Planning and Development

Will tree protection stop St. Stephens Walk plans?

Visual from proposal

A tree protection order confirmed during Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee yesterday evening (14th November 2018) may prevent a plans for accommodation for profoundly disabled adults being permitted.

The tree protection order, ABC case reference 18/TPO/0008, protects 15 trees on the site boundaries of Land East of Lantern House, many of which are shown as being removed in documents accompanying a planning application for 16 apartments for disabled residents and 6 for staff (ABC Case reference 18/00608/AS). The tree protection order was made in July but was put before the Planning Committee for confirmation.

South Ashford Community Forum included a comment in their representation on the proposal expressing concern regarding the limited amount of open/garden space within the development.

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/

East Stour Park Development Proposal

Boundary of development site

East Stour Park site

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As reported by South Ashford on 19 September, Quinn Estates have submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Request for the site between the Romney Marsh Road, and the East Stour, to the South of Norman Road.

This article adds more information regarding the proposal and looks at the history of the site in relation to development.

The Screening request indicates the intention to construct up to 300 flats in blocks up to 10 stories high.

The proposal has been dubbed East Stour Park by the developer.

Proposal

Parameter Plan

To date only the EIA Screening request has been published, but documents accompanying the request give an indication of the scope of the proposed development.

The documents show that the development is to comprise four blocks each with varying storey heights

The largest and highest block is proposed to be at the south end of the site and will have a maximum of ten stories, facing onto Norman Road, reducing to .seven storeys. The second and third blocks will vary from seven down to five storeys, whilst the northernmost block will be of five and four storeys, nearest to the Riverside Inn. (more…)

EIA Screening request submitted for Green Corridor site

Boundary of development siteA request has been submitted to Ashford Borough Council for their opinion on whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for development of land between the East Stour River, Romney Marsh Road and Norman Road. An EIA Screening request is not a planning application but is usually a precursor to a planning application.

The screening request indicates up to 300 apartments in blocks of up to 10 storeys.

The site was considered for inclusion in the Council’s emerging Local Plan for ‘Mixed Use/Tourist/Leisure’. Although the site was not included in the Local Plan as submitted for examination, the Sustainability Appraisal did not exclude development on the site. The appraisal did not consider residential development.

The 2.7 Ha site is categorised as Flood Zone 3a and is part of Ashford’s Green Corridor.

Ashford Borough Council
Local Plan to 2030
Policy ENV2 – The Ashford Green Corridor

The protection and enhancement of Ashford’s Green Corridor is a key objective. Development proposals within the identified Corridor designation (and proposed extensions) will be permitted, providing that it is compatible with, or ancillary to, their principal open space use or other existing uses within them, and it can be demonstrated that the proposal would not harm the overall environment, biodiversity, visual amenity, movement networks or functioning of the Green Corridor.

Other forms of development proposals, including those relating to an existing use within the Green Corridor will not be permitted, unless it would be in accordance with a site specific policy in this Local Plan; or where it relates to a) the redevelopment of a suitable brownfield site or b) delivers overriding benefits, and in either scenario, that it can be demonstrated that there would be no significant harm to the overall environment, biodiversity, visual amenity, movement networks or functioning of the
Green Corridor.

Development proposals on land adjoining the Green Corridor shall provide suitable access and links to the existing networks of the adjoining Green Corridor wherever possible; and make a positive contribution to the Green Corridor in respect of its environment, biodiversity, visual amenity, movement networks or functioning and its
setting.

Development proposals must take into consideration the appraisals, projects and management recommendations set out for the specific areas in the Ashford Green Corridor Action Plan, including the identified proposed extension areas to the designation.

ABC Planning Case Reference 18/00005/EIA/AS
https://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=110630

Local Plan to 2030 – Main Modifications September 2018

Help shape our Local PlanAshford Borough Council

Opens: 13 September 2018
Closes: 26 October 2018

Ashford Borough Council is now consulting on Main Modifications to the Ashford Local Plan 2030, following the hearing sessions of the examination and the post hearings advice note received from the Inspectors. The consultation proposes changes to the Ashford Local Plan 2030 Submission Version.

The consultation runs for a period of six weeks from Thursday 13th September 2018 until 5pm on Friday 26th October 2018.

The Main Modifications can be read in full online here Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/consult.ti/MainMods_LocalPlan/view?objectId=10346612#10346612, or can be downloaded using the following link: Schedule of Main Modifications
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/41055525.1/PDF/-/1_Schedule_of_Main_Modifications_ABC_PS_19.pdf

Changes that are proposed to the policies map are included within the consultation documents above and can also be viewed on the Council’s interactive map at the following link: Online policies map
http://newmaps.ashford.gov.uk/EXTLocalPlan2030/default.aspx

The Local Plan is supported by a number of background documents, including the evidence base, submission and examination documents, that can be found via the following link: https://www.ashford.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/local-plan-to-2030/examination-documents/

The Council is also consulting on an Addendum to the Sustainability Appraisal: Sustainability Appraisal Addendum
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40900293.1/PDF/-/SA_Addendum_Sep_2018_ABC_PS_21.pdf 

The following additional documents have been produced to support the changes proposed in the consultation:

Habitats Regulations Assessment Statement
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40900389.1/PDF/-/HRA_Position_Statement_September_2018_ABC_PS_22.pdf and
Settlements Matrix
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40900357.1/PDF/-/Settlements_Matrix_ABC_PS_23.pdf

How to make comments

The Council is inviting you to make comments on the Main Modifications between:

Thursday 13th September 2018 and Friday 26th October.

Comments must be received by the Council by 5pm on Friday 26th October 2018.

The easiest way to make comments is through this consultation portal, where you can add comments directly to each modification through the following link:
Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/consult.ti/MainMods_LocalPlan/view?objectId=10346612#10346612

Alternatively you can also download and print copies of the document and representation forms from the links at the bottom of this page.

The consultation is focused only on the Main Modifications. The consultation is not an opportunity to repeat or raise further representations about other parts of the Local Plan or to seek wider changes. All previous comments have already been considered by the Inspectors.

In commenting on the ‘Main Modifications’ to the Local Plan the emphasis should be on whether the Local Plan, taking account of the proposed modification, is ‘legally compliant’ and that it is ‘sound’.
The following guidance note explain what these terms mean and will aid making comments on these issues. Guidance Note 2
https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/gf2.ti/-/952098/40921061.1/PDF/-/Guidance_Note_2_on_Legal_Compliance_and_Soundness.pdf

KCC reports on the future of Kent

A report into what the future could hold for the county and how it will handle the growth in population and new homes has been published by Kent County Council.

The Kent and Medway Growth and Infrastructure Framework (GIF) helps KCC, Medway Council, local planning authorities and the government understand what services and infrastructure are required to support that growth.

The GIF provides a picture of planned growth across Kent and Medway to 2031, as well as starting to examine the challenges and opportunities likely to face Kent and Medway to 2050.

Kent and Medway is expected to see 396,300 new people, 178,600 new homes and 170,300 new jobs with a total infrastructure cost of more than £16 billion.

The report also shows a 14.3% increase in the number of vehicles on major roads in Kent between 2006 and 2016 and an increase of 42% in people using trains in the past 10 years.

As the county continues to grow, pressure increases on the existing infrastructure, and the GIF highlights the challenges to Government, infrastructure providers, district councils, parish councils, local communities, Kent and Medway businesses and developers.

KCC Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste Mike Whiting said: “Kent and Medway are embracing growth. We recognise the benefits business and housing growth brings to the county in terms of new jobs, new facilities, and new communities.

“New approaches are required to secure the additional public and private investment needed and the GIF includes a forward-thinking action plan to begin to close the investment gap.“However, the GIF makes it clear that the current mechanisms in place for the planning, funding and delivery of infrastructure are not sufficient for accommodating the level of growth planned for Kent and Medway.

“Over the coming year, we will be looking to develop a GIF Implementation Plan to take forward these actions.

“The GIF identifies a shortfall in meeting the infrastructure costs associated with housing growth up to 2031. With only 76% of the infrastructure cost either secured or expected, the county is left with a funding gap of £3.96 billion.”

Since the original GIF was published in September 2015, the authorities and infrastructure providers across Kent and Medway have worked collaboratively to secure £120 million of Local Growth Funding from central government for a range of schemes.

  • There is a commitment from government to deliver a new Lower Thames Crossing, with identification of significant private sector interest in its financing.
  • Government support and funding in excess of a million for Otterpool Park Garden Town.
  • Since 2015, £121,449,009 has been secured for KCC services through section 106 planning contributions.
  • Over two years, 15,068 new homes have been built in Kent and Medway (2015/16-2016/17).

Kent County Council  27 June 2018
https://kccmediahub.net/kcc-reports-future-kent745

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

Planning application for Klondyke site

A planning application has been submitted for 93 dwellings on the site of the Klondyke Works in Newtown. This site, which is to the south of Newtown Road, adjacent to the Ashford to Hastings railway line had previously been earmarked for a model railway centre but was found to be too expensive to develop.

The current proposal is for 41 1 bed 1 person apartments and 52 2 bed 3 person apartments.

Details of the application can be found on our planning notice page:
Site of former Klondyke Works, Newtown Road
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/04/27/site-of-former-klondyke-works-newtown-road-2/

Road Closure: Newtown Road

From 16th April – November 2018

Newtown Road junction with Romney Marsh Road [A2042]

These works form part of the expansion of Ashford Designer Outlet.

Changes to local roads and pedestrian walkways surrounding the centre are part of a long-term project to make roads safer and improve traffic flows.

The changes will include the introduction of a signalised junction and a pedestrian crossing, which will make it easier for people to move between the International Station, the town centre and Ashford Designer Outlet. This will include a complete re-landscape of the area.

When will the roadworks finish?

The works will begin on Monday 16th April and will run until November 2018. The maintenance and improvement projects have been carefully planned to allow road works to be completed safely, while keeping disruption to road users to a minimum.

Where are the roadworks?

Due to the nature of the works, Newtown Road will be closed at the junction with Romney Marsh Road [A2042]. There will be no access to Ashford International Station and its car parks from Romney Marsh Road [A2042].

A fully signed diversion route will be in place via Orbital Park Roundabout and Crowbridge Road. Access to the centre is uneffected. Please refer to the below maps.

Who is doing the work?

The works are being led by McLaren and delivered by Walker Construction.

How can I avoid them?

Drivers are advised to check their route and allow extra time for their journeys where needed, especially at peak times.  McLaren and Walkers Construction have released a series of tips to help drivers navigate the improvement works during peak periods:

  • Check conditions on the roads and possible detour routes prior to making your journey
  • Use alternative routes to avoid road works where possible
  • Familiarise your changes in route prior to driving
  • Follow the yellow directional signage for diversion routes
  • Obey road signage for the safety of you and the workforce

Who can I talk to about these works?

Please email enquiries@ashfordexpansion.co.uk if you have a question.

McArthurGlen
https://outlets.mcarthurglen.com/en/uk/designer-outlet-ashford/whats-on/planned-improvement-works/