Agenda item

Questions and answer session for members of the public


There were three questions from members of the public.


Question from Ms Gail Duff to the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee


‘It is understood that Maidstone Borough Council's Planning Officers are now classifying current significant residential planning applications in the Stour Valley catchment area as 'invalid' given Natural England's recent advice on nutrient pollution. We have also learnt recently that the Mountfield Park 4,000 home garden community in Canterbury has been indefinitely delayed by this matter. Will this committee agree that Natural England's recent guidance is another major setback which will inevitably add to the costs of the scheme and when combined with the ever increasing list of other issues, only prove that 'Heathlands' is unviable, unsustainable and undeliverable. In effect also 'invalid?'


The Chairman responded to the question.


Question from Ms Kate Hammond to the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee

‘A key requirement of a garden community is to have local support. The update report before you tonight correctly confirms that Lenham Parish Council do not support the proposal nor do the local residents group, Save Our Heath Lands. It fails to report that MBC have not communicated with local residents about this highly contentious project since January. The proposed modus operandi is frankly an insult to local residents and will not be entertained at any time. How does the Council plan to convince the Government and Planning Inspector that this scheme has local support?’ 

The Chairman responded to the question.


Ms Hammond asked the following supplementary question:

‘Save Our Heathlands are a local residents speaking up for our comm, so far we have been told by CE and lead director for the project that they will only meet with our group subject to us keeping our discussions private and not to divulge with our neighbours, equally seeking participation from us to be involved in a twin-track process behind the scenes to help the council formulate the proposal, whilst continuing to campaign against the proposal in public…our takeaway is that the council doesn’t have any respect for local residents and would do what they want anyway. We would like to ask the Chairman if he thinks the behaviour of senior officers is appropriate for community engagement?’


The Chairman responded to the question.





Question from Mr Steve Heely to the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee


‘The second stage masterplan for the council-led Heathlands garden community at Lenham sees the existing Sewage Treatment Works as the central focal point for over 1,500 new homes in the third phase of the project. Most new developments opt for a new village green or art installation. Is this what the Council aspires to in its quest to ‘lead master planning and invest in new places which are well designed?’


The Chairman responded to the question.


Mr Heeley asked the following supplementary question:


‘Can you tell us what you are going to do about the waste-water treatment works at the centre of your master plan?’


The Chairman responded to the question.


The full responses were recorded on the webcast and made available to view on the Maidstone Borough Council website.


To access the webcast recording, please use the link below: