Local plan for housing - update

February 13, 2019 4:40 PM

The Borough Council deposited its Draft Local Plan with Government on 23rd January. This was one day before the deadline, after which TMBC would have been penalised with a further increase of 23% on their housing targets from now until 2031.

There are no new development sites proposed for Leybourne. None of the large Green Belt sites submitted by developers in WM on Norman Road, or Mr Betts Farm between Fartherwell Road (not Avenue) and Offham Road were included for house building in the
Plan.

The Good News is that the Borough Council agreed to support the campaign led by local Liberal Democrats to increase the size of the Green Belt. The Green Belt currently protects all the open countryside to the London side of the Leybourne bypass. The new
Green Belt, if approved, would then cover much of the land separating the built up area of Leybourne from the villages of East Malling, West Malling and Larkfield. The northern boundary would run along London Road to Winterfield Lane, and the eastern boundary would follow Chapman Way, New Road, High Street and Wateringbury Road, East Malling to Wateringbury.

The Bad News is that the Borough Council ignored overwhelming opposition to the extension of Kings Hill beyond the original boundary of the former Airfield. Its plan includes 890 more homes on Broadwater Farm, stretching as far as Pikey Lane and New Barns Conservation Area. Two new access roads are needed, one of which
will join the bypass opposite the railway station.

Other large house building sites include

1,720 houses in Borough Green former sandpits.

1,000 houses on the Maidstone side of Hermitage Lane on the corner opposite Macdonalds.

1,000 houses in South Aylesford between A20 and the railway line, and between Hermitage Lane and East Malling Research.

420 houses on East Malling Research divided between two sites on New Road East Malling, and Cherry Orchard, Ditton.

The Borough Council did NOT include housing on huge brownfield sites at former Aylesford Newsprint factory & Aylesford Quarry.

The Borough Council also did NOT support the proposal for a car park on land to the rear of properties on the London Road between Town Hill and Parkfoot garage. This idea was supported by WM Parish Council and the Chamber of Commerce, 40 shops and the majority of residents. West Malling desperately needs more parking if it is to fight off the High Street closures affecting many areas of the country. TMBC supported its use for residential properties instead and planning permission has now been granted for a retirement village where none of the properties will be 'affordable'.

The Government will now appoint an Inspector to hold an Examination in Public hearing later in the year, where developers and objectors to the Plan can normally appear if they wish. The Inspector will then recommend a decision to the Secretary of State, who will normally accept it, and at that stage, the Plan becomes Approved and is the basis for all future Planning Applications.

You Asked...

"With all these new houses ... what about the roads, schools and doctors?"

KCC as highway authority says the A20 and other roads can cope with the increased traffic with new junction redesigns. These haven't been published yet or who will pay for them. KCC has said how many new primary schools are needed for the new houses, but you cannot ask a developer to pay for extra school spaces to solve the
existing overcrowding.

The NHS have stated that a new medical facility is required for Kings Hill and possible expansion of other surgeries.

Trouble is, these predictions are often wrong, and the money is never enough.

That's why our roads, schools and surgeries are packed.