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Parish Council update: December 2021

Maidstone Borough Council - local plan review

The formal consultation for Maidstone Borough Council’s review of the Local Plan has begun and will run until 23:59 on 12 December 2021.

As we suspected, Garden Communities are at the centre of Maidstone’s plans to deliver the housing numbers the Government requires: this means that the "Heathlands" proposal remains as an ambition as does the proposal for Lidsing and we now understand there will also be plans for another development at the top of Detling, on the old aerodrome site, which has been given the working name of Bimbury.

While this is disappointing it is not unexpected, however there has still been no dialogue between anyone at MBC and the parish council about the plans for Heathlands, in spite of the appointment of a specialist Public Relations company (at further public cost) so we will continue to make our representations against this proposal known publicly. The PR company has now booked then cancelled, at short notice, two consultation events in Lenham so we are unclear exactly what they are doing for their fee

The current cost of the Heathlands proposal, that has been publicly declared, is £631,496.00 up from a disclosed figure in July of this year which was £564,000 - this is public money, our council tax which is being speculated. 

The Lenham Neighbourhood Plan remains in force and contains a policy which defends against development in the open countryside outside of the agreed "development envelope" set out within the Neighbourhood Plan, this remains in force until 2031. MBC planners have already used this to reject some planning applications.

If Maidstone decides to put forward the version of the Local Development Plan for inspection in the form set out in this consultation we expect this to be considered by an Independent Examiner around the end of 2022 – beginning of 2023.

Until then the parish council will continue to gather relevant information and opinions from specialist advisers in readiness for the public examination. More about that nearer the time.

In the meanwhile we will be posting the formal responses from the parish council to the MBC Local Plan Review consultation on the website after the 12 December so everyone will be in a position to see the focus of the arguments.

You can view the refreshed "Heathlands masterplan" for the development proposal at Lenham Heath here

There is now a separate section on this website which provides further information about the Regulation 19 process and sets out how to comment on the Regulation 19 Consultation.

We continue to wonder what promises are being made to the principle landowners and how Maidstone envisages these can be kept, given the lengthy timescales involved, for without the land being available the scheme would not be viable at all.

Parish Council Office

The Parish Council office is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00h – 13:00h.

Christmas arrangements: The Parish Office will be closed from Tuesday 21 December and will reopen on Tuesday 4 January 2022. Although the office will be closed the Parish Clerk will be contactable by email and telephone during this period.

 

Cllr John Britt (Lenham South)

Chair: Lenham Parish Council

 

Published agendas will be available here

 

What does Lenham Parish Council do?

Parish Councils are the tier of local government closest to the people. They are not linked to the church in any way. All Parish Councillors are volunteers who dedicate their free time to enhancing their Parish as best they can by utilising their individual skills and experience.

The responsibilities of Lenham Parish Council include looking after open spaces, such as the William Pitt field and Cemetery, maintaining playgrounds and other amenities, providing Maidstone Borough Council with a view on planning applications within the Parish and undertaking projects to benefit the Parish.

 

Our Mission Statement 

The Lenham Parish Council (LPC) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all the residents of Lenham and its surrounding hamlets. LPC aims to maintain and protect the Parish environment and amenities. LPC strives to be pro-active in identifying and completing projects, large and small, that will benefit the Parish as a whole, with value for money always being sought. LPC aims to help keep Lenham Parish a unique and special place for residents and visitors alike.

 

Meet Our Councillors

Councillor Personal Details Responsibilities

Cllr. John Britt (South Ward)

Tel.07973 207521

john@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Parish Council Chairman Chairman of Finance & General Purposes. Planning and Implementation Committee member. Hamlets, Health & Welfare, Emergency Plan / Co-ordination, Communications, Youth Work Liaison, Cross maintenance.

Cllr. Alastair Walmsley (North ward)

Tel. 01622 859032 

alastair@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Vice Chairman of the Parish Council.

Chairman of Planning and Implementation Committee. Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Highways & Speed Indicator. Allotment liaison.

Cllr. Michael Ballard (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 851409 Mob. 07780 665996 

michael@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Douglas Alms Houses Trustee. Transport South East trains. WCs project.

Cllr. Michael Cockett (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 858422 

mike@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Planning and Implementation Committee member. Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Lenham Meadows Trust. CPRE Representative. Web-site co-ordinator. Communications.

Cllr Paul Culver (North Ward)

paul@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Cllr. Kate Hammond (South Ward)

Mob. 07925 606236 

kate@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

KALC Maidstone Area Representative. Hamlets, Save our Heathlands (SOHL) Representative.

Cllr Steve Heeley (South Ward)

Mob: 07791 694073

steve@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk 

Hamlets, Save Our Heathlands (SOHL) Rep.

Cllr David Garland (North Ward)

david@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk 

Mob: 07801371004

Finance and General Purposes Committee member, S106/CIL monies Representative, Maidstone Road car park, WC project.

Cllr Mic D Lowe (North Ward)

mic.d.lowe@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Cllr. Mike Lowe (North Ward)

Mob. 07841123123 

mike.lowe@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Play facilities risk assessment & maintenance / installation of new play equipment. Planning and Implementation Committee Member. FC & Sports liaison.

Cllr. Marino Michaelas (North Ward)

Tel 01622 850658 Mob. 07827 016534 

marino@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

CCTV, Parking, Business Link Representative. Speed watch & CCTV equipment keeper. WCs Project

Cllr. Nick Osborne (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 859069 Mob. 07900 585733 

nick@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Planning and Implementation Committee member. Picnic site, Nursery project, Cross maintenance, Christmas Lighting. Lenham Meadows Trust.

Cllr. Andy Ratcliffe (South Ward)

andy@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Planning and Implementation Committee Member. Hamlets, Nursery project, Parking, Representative. WCs project. Communications.

Council Officers:

Parish Clerk: Lisa Westcott

Contact details Email: clerk@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk            Telephone: 01622 829034

Registered office: 1A High Street, Lenham, Kent ME17 2QD Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10:00h - 13:00h.

Responsible Financial Officer: Mr James Bate

Contact details Email: rfo@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk