Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here.

If the plans are just proposed at this point, why should I worry?

Because a lot of time and money has been spent on drawing up the proposal and there is every chance it will proceed to a full planning application. If Maidstone Borough Council decide that they wish to investigate this site further, then a planning application will go in and the fight becomes real.

It is important to show your rejection of this lunacy NOW – get involved.

Get Involved

Aren't you just a bunch of NIMBYs?

No. Marden has seen over 500 new houses built in the last 4 years and, actually, many villagers welcome some development — people clearly need to live somewhere, and Marden is a lovely place to live.

Supporters of garden communities, particularly those with substantial vested interests in their development, will dismiss opponents as “NIMBYs”. Yet that term isgenerally used to attack people who are defending their local environment by those who are seeking to profit from its destruction. Standing up for your local environment and conservation is not merely a basic right, however, it’s a moral obligation.

The size and scale of this “New Town” is clearly going to be beyond anything the area can cope with, even with road widening or new routes added. The Low Weald is at serious risk of being ruined forever.

If this gets rejected, won't they just re-apply for a smaller development?

No. A “garden village” needs 1,500 homes minimum to qualify for that planning category, and thus to receive government grants.

The “garden village” concept is an all-or-nothing approach, intended to build brand new settlements rather than extend existing ones through “encroachment” i.e. urban sprawl. Interestingly, part of the proposed site has already had small-scale housing applications in the past rejected, so it’s entirely plausible that if this site does not get developed into a “garden village” then it shall remain as farmland for the foreseeable future.

Who owns the land?

The site is owned by a mix of 3x landowners:
– Alan Firmin Ltd
– B E Wingrove & E W Wingrove & B J Reid
– JA Carpenter

DHA Planning are the planning agents representing the above.

Countryside Properties are the proposed housebuilder.

When will I be able to view the full plans?

A Freedom if Information (FoI) request has revealed some of the details – reproduced here.

After the “Call for Sites” ends when a planning application is lodged. See this page for more information.

What do Councillors say?

Mrs Annabelle Blackmore, Councillor for Marden & Yalding ward, has released a statement here.

Helen Grant MP of Maidstone & The Weald, has also released a general statement.

Are there any valid arguments I can use to oppose this development?

Yes. There are likely to be many arguments that can be used successfully to defeat this proposal later, and they are not discussed in detail here yet, but it is important to start NOW. Don’t wait.

The first thing is to get the word out, and get involved. If this progresses to a full planning application then it immediately becomes more difficult. It is important to make your feelings about this “garden settlement” heard NOW.

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