Maidstone Borough Council
Maidstone Borough Council is a local authority district in mid-Kent covering 40,000 hectares. The urban area, located in the north west of the borough, has a strong commercial and retail town centre and a substantial rural hinterland surrounds the urban area, part of which enjoys designation due to its high landscape and environmental quality. The borough encompasses a small section of the metropolitan green belt and 27% of the borough forms part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The council is making provision through its submitted Local Plan for new housing and employment growth, together with associated infrastructure, whilst at the same time emphasising that growth is constrained by Maidstone’s high quality environment, the extent of the floodplain, and the limitations of the existing transport systems and infrastructure.
Key issues for Maidstone are as follows:
- Where, when and how much development will be distributed throughout the borough;
- Maintenance of the distinct character and identity of villages and the urban area;
- Protection of the built and natural heritage, including the Kent Downs AONB and its setting and areas of local landscape value;
- Provision of strategic and local infrastructure to support new development and growth including a sustainable Integrated Transport Strategy, adequate water supply, sustainable waste management, energy infrastructure, and social infrastructure such as health, schools and other educational facilities;
- Improvements to quality of air within the air quality management area (AQMA);
- Regeneration of the town centre and areas of social and environmental deprivation;
- Redressing the low wage economy by expanding the employment skills base to target employment opportunities;
- Meeting housing needs by delivering affordable housing, local needs housing, accommodation for the elderly, accommodation to meet Gypsy and Traveller needs, and accommodation to meet rural housing needs;
- Promotion of the multi-functional nature of the borough’s open spaces, rivers and other watercourses;
- Ensuring that all new development is built to a high standard of sustainable design and construction; and
- Ensuring that applications for development adequately address:
- the impact of climate change,
- the issues of flooding and water supply, and
- the need for dependable infrastructure for the removal of sewage and waste water.
Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development