Ashford Borough Council

Oakliegh House planning application

Image of proposed development looking North along Watercress Lane
CGI looking North along Watercress Lane

A planning application has been submitted on behalf of Ashford Borough Council for the redevelopment of Oaklieigh House.

The development was initially publicised through an online consultation in July 2020. South Ashford Community Forum organised an online meeting to discuss the development during the following month.

As was the case at consultation stage proposals include the demolition and redevelopment of Oakleigh House sheltered housing in Beaver Lane and the adjacent block of flats and development of the grass area between Watercress Lane and Cross Stile.

The planning application varies from the consultation proposals as a result of comments made by residents and by a Design South East Panel. This has led to a two fewer dwellings for adults with learning disabilities.

Schedule of accommodation
Independent dwellings
for older people
1 bed apartments41
2 bed apartments10
1 bed mews cottages3
Independent apartments
for adults with learning disabilities
1 bed – planning application
2 bed1

The application can be viewed and comments submitted via the Ashford Borough Council website

South Ashford Election Results

The results of the elections for posts representing South Ashford held on 6th May 2021

Name of Candidate


(if any)

Number of Votes

Kent County Council

Ashford South Division

ROSS, DirkThe Conservative Party Candidate1407 Elected
FARRELL, DaraLabour Party1319
PIZZEY, Thomas PaulThe Green Party263
BEHRENS, Wilhelm HeinrichLiberal Democrats232

Kent County Council

Ashford East Division

CAMPKIN, Steven RobertThe Green Party1854 Elected
GALPIN, Graham HaroldThe Conservative Party Candidate1428
JOSEPH, SojanLabour Party596
HARRISON, Garry GeorgeIndependent149
STROLZ, Samuel JohnLiberal Democrats136

Ashford Borough Council

Beaver Ward

BROOKS, TrevorThe Conservative Party Candidate468 Elected
JONES, Dylan AlexanderLabour Party402
HARRISON, Garry GeorgeIndependent105
PIZZEY, Thomas PaulThe Green Party70
STAMP, Jacqueline MaryLiberal Democrats64

Local election candidates

Ballot box

Below we list the candidates standing to serve South Ashford in elections to be held on 6th May for:

  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent Police Area
  • Kent County Council member for Ashford South Division
  • Ashford Borough Council member for Beaver Ward

We have requested election statements from all parties / candidates. Those that we have received can be viewed by clicking the candidate’s name.

Police and Crime CommissionerKent Police Area
Colley, Graham DavidLiberal Democrats
Oyewusi, LolaLabour and Co-operative Party
Scott, Matthew RichardThe Conservative Party Candidate
Kent County Council
Ashford South Division
(includes area served by ABC Beaver and Victoria Wards)
Behrens, HeinLiberal Democrats
Farrell, DaraLabour Party
Pizzey, ThomThe Green Party
Ross, DirkThe Conservative Party Candidate
Kent County Council
Ashford East Division
(includes area served by ABC Norman Ward)
Campkin, SteveThe Green Party
Galpin, GrahamThe Conservative Party Candidate
Harrison, Garry GeorgeIndependent
Joseph, SojanLabour Party
Strolz, Samuel JohnLiberal Democrats
Ashford Borough CouncilBeaver Ward
Brooks, TrevorThe Conservative Party Candidate
Harrison, Garry GeorgeIndependent
Jones, Dylan AlexanderLabour Party
Pizzey, ThomThe Green Party
Stamp, Jacqueline MaryLiberal Democrats

Council Tax refund scam

Ashford borough Council have notified us of a phone scam around council tax which is currently in circulation.

This particular scam involves calls from a company called Greystone Recovery. The caller claims to have information relating to incorrect council tax banding and saying that the recipient is entitled to refunds.

These calls are not coming from the council, and are unrelated to genuine text messages that get sent out from the council about council tax arrears.

If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of a call, whether they claim to be calling from the council, or another organisation, it is important to hang up and not give any information to the caller.

If you have a query about your council tax band you can visit the Ashford Borough Council website at to find out more.

You can find out how to identify and avoid this kind of scam at

If you think your house may be in the wrong Council Tax Band read Martin Lewis’s advice on Money Saving Expert on how to check and and request re-assessment. Do read the whole of the article as, although there is no charge for re-assessment, it includes warnings about what could happen if the current banding is correct or too low.

There are a number of legitimate companies named Greystone or Grey Stone. We are not aware of any which provide Council Tax recovery services.

Resilience of Domestic Waste Collection Service

Ashford Borough Council is currently in the process of contingency planning for the possibility that daily bin collections will be adversely affected, due to potential disruption caused by traffic congestion across the borough, following the Brexit EU exit transition on the 1st January 2021.

ABC has been working with both the Government and KCC to ensure that additional waste collection and disposal resources are funded and work closely together. We have agreed longer working hours and priority delivery slots for our collection vehicles at the transfer station, as well as additional operating hours for collections crews. ABC will be taking a number of actions to minimise disruption to collections and to ensure they are completed in a timely manner, whilst keeping residents updated. These actions will include:

  • Residents being asked to present bins, when possible, the evening before collection, if this isn’t possible we will be asking residents to present them no later than 6am on the morning of collection.
  • The contractor will be providing additional collection crews to continue collections after 6pm if needed, to do our utmost to ensure collections are completed. If necessary, additional collection crews will be working late into the evening. Staff from the Street Scene service will be working rotational shifts to ensure service is monitored throughout so that issues that we can resolve (outside traffic congestion) are dealt with promptly. Missed collections can be reported here
  • The Council will be highlighting that additional recycling can be placed in clear sacks or cardboard boxes, or held over to place in the recycle bin once emptied.
  • The council will be posting regular updates on social media and on the council website, regarding the status of collections, to ensure residents understand what is happening so they can act accordingly.

ABC will continue working with Kent County Council and their contractor Biffa to ensure we deliver the most effective service possible for our residents.

Christmas Recycling and Refuse Collections

A reminder that during the festive period your recycling and refuse collection days will be altered. Check out the Calendar below for the changes.

WeekNormal Collection DayRevised Collection Day
RecyclingMon 21 DecemberMon 21 December
Tue 22 DecemberTue 22 December
Wed 23 DecemberWed 23 December
Thu 24 DecemberThu 24 December
Fri 25 DecemberMon 28 December
RefuseMon 28 DecemberTue 29 December
Tue 29 DecemberWed 30 December
Wed 30 DecemberThu 31 December
Thu 31 DecemberSat 2 January
Fri 1 JanuaryMon 4 January
RecyclingMon 4 JanuaryTue 5 January
Tue 5 JanuaryWed 6 January
Wed 6 JanuaryThu 7 January
Thu 7 JanuaryFri 8 January
Fri 8 JanuarySat 9 January
Mon 11 JanuaryNormal Service resumes

There will be no garden waste collection over the Christmas period.

Side waste, ie textiles, small electricals or batteries still cannot be collected.

Homeplus application deferred again.

Members of Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee have again, this evening, deferred making a decision on a proposal to redevelop the Homeplus site at the junction of Beaver Road and Avenue Jacques Faucheux.

The application was originally considered by the Committee on 17th June 2020 when the Committee voted to defer a decision ‘for Officers to seek clarification and scheme amendments as necessary from the applicant to deal with … … improvements to the overall quality of design across the whole site based on Members’ comments on design issues …’

The application was due to be considered again on 16th September but was withdrawn from the agenda to address Habitat Regulations matters – believed to relate to the potential impact arising from excessive nutrients from waste water discharges on wetland sites at Stodmarsh.

At this evening’s Committee Meeting the Committee again deferred the application because they considered that the applicants had not fully addressed the issues raised at the June meeting.

Members also expressed concern that all developer’s Section 106 obligations would be deferred as the development did not meet nationally set viability limits.

ABC Consult on new homes in Harper Road

Ashford Borough Council

Harper Road Development

Open: 26 November 2020
Closes: 15 January 2021

Ashford Borough Council are consulting on a proposal to demolish 24 council owned garages in Harper Road and construct 4 houses.

The Council are holding an online consultation in place of a consultation event at a local public venue due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Following the consultation the Council will consider comments received and where possible adapt the proposals before they are submitted as a full planning application.

The proposal is for four x 2-bedroom houses. The intention is that they will be allocated to people on ABC’s housing waiting list needing social and affordable rental homes. ABC aim to set affordable rent levels on these homes that are around 60-80% of market rent levels in the area. This is to ensure the homes are genuinely affordable to those who are housed in them. These levels will be within the Local Housing Allowance.

ABC anticipate, that subject to obtaining the relevant planning permissions, work would begin on site within a year and that the build time will be around eight months.

The video below explains the development.

Further information and the opportunity to take part in the consultation can found on the ABC Consultation portal at

South Ashford Community Forum would be prepared to host an online resident’s meeting. Please contact us if you would like to attend such a meeting.

Christmas Recycling and Refuse Collections

During the festive period your recycling and refuse collection days will be altered. Check out the 2021 Calendar below for the changes.

WeekNormal Collection DayRevised Collection Day
RecyclingMon 21 DecemberMon 21 December
Tue 22 DecemberTue 22 December
Wed 23 DecemberWed 23 December
Thu 24 DecemberThu 24 December
Fri 25 DecemberMon 28 December
RefuseMon 28 DecemberTue 29 December
Tue 29 DecemberWed 30 December
Wed 30 DecemberThu 31 December
Thu 31 DecemberSat 2 January
Fri 1 JanuaryMon 4 January
RecyclingMon 4 JanuaryTue 5 January
Tue 5 JanuaryWed 6 January
Wed 6 JanuaryThu 7 January
Thu 7 JanuaryFri 8 January
Fri 8 JanuarySat 9 January
Mon 11 JanuaryNormal Service resumes

There will be no garden waste collection over the Christmas period.

Side waste, ie textiles, small electricals or batteries still cannot be collected.

Oakleigh House Meeting Notes

Consultation Period extended to 31st August
Participate using link at foot of notes

Oakleigh House Development

Date     Tuesday 11 August 2020

Time    19:00

Venue   Online


Committee:                         R. Shrubb (Chair), J. Shrubb,

Councillors:                         Cllr L. Suddards (ABC, Beaver), Cllr C. Suddards (ABC, Victoria)

Council Officers:                  ABC: M. James, G. Holloway, L. Mason

Other Attendees:                 Names of ordinary members and other attendees are withheld to maintain privacy

1            Welcome

Bob Shrubb (BS) opened the meeting welcoming attendees and introduced councillors and council officers.

2            Proposals

BS displayed drawings of the proposals from the PRP consultation video.

Features brought to the attention of attendees were:

  • Extent of site including existing Oakleigh House site, adjacent ‘Star Block’ and surrounding land, grassed area between Watercress Lane and Cross Stile
  • Main block: 3 storeys reducing to 2 storeys near to adjacent housing
  • Single storey ‘Mews cottages’ adjacent existing properties
  • Disabled adult accommodation (on plot between Watercress Lane and Cross Stile) 2½ storeys.
  • ‘Shared space’ (tabletop crossing) between entrances to buildings.
  • Opportunities for community landscape improvements on ‘avenue’ between disabled unit and existing houses and opposite side of Beaver Lane

3            ABC introduction to scheme

Giles Holloway introduced the scheme, raising the following points:

  • The single storey mews cottages will distance the main block from adjacent properties.
    • ABC are considering making these available for sale on the open market.
  • The scheme is part of ABC’s strategy for addressing the needs of the ageing population; by 2037, in Kent, only Dartford is expected to have a higher number of residents exceeding 65 years.
  • The existing building is obsolete and not fit for purpose; accessibility is poor, the building is not dementia friendly, does not address the needs of the partially sighted. The site layout and presentation of Oakleigh Court and the Star Block are poor.
  • Those given priority for renting the units in the independent living accommodation are:
    • People 60+ in good health.
    • 50+ with health needs
  • Units will be adaptable for ambulant disabled and wheelchair users
  • This development will compliment existing facilities at Farrow Court and Danemore (Tenterden) and those in progress at East Stour Court (Willesborough) and Poplars (Kingsnorth Road).
  • Provision has been made for parking spaces in Cross Stile to address the issue of parking on the grassed area.

4            Councillor’s Comments

Cllr Lyn Suddards said she supported the concept of the scheme but was concerned about the impact of the loss of green space on existing residents.

5            Residents’ Comments

The meeting was opened for comments from residents.

  • The main issue that concerns residents is the loss of the green space, which it was said is used by those with young families and offers an area where they can play safely under supervision.

It was asked whether the adult disabled accommodation could be separated from the independent living block and placed on one of the derelict sites close by.

Mark James responded that the two buildings were one project. There will be benefits for the Council in having a second adult disabled unit close to Cherry Tree Court (adjacent to Farrow Court). It was also hoped that an intergenerational relationship could be created by having the two adjacent to each other. Whilst not excluding acquiring land for the purpose this was land that ABC already owns. They accept loss of green space is a contentious issue but having to buy land can add £ millions to project costs. The resident was invited to send details of the land referred to, so Housing could check whether it is in ABC ownership.

  • A comment was made regarding the short notice for the meeting and asked whether another could be held for those that are away at the time of the meeting.

Bob Shrubb responded that SACF only had about ten days to arrange the meeting and with no income, limited funds and resources there was a limit to what they could achieve. They had wanted to arrange the meeting before the end of the Council’s consultation.

Giles Holloway responded that this was only part of the consultation and the Council would like to reach those that had not been able to participate in the meeting

  • Concern was raised about dust and noise during the construction period and impact this would have on property prices.

Giles Holloway responded by saying that ABC subscribe to the Considerate Contractor Scheme which sets out how the contractor addresses issues which affect neighbours, such as dust, noise, traffic movement, liaison with neighbours and schools and offered to introduce the resident to existing sites.

  • The potential for vehicles to park on the inside of the bend on Beaver Lane, as a result of the development, where with vehicles that now park on the outside of the bend could result in reduced visibility and available road width.

Giles said that Kent Highways would be consulted and issues such as this addressed with them.

6            Consultation process

Cllr Charles Suddards asked about the consultation process and how residents affected by the development were contacted.

Mark James said that normally the Council would have held a consultation event in a local community hall, with the information from the PRP Video displayed, giving residents the opportunity to discuss the proposal with the Council and Architects.

With the current restrictions on holding public events they had put the consultation for Oakleigh House online and had distributed leaflets to 200 properties around the site.

As concern had been raised about older people who may not have online access, he suggested a paper questionnaire might be distributed.

Cllr Lynn Suddards asked whether boards could be displayed at a local venue, such as St. Francis Church, for a day allowing residents to visit in their own time. Mark confirmed this could be arranged subject to arrangements with the Church.

Mark said although there had been problems with the Council’s email system at the beginning of the week, he has replied to everybody that had commented on the consultation portal.

When all of the consultation responses had been examined and any amendments made to the proposal, they would post details of comments that had been addressed by changes and the reasons that any comments could not be addressed.

A planning application would then be submitted when residents would have the opportunity to comment formally.

7            Close

Bob Shrubb closed the meeting thanking everybody for joining and asking that residents participate in the survey on the Council’s Consultation portal –