Housing

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/

Poplars planning application

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) have submitted a planning application to demolish 14 flats and 3 houses at the Poplars at the junction of Beaver Lane and Beaver Road and replace them with 31 apartments for independent living older tenants.

The proposed development follows the rebuilding of Farrow Court, nearby, Danemoor in Tenterden and the proposed rebuild of East Stour Court in Mabledon Avenue as part of an ABC strategy to modernise and increase their sheltered housing stock.

The new apartments will be for affordable rent to tenants aged 50 or above.

The ABC Planning case reference is 19/00516/AS
https://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=112217

Halstow Way development application

View from open space

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has submitted a planning application for the construction of 17 affordable rented apartments on the Noakes Meadow public open space.

The application follows a consultation that we reported in February
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/02/20/halstow-way-redevelopment-consultation/

The proposals have changed in that the number and mix of properties has changed

  • from 14 x 1 bedroom and 7 x 2 bedroom, totalling 21
  • to 6 x 1 bedroom, 7 x 2 bedroom and 4 x 3 bedroom, totalling 17

The total potential occupancy has increased from 56 to 60 people.

The position of the block has been adjusted so that the access road now runs between the rear of St. Simon’s Church and the block.

We will publish more details when we have had the opportunity to study the application, but the application addresses all issues arising from past use of the land. The major remaining issue appears to be whether it is acceptable for ABC to use this rare opportunity to build truly affordable housing even though it will result in some loss of open space.

The ABC Planning Case reference is 18/01508/AS
http://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=110796

We have as with all planning applications we are notified of for South Ashford posted basic details under
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/category/site/planning-notice/

New rules on multiple occupation

Landlords with properties across the Ashford borough are being urged to prepare for changes to the rules governing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

From 1 October 2018, all HMOs with five or more people comprising of two or more family units will require a licence to operate. Currently an HMO licence is only required if a property is over three or more floors, so the main change is the removal of the number of storeys from the HMO definition.

The changes are contained in The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018. The government estimates that the changes will mean an extra 160,000 properties will need to be licensed in England, with Ashford Borough Council estimating that up to 150 properties will need to be licensed across the borough.

The new legislation will also introduce minimum space standards for bedrooms. Rooms sleeping one adult must be no smaller than 6.51m2. And any rooms sleeping two adults must be no smaller than 10.22 m2. Rooms slept in by children aged 10 or younger must be no smaller than 4.64 m2.

Where minimum space standards are not being met, councils will be able to grant a period not exceeding 18 months to rectify the situation. Landlords must also provide adequate receptacles for the storage and disposal of household waste produced at the property.

Landlords are required to apply for a licence before 1 October and comply with any changes needed to be made. If, after this period you have not complied with the new scheme, you could face serious penalties, including hefty fines and criminal prosecution.

For more information on the changes and to make an application, contact Ashford Borough Council on privatesectorhousing@ashford.gov.uk

Ashford Borough Council  19 June 2018
www.ashford.gov.uk/whats-on/news/storey-time-for-landlords-under-new-rules-on-multiple-occupation-19th-june/

Poplars, Beaver Lane – Redevelopment Consultation

Ashford Borough Council is proposing a redevelopment of the Poplars, Beaver Lane, to 30 units as independent living for older people.

They are holding a public consultation event

  • from 4.00pm to 6.00pm
  • On 5th June 2018
  • At United Church Hall
    Cade Road, Ashford TN23 6JE

Ashford Borough Council want to engage with local residents and keep you informed and hear your views on the proposals. This is only part of the consultation process and they will be happy to receive correspondence via email, telephone or in person.

If you are unable to attend this event and wish to discuss the proposals or have any questions, please contact them:

  • email: site queries@ashford.gov.uk,
  • telephone: 012333 333311, or
  • visit the Civic Centre in person

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople consultation

Help shape our Local PlanGypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Issues and Options

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 21 Feb 2018
Closes: 6 Apr 2018 at 17:00.

Ashford Borough Council are committed to meeting the identified needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community within the borough. In order to meet this need, the Council is in the process of developing a Development Plan Document for Gypsies and Travellers.  This document seeks the views of the Gypsy and Traveller communities, residents and stakeholders, on the issues and options for Gypsy and Traveller site selection in Ashford.

The issues and options outlined within this consultation are not a statement of intention by Ashford, instead they are designed to highlight the key themes and suggested options upon which they need your views. Consultation on the issues and options report and consideration of the responses to consultation will assist the Council to analyse the merits and drawbacks of all the practical options available for providing sites for Gypsies, Travellers and travelling showpeople. As part of this issues and options consultation, they are seeking to identify suitable sites to consider for inclusion as Gypsy, Traveller and travelling showpeople sites within the DPD.  Suggestions for the inclusion of specific sites are an important aspect of consultation on this particular Issues and Options report.

The format of the consultation is to provide some background information and then pose a series of questions to help guide responses, and there is the opportunity to raise further issues and options as part of this consultation. (more…)

Halstow Way redevelopment consultation

View from open space

Did you attend the event yesterday evening, 21st Feb?

South Ashford Community Forum would like to know your views.

  • Do you live in the immediate vicinity of the Noakes Meadow open space? Did you receive a notice of the event?
  • Affordable housing is desperately needed in Ashford and the Council have used some land they own to produce excellent small developments.
  • The land on which these flats are to be built is designated open space. the Council are proposing that S106 money from this development and others is used to improve the remainder of the space, to compensate for the reduction in area. Is this an appropriate use of open space.
  • The plans allow for 28 car parking spaces to comply with the requirement in the draft local plan but data indicates that car ownership in flats in Ashford is 1 car per 2 dwellings. Should this much space be used for parking?
  • Is the location appropriate for 3 storey development about 12m to to ridge?
  • The proposals show the site fenced. Does it need to be, or is this creating a ‘gated community’.
  • What will the impact be on the existing residents of Halstow Way?

(more…)

Homelessness Support for Vulnerable Adults Consultation

Kent County CouncilHomelessness Support Service for Vulnerable Adults in Kent

Kent County Council

Opens: 22 January 2018
Closes: 4 March 2018

Kent County Council (KCC) funds homelessness support services for vulnerable young people (16-25), adults who are over 18 and offenders who need additional support. Currently, those services can be categorised as either ‘supported housing’, ‘floating support’ or ‘rough sleeper outreach’.

We would like to hear your views on the proposals contained within the consultation document, which refers to plans for those 18+, and your thoughts on how we might improve the future delivery of homelessness support for vulnerable adults in Kent. Your views will be used to help shape the future of these services after October 2018.

Have your say

We would like to hear your views on our proposal.  We recommend you read the consultation document which can be found in the ‘Consultation Documents’ section below. To take part in the consultation, please fill in the online questionnaire which is available in the ‘Respond to this Consultation’ section below.

Alternative formats: If you require any of the consultation material in an alternative format or language please email alternativeformats@kent.gov.uk or call 03000 421553 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 421553). This number goes to an answering machine, which is monitored during office hours.

Privacy: Kent County Council collects and processes personal information in order to provide a range of public services. Kent County Council respects the privacy of individuals and endeavours to ensure personal information is collected fairly & lawfully.  We will follow our Data Protection Act guidelines to keep your information secure and confidential.

We recommend using Google Chrome if viewing and downloading consultation documents from mobile devices.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation Document (PDF version) https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/889378/33054309.1/PDF/-/Homelessness_Consultation_Document.pdf
  • Consultation Document (Word version) https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/889378/33054245.1/DOCX/-/Homelessness_Consultation_Document.docx
  • Questionnaire (Word version) https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/889378/33089189.1/WIZ/-/Consultation_Questionnaire__21.01.18.doc
  • Questionnaire (PDF version) https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/889378/33089221.1/PDF/-/Consultation_Questionnaire__21.01.18.pdf
  • Equality Impact Assessment https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/889378/33054437.1/DOCX/-/Equality_Impact_Assessment.docx

Respond to this Consultation

  • Respond by filling in the online questionnaire https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/homelessnessconsultation/respondByQuestionnaire