Inquiry into Allington ancient wood homes plan

Bluebell Wood Image copyright Joanne Weeden
Image caption A planning application for up to 500 homes has been submitted to Maidstone Borough Council

An public inquiry is under way into plans for up to 500 new homes in an area of open land in Kent.

Opponents fear the development on the site in Hermitage Lane, Allington, will destroy ancient woodland and cause traffic gridlock.

Developer Croudace Homes said the number of homes had been reduced from 600 and efforts made to cut the impact on the woodland of building a new road.

The public inquiry in Maidstone is expected to last until 10 June.

'No longer safe'

Barbara Woodward, from the New Allington Action Group (NAAG), said: "People are very upset. This is our last piece of green land.

"We take our dogs for a walk in the woods, you can let them off their leads. If they build a road across the woods it will no longer be safe."

She added that the inquiry was the "last step" to protect the woodland which she said had been on the site since the 14th Century.

Councillor Fran Wilson, the Lib Dem leader of the borough council, said it would be "inappropriate" for the authority to comment at this stage.

Following the public inquiry a recommendation will be made to the Secretary of State who will make a decision on the planning application.

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