Your Councillors

Agenda item

Questions from Members of the Council to the Chairmen of Committees

Minutes:

Councillor Harper asked the following question of the Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee:

 

Can the Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee confirm that the former Astor of Hever Meadows are not designated as a site for housing in the emerging Local Plan, and would as a consequence any proposals for the development of the site for housing be turned down?

 

The Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee replied that:

 

Land at the former Astor of Hever School, Oakwood Park is not allocated in the emerging Maidstone Borough Local Plan.  Also, to date, the Local Plan Inspector has not indicated that further housing sites will need to be added into the Plan.  If a planning application were submitted for development on this land, the Council would need to determine it in accordance with the adopted Local Plan policies in place at the time and also take account of any other planning matters which could point in favour or against consent being granted.  All relevant planning matters would rightly be considered in full at the time of the application and cannot be prejudged now.

 

Councillor Harper asked the following question of the Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee:

 

Can the Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee please confirm the planning status of the Oakwood Park playing fields?  Are residents correct to assume that they are safe from development?

 

The Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee replied that:

 

The Oakwood Park playing fields have no specific designation in either the adopted Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan (2000) or in the emerging Maidstone Borough Local Plan.  Policy DM22 of the emerging Plan covers ‘Publicly accessible open space and recreation’ and sets out the considerations which will apply if development is proposed which would result in the loss of such space.  Like for the earlier question, all relevant planning matters would be considered in full at the time of any application.

 

Councillor Harper asked the following supplementary question of the Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee:

 

With regard to Oakwood Park and Astor of Hever, is there any scope within the planning process to designate these types of spaces and open spaces such as these as green spaces to give them further protection?

 

The Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee replied that Policy DM22 of the emerging Maidstone Borough Local Plan sought to put in place precisely those considerations and those protections that would be necessary.

 

Councillor Harper asked the following question of the Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee:

 

There are considerable problems with the Medway towpath cycle route in its section in the town centre.  The Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum has had discussions with Kent County Council officers on this.  The issues relate to the section from Medway Street to Lockmeadow, which has dangerous blind spots both for pedestrians and cyclists.  As the Council invested £0.5m into the scheme, can the Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee confirm that he will work with the Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum and Kent County Council to try to resolve these issues?

 

The Chairman of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee replied that he would be very happy to meet with Councillor Harper and the Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum to look at the matter in detail and to make sure that nothing was being missed.  Indeed, arrangements could be made after the Council meeting.