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APPENDIX 1: Scope of Strategy
A number of the issues forming the basis of some very positive and productive discussion and debate at service committees had already been recognised within the scope and key workstreams (appendix 2) of the proposed strategy as previously considered by this committee. However, where discussion identified more in-depth, or additional topics, this has been updated.
· The reaffirmation of Maidstone as the county town of Kent through physical regeneration, cultural renaissance, the celebration of heritage and the further development of diverse and high-quality employment, retail and leisure opportunities.
· Consideration of future land/building uses and the achievement of high-quality and sustainable design that respects and celebrates Maidstone’s heritage, whilst improving the quality and character of the town, its environment and its functionality.
· Cross-cutting principles to ensure that the town centre is resilient to the effects of climate change and is a flagship of the Council’s aspiration to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
· A phased approach which continues to build upon current post pandemic recovery work, but also identifies short, medium and long term projects and interventions, including those around key factors such as environment, community safety, business support and where appropriate the necessary forward planning and maintenance.
· Integration of the Council’s commitments to a Maidstone Borough that works for everyone, incorporates reductions in deprivation and health inequalities and brings improvement in social mobility.
· Ensuring the town centre and the wider urban area can continue to play a significant role in meeting the borough’s housing need through the enablement of development, investment and support for the delivery of quality homes across the housing market to develop sustainable communities.
· Developing the Town Centre in a manner which reflects and respects the various roles it plays, and functions it provides for a range of users including the existing town centre community, those from the urban/semi-rural/ rural locations and those from further afield who work or visit the town centre
· Tackling education and skills differentials across all sectors of the community, in order to ensure that local residents are equipped to compete for employment and training opportunities resulting from investment and reinvestment.
· Ensuring that the Town Centre has a sense of place and identity which is reflected through services and activities which provide for a range of age brackets.
· Promoting Maidstone as a ‘smart town’ by bringing together the use of new and emergent technologies and data capture techniques in tackling a range of issues from traffic and air quality, to the efficient use of buildings and spaces and the ability of all stakeholders to reach target audiences more easily.