Some members of Marden Planning Opposition Group (MPOG) attended the Marden Parish Council (MPC) Planning meeting on Tuesday. After a series of questions, it was clear in our opinion that MPC were unsure of the details of the planning obligations – specifically, Section 106 monies i.e. the amounts of money available for our community and the vital spend dates for current/recent developments in Marden.
Therefore MPOG have compiled the data from the document we received from KCC Councillor Eric Hotson, together with the Maidstone Borough Council Section 106 contributions (both secured and held) document we acquired while we attended an MBC meeting at the Town Hall. When put together (presumably for the first time…) this really illustrates the vast sums of money involved (£3,596,943) and the fact that this money – although paid by most of the developers to KCC and MBC – has not yet actually been spent on our village, nor on services that our community use.
To make the information accessible and clear, MPOG have compiled the data in two different ways: you can either look at the s.106 money generated from each development in the village; or alternatively you can look at the data under each category e.g Education, Healthcare, Library, Open space etc. This s.106 money assists in “mitigating the impact of unacceptable developments to make it acceptable in planning terms”. This money is for the benefit of us all; current and future residents who move into the existing developments in Marden alike.
Documents (PDF or ZIP):
- MPOG Grand Total Summary Marden S106 MBC and KCC combined.pdf
- MPOG S106 Combined KCC and MBC data shown divided per housing developement.zip
- MPOG S106 Combined KCC and MBC data shown in Specific categories.zip
MPOG are particularly interested in this subject because we are constantly told/promised of all the “great new exciting infrastructure” we will get from the proposed 2,000 house development. The fact is we already have plenty of money available to improve our infrastructure – but it’s not being spent. It’s very easy to say new infrastructure will be created but from our own Marden village experience it is proving to be much more difficult to actually get it.
We as a community have to question those in authority and ask them why? We also need to ask why such narrow prescriptive spending allocations were chosen and by whom? I love books but to have over £15,000 allocated for additional books for Marden library seems over the top. As does £370,000 for open space! Surely there are more worthwhile projects that would have benefited us all more. But having said that, we must all fight to make sure ALL this money is spent and not returned to the developers/landowners.
The old adage ‘once bitten twice shy‘ springs to mind!