Statement from June Winton

Marden Planning Opposition Group (MPOG) have received a statement from June Winton, an Independent candidate for Marden & Yalding ward, which with permission, we will relay:

“I have lived happily in Marden for the past few years after moving to be closer to family.

In that time I have really enjoyed the peaceful nature of the village and its community feeling.  I have also enjoyed walking the fields in the countryside and seeing many birds and other wildlife for the first time in their natural surroundings.  I have also enjoyed exploring the areas of Collier Street and Yalding, even though the roads are sometimes struggling to cope.

Everyone I have spoken to about redevelopment has said they are not against reasonable development, but that what has happened to Marden in the last few years is completely unreasonable; in particular losing their cricket ground from the heart of the village.

I am therefore completely against the idea of a Garden Village which will further destroy Marden and the surrounding countryside.  It makes no sense to turn Marden from a village into a small town, with everything that will entail.  People who travel by train will no longer be able to guarantee a seat in the morning, as all the housing developments further up the track will impact onto Marden.  Yet these housing developments are being sold with the bonus of having a trainline on their doorstep.  There may be promises of better access to Maidstone by road, but there is very little that can be done to increase the capacity or frequency of the trains into London, or supply the extra electricity that would be needed.  In my view this alone means that a garden village in Marden would be unsustainable.

I will therefore be putting my views across at each and every opportunity that Marden is the wrong place for any new development, at least for the next few years, and that opportunistic developments should not be allowed.  Neither should our very good soil be allowed to disappear under mountains of concrete, with the grubbing out of ancient orchards, trees and hedgerows and the ruining of our landscape for future generations.  Marden is already a home to millions of insects, plants, mammals and birds that have disappeared from much of the countryside, including protected species such as Turtle Doves.

Marden and the surrounding area is a special place where man lives alongside nature in harmony.  If you lend me your vote I will use it to vote against the Village Green development, and any other opportunistic developments that may come along.”

Marden Planning Opposition Group would welcome any similar statements from key parties and will publish any future statements in the same way.

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