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New free school opening delayed by 12 months

Credit: ITV News

The opening of a new free school in Tonbridge has been delayed by 12 months.

The Bishop Chavasse Primary will now not open until September 2017. It had been due to open this year.

Although further progress has been made on the purchase of the site for the school since November, we have unfortunately not yet been able to finalise it.

Because of the long period of time this process has taken, and particularly because of where we are now in the primary school admissions cycle, the Department for Education and the Trust have agreed to defer the opening of the new school to September 2017.

– Statement from the school's sponsors


Mystery of woman who died after being found in middle of the A21

Credit: ITV Meridian

A woman has died after being found in the central reservation on the A21 Tonbridge bypass.

Emergency services were called just before 4.30am but despite the best efforts of paramedics, the woman was pronounced dead an hour later.

The road was closed in both directions between Morley's roundabout and Vauxhall roundabout causing long delays.

Dashcam catches shocking moment mobility scooter pulls out in front of car

This is the shocking moment a driver narrowly avoided a man on a mobility scooter as he pulled out in front of her on a pedestrian crossing.

The driver, Emma Read, says she was driving through Tonbridge in Kent when she approached the crossing with the lights on green.

The mobility scooter appears without warning from a central reservation and drives straight into the road in front of Ms Read's car.

He swerved to avoid her and thankfully no-one was injured.

It was only sheer luck that I did not kill him or at least seriously injure him.

If I had been on a motorbike he could have seriously injured me, as it is I am lucky I didn't hit him as it would of affected my insurance and also caused damage to my car.

– Emma Read, driver


Fire crews tackle industrial machine blaze in Kent

Fire crews in Kent are tackling a blaze involving an industrial machine in Tonbridge.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to Morley Road at 12.15pm today. Credit: Harry Westbrook

Four fire engines are currently on the scene and crews wearing breathing apparatus have been tackling the fire in an industrial building.

An aerial appliance is being used to inspect the roof for hot spots.

Firefighters are also using fog spike to punch holes into the building to get water into the inside. Credit: Harry Westbrook

Top of the crops - ideal weather brings a bumper apple harvest

Ideal weather conditions have resulted in one of the best apple crops in living memory. Early summer sun, a wet August and warm September mean some varieties will have a record breaking year. Sarah Saunders spoke to Tonbridge apple farmer James Simpson and Adrian Barlow of the growers group English Apples and Pears.

Drug dealer jailed for hiding cocaine

Romario Wright has been sentenced to 18 months in jail Credit: Kent Police

A drug dealer caught with 34 wraps of cocaine and heroin secreted in his body has been jailed for 18 months.

Kent Police officers were called to a report of a disturbance at a residential address in Bridge Close, Tonbridge, on Tuesday 3 March 2015. While conducting house-to-house enquiries they grew suspicious of 21-year-old Romario Wright, from Camberwell in London, as he was unable to provide a valid reason for his presence.

Wright was also found to be in possession of a small quantity of cannabis and was arrested at the scene.

Before being searched in custody, Wright admitted having secreted a quantity of class A drugs in his body. He also had £60 in his pocket and £395 hidden in his sock.

Wright pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying a class A drug and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 10 July.

"We take a zero tolerance approach to people who come to Tonbridge from London or anywhere else with the sole intention of selling drugs. Romario Wright targeted people whose lives have already been damaged by their addiction to illegal substances like heroin and cocaine. They stand a better chance of turning their lives around when offenders like him are behind bars."

– Inspector Mark Hutcheon of the Tonbridge community safety unit
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