Welcome to the website of the Bearsted and Thurnham Society

Maidstone Borough Council Local Plan

Examination in Public

This will commence at 10.00 a.m. on Tuesday 4th October 2016 at Maidstone Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone, ME14 1TF, over a period of five weeks, with the first two weeks starting on 4th October 2016, and a further three weeks of hearing sessions starting on 8th November 2016. The Inspector has issued a Procedural Guidance Note Procedural Guidance Note from Inspector and a draft programme  Programme Draft 2 130816

If you plan to attend any of the sessions we would suggest that you check here first as the programme is always subject to change.

Tuesday 4th October 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. – participants Session 01A Legal Procedural Needs Participants 20160806 pages

Agenda Session 01A Agenda Session MIQ 20160805

2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. – participants Session 01B Legal Procedural Needs Participants 20160806 pages

Agenda Session 01B Agenda 20160805

Wednesday 5th October 10 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. – participants Session 02A (2) Housing Needs Housing policies participants 20160806

Agenda Session 02A Agenda MIQ 20160805

2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. – participants Session 02B Housing Needs (2) Housing Policies Participants 20160805 copy

Agenda Session 02B Agenda MIQ 20160808

Thursday 6th October 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. – participants Session 03 Transport Seminar + Alternative Strategy Participants 20160805

Agenda Session 03A Agenda Transport Seminar 20160805

2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.- participants Session 03 Transport Seminar + Alternative Strategy Participants 20160805

Agenda Session 03B Agenda MIQ 20160805

Tuesday 11th October 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. – participants Session 04 Environmental Constraints 20160806

Agenda Session 04 Agenda MIQ 20160805

Wednesday 12th October 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. – participants Session 05A Housing Supply overview Participants 20160805

Agenda Session 05A Agenda MIQ 20160805

2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. – participants Session 05B Housing Supply SE Maidstone Participants 20160805

Agenda Session 05B Agenda MIQ 20160805

Thursday 13th October 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. – participants Session 06A Maidstone Larger Villages Participants 20160805  Agenda Session 06A Agenda 06A MIQ 20160805    

2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. – participants Session 06B Maidstone Larger Villages Participants 20160805

Agenda Session 06B Agenda MIQ 20160505


2016 Annual General Meeting

The Bearsted & Thurnham Society’s AGM will take place at Madginford Hall, Egremont Road, Bearsted ME15 8LH on Friday 1st July at 7.30 p.m., doors open at 7.15 p.m.

Local resident Martin Potts from Highways England will speak about the Lower Thames Crossing following the conclusion of the AGM business.

Light refreshments will be available as usual.

Please take this opportunity to join both the committee and fellow members for a convivial and interesting evening.

The committee members look forward to thanking members personally for their support throughout the past busy year.

Planning application for 100 houses at Barty Farm

With all commonsense cast aside this application has been approved!!!

Yesterday saw both good and bad decisions being made for Bearsted & Thurnham residents.

On the positive side we are delighted to let you know that the application to build 10 houses on land north of Apple Tree House, Ware Street, was rejected by Maidstone Borough Council. The development, if built, would have blighted the lives of residents living in the southern part of Hockers Lane and added significantly to traffic problems along Ware Street. Extra strain would also be put on local services in terms of education provision.

On the other side of the coin about twenty local residents, including Bearsted Parish Councillor John Hughes, sat through an hour and a half’s debate about the proposal for 100 houses at Barty Farm, including the demolition and partial rebuilding of a listed wall at Barty House to provide access, by MBC councillors in the Town Hall.

The running order for speakers was as follows:- Denis Spooner, spoke as an objector (he is currently a committee member of the Society) against the applications, followed by Michael Stark, Thurnham Parish Council,  then someone for the applicant, and finally Cllr Mike Cuming as a Bearsted ward member. Cllr Val Springett was not allowed to speak (or even to be present) due to her home being in Roundwell.

Bearsted ward member and member of the Planning Committee, Richard Ash, gave a spirited defence of Bearsted, emphasising all the countryside, highways and education issues possible, but to no avail. He was strongly supported by members who are part of the Rural Alliance, but others seemed determined to push the application through on the grounds that they had voted to approve the Local Plan.

Bizarrely, the application regarding the wall (Bearsted parish) was refused whilst that for the housing development (Thurnham parish) was approved. It will be interesting to see, therefore, what the developer does next. Most likely an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate will appear on the grounds that the houses cannot be built without appropriate access. We will keep you posted.

Planning application for 100 houses at Barty Farm

This application will be determined by Maidstone Borough Council’s Planning Committee at the Town Hall on Thursday 28th April. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and the application is agenda item 16/17 (the first few items will be dealt with very quickly).

A representative of the Society has requested a slot to speak against this item.

If you have the time do please consider attending this meeting to show your disapproval of the officer’s recommendation to permit this application.

To lobby the planning committee the file Information re Barty Farm application 280416 suggests points to mention and gives contact details of the Planning Committee.

This development, if allowed, would cause untold damage to all residents of the villages of Bearsted and Thurnham in terms of the environment, traffic volume and hazard, school places and other services.


As members will know, the Local Plan for development up until 2031 has reached the final consultation stage. Comments sent to Maidstone Borough Council (MBC), will form the basis on which the Planning Inspector appointed to review the Plan will reach his/her assessment. Effectively therefore all the comments submitted are being made to the Planning Inspectorate rather than MBC.

The Society submitted a detailed response

including two annexes

BTS response to MBC Reg 19
BTS response – Annex 1
BTS response – Annex 2


Welcome to the website of The Residents Association for the civil parishes of Bearsted & Thurnham

Why Not Join Us?

Aims and objectives of the Society

The aims and objectives shall be:

(a) To encourage civic pride and a sense of responsibility for the future of the Bearsted and Thurnham civil parishes.

(b) To promote schemes for the benefit of either or both of the two civil parishes.

(c) To respond to policies and plans, affecting Bearsted and Thurnham civil parishes, promulgated by the County, Borough or Parish councils, or by central government, or by other organisations, with a view to providing an effective channel for local opinion.

(d) To put before the appropriate authorities the views of the residents on any matters relating to the general well-being of persons residing in either of the two civil parishes.

(e) To oppose inappropriate development and in particular on planning matters, for example, development applications, to consider such matters and to put forward the Society's views including, for example, the appointment of representatives to attend public meetings.

To further these aims and objectives, but not otherwise, the Society, through its Committee shall have the powers to take all such lawful action as may be necessary or expedient.

The Society is non-political and non-sectarian.

(The 2007 AGM voted to agree that in its view fielding candidates in elections was not incompatible with this clause - i.e. not incompatible with the Society's non-political and non-sectarian status as set out in clause 2.)

Copies of the Constitution are available by application to the Secretary as approved 23rd April 1999 and amended 11th Nov 2005, 30th May 2006 and 1st July 2011.