Friday, February 16, 2007

Woodlands Parade - Progress Report.

During our recent resident's Survey, the ongoing saga of Woodlands Parade was raised more than any other local issue.

At our invitation, a team of Conservative Councillors visited the site last Saturday to see the problems first hand. They agreed that the site was an eyesore and something had to be done.
Cllr Allan Sullivan promised to raise the issue with Officers of the Council and request a progress report. He did this on Monday morning and we can now report back on the latest developments:
Statement from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council:

“Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council have agreed a scheme to carry out environmental enhancements and improve off road parking facilities at Woodlands Parade in Ditton. This is namely the two areas to the sides of the parade and the area directly in front of the shops. The scheme has been the subject to extensive local consultation and has widespread support from the local community and is now funded within the Council’s plan.

The scheme requires the co-operation of the owner of the land of the two side areas. The land at the front is owned by Kent County Council Highways. It is proposed that the council take a lease on the land and carry out the improvements. The funding will be provided and the work undertaken by T&MBC.

Discussions with the landowner have been protracted and did not reach a satisfactory conclusion. As no voluntary arrangement has been reached with the owner the Council have now taken action to compulsory purchase the two areas of land at the sides.

The time scale for confirming the compulsory purchase will be dependent on if the owner challenges the decision. If he does, the Order will need to be heard by an Inspector and we will have to await his decision.”
We understand the landowner is overseas which is the main reason for the delay. We must allow him time to respond to the Compulsory Purchase Order before moving to the next stage.

Please rest assured that there is a firm commitment from Officers and Members of T&MBC to acquire these areas and implement improvements to tidy the landscape and enhance the facilities for the benefit of local residents and customers.

Ditton Conservatives will continue to monitor this situation and will keep you up do date with any developments as and when they happen.

If you would like to discuss this, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Allen (Chairman of the Ditton Conservative Action Team) on 07753 570390 or email him at


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