Warning that MBC budget cuts may affect local planning controls

Local MBC Borough Councillor Patrik Garten told last night’s Hollingbourne Parish Council meeting that MBC budget cuts may affect the ability of the Council to implement planning controls which ensure that building schemes are actioned in accordance with the granted planning permission and that action is taken against unauthorised construction.

Hollingbourne is in an ANOB and has three Conservation Areas and nearly 100 listed buildings. Councillor Garten told members of the Parish Council and the members of the public who attended the meeting in the Cardwell Pavilion that Maidstone Borough Council is seeking to cut expenditure by around one fifth or £4 million a year by 2020 and that many services will be cut. Hollingbourne Parish Council has already had to finance a street lighting scheme with help from Kent County Council and has lost the much used Station Lane recycling centre.

Hollingbourne Parish Council has already had a number of issues with Maidstone Borough Council over planning matters including the frequent use of a noisy quad bike circuit in Greenway Court Road and the construction of 14 houses on a water meadow opposite Godfrey House in Eyhorne Street. The houses which are now close to completion have been built outside of the village envelope and sewerage disposal problems mean that foul water will be stored on site before being pumped into the village sewer at 3am in the morning. Following pressure from the Parish Council Southern Water have increaes the width of part of the main sewer by 50% and hopefully this will solve the known backflow problem. Kent County Council also opposed this particular development on infrastructure and traffic grounds while MBC have also ignored local concerns on applications for planning permission in Musket Lane and Eyhorne Mews.

According to Councillor Garten who succeeded Councillor Daphne Parvin in May 2016 as the Councillor for the North Downs Ward : “To the surprise of many (new) councillors, we were recently made aware, that planning enforcement was a delegated power vested in Chief Executive and her Head of Planning. This decision was taken  some years ago.”

For more information about Planning in Maidstone please go http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/residents/planning

Pictured below is Councillor Patrik Garten.

Patrik Garten - MBC North Downs Ward