As part of the ongoing review of the Maidstone Local Plan which was adopted in 2017, Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) have issued a “Call For Sites,” which is understood to have resulted in more than 330 sites being proposed for development across the Borough. Seven of these sites are in Linton, and a further site borders the Parish.
The full list of sites was made public by MBC on 4th November 2019 and the MBC Page relating to the Call for sites can be viewed here. It contains background information, and also a map and a link to full details of all 334 sites.
The MBC Page relating to the results specifically for Linton of the Call for sites can be viewed here. There are eight sites, as follows:
Hill Farm, Linton Alan Firmin Ltd
Wares Farm, Redwall Lane, Linton Alan Firmin Ltd
Little Paddock, Stilebridge Lane, Linton Mrs Small/McCann
Land South of Wheeler’s Lane, Linton Alan Firmin Ltd
Land South of Wheeler’s Lane, Linton (site 2) Alan Firmin Ltd
Wheeler’s Farm, Wheeler’s Lane, Linton M Butcher
Land West of Church Lane, Boughton Monchelsea (bordering Linton) Fergus Wilson
Land adjoining Stilebridge Lane, Linton Fergus Wilson
More details of all these sites, including site plans, are available via the links above.
The timetable for next steps is unclear . . but this is not a consultation exercise and so there appears to be no mechanism in place for responses from Parish Councils or from members of the public. The Parish Council will continue to monitor events closely and will do what it can to protect Linton.
We are informed that the sites put forward in response to the Call for Sites would be sufficient to build something in the region of 64,000 houses. However the Maidstone Local Plan only calls for 9,000 additional houses. It follows that only a fraction of the identified land will need to be incorporated into the Local Plan. We understand that a selection process will be undertaken during 2020 by the MBC Planning department under the instructions of the MBC Strategic Planning & Infrastructure committee.
Completion of the Revised Plan and submission for examination by the Independent Examiner is not scheduled to take place until March 2021
If we obtain more detailed information regarding any aspect of the above we will update this page. Future Parish Council meetings are listed in the calendar section of this website. Meetings of the MBC SP & I committee are open to the public who may also apply to address the meeting, see link above.
Update December 2019
The Chairman and two Councillors met with the Planning Department on December 12 2019, to explain our views on why Linton should be excluded from the call for sites. In the time available we managed to cover matters ranging from Policies to infrastructure and sustainability that all argue against Linton’s inclusion. We also dealt with sites individually and how as a small village, all of the potential for expansion of the “service centre and large villages” criteria are not appropriate for Linton. And we could not let the broader picture go without comment given that the A229 was in fact a narrow residential main road from the Wheatsheaf corner all the way to Redwall Lane with no room for capacity increase. Also, how Linton Crossroads reconfiguration is said to be no longer viable as the intended funding from existing developers is no longer sufficient to get this project done, as admitted by KCC. Finally we pointed out that Linton had just recently disproportionately increased its home contribution to MBC with Vicarage Field and when it came to “non residential” sites we have had the huge expanse of Wares Farm Berry gardens that was approved on the basis it would disappear in the landscaping measures, so anything that went alongside this site would undermine all that was intended.
The time table going forward was revealed by MBC as somewhat fluid, with a great deal of work needing to be done to whittle down the many sites put forward. Public consultation may happen in February or March 2020. That said, the officers we met took notes of our views and it was only should we (Parish Council) wish to write our responses to them that they should be done by end of January. We decided that for belt and braces we would.
Bernard Cresswell (Chairman, LPC) 16 December 2019
The Linton Parish Council response to the MBC “Call For Sites” can be downloaded here. It reads as follows:Linton Parish Council Call for sites response