For­mal com­plaint over 65-homes plan for vil­lage

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

Vil­lagers in Yald­ing are still fum­ing that Maid­stone coun­cil agreed to grant per­mis­sion for 65 new homes to be built on the Glebe Field off Vicarage Lane.

And they are not go­ing to let sleep­ing dogs lie.

The Yald­ing for Sen­si­ble De­vel­op­ment group feels the ap­pli­ca­tion was un­fairly han­dled and has com­plained to the coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Ali­son Broom.

Among their com­plaints is the site was never as­sessed in re­spect of the ad­ja­cent listed build­ings when it was as­sessed for in­clu­sion within the Lo­cal Plan, and that His­toric Eng­land was ini­tially not con­sulted. The ap­pli­ca­tion was put on the agenda of the com­mit­tee meet­ing on Novem­ber 9 – be­fore the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod had ex­pired – and was only post­poned af­ter a bar­rage of protests from the pub­lic.

The plan­ning re­port rec­om­mend­ing ap­proval was writ­ten long be­fore the end of the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod and was avail­able for pub­lic view­ing at the end of Oc­to­ber – at least 10 days be­fore the end of the con­sul­ta­tion stage.

It was also pre­pared be­fore the re­ceipt of re­sponses from His­toric Eng­land and other statu­tory con­sul­tees.

Two ur­gent up­date re­ports were pre­sented to coun­cil­lors on the day of the com­mit­tee meet­ing, with no chance for them to prop­erly study them.

Not all doc­u­ments or let­ters of op­po­si­tion were up­loaded onto the plan­ning por­tal, in­clud­ing a let­ter of ob­jec­tion from MP He­len Grant.

Kent Wildlife Trust re­quested a dor­mouse sur­vey and that a mit­i­ga­tion scheme should be a con­di­tion on the ap­pli­ca­tion – no such con­di­tion was in­cluded within the rec­om­men­da­tions from the plan­ning of­fi­cer.

The traf­fic sur­vey and in­for­ma­tion was based on mod­el­ling for two-lane roads – even the vil­lage cen­tre’s bridge is sin­gle track.

Lisa Brooks said: “The horse has al­ready bolted on our case, but we want the coun­cil to put in pro­cesses en­sur­ing this does not hap­pen again to oth­ers.”

‘We want the coun­cil to put in pro­cesses en­sur­ing this does not hap­pen to oth­ers’

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