Parish Council votes against Windmill Lane development

Hollingbourne Parish Council tonight voted to oppose the proposed development of 12 houses alongside the Windmill Lane Public Footpath in the Eyhorne street Conservation Area. Councillors Bauer and Cobbett abstained from the discussion and the vote as they own properties adjacent to the proposed development site.

The Council learnt that there were already many objections to the proposed development including ones from the Village Hall Committee who have challenged the validity of the application. Borough Councillor Patrik Garten advised the meeting that he will be meeting MBC Planning officer Ms Kate Alteri on 10th January to discuss the application. The closing date for comments is 27th January and these should be sent to quoting reference 16/508436/FULL. The Parish Clerk has been asked to send the Council’s comments to Maidstone Borough Council over the next few days.

The Parish Council can only make recommendations on planning matters and Maidstone Borough Council have previously overuled the objections of Hollingbourne Parish Council and local residents and permitted applications for the Wealden Homes development of 14 houses opposite Godfrey House,  4 new houses in Musket Lane, and the redvelopment of Eyhorne Mews in the Eyhorne Street Conservation Area. Most of the Parish Council’s objections have related to access and traffic issues, the lack of infrastructure including drainage and sewerage problems, and the fact that Hollingbourne CP School is full.

In the case of the Eyhorne Mews development there was concern about the loss of rented garages in the building to be redeveloped especially as parking is an issue in Eyhorne Street and the frequent cause of traffic problems. Additionally a new landlord of a nearby block of garages in Eyhorne Mews has increased rents which have made them less popular. One unconfirmed report indicated that they had been more than doubled. The narrow entrance to Eyhorne Mews is almost opposite to the 4 metre wide single track entrance to Windmill Lane and in a section of Eyhorne Street that is mainly one way due to the presence of parking spaces opposite the Windmill PH.

Pictured below is the Godfrey Meadow site of the Wealden Homes development before construction started. Work started in 2015 and should be finished by about May 2017. Picture by Toni Church.

Godfrey House in May 1986(1)