Ashford Borough Council

ABC Draft Open Space Strategy

Draft Open Space StrategyABC Crest

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 8 August
Closes: 20 Sep 2017

Open spaces enrich the quality of our lives and contribute towards a healthy lifestyle. They help define and add to the character and history of a place as well as provide vital green infrastructure for wildlife, biodiversity, water, tranquillity, recreation, play, food production and safe off-road pedestrian and cycling routes.

Ashford borough currently enjoys a wide range of open spaces across its urban and rural environment. The borough has the benefit of existing wildlife sites, protected landscapes and a network of accessible countryside. It also has the benefit of having many organisations and groups of people active in the community who take great interest in their current and future green environment.

This Open Space Strategy attempts to focus on what’s important for Ashford’s open space provision up to 2030 in consideration of previous studies and strategies, recent audits, consultation and the emerging Local Plan.

The consultation is open until 20th September. Please comment using the online questionnaire here, or by printing out a comment form and returning by post to: Cultural Services, Place and Space, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PL or by email to culture@ashford.gov.uk

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Consultation Summary

Name Draft Open Space Strategy
Description The Open Space Strategy will provide a robust framework to help strengthen Ashford’s open space provision by providing a series of interrelated actions that are all working towards the same goal. These are to protect, enhance and provide an open space network across the borough to create a thriving landscape of well-located and well-connected open spaces, which supports our existing and future community.
Dates From 8 Aug 2017 at 15:00 to 20 Sep 2017 at 23:59.
Status Open

Local Plan Changes

Help shape our Local PlanLast year We reproduced extracts from some of the sections of the Draft Local Plan published by Ashford Borough Council that relate to or will affect South Ashford.

We have now updated these pages to reflect the changes proposed under the Council’s July 2017 consultation on Main Changes to Local Plan 2030. The updated extracts can be viewed under Local Information>Planning and Development>Local Plan
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/category/consultations/local-plan/

If you wish to submit your own comments to Ashford Borough Council, you can do so from their consultation portal
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/consult.ti/local_plan_2030/consultationHome. The consultation is open until 31 August 2017

HLF Funding for Victoria Park

Hubert FountainA bid by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has led to the award of £ 167,000, as the first stage of a proposal for £ 3.2 million, from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund England’s Parks for People programme. The funds will be used toward the development stage of the Council’s Victoria Park and Watercess Fields Masterplan.

Chris Dixon,  Arts and Cultural Industry Manager at ABC, commented to South Ashford Community Forum, when the application was submitted, “The priority for the programme is to conserve the existing heritage of the designated park, intending to make a significant difference to heritage, people and communities in the area. It is a two stage application process. The first stage is to develop a more detailed second round proposal. We are at the very earliest point, with no confirmed detailed plans, but have an ambition to:

  • refurbish the Hubert fountain and piazza;
  • reintroduce or recognise lost cultural and natural heritage elements;
  • provide a volunteers compound and other community facilities; and
  • put in place a range of community events and activities including a new ‘Friends Group’ etc.

The award follows the signing of a number of Section 106 agreements that allocate nearly £ 470,000, due to be paid on occupation of local developments.

Ashford Heritage Strategy

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 07 July 2017
Closes: 31 August 2017

Ashford Borough is home to an extraordinarily rich and significant stock of heritage assets which provide important and wide-ranging evidence of the rural history of this country and its tapestry of rural settlements. The Borough’s heritage is extensive too, with more listed buildings than any other in Kent, and with more grade 1 and II* listed buildings than other districts also.

This Heritage Strategy describes the rich history of Ashford Borough and its broad wealth of heritage assets. In doing so it responds to, and is compliant with the requirement for a ‘positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment’ promoted by the NPPF. It sets out how the historic environment can play an important role in delivering regeneration in the Borough, particularly supporting the objectives of the Local Plan for the regeneration of Ashford Town Centre, and the role of heritage in growing the tourism offer of the Borough. Having regard to the Government’s localism agenda, the Strategy promotes an agenda of further understanding and engagement with the historic environment, where the public play a leading role in delivering the outcomes of the strategy and shaping where they live, work and visit.

The borough’s attractive natural environment, including two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the successful Ashford Green Corridors initiative are widely recognised. However, the historic environment is equally one of the Borough’s most valuable assets, and one which can and should play an important role in its future development.

Have your Say

The Council is inviting you to have your say on the Ashford Heritage Strategy from Friday 7th July 2017 until midnight on the 31st August 2017.

(more…)

ABC Local Plan changes

Help shape our Local Plan

Main Changes to Local Plan 2030

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 07 July 2017
Closes: 31 August 2017

Ashford Borough Council are preparing a new Local Plan to 2030. It is being prepared with the aim of ensuring that future development within Ashford is well planned and managed effectively whilst having a positive impact on local communities, the economy and the environment. The new Local Plan will provide a consistent approach to planning into the future across the whole of the borough. Once adopted, the Local Plan 2030 will form the statutory development plan. A draft of the Plan was formally published and made available for consultation during the summer of 2016.

Ashford Borough Council are now consulting upon a series of Proposed Main Changes to that Publication Draft of the Local Plan. These changes are intended to:

  • resolve issues that were raised during public consultation on the previous draft of the Plan;
  • meet the increased housing need requirements identified through an update of national population projections;
  • ensure that the Plan is up to date; and
  • make sure that it meets the requirements of current national planning policy and guidance.

It is considered appropriate to address these issues before the Local Plan 2030 is submitted to the Secretary of State to be examined by a Planning Inspector. (more…)

LGBCE sticks with draft proposals

ABC warding proposal for South Ashford

LGBCE Final Recommendations for wards in South Ashford

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) have published their Final Recommendations for ward boundaries for Ashford Borough Council (ABC).

The arrangement, fails to address the issues created by the shape of Victoria Ward and creates a worse situation than the existing boundaries. There is a now a smaller area of Watercress with only tenuous links to the remainder of the ward and a larger area north of the railway line, which as well as the Town Centre includes the new Crescent West development, Godinton Road and adjacent streets and the whole of Cobbs Wood industrial estate.

South Ashford Community Forum had put forward proposals for more compact, separate wards for South Ashford and Ashford Town Centre but LGBCE have adopted the arrangement originally proposed by ABC.

Election Results

The results of the General Election and Victoria Ward By-election are:

Ashford constituency results

Name of candidate Party Votes  % of Votes
Damian GREEN Conservative  (Elected) 35,318  59
Sally GATHERN Labour 17,840  30
Adrian GEE-TURNER Liberal Democrat 3,101  5
Gerald O’BRIEN UKIP 2,218  4
Mandy ROSSI Green 1,402  2
The turnout was: 68.69%

Damian Green is therefore re-elected as MP for the Ashford constituency.

Victoria ward results

Name of candidate Party Votes
Charles SUDDARDS Labour  (Elected) 1,052 45
David ROBEY Conservative 753  32
James GALLOWAY Liberal Democrat 260 11
Serge GOLDENBERG UKIP 181 8
Maria PIZZEY Green 99 4
Turnout was 56.82%.

Charles Suddards now joins Cllr Dara Farrell (Labour) as ward member for Victoria.

Your vote matters

Your vote matters - don't lose itWhatever you are doing tomorrow, remember to take time to vote in the General Election and, if you live in Victoria Ward, the Ashford Borough Council By-election.

If you need help at the polling station please ask. You can be accompanied by a companion if you need their assistance.

Polling stations are open from 7:00am to 10:00pm. The address of your Polling Station is shown on your Polling Card. You can also find the location from the search facility on the Ashford Borough Council website – www.ashford.gov.uk/where-can-i-vote

You do not need your Polling Card to vote but you must be registered to vote.

If you have applied to vote by post, you cannot vote in person at the polling station. However, on polling day you can return your postal vote to the polling station (before 10pm) or to the Returning Officer at Ashford Borough Council (before they close) if you do not want to post it or it is too late to post it. It should be sealed in the return envelope provided.

The Candidates for the General Election and Victoria Ward By-election are listed in our post of 12 May 2017 https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/05/12/election-candidates-announced/

#YourVoteMatters #GE2017

Agreement brings money to Victoria Park

The Section 106 Agreement for the North Travis Perkins site in Victoria Crescent, signed last week, includes a contribution of £ 21,514 for the ‘Victoria Park Improvement Project’. This will be added to contributions of £ 270,002 from the Powergen site development, £ 150,000 from the Victoria Way development.

In addition to in excess of £ 440,000 from Section 106 contributions, the results of an application by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Parks for People funding are expected by the end of this month. Although there are, as yet, no confirmed detailed plans, ABC have an ambition to: refurbish the Hubert fountain and piazza; reintroduce or recognise lost cultural and natural heritage elements; provide a volunteers compound and other community facilities; and put in place a range of community events and activities including a new ‘Friends Group’ etc. from the HLF funding.

The Section 106 Contributions will be used for other elements of the Victoria Park and Watercress Fields Masterplan adopted by ABC’s Cabinet on 10 March 2016. (more…)

How ABC spends the Borough’s money

Ashford Borough Council is now making available its annual accounts for inspection for the financial year 2016-17.

Those accounts are available for members of the public to view between 9am and 4.30pm from 5th June until 14th July 2017 at the Civic Centre in Tannery Lane, Ashford, or online at www.ashford.gov.uk/budgeting-accounts.

During this period anyone may inspect or make copies of the accounts, books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other related documents of the Council for that financial year, which ended on 31stMarch 2017.

This is in accordance with Section 25 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

An appointment must be made before anyone inspects the accounts. To do so, please contact the council’s Head of Finance & IT on 01233 330540.

Anyone wishing to raise objections to the accounts as presented should address their concerns to the auditor Elizabeth Olive, Grant Thornton UK LLP at Grant Thornton House, Melton Street, London NW1 2EP

A guide to your rights can be found at: www.nao.org.uk/code-audit-practice/council-accounts-a-guide-to-your-rights/

Ashford Borough Council 02 June 2017
www.ashford.gov.uk/news/showing-you-how-we-spend-the-boroughs-money-2nd-jun-1631/