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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 June, 2005, 08:10 GMT 09:10 UK
Major changes for cricket ground
Mote Park cricket ground in Maidstone
Mote Park hosts at least one Kent county cricket match each year
Plans for a major development of sports facilities and housing on the edge of the cricket ground in Maidstone have been announced.

The scheme will see a new pavilion, a tennis academy, a conference centre and 40 flats and houses built at Mote Park.

The multi-million pound proposals have been unveiled during the town's annual cricket festival, which this year sees Kent play Gloucestershire.

If approved the scheme could be completed as early as 2007.

Kent County Cricket Club plays the bulk of its home games at Canterbury but Maidstone hosts at least one match each year.

'Unique site'

But the facilities at Mote Park, also used by local sports teams, are in need of renovation.

The county cricket club's chief executive Paul Milburn said: "I think the whole vision for the ground is terrific, not just for county cricket going into the future, but importantly for cricket and sport in general in the area.

Kent play Gloucestershire at Mote Park in Maidstone
Kent are playing Gloucestershire at Mote Park this week

"Part of our responsibility is to bring youngsters into the game and the more facilities are made available, particularly indoor facilities, the better it is for the youngsters learning the game.

"Hopefully we can produce some Kent cricketers of the future out of it."

The scheme will see building work done by Maidstone-based building firm Hillreed Homes, from a design by architect David Morley, who has worked on test match cricket grounds Lords and Edgbaston.

Mr Morley said: "It's a quite unique site, to be so close to Maidstone town centre but on the edge of a fantastic park.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and there's enormous potential here.

"It's sad that at the moment it's not made good use of because the facilities are just not up to it."



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