Julia Batt

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Heath Ward Learn more

St. Andrew’s Park

by Julia on 8 November, 2007

St. Andrew’s Park is a beautiful listed (grade II) building that was previously part of Barming mental hospital. Around 5 years ago, it was converted into apartments with a lovely amount of open green space around it. Sadly though there have been issues with the development and it’s been difficult to get the developer to complete the works to the standard expected. Local homeowners have campaigned hard to have many of the problems fixed and have felt they’ve met with silence from the developers and that the council hasn’t offered the support they expect.

Today saw a meeting held with members of staff (known as officers) from Maidstone Borough Council, residents of St. Andrews Park and myself. Finally, things are moving along with this. The developers have been written to with a letter which states all that needs fixing and clearly states a time frame in which it should be done. A schedule of works should be submitted by 2nd December, followed by completion of works three months after that.

The items to be fixed on the building are:

  • rendering on blocked out windows
  • rendering & colour of both walkways under the buildings
  • repointing
  • replacement of plastic drains with metal ones

Separately, officers will be meeting with the developers on site to discuss the problems with the open space. This area should have been ‘adopted’ by the council by now. However, it is in such a poor state that they are unable to. The issues that will be raised here include:

  • The lighting (poor quality, mostly broken inappropriate street lights)
  • Poor finish and maintence of site – trees and grass etc
  • Bins not emptied (the developers responsibilty until council adoption)
  • Pavillions – what will/can be done

In addition the officers are investigating whether local residents can begin to lock the gate by the lodges in the evening (a condition disallows this on the plans). Currently the poor quantity of working lights means the area is full of youths getting up to no good and then disappearing into the darkness (which is what happened on halloween). With the gates locked, hopefully these problems will calm down.

In mid December, officers, residents and myself along with Peter Hooper will re-meet to discuss what’s happened. If the schedule of works has not been received by this time, the issue of enforcement will be ‘brought to the table’.

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