• Article: Feb 13, 2019

    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

  • Nick with Gwyneth and Paul
    Article: Feb 13, 2019

    Parish Councillor Nick Stapleton co-ordinates the West Malling Speedwatch scheme and has been working hard over the past year, alongside residents and fellow parish councillors, doing sessions in various locations across the town.

    The purpose of the Speedwatch scheme is to help educate drivers on their speed, as many are either not aware of local speed limits or how fast they are driving. The details of speeding vehicles get passed to the Police who send warning notices to re-offenders and drivers who are breaking the speed limits by a considerable amount. Persistent offenders may be visited. Data can also be used to get traffic calming installed. So, if you want to cut speed in your road, contact Nick and join a couple of Speedwatch sessions so we can provide data on your area to the Police.

  • Neglect
    Article: Feb 13, 2019

    Arundel House has been a blot on our High Street since 2013. It is owned by someone who lives outside the UK much of the time.

    I understand this building is a tiny part of his property holdings. It appears he has no
    concern for the effect of the eyesore and the crumbling building on our town.

    I have written to TMBC to request that that they make a Compulsory Purchase and restore this building to its former glory in the heart of the Conservation Area.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    We receive many complaints about the lack of grass cutting and weed clearance in Leybourne and around the county. TMBC are responsible for " amenity mowing" to keep the grass looking neat and tidy, and they do this 12 times a year. KCC are responsible for
    a metre wide cut at the road edge for visibility, and therefore safety of vehicles and pedestrians. They have reduced the number of mowing several times and this year it will be a single cut.

  • Flooding
    Article: Feb 13, 2019

    After pressure from local Lib Dem Councillors, work was authorised to sort out the floods at the New Road - London Rd junction near B and Q. But even we were surprised to hear the account of the drainage engineer on what happened next. He wrote " I can confirm that 9 soakaways, 3 catchpits, 27 gullies and about 280 metres of 150mm surface water pipes have been cleaned. We removed 70.18 tonnes of spoil and it took 8
    nights working from 21.30 until 02.30 each night."

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    When KCC say on the news that it has "salted all the roads", what it means is that they have salted all the 'Primary Salting Routes'. These are generally A and B roads and busy commuter routes. Locally, just the A20, A228 (bypass) and the road from A20 into West Malling are Primary routes. Secondary Salting routes are meant to include places like Doctors, Care Homes, and Schools. Last winter, none of the secondary routes were
    touched. Only Primary Routes were treated, leaving many people still unable to get to them.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    Maidstone Lib Dem councillors have been successful in getting Secretary of State Chris Grayling to confirm that fast Thameslink train services into St Pancras will run to Maidstone, calling at West Malling, from December 2019. He has also approved overnight sidings in Ashford. The published plans say there will be two additional trains per hour throughout the day. Train speeds will be 'competitive' with the High Speed trains which currently stop at Snodland, Strood, Ebbsfleet, Stratford and St Pancras.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    KCC consulted on a plan to ban right turns onto London Rd. We commented that without enforcement, it was unlikely to be observed. KCC Highways say the plan has been ditched.

  • Trudy Dean
    Article: Feb 13, 2019

    At County Hall, Trudy has obliged KCC to publish the Pavement repair backlog separately. This has revealed our pavements are in an even worse condition than our roads, and a special fund for pavement repairs has been set up.

    During 2018, a KCC report showed levels of actual spending compared to what was needed to simply maintain the state of roads and footways as they are now.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    The Government has given KCC £10 million to help sort out some of its backlog of £650 million of road repairs. The money must be spent by the end of March.

    We must make sure we get our local road and pavement repairs done with this money. Will you be your street champion and list the potholes and pavement repairs in your road so we can send them all to KCC in good time? Give me a ring if you can help and let me know which road you are covering. Nick (07534 459491)

  • Article: Feb 8, 2019

    Some sound obvious but, with the sheer number of cars that can easily be stolen, these tips could make all the difference when it comes to deterring thieves.

    Never leave valuables in plain sight, even if you're only going to be away from your car for a short time.

    Invest in a steering wheel lock. Even cheap ones will act as a deterrent, but a lock accredited by the police security initiative Secured By Design will be much harder for thieves to break - these cost around £120.

  • Article: Feb 7, 2019

    The Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups for the Kent and Medway Review of Urgent Stroke Services will meet on Thursday 14 February at 2pm at the Hilton Hotel, Maidstone.

    This meeting will be held in public so that people can attend to hear members of the Joint Committee discuss the decision-making business case and reach their final decision on whether to proceed with the preferred option of establishing hyper acute stroke units at Maidstone, Darent Valley and William Harvey hospitals.

  • Richard Morris
    Article: Feb 6, 2019

    Richard has lived with his wife in Edenbridge for 33 years, raising two daughters local schools. He brings a wide range of business, legal and arts-experience to the PPC role. Professionally he was chief executive of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London and chairman of Invicta Radio (the original local radio station for Kent) and Kent Music (which provides music services to state-schools across Kent).

  • Article: Jan 25, 2019

    Dear Neighbour,
    The top articles today are about two Planning Applications in West Malling, but they are important for everyone. Both applications are INSIDE the area which the Borough Council has put in its Local Plan as an extension of the Green Belt to keep our local villages separate. If the Borough Council fails to defend these countryside areas now, it weakens their case when later this year they have to persuade the Government Inspector to agree to the extension. So please send in your comments if you can.
    David and I will be starting a Councillors' Surgery from Tesco at Leybourne Way next month on Thursday 28th February.. We hope to offer a session on the fourth Thursday of each month, and will publish the times nearer the event. Come along and we'll see if we can help.
    Don't forget it's our award winning Farmers' Market this Sunday in West Malling, and join in the Star County 2019 between 2nd February and 23rd February, sponsored by CPRE to create a map showing where light pollution is affecting our view of the night sky. .
    Insert pic of me and David
    Councillors met on Monday to discuss a planning application for 204 cars on the triangle shaped field opposite More Park RC Primary School, Lucks Hill. The access would be onto Lucks Hill between the railway bridge and the newer station approach to the platform for Maidstone bound trains. The Parish Council objected strongly to the application saying that and it would spoil the rural feel of the entrance into West Malling, especially as trees would have to be felled to create the entrance. The car park access would also be a threat to the safety of the children attending the school and pre-school now open at the rear of the church, as well disrupting church congregations attending services and events such as funerals and weddings..
    The vision in both directions for drivers using the car park would be very limited. We are also very concerned that TMBC are shooting themselves in the foot by recommending approval for development of land which lies within the very area they are recommending should be part of the extended Green Belt.
    Despite these objections, Planning officers recommended approval of the application. However, , councillors put off their decision until they had an opportunity to view the site as the Parish Council recommended, at school opening time.

  • Article: Jan 11, 2019

    Dear Neighbour,

    Happy New Year, and I hope everyone has managed to get back to pre-Christmas weight by now! It's great to see the snowdrops are out, and the daffs are pushing up already.

    We had a great success in 2018 in persuading the Borough Council to extend the Green Belt protection for our area in their Local Plan. We did that by working to get many people to send in letters and sign petitions in support of the campaign, and it made a very big difference. We can do it again this month. Help yourself and others :

  • Article: Jan 8, 2019

    Public consultation will take place on the replacement of the number 58 bus. This is currently the only bus connecting the Malling villages to Maidstone Hospital. This route is to be replaced by a more frequent service (possibly running hourly) on a shortened route to Tesco at Lunsford Park, where passengers wanting to travel to Maidstone or the Hospital are expected to change to other routes.

  • Larkfield Team
    Article: Jan 5, 2019

    As Tonbridge & Malling's final Local Plan consultation drew to a close, new proposals emerged from Liberty Property Trust for development of 6 new sites. Four of these are within the Kings Hill built-up area; the other two are in East Malling on the new area of Green Belt proposed in the Local Plan. These sites had not been considered as part of the Local Plan, although we understand Liberty will be promoting them at the Public Examination, and at the same time will be submitting planning applications (probably before Christmas). The East Malling developments would result in a loss of green space in the open countryside.

  • Article: Jan 4, 2019

    Anita and Tim are organising another hot Litter Pick for Larkfield! It will be starting at 10.30am from Church Farm Hall, ANew Hythe Lane. Come and collect your tabards, gloves, bags and litter pickers from the hall. It is amazing the ground you can cover and the number of sacks of litter you can pick up in just an hour and a half. Return to the hall for home madehot soup and sandwiches. May be cancelled if very icy. See Larkfield Matters on the day.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2018

    Dear Neighbour,
    A million thanks to all those people who sent in their comments to the Local Plan.

    David Thornewell and I helped at a drop in for residents wanting advice and help on writing their comments to the Inspector, at Church Farm New Hythe Lane, on 5th November. We also spoke at packed, very successful meetings at The Malling School on 1st November and West Malling Primary School in October.. We know that the petitions, surveys and letters sent in successfully persuaded the Borough Council to include the proposal to extend the Green Belt, to reduce the extent of Kings Hill growth on Broadwater Farm, and to rethink the route for an access road to the bypass near West Malling Station.

  • Roger, Michelle and their families are all users of the 58 bus
    Article: Nov 11, 2018

    KCC have just announced a new pilot bus service between Addington and Tesco Leybourne Way, via Leybourne, West Malling High Street, and East Malling. Consultations will be held with local people, but there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, it looks as though this new route will mean the number 58, which links these villages direct with Maidstone Hospital, will be withdrawn. We know that a withdrawal of the existing service will be of great concern to the people in East Malling who rely on the 58 service to get to hospital appointments or onwards to Maidstone.