It can often seem like nothing is happening – and then suddenly there’s a flurry of activity. This was certainly the case this week, with Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) finally approving the Local Plan Review. A last minute Lib Dem amendment to replace the Lidsing scheme with the plans for Marden, were thankfully thrown out by Mayor Fay Gooch.
For Marden residents, this is extremely good news. Despite a Liberal Democrat and Labour rebellion, the plan squeezed through by 26 votes to 23. This now means that both Lidsing and Lenham are confirmed as MBC’s “preferred” sites – and not Marden. The Local Plan Review will now go through a further period of consultation – called “Regulation 19” – and then it will finally be submitted to the government for inspection.
A summary of the votes from Wednesday evening is as follows:
- FOR – 23 Conservative Councillors, 3 Independent Councillors (Gooch, Munford, Newton)
- AGAINST – 15 Lib Dem Councillors, 3 Labour Councillors, 2 Independent Councillors (T Sams, J Sams), and 3 Conservative Councillors (Brindle, Bryant, Hinder)
Is this finally the end of the road for the horrific plans for “Land North of Marden”? Sadly, not quite. While it is certainly a welcome result, the Local Plan Review needs to be now be accepted by the Government. There will be an opportunity for residents of Marden to comment on the Local Plan Review from 29th October. The consultation period will run until 12th December 2021. MPOG will provide details of how to view and/or comment on the Local Plan Review shortly.
Read more at Downs Mail or you can watch MBC’s Full Council Meeting here on their YouTube channel: