09 / 03 / 21
Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) is working on the third iteration of their “Heathlands” masterplan and a revised red line boundary. They will be formally submitting this to the Local Planning Authority arm of the Council on 31st March 2021. As soon as it is published we will ensure it is circulated to you.
Our latest understanding is that MBC is looking to move the development to the north of the railway – between the railway line and A20. Rumours suggest they may build-up to the border of Lenham village/Lenham Heath too. This shift of the target development area seems to be in part down to the lobbying we have been doing to demonstrate that it is not feasible to develop in large parts of the area south of the railway line and in between existing properties. We would therefore expect the masterplan boundary to change on the south part.
A move north of the railway line would be just as devastating and we all need to continue to oppose any further development in our countryside. The Council’s new target area is based on the fact that the land ownership to the north is simpler with just two landowners who are already part of the principal landowner group. However, from a countryside and environment point of view, the unacceptable visual impact to the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is exacerbated. It is also at odds with the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan which looks to protect open land around the village settlement boundary.