Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) has just completed the purchase of the former Springfield library site on Sandling Road.

Cllr David Burton, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council has set out the ambition to initially acquire 1000 houses under MBC ownership and control which will be reserved for Maidstone people at affordable rents. The policy move, has cross-party support.

David said: “I am really pleased that we have managed to acquire this site. It is a great first step to delivering the extra 1000 affordable homes for Maidstone residents. The private sales and private rental market is simply beyond the reach of many, so the Council needs to increase its own stock. We all know the financial pressure that we are all under at the moment so being able to provide affordable housing for local people is vital.

“Acquiring this amount of housing has proved to be challenging. Although we observe building at scale in our Borough it is almost always already sold. Hence, we are pursuing the acquisition of sites to build our own. The secondary benefit of this is that we will tackle sites that are not generally brought forward by the private sector so we will also achieve regeneration and district improvements at the same time.

“We are determined to provide a high quality solution for this brownfield site, which has been vacant for many years, and we hope this new development will make a massive difference to the lives of those in the local community as well as those who will live in these new homes.

“It is still very early days, however, we will be working up a planning application for a mixed affordable/private residential-led development over the next six months. We will then take our proposed plans to the local residents and wider community prior to submitting the application which will give residents a chance to offer their views on the proposals.

“We need more affordable housing in Maidstone for local people. We will make sure that those who may not be able to afford to buy or rent privately have the opportunity to live in one of the 1000 affordable homes we plan to provide.