25 / 06 / 20
A residents’ group in Otham is battling with Maidstone Borough Council to get an application for the development of over 400 houses removed from the Local Plan at the next review stage.
The plan is to develop a huge estate of houses and flats on the land adjacent to the ancient church of St Nicholas in Otham. If the development goes ahead then the roads in the south east of Maidstone will become even more gridlocked.
An outline planning application was submitted to the Planning Committee by developer Bellway in 2019 which was deferred by councillors following almost 500 written objections from local residents. Following a meeting of planning officers, councillors and developers a full planning application has been submitted which still fails to address many of the issues raised by local residents. Planning officers are saying that the refused application will be lost on appeal and the council will be forced to pay costs. Recently the developer has lodged an appeal.
KCC, residents, local parish Council, borough councillors all object to the proposal with strong planning reasons on why the development should not go ahead. Whilst the site is zoned for development in the Local Plan a significant number of conditions have not been met.
If the proposed Church Road development can be defeated and removed from the Local Plan, it will give hope and encouragement to local residents that opposition to local housing developments can be fought and won. SOHL is watching this issue closely.
Please support CAARA by signing their petition : https://www.change.org/STOPChurchRoadDevelopment