A plan to build a £1 million centre for youth groups on council land in Stone has been granted planning permission.

The parish council in conjunction with KCSO Developments submitted the application to Dartford Council in January to create a new centre for Brent 6th Scout Group and north Kent youngsters taking on the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

The development will also see 16 four-bedroom town houses built on the site.

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Stone Parish Council chairman Councillor John Burrell said: "This the best thing that's happened in Stone.

"We are delighted the scheme has been given the go-ahead.

"Uniformed groups and schemes such as DofE provide positive diversionary activities for children and teenagers, which are important, as engaged youths are statistically less likely to indulge in petty crime, recreational drugs and other anti-social behaviour.

"In its current state, the site offers limited benefit to the community and represents an on-going cost to insure, maintain and keep free of unwanted incursion.

"The site is also relatively restricted in terms of alternative proposals that could come forward of benefit to the community with this scheme felt to present the best long term use of the site."

The Brent 6th Scout Group has been running since 2008 but  lack of space in their current venue at Brent School has stopped them introducing an Explorers section for scouts aged 14 and over.

Group Leader of the Brent 6th Scout Group Sue Ingram said: "Our mission is to enable more young people to access the fantastic movement of the Scout Association and with the great support from Stone Parish Council we are a step closer to achieving these aims.

"We have a great team and everyone’s enthusiasm and energy will help us to reach our full potential.

"This is great news for Stone and our thanks go to the Parish Council for helping to make our dream a reality."