Ashford Borough Council

Council Tax 2020/21

The main precepting authorities for residents of the Borough have announced their proposed precepts for the year commencing 6 April 2020 as shown in the table below for a Band D property:

Authority19/20% Rise£ Rise20/21
KCC £1,299.42 3.99%£51.84 £1,351.26
ABC£162.503.08%£5.00£167.50
FRA£77.761.97%£1.53£79.29
PCC£193.155.18%£10.00£203.15
Total unparished £1,732.83 3.95%£68.37 £1,801.20

The total Council Tax for each property band is shown in the table below.

BandProportion Band D%
Band D
2019/202020/21Rise
pa
2019/20
pm
2020/21
pm
Rise
pm
A6/967% £1,155.22 £1,200.80 £45.58£115.52£120.08£4.56
B7/978% £1,347.76 £1,400.93 £53.18£134.78£140.09£5.32
C8/989% £1,540.29 £1,601.07 £60.77£154.03£160.11£6.08
D9/9100% £1,732.83 £1,801.20 £68.37£173.28£180.12£6.84
E11/9122% £2,117.90 £2,201.47 £83.56£211.79£220.15£8.36
F13/9144% £2,502.98 £2,601.73 £98.76£250.30£260.17£9.88
G15/9167% £2,888.05 £3,002.00 £113.95£288.81£300.20£11.40
H18/9200% £3,465.66 £3,602.40 £136.74£346.57£360.24£13.67

Some authorities have yet to vote on their budgets.

References:

East Stour Park decision

Riverside view of proposed development

The decision notice for the East Stour Park development has been published by Ashford Borough Council.

The reason given or refusal is:

The proposal would be contrary to Policies SP1 and ENV2 of the Ashford Local Plan (ALP) 2030, the Green Corridor Action Plan 2017 supporting the ALP and policies in the NPPF and would be harmful to interests of acknowledged planning importance for the following reasons;

  1. the application site is located within the designated Ashford Green Corridor and the proposed residential development is not compatible with, or ancillary to, the principal role and current use of the application site and would be harmful to the existing visual function of this part of the Green Corridor through the loss of an important undeveloped open space ‘buffer’ located between the existing built-up area to the west and the A2042 located to the east,
  2. as a consequence of (a) above, the proposal would result in a detrimental change to the landscape character and visual amenity of this part of the Green Corridor,
  3. the proposal would give rise to a detrimental change in the ability of the site to continue to function as a wide undeveloped corridor supporting varied wildlife habitat, wildlife connectivity and biodiversity,
  4. the proposal would result in unjustified residential development on land which is flood zone 3, and
  5. the site is not a brownfield site and the proposal would not provide overriding planning benefits sufficient to outweigh the significant harms identified above.

Arlington payphone removal.

Red telephone box

Ashford Borough Council have received notice that the payphone at No. 58 Arlington is one of five that BT intend to remove in addition to those publicised in June last year.

Ashford Borough Council will not adopt the payphone but there is an opportunity for a local community group to do so. BT would like to hear the view of the community on the proposal.

Please comment on this post – we will feed your comments back to ABC.

BT’s letter to ABC says:

We’re continually reviewing the demand for our payphones. Further to our letter of 28 June 2019 we’ve now identified an additional 5 public payphones that we’re proposing for removal under the 90 day consultation process and details of these payphones are attached. We’d welcome your feedback on whether the payphones in question are still needed. We greatly appreciate your help with this.

To ensure that the local community are fully informed, we have placed consultation notices on the relevant payphones, and a sample notice is enclosed. We have also included the date we posted these notices on
the payphones. The consultation period will close on 14 May 2020.

This consultation process gives your local communities the opportunity to adopt a traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box and make it an asset that local people can enjoy. It’s really simple to do and it costs just £1.00
http://bt.com/adopt

Overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time, with at least 98 per cent of the UK
having either 3G or 4G coverage. This is important because as long as there is network coverage, it’s now possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no credit or no coverage from your own mobile provider.

You may also want to consider Ofcom’s affordability report which found that most people do not view payphones as essential for most consumers in most circumstances http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/affordability/affordability_report.pdf

On the 14 March 2006 Ofcom published a statement following their 2005 review of universal service in the telecommunications market, which includes a requirement for payphone provision to meet reasonable
needs. Part of that statement amended our obligations with regard to the removal of payphone service:
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf file/0021/34266/statement.pdf

As stated in Ofcom’ review,it is the responsibility of the local authority to initiate its own consultation process to canvas the views of the local community. They would normally expect these consultations to involve other public organisations such parish or community councils work within the terms of the Communications Act . This means that you must able to objectively justify your decisions guidance on the removal process can be viewed at:
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/uso/statement/removals.pdf
and a summary is available at:
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/uso/statement/removing_callboxes.pdf

The guidance also details the appeals process we must follow in case of unreasonable objections.
If you wish to’object’, you will need to give your reasons, having reviewed all of the factors set out in Annex 1 of Ofcom’s guidance (see link above), and the information sent to you in our previous letter.

East Stour Park refused.

Riverside view of proposed development

Members of Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee, yesterday evening voted to Refuse the Planning Application for the East Stour Park Development.

After a local resident had spoken in objection to the development and the developer’s architect Guy Holloway had spoken in support, Chair of South Ashford Community Forum, Bob Shrubb, objected to the Development. He raised issues relating to:

  • The Sequential and Exception Test required to ensure that development is carried out in areas of lower flood risk and that the wider sustainability benefits to the community outweigh flood risk and that the proposed development would be safe,
  • The impact on the movement of wildlife through Ashford’s Green Corridor and
  • The site not being allocated for development in Ashford’s Local Plan although it had assessed through the land availability assessment process through which sites are allocated.

South Ashford Community Forum are pleased that a large majority of Members (15:1) chose to Refuse the application, but are aware that the option to appeal the decision is open to the developer.

The Community Forum believe that the reason for refusal (Green Corridor Policy ENV2) is sound and trust, if an appeal is submitted, that the Council are able to evidence the case to the inspector. We also believe that the validity of the developer’s Sequential and Exception Test should be independently reviewed.

Christchurch manse conversion

Christchurch manse with scaffolding

Work to convert the manse at Christchurch into short term accommodation is progressing.

Following the amalgamation of parishes in Ashford, the building was no longer required by the Church of England. Ashford Borough Council bought the home in Beaver Road for £430,000 and is investing around £500,000 to convert it into eight homes, capable of accommodating up to 25 people. An extensive refurbishment programme is underway to add facilities like a communal kitchen, dining room and laundry room.

Christchurch Lodge, as the building has been renamed, follows the same blueprint adopted by the council when it created Christchurch House, a rundown property bought at auction for £278,000 in 2013. It was transformed into good quality short-stay accommodation and was so successful that the money saved on placing homeless people in costly B&Bs meant that Christchurch House payed for itself in four years.

Cllr Bill Barrett, portfolio holder for housing, said tackling homelessness was a huge priority for the authority. He said both the prevention of homelessness and using the council’s own stock to house homeless people, rather than using costly B&Bs, made financial sense.

“Following the blueprint of Christchurch House represents a win-win strategy. For five years it has offered households a better solution than the upheaval of living out of a B&B. It is also good news that the council has saved considerable sums of money it would have had to pay in B&B costs. We are proud of the proactive approach we take to delivering new housing projects.”

Kent-based Jenner Contractors is carrying out the Christchurch Lodge conversion and a feature of the project is the commitment to using high-quality products and materials to ensure maximum build quality, environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.

Ashford Borough Council 08 January 2020
https://news.ashford.gov.uk/news/1m-homeless-initiative-by-ashford-borough-council-taking-shape/

Council hours

We list below the hours of council services during the Christmas Period.

Ashford Borough Council

Services at the Civic Centre

Monday 16 December9.00am to 5.00pm
Tuesday 17 December9.00am to 5.00pm
Wednesday 18 December9.00am to 5.00pm
Thursday 19 December9.00am to 5.00pm
Friday 20 December9.00am to 5.00pm
Monday 23 DecemberClosed
Tuesday 24 DecemberClosed
Wednesday 25 DecemberClosed
Thursday 26 DecemberClosed
Friday 27 DecemberClosed
Monday 30 December9.00am to 5.00pm
Tuesday 31 December9.00am to 5.00pm
Wednesday 1 JanuaryClosed
Thursday 2 January9.00am to 5.00pm

ABC Fast Track Desk at the Civic Centre
(for copying and scanning of documents)

Monday 16 December9.00am to 4.00pm
Tuesday 17 December9.00am to 4.00pm
Wednesday 18 December9.00am to 4.00pm
Thursday 19 December9.00am to 4.00pm
Friday 20 December9.00am to 4.00pm
Monday 23 DecemberClosed
Tuesday 24 DecemberClosed
Wednesday 25 DecemberClosed
Thursday 26 DecemberClosed
Friday 17 DecemberClosed
Monday 30 December9.00am to 4.00pm
Tuesday 31 December9.00am to 4.00pm
Wednesday 1 DecemberClosed
Thursday 2 December9.00am to 4.00pm

Kent County Council

Ashford Household Waste Recycling Centre

Monday to Saturday: 8am to 4:30pm
Sunday and bank holidays: 9am to 4pm
Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Revised collections

Revised recycling and refuse collection dates for Christmas and the New Year

Normal collection day Revised collection day
RecyclingMon 23 DecNo Change
Tues 24 Dec No Change
Wed 25 DecFri 27 Dec
Thurs 26 DecSat 28 Dec
Fri 27 DecMon 30 Dec
RefuseMon 30 DecTues 31 Dec
Tue 31 DecThurs 2 Jan
Wed 1 JanFri 3 Jan
Thurs 2 JanSat 4 Jan
Fri 3 Jan Mon 6 Jan
RecyclingMon 6 Jan Tues 7 Jan
Tues 7 Jan Wed 8 Jan
Wed 8 JanThurs 9 Jan
Thurs 9 JanFri 10 Jan
Fri 10 Jan Sat 11 Jan

Normal service will resume Monday 13 Jan 2020

Homeplus site application

A planning application has been submitted for the site of the Homeplus Store at the junction of Beaver Road and Avenue Jacques Faucheux. The application follows a consultation event at the Stour Centre in May.

The proposal for 214 apartments, 9 townhouses, 3 commercial units plus a rooftop restaurant have been submitted by A Better Choice for Property Development Ltd, Ashford Borough Council’s property investment vehicle.

The application, case reference 19/01597/AS, can be examined on the Ashford Borough Council planning website: https://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=113996

Extended bin collection times

Due to potential disruptions over the next few months Ashford Borough Council are extending bin collection times from the beginning of November. Bins will need to be presented no later than 6am on the morning of collection, if it safe to do so you can leave your bin out the evening before.

Collections are also being extended to take place later in the day so if your bin is not collected at the usual time please leave it out and crews will get to you as soon as they are able. There is a possibility that food waste may be collected separately from your recycling and refuse bins so please leave your caddy out if it hasn’t been collected.

The Council thanks you in advance for your co-operation and apologise for any inconvenience caused.