Decision on Dame Kelly Holmes' Hildenborough cafe deferred

Proposed site for cafe
Image caption Dame Kelly Holmes hopes her cafe will be used by customers in the village

A decision on whether double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes can open a cafe in the Kent village where she grew up has been deferred.

Her planning application to redevelop a former newsagent's shop in Tonbridge Road, Hildenborough, was considered by councillors on Thursday night.

It had been recommended for approval subject to several conditions despite objections from some residents.

Dame Kelly tweeted: "Deferred - so slight delay but it WILL happen."

A number of objections to the proposal were received by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, with some focusing on the size of the cafe, its location and the lack of parking, its opening hours and whether there was a need for such a facility in the village.

'Somewhere to go'

The application had the support of the local parish council, which said it believed the development would enhance the village.

In a letter to the council supporting her application, Dame Kelly said she hoped the cafe would be "a central hub for locals to meet friends, colleagues and socialise", and wherever possible she would encourage people to use alternative means of transport.

She concluded: "Whilst there will inevitably be those who are close by the shop who don't like change, there are far more who are very excited by the thought of 'somewhere to go'."

No-one from the council was available for comment when approached by the BBC.

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