On Thursday 2nd May there will be local elections for both Tonbridge and Malling Council and also Sevenoaks District Council.
On Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council there are currently 48 Conservatives, 4 Liberal Democrats, and 2 Independants. There are no Labour members.
Despite being the coldest night of the year, Members of Tonbridge and Malling Liberal Democrats braved sub-zero temperatures for our regular Politics and Pint evening in the warmth of the Chequers bar in Tonbridge.
Chairman David Thornewell introduced Richard Morris - our new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate - to the group, kicking off a lively discussion of Westminster, European and local issues.
The draft Local Plan as approved by the full Borough Council on 12th September 2018 was delivered to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol on 23rd January 2019 together with all the representations they received during this last public consultation phase. This will have included additional ones made by landowners and developers seeking new housing sites as at Kingshill.
Richard Morris will be the Liberal Democrats' Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Tonbridge and Malling in the next general election.
On Monday, the Borough Council launched the final six weeks of consultation on the Local Plan. Our fate is now in the hands of the Government Inspector. All comments should be sent to the Borough at [email protected] by 4pm on Monday 12 November. They will send them to the Inspector along with comments on them from Borough officers.
The Borough Council has published its revised Local Plan with house building plans for up to 2031.
The good news is that the Borough Council proposes to extend the Green Belt to Wateringbury Road. This was the single most popular policy with the public for the whole Plan. The bad news is that it includes 205 new houses on New Road between Bradbourne House and The King and Queen, and around 1,000 houses extending Kings Hill northward onto Broadwater Farm as far as Pikey Lane.
The document can be read on the TMBC website but it is long and in places complicated. We have three chances to hear the Plan explained:
Sunday 1st July, 12 till 3pm. West Malling Primary School, Norman Road. West Malling Parish Council Public exhibition and meeting on the Local Plan. Presentations at 12.30 and 1.30pm. Plans on display.
Friday 20th July 7.30 pm East Malling Institute.
The East Malling Conservation Group are holding their AGM on 20th July at the East Malling Institute from 7.30pm. Following a very quick AGM open only to members of the Group, the rest of the meeting will be a presentation of the Local Plan by David Thornewell, Chairman of the Parish Council, open to members of the public, followed by questions.
The Young Persons Travel Pass for 11-16 year olds will go up by £10 to £290 per year in September. Applications open June 4th and payment can be made half yearly. The cost for parents on a low income is £100. The pass is subsidised by KCC council tax payers by £300 per year and is the only such service in the country outside London.
Bazaar is back at the Pilsdon Community, Water Lane from 25th May to 5th June from 10.30 to 5pm each day except Tuesday when the hall is closed. Bazaar sells Nepalese and Asian fabrics, clothing, jewellery, ornaments, rugs, ornaments, cards and handmade papers. A feast of colour! Refreshments available.
A Court Order was served on travellers on the West Malling Village Hall Playing Fields yesterday at around 11.40 am. It gives them 24 hours to leave the site. If they do not do so, a bailiff service is on hand to carry out the eviction. The Order prohibits the travellers from returning within three months. The hall will hopefully reopen on Saturday, but the field will remain unfit for use until the Parish Council can appoint a company to clean the ground. Currently, no firm is available until Tuesday
The Parish Council is creating a small working party to include residents to explore options for improved security. The suppliers of retractable heavy duty security bollards have been asked to carry out a site survey for the Village Hall, Maceys Meadow and Cricket Meadow entrances.
The Borough Council has published its draft Local Plan this morning. It proposes 6,500 new houses in the Borough. The Plan is bittersweet for our area.
The Borough is proposing to extend the Green Belt to cover all land between West and East Malling right up to Wateringbury Road. This is great news for the hundreds of people who supported this change.
However, large new building sites are confirmed for Kings Hill, extending northward right up to Pikey Lane. 900 houses are proposed here with a new secondary school and access onto the bypass opposite the West Malling station access.
205 houses are proposed off New Road, East Malling running north from the existing entrance to EMRS.
110 houses are proposed for the field behind properties on London Road between Brickfields to Town Hill, West Malling.
12 houses are proposed for the frontage of Offham Road south of Churchfields.
9 houses are suggested on land adjacent to Larkfield Library.
The land between Hermitage Lane and Poppyfields roundabout in Aylesford, and in Borough Green sandpits has been allocated for housing in either the short or long term.
This draft is open to public consultation in September.
The report can be found on the TMBC website https://democracy.tmbc.gov.uk//ieListDocuments.aspx?Cld=159&Mid=3112&Ver=4