I know local residents are hugely concerned about plans for 2,000 new homes around Lidsing.
People are worried about traffic getting worse on local roads, pressure on services, and the loss of a much-loved open space & "green lung" for the local community.
I recently met local councillors and campaigners to hear these concerns first-hand and lend my support to the Against Lidsing Garden Development campaign.
Like many people, I’m bitterly disappointed that Maidstone Borough Council has decided to go ahead with the Lidsing Garden Village as part of the Council’s new Local Plan.
I’ve already raised concerns about the development with the Council, including in my formal submission to the Local Plan last year. While we need new homes for our children and grandchildren, it’s crucial we build in the right places.
I’ve repeatedly told Ministers that Kent cannot be expected to take more of its fair share of housing – something I raised again with the Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, last week.
Following lobbying by Kent MPs, I’m pleased the Government is now looking again at planning policy.
But work on a new Local Plan in Maidstone is well underway and it’s vital local residents have their say. I urge as many people as possible to take part in the consultation, which closes on 12 December.