25 / 01 / 20
|Thank you for the overwhelming support at last night’s meeting with Maidstone Borough Council and Helen Whately MP. Over 300 people turned out to show a united front with residents from Lenham and surrounding villages, parish councils’ representatives, borough councillors, landowners (or should we say custodians?) and other interested parties. The message was loud and clear: We do not want this garden community on our doorstep.
It was very disappointing that many of the residents’ well-placed concerns and questions were met with vague responses from the Council representatives or they avoided answering them altogether. Most importantly, Maidstone Borough Council still failed to explain to residents why Lenham Heath had been chosen as its preferred location for a Garden Community. We have raised this question many times and so has Helen Whately – but the Council doesn’t seem to have an answer.
We apologise that we ran out of time to take further questions on the night, as we were requested by both Councillor Cox and William Cornall that the meeting should finish at 9pm. If you have a question you wanted to ask the Council about the proposal but didn’t get a chance, then please email us and we will get a written response from the Council on your behalf.
We also want to take this opportunity to restate SOHL’s position to residents. As an action group we are opposed to any form of Garden Community in this area and we will continue our work and to represent the views of local residents until this proposal is thrown out. We will not, as mentioned by Mr Cornall at the meeting, be considering a ‘twin track approach’ to work with the Council on developing a potential garden community scheme for Lenham.
We will continue to challenge the Council and ensure there is transparency by redoubling our efforts to ensure that all documentation relating to this scheme is in the public domain, including the Barton Wilmore report, through the submission of Freedom of Information requests.
Last night’s meeting clearly demonstrated to Maidstone Borough Council that the people of Lenham and the surrounding areas stand united in fighting this scheme and will challenge the Council’s lack of judgement in pursuing the ‘Heathlands’ Garden Community as being unrealistic, unsustainable and in the wrong location.
Thank you again for your support and generosity. Over £300 was donated last night to help us fight this scheme. If anyone would like to make a further donation please click here.
We will continue to keep you updated over the coming weeks on our next steps, via email, our website and social media.