New homes can change the look and feel of a place, so it’s vital we get decisions about development right.
This is particularly true at Lenham Heath where there are plans to build thousands of new homes as part of a Garden Village development.
That’s why I was so concerned to hear people's concerns about the consultation process currently underway – with some local residents completely unaware that public meetings were taking place.
I called for a meeting with Homes England to raise these concerns, and last week met their Head of Head of Planning & Enabling, Jayshree Patel, along with the Chief Executive of Maidstone Borough Council (MBC), Alison Broom.
Homes England told me that owning to problems with a communications company they used, several hundred leaflets informing local residents about the consultation had not been delivered.
This is completely unacceptable, and I’m glad that Homes England and MBC have committed to running additional consultation meetings in May.
Crucially, more of these meetings will be held in Lenham – closer to people most affected by this development – rather than the Great Danes Hotel in Hollingbourne.
I’ll continue to stand up for people in Lenham and make sure that local people have their say in these important decisions.