Larkfield Bulletin No 30 from Trudy Dean - breaking news : M20 Closures this weekend, library hours slashed and five new planning applications

November 9, 2018 5:55 PM

Dear Neighbour,

The world is moving very fast right now. In just the last few days, details of public consultations on slashing Library opening hours, and five new planning applications have been published!

Please forward this Bulletin on to neighbours, family and friends so I can keep everyone informed as things happen, and AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE can have their say too. All they have to do to receive the Bulletin direct is reply to this email, give me their addresss, and ask for the Larkfield, East Malling or West Malling Bulletin to be sent to them..

Please support the concert raising money for Royal British Legion care for ex service men and women young and old, on Saturday evening at 7pm at The Malling School . It's only £5 a ticket. The 100 strong Malling Community Choir are joined by the fabulous Eynsford Concert Band (2016 National Band Champions). You can help raise the roof with the Songs that Won the War, and a Last Night of the Proms finish with Union Jacks all over the place!

I hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Trudy Dean
Kent County Councillor for Larkfield, East Malling and West Malling

Larkfield and West Malling Library Opening Hours to be Cut

A meeting at County Hall next Thursday will discuss plans to save £1 million over three years by slashing Library Opening hours by 20% all over the County. Larkfield Library is to see its hours reduced from 42 to 37 hours a week, and West Malling Library is proposed for a huge cut from 40 hours to 23 hours per week. Some activities will be dependent on community volunteers to run them. A pilot scheme giving library users swipe card access to libraries out of hours is being trialled, and home delivery of books to people unable to visit the library will be promoted further. Library buildings will also be inspected to see if they can share premises with other organisations, or transfer to more suitable premises.

The plans will be opened for public consultation next week, and the closing date is next March.

Five new planning applications in East Malling and Kings Hill

Liberty Property Trust has just announced a Public Consultation session on Monday 12th November at the Control Tower, 29, Liberty Square, Kings Hill, ME19 4RB. Sessions will run from 11am to 1pm and 6pm to 8pm.

The Trust have just indicated that they will be requesting the addition of five new housing sites to the Local Plan. Three sites are in East Malling and two in Kings Hill Parish. The Trust also indicates that it intends to make a planning application for each site. (Two of the areas affected lie within the zone which the Borough Council proposes to include within the new extended Green Belt). House builders are rushing in with proposals in the hope of getting permission before the new Green Belt is established and prevents further developments in these areas.

This is a new proposal to add to several others which have been announced in recent weeks. These include :
80 houses on land at West Malling Station by Bellway
108 houses on New Road, East Malling

300 plus houses south of Cherry Orchard Ditton from East Malling Research Station.
400 houses on Forty Acres between the bypass, Lucks Hill and Winterfield Lane from Wates, who are expected to make an application soon.

If you feel we are under siege, you are not alone.
Keep Calm and carry on seems the appropriate advice.


Don't forget that if you want to make comments on the Local Plan, the closing date is Monday 19th November at 4pm. You can either respond on line on the forms provided by the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council website, or you can write an email to, or send a letter to Ian Bailey at Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill. Please don't forget to SUPPORT the extension of the Greeen Belt to Wateringbury Road as this is our best chance for protection against development.

Bellway Application for 80 homes at West Malling Station

Thank you to the over 170 objectors who took the trouble to write in to oppose the application for 80 houses on land between West Malling Station approach and Lavenders Lane where it borders the walls of St Mary's Abbey. Both West Malling and East Malling & Larkfield Parish Councils have also opposed the plan on grounds of destroying the rural setting of the station and Abbey, feeding traffic onto Swan Street which already suffers from congestion and dangerously speeding vehicles, and harming the significant wildlife of the fields involved.

Flooding in Lunsford Lane north of the motorway bridge

KCC Highway engineers tell me they have met with Highways England (who are responsible for the motorway embankments and bridge) to identify the cause of this dangerous flooding. They will be carrying out CCTV investigation of the whole system to identify the blockage. An additional soakaway has been uncovered so there may be various options on how to deal with the flooding.
I've also asked for flooding at the Lunsford/ A20 junction, New Road /A20 junctions and Lavenders Road/Swan St junction to be investigate as flooding has again followed recent rainfall.

Car Sales at Broadwater Road, East Malling

A number of residents and the Parish Council have questioned the growth of what appears to be a car storage and/or sales area near Broadwater Farm, East Malling. The Borough Council has confirmed that it has requested the owner of the site to apply for planning permission for the business.

A20 London Road Parking opposite Kia Garage

There have been lots of complaints about up to three white vans parked on A20 London Road opposite the Kia garage. They are causing obstructions of London Road itself and visibility problems for the nearby junction with Bradbourne Lane. I've asked the Borough Council to consider this stretch of road for double yellow lines.

New Government Money for Road and Pothole Repairs

The Government has announced that it is making £420 m funding available to local Councils for highway repairs, including bridges, barriers and so on, and another £150m for pothole repairs to be carried out this year. It seems likely Kent County Council may receive around £10 million of that. This extra money is, of course, welcome. But the entire Government Grant for the whole country would not pay Kent County Councils backlog of repairs which now stands at about £650m.

The late announcement may also mean that Councils have difficulty spending it, since pothole repairs are generally not done in low winter temperatures and are carried out in Spring.

County Councillors Community Grants

Each year, County Councillors receive £20,000 to fund activities in their area. For many years, I have held a Dragons Den event where residents choose the five or six most popular projects. Owing to staff changes at KCC, this has had to be delayed until Spring. In the meantime, if you have a project which, like the Larkfield Community Group, needs urgent funding, please let me know



Our latest information from the Highways Agency, received today, is that there WILL BE CLOSURES ON THE M20 THIS WEEKEND, as follows:

Junctions 4-6 Maidstone bound will be closed on Friday 9th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November from 8pm until 6am.

Junctions 4-6 London bound will be reduced to one lane on Friday 9th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November from 8pm until 6am.

12th November for up to 4 days Sandy Lane, West Malling will be closed for gasworks.

19th November for up to four nights between 21.00 and 5.00 hours A228 Castle Way Leybourne, Malling Road and Leybourne Way, Larkfield will be closed for resurfacing.

29th November for one night Lucks Hill will be closed from 22.00 hours to 06.00

30th November A20 London Road Aylesford closed between 10 pm and 6am for railway bridge inspection.


Friday 9th November Pilsdon Barn Chapel , Water Lane, West Malling, at 7.30pm. The winners of The Kent International Piano Course Frederick Hand and Alex Robson play Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, Gershwin, Debussy, and Prokofiev on Mary Methuen's Steinway Grand. Tickets at the door £12

Saturday 10th November

12 noon. Twixmas Market Blacklands Scout Group 12- 4pm East Malling Institute, Mill Street, East Malling behind the King and Queen. Grab some home made cakes, jams, chutneys, jewellery, Xmas decorations and cards, fabric gifts and bunting, handbags and scarves, Usborne Books, raffle, refreshments and lots more.

7pm."Coming Home" A concert of music in aid of the Royal British Legion celebrating the cease fire of 11th November 1918 which began to bring our forces home at last. 150 performers as Malling Community Choir join forces with Eynsford Concert Band to perform pieces made famous by Vera Lynn to the Army Wives. All finishing up with last night of the proms Land of Hope and Glory. Union jacks provided.

£5 per ticket. Tickets on the door or ring 01732 843119.

Sunday 11th November

9.45am Remembrance Service St James the Great Church, East Malling.

10.50am to 11.10am Cease Fire Remembrance Service, War Memorial High Street, West Malling. Maroons will be fired to mark the beginning and end of the 2 minutes silence.

The unveiling of West Malling War Memorial

2pm Civic Malling Remembrance Parade and Service. St Mary's Church West Malling. Parade 2pm at the High Street. Wreath Laying and Dedication of refurbished War Memorial approximately 3.15 pm.

Silver Lunch Club

The Lunch Club's next two Thursday sessions will be held on Thursday 22nd November (Starter, Shepherds Pie and Apple Betty)

and Christmas Lunch on 6th December (starter, turkey and Christmas pud)

Vegetarian options available.

Two courses £5

Three course £6.75

All welcome.

Both start at 12.30pm at East Malling Centre, Chapman Way, ME196SD.

Ring 01732 846314 to book your freshly cooked lunch.

Free transport can be arranged.