callum Knowles has condemned the behaviour
Cllr Callum Knowles has condemned the behaviour

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police is making enquiries after receiving a report of an altercation, in which a man was assaulted.

"The incident is reported to have taken place in the town hall in Tenterden High Street at around 9pm on Monday, September 2."

Tenterden town council issued a statement following the disturbance and a spokesman said: "We have been made aware of an incident following last night's meeting of the planning committee.

"We will be conducting an investigation."

Read more: All the latest news from Tenterden

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