This (apparently) took place in late February 2019, behind closed doors. It is likely that DHA Planning, the landowners (Alan Firmin Ltd, Marden Turf and Guillaume Carpenter), Countryside Properties reps, and Maidstone Borough Council planning agents were in attendance on-site to discuss the proposals. The public is not generally invited to pre-application meetings.
Call For Sites
. Maidstone Borough Council are looking for possible sites to develop over the coming years, and the 'Call for Sites' process is what they call this.Essentially they are asking landowners to declare their interest to them - Maidstone Borough Council will then weigh up each of the submitted Sites and decide which to investigate further, and which to rule out. The Call for Sites period ends in late May 2019, it is likely that many weeks/months of silence will follow after that ends, before anything else is heard, giving Maidstone Borough Council time to investigate each Site across the Borough, of which Marden will only be one of possibly up to 10.
Maidstone Borough Council have received all of the Call for Sites nominations - you can find out more about that here. The next phase is to sort through these Call for Sites proposals and assess which are the most viable. Then, the Council will add the most viable ones to the Local Plan Review - the first stage of which is called Regulation 18a. This is the first consultation period where all sites are assessed on their own merits.
After Regulation 18a, comes Regulation 18b! And this is the next stage of the consultation process. It is where MBC sort through their "Preferred" options/sites.
The final stage of the Local Plan Review is called Regulation 19. This is where we are at now. MBC has decided that it thinks the best 'garden community' sites for submission into the Local Plan are Lidsing and Lenham (Heathlands). Marden has not been selected/added at this stage; now the Planning Inspector needs to review the Local Plan and either accept or refuse it. Marden's position could still change for the worse - so we need to prove to the Planning Inspector that feeling is still very strong within the village and we collectively still say NO to this development - hopefully for the last time.