Ashford Urban Area
This site was included in the 2012 Urban Sites and Infrastructure DPD and proposals for this have not changed.
The area has been identified as one with redevelopment potential which could accommodate a higher density form of development and the construction of Victoria Way, creating a through route to Leacon Road, has opened up this area improving access to the town centre.
This change in the accessibility of the area means that it becomes suitable for a wider range of uses and potentially a denser form of development, particularly along Victoria Way itself. Redevelopment proposals could be for alternative employment uses within use classes B1-8 as well as other employment generating uses such as tourism, healthcare and education.
The area contains a number of existing employers, and as it is not the Council’s policy to encourage redevelopment of their facilities for other uses until alternative land or premises within the town are available, there is likely to be limited potential for redevelopment prior to new employment areas requiring new infrastructure coming forward.
The existing, relatively low density, warehousing and storage character of the area would provide a sudden and jarring change to the urban environment envisaged to the east, the vision for the area is for it to gradually evolve to accommodate a greater mix of different, primarily employment generating uses with potential for some residential development in the longer term.
Proposals will need to contribute to this overall vision for the area with Victoria Way being a major determining factor in a scheme’s design and layout. The public realm and design of buildings fronting Victoria Way will be particularly important. Currently, buildings in this area tend to present blank facades to Leacon Road but redevelopment proposals should re-orientate buildings to present the main facade to this main thoroughfare, with the aim of creating more active streetscene.
The location of the site along the riverside Green Corridor is important. At present the existing development does not relate well to the riverside area so any new development should improve the relationship of the site to the riverside and have regard to nature conservation interests.