At the Full Council Meeting on 30th September the Borough decided on its approach to the review of the Local Plan in the face of the Government’s recent decision to introduce a new system which would drastically increase the level of housing required in Maidstone. The only way to avoid the higher figure would be to complete the Review before the new system goes live.
The Council in a cross-party vote rejected a proposal to omit a stage of public consultation entirely, as the majority of Members felt that the Government would almost certainly not accept the omission of this stage, and it would prevent the Council changing its proposals in response to the public’s views.
However, all Councillors were united in their determination to try to act as quickly as possible and in their determination to work with other Councils and MP’s to persuade the Government to think again about the fundamental flaws in their method of calculating housing numbers for Maidstone and neighbouring Authorities.
Leader of the Council Martin Cox said "There has been some robust debate about the particular approach that we should take to keep our Local Plan locked down to the numbers we have already planned for. However, there is complete unanimity around the need to buy time to keep the number as low as possible for as long as possible and to properly plan for the necessary infrastructure and the need to continue to push the Government to reconsider."