Rupert and Sylvia with Kent Wildlife Trust team at Tyland Barn
The Rochester South and Horsted ward councillors met up with representatives from Kent Wildlife Trust at Tyland Barn to talk about opportunities to improve the green spaces in the ward.
The meeting followed an introduction from The Horsted Valley summit which we featured earlier on this site at which a ward resident who volunteers for Kent Wildlife Trust was present. Kent Wildlife Trust were founded in 1958, are a registered charity (number 239992) and the leading conservation organisation covering the whole of Kent and Medway, dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild habitats for everyone to enjoy with a vision to ensure that 30% of Kent and Medway – land and sea – is managed to create a healthy place for wildlife to flourish. Their mission is to work with people to restore, save, and enhance our natural heritage.
Woodies Youth Club
We have in the Rochester South and Horsted ward, Woodies Youth Centre in Arethusa Road, which provides a place for 10 to 19-year-olds to have fun, socialise and learn new skills.
Professional, experienced youth workers from a range of different backgrounds offer information, support and advice on a range of issues. The centre offers an assorted programme of activities, including general arts and crafts; sports; music, and games. Please see the link above for opening times and more details of the activities offered.
The latest edition of Rochester South and Horsted’s Ward Newsletter is available to download.
Royal London’s Exhibition Invite
The ward councillors have been advised of a potential planning application by Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited for new retail facilities on the northern end of the Horsted Retail Park, Maidstone Road.
There is to be a public exhibition of the proposals on Thursday 20 July from 3 – 7 pm at The Maidstone Suite, Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Walderslade Woods, Chatham, ME5 9AX. Outline details of their proposals are on the attached letter. This community consultation will, they tell us, feed into the final proposals which will form the planning application. Members of the project team will be on hand to answer resident questions.
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Cllrs Turpin and Clarke with interested group representatives at The Millennium Green, Luton
As first discussed in our news article on this web site of 20th February, ward councillors have been participating in the formulation of a landscape strategy for the Horsted Valley which runs from the Luton end of Chatham right up and into our Rochester South and Horsted ward boundary which starts at Waterworks Hill, Walderslade Road.
Officers have been tasked with developing a cohesive strategy that better links the Valley and we met recently on site at the Luton end to hear what progress has been made. We were joined by representatives from local groups including The Friends of Horsted Valley who were able to make a number of recommendations on the management of the Valley’s diverse flora.
We await now an outline draft of the strategy which we hope residents will then have a chance to contribute ideas to as well.
The new tactile paving at the entrance to The King’s Sports Centre
Similar to the works on the Chatham Maidstone Road, the ward has benefited from some investment from the Council’s Cycling Action Plan fund which has seen improvements made along the main cycling corridors in the Towns.
On the western boundary of our Rochester South and Horsted ward, works were completed from the junction of The Tideway up to The King’s Sports Centre with a new road crossing across the very busy and at time fast-flowing B2097.
Rupert and Sylvia on the enhanced pedestrian cyclist crossing
As we have reported previously, and as part of the Council’s Cycling Action Plan, works have been carried out on the existing sections of cycle route on Maidstone Road, Chatham as well as the upgrading of the signalised crossing at the Shirley Avenue roundabout.
The end result is both safer and more user-friendly for pedestrians and cyclists alike and has continued the improvements that were first made at this crossing a while back to improve accessibility for wheelchair users.
Trevor and Sylvia looking north post works
With the heavily reduced central government funding for local authorities, it is increasingly difficult to have all the repair, maintenance and improvement works we would like to see occur across the ward. It was very pleasing therefore to be able to have the whole of Barberry Avenue on the Davis Estate completely resurfaced.
Due to the sheer volume of traffic around the popular Horsted schools site, there had been a rapid deterioration in the road surface this past year with various large potholes opening up regularly. The ward councillors had been arranging emergency patches with the Highways team but this was not satisfactory and not a long term solution.
We think the new road surface looks great and we spoke with a number of residents who told us they were pleased at the works being handled both within the school holiday period and finished on time.
Views of The Bridge Wardens site
The Bridge Wardens pub on The Tideway is the western most building in the Rochester South and Horsted ward and sits on the boundary of all three of the Rochester wards. The pub closed down in September 2016 and there has been a planning application – reference MC/17/1923 – submitted to demolish the pub and build 2 x 3 bedroom and 6 x 4 bedroom houses (8 homes in total) with associated parking, gardens and landscaping.
Please see the Medway Council planning portal via following link for further details: https://publicaccess.medway.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_MEDWA_DCAPR_147152
Ward councillors undergoing vigorous Korfball training session
Rochester South and Horsted ward councillors had the pleasure in attending the Kent and Medway Schools Korfball Tournament which was held recently at in the ward at The King’s Sports Centre (formerly Stirling Centre), Maidstone Road Rochester.
The investment by The King’s School into the outdoor courts at the centre has made the venue an attractive location to hold various sporting tournaments. We were all very new to korfball and it was a great experience to see over 100 children competing in this growing sport. We asked Stuart McLellan, the Kent Area Chairman, to explain the rules and origins of the sport.