DHA's planning and transport teams were involved with the development of Land West of Church Road for a number of years, and in January 2021 the scheme was finally approved at appeal.
The 16.1ha greenfield site, situated on the south-eastern edge of Maidstone, was allocated for development within the Maidstone Borough Council Local Plan under policy H1(8) for approximately 440 residential dwellings.
The outline planning application for up to 440 residential dwellings, with associated access, infrastructure, drainage, landscaping and open space was submitted in March 2019, and a further detailed application for 421 dwellings was later submitted in December 2019.
DHA held extensive pre application advice meetings with the Borough Council, County Council and Parish Councils prior to the submission of the application, and both the outline and detailed applications were heard at planning committee a number of times. The applications were initially recommended for approval by Officers, however Members decided to defer and later refuse the detailed application.
The two appeals were cojoined and a Public Inquiry was held in December 2020 at DHA's offices in Maidstone. Matthew Woodhead and Paul Lulham, Directors of DHA Planning and Transport, both presented compelling evidence justifying why permission should be approved, rebutting the highways reasons for refusal and explaining planning merits of the case.
In January 2021 the Inspector approved both outline and detailed application, and an award for costs was also part approved.