Woodcut Farm

Woodcut Farm

The planning application for wholly speculative commercial development at Woodcut Farm (agricultural land north of J8) is to be determined by Maidstone Borough Council’s Planning Committee next Thursday 30th June at the Town Hall at 6 p.m.

The Society is extremely concerned that, despite the Local Plan being under consideration by a Planning Inspector, with the Examination due in late September or early October, MBC officers appear to be rushing this application through (see the attached Committee report recommending approval) before the Inspector barely has time to read about it.

This may be the last chance to save the countryside at J8, the eastern part of the former KIG site, between the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Leeds Castle from disappearing for ever. Other items on the agenda are for further enormous housing developments at Langley (850 houses, business and retail) and Langley/Otham (several hundred houses) effectively extending Maidstone even further eastwards from Park Wood enveloping the historic settlement of Langley.

If you have the stamina please copy and paste all the members of Maidstone Borough Council listed below into an email requesting that this item be withdrawn from the agenda next Thursday. Attached are the two letters the Society has sent on your behalf about this development. Unfortunately as this agenda has already been published on MBC’s website the item can only be withdrawn by members at the meeting.

The more members of the public who attend this meeting the better to show the strength of feeling against such development in open countryside.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Summer concerts at St. Mary’s Church

The Detling Singers are giving a concert on Saturday 4th June at 7.30pm to help raise funds for St. Mary’s Church, Thurnham. There will be Show Songs in the first half and the second half will be more formal. Wine and soft drinks will be served in the interval. The cost is £10 per ticket, available from Taylors Newsagent on the Green in Bearsted, or from Mike Mortlock from the Detling Singers – telephone no: – 01634-862297.

The NSPCC Choir, ‘Dawn Chorus’, will perform songs from four centuries, from Bach to the Beatles, in aid of the NSPCC, on Sunday 26th June at 4 p.m. also in St. Mary’s Church, Thurnham. Afternoon tea with cakes will be served in the interval. Again, the cost will be £10 per ticket, available from Lynette Horton – telephone no: – 01622-739051.

Paydens Pharmacy latest

Thank you to those of you who contacted Helen Whately MP with your concerns about the possible closure of pharmacies, in particular Paydens on the Ashford Road opposite Bearsted Medical Practice. Helen has kindly looked into the situation, and her response Helen Whately ltr 190416 is self-explanatory. It confirms what the pharmacist told us.

Pharmacy/Post Office/Spar shop

You may be aware of rumours around the village about the possible closure of the pharmacy at Paydens and also the post office, both on the Ashford Road opposite the Bearsted Medical Centre.

We have been in to ask questions of all three services.

The situation has been confirmed as follows:-

  1. Post Office – this will close temporarily for refurbishment at 5.30 p.m. on 11th May and re-open at 2.00 p.m. on 27th May. It will be made open-plan in line with other modern post offices.
  2. 2.    Spar supermarket – this will remain open for business as usual throughout the refurbishment and beyond.
  3. Pharmacy – the pharmacist told us that ongoing government funding cuts will result in the closure of some of the smaller and perhaps not so well used pharmacies across the country.

He believes that this particular pharmacy is very likely to survive as it is very well used and always busy. However, it is always possible that government cuts will be so great that it may affect the number of services that this particular branch is able to offer in the future.

In the meantime, if you wish to make your views about the principle of cutting such a service known to our MP, Mrs Helen Whately, the pharmacy has some pre-printed cards for you to complete and post to her. The address is Helen Whately MP, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA.

If you wish to send her an email please write to  (By the way, her surname is spelt incorrectly on the cards in the pharmacy).

Health matters are one of Helen’s particular interests and she is a member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Health.

AGM 17th June

The Society’s AGM for members will be held on Wednesday 17th June at 7.45 p.m. (doors open at 7.15 p.m.) at Madginford Hall. We are pleased to welcome Cllr Paul Carter CBE, KCC’s Leader, as the guest speaker. Light refreshments will be available.

Inquiry day 10 – final day

The Waterside Park Public Inquiry closed at 6.05 p.m. last night, following the Inspector’s site visit to Marden in the morning and closing statements during the afternoon . Those given by Mr Richard Knox-Johnson for CPRE/JPG, Mr Neil Cameron QC for KCC etc., and Mr Stephen Whale for MBC, were completed in 1 ¾ hours. Mr Craig Howell Williams QC and Miss Isabella Tafur, for the Appellants, alone took just under two hours, much of which mercifully was summarised towards the end. They appeared to be reliving the entire Inquiry.

The Inspector will be determining the Appeal herself; it will not be sent to the Secretary of State. She told us it would take approximately two months to compile the report and issue her decision. We will, of course, let you know as soon as we have any news.

Once again, a big thank you to all who managed to attend the Inquiry, and also for your comments back to us. They really are appreciated.