Planning and Development

Housing problems likely to persist for years

The Public Accounts Committee report says Government lacks ambition in addressing housing need and is dependent on ‘broken’ market.

Housebuilding lagging behind demand

The number of homes built in England has lagged behind demand for housing for decades.

The effects of this long-running shortfall in housing reveal themselves in the growing barriers people face in getting on the property ladder, or simply affording their rent.

The human costs are emphasised by the growing problem of homelessness, with the number of families living in temporary accommodation rising from 50,000 in 2011–12 to 72,000 in 2015–16. Almost 120,000 children in England live in temporary accommodation today.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (the Department) has an ambition to deliver 1 million new homes over the five years of this Parliament.

But despite acknowledging that the housing market in England is “broken”, it remains dependent on the existing market, which is dominated by a handful of private developers, to realise its ambition.

Plans to deliver will not come close to matching demand

Even if this is achieved, the Department acknowledges that it will not come close to meeting the actual level of housing need, so problems of affordability and homelessness are likely to persist for years to come.

The Department’s lack of ambition on such a fundamental issue is matched by a lack of information, in particular on the impacts and value for money of the roughly £21 billion the government spends each year on housing benefit.

The Department has recently published a White Paper outlining proposals for accelerating housebuilding, and the Committee looks forward to monitoring the development of its programmes.

Commons Select Committeefor Public Accounts 28 April 2017

Victoria Way development decision confirmed

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) have granted the permission, that the Council’s Planning Committee agreed in October / November 2016, for the development at the Junction of Beaver Road and Victoria Road.

The decision was subject to the developers entering into a Section 106 agreement for the development. The Landowners, HCA, and Developers, HDD Ashford, have now signed the Section 106 agreement with Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council.

The agreement for the residential part of the development includes a contribution of £ 150,000 toward the Victoria Park improvement project. This will be combined with contributions from other recently permitted developments. (more…)

College site application submitted

Developer Chartway Group, with Orbit Homes, have submitted a detailed planning application to Ashford Borough Council (ABC) for the construction of 160 homes on the site of Ashford College in Jemmett Road.

This application follows the grant of outline permission in December 2016, when the College signed a Section 106 Agreement attached to an application which ABC’s Planning Committee voted to permit in 2011.

The proposals include a mix of dwelling types and sizes and a mix of tenures

Type/no of beds No of dwellings
1 bed flat 10
2 bed flat 32
2 bed house 22
3 bed house 53
4 bed house 43
Total 160


Of the 160 dwellings 51 will be sold on a shared ownership basis and 29 will be for affordable rent. The remainder will be for outright sale.

The ABC Case Reference for the detailed application is 17/00354/AS , the notice for which is posted in our planning notices section today (14 March 2017). The Reference for the outline application is 11/00405/AS , posted on 10 December 2016.

Proposal for Elwick Road Car Park

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) have submitted a planning application, to their own planning department, for creation of a temporary car park in Elwick Road. Part of the site comprises land that was included an outline application submitted by Stanhope plc for residential development, as Phase 2 of the planned cinema complex on the old Ashford Market site.

The application states that the “car park is intended to replace spaces lost at Dover Place during construction and to assist parking on the new K College campus which is opposite the site”. The car park will have a maximum of 107 spaces, which may reduce during its life.

It is ot envisaged that the works will have a life longer than three years.

ABC planning case references:

Case Ref: Description Posted on
17/00201/AS Creation of a new temporary car park on redundant land. Change of use from the previous B1 use to Sui Generis proposed car park 17th February 2017
15/01282/AS Outline application for development of up to 200 residential units with access to be considered at this stage (Phase 2) 12 October 2015

College Site Public Event

Note corrected times for Public Surgery

Chartway Group, the developers of the Ashford College site in Jemmett Road, are holding a public surgery, at the campus, this Thursday, 16th February, between 6 pm and 8 pm. Information will be provided about the development that will deliver a range of 1 – 4 bedroom properties to meet the needs of different members of the community, ranging from starter homes to larger family houses.

Chartway, in partnership with Orbit Homes, a leading housing association will release the homes as mixed tenure:

  • 25 rented,
  • 50 shared ownership – part-buy, part-rent
  • 53 outright sale by Orbit,,
  • 30 outright sale by Chartway Group’s Westerhill Homes.

Information relating to the development is available on the website:

College site proposals

Chartway Group have created a website showing their proposals for redevelopment of the Ashford College site in Jemmett Road.

The College finally received planning permission recently after signing a Section 106 agreement on a planning application that Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee voted to approve in 2011.

The proposals can be seen at

Minerals and Waste Sites Plans – Safeguarding SPD Consultation

Minerals and Waste Sites Plans – Safeguarding Supplementary Planning Document

Kent County Council

Opens: 5 Dec 2016
Closes: 30 Jan 2017

Kent County Council is currently consulting on a Minerals and Waste Safeguard Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The SPD accompanies the adopted Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan and offers guidance on how to proceed with planning applications which have minerals and/or waste safeguarding implications. Details of the SPD consultation can be found on our Planning Policy Consultation Portal – click here.

The period for the SPD consultation is 9:00am 5th December 2016 – 17:00pm 30th January 2017.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Minerals and Waste Planning Policy team


Phone:  03000 413328

Consultation Links

Consultation Summary

Name Minerals and Waste Sites Plans – Safeguarding Supplementary Planning Document
Description KCC is consulting on our Safeguarding Supplementary Planning Document. Tell us your views.
Dates From 5 Dec 2016 at 09:00 to 30 Jan 2017 at 17:00.
Status Open
Consulting Organisation Type Kent County Council
Consulting Organisation Name Kent County Council
District / Borough areas affected by the consultation Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells
Consultation Topic General interest, Environment and countryside, Planning and planning applications, Recycling, rubbish and waste management
Consultation Methods Online survey / questionnaire / forms
Contact Details Minerals and Waste Planning Policy team


Phone:  03000 413328

Kent County Council 5 December 2016

Farrow Court wins design award

The Farrow Court, the sheltered housing complex recently rebuilt for Ashford Borough Council (ABC), has been named Best Major Residential Project in the Kent Design and Development Awards.

With the emphasis very much on quality of life, the new Farrow Court is built to Lifetime Homes and the council’s space standards and will also feature a new day-care centre, communal facilities, a hairdressers and a restaurant that can be used by all of the local community.

The £15.4m rebuild work will make Farrow Court the flag bearer for the Borough’s future provision for older people. The project is seen as essential by ABC as by 2026 it is anticipated that 40% of Ashford’s population will be aged over 50.

The new accommodation will offer a total of 104 high-quality living spaces; including eight recuperative care units for people released from hospital who need additional respite care before they can return to their homes, and 12 units for people with learning disabilities. (more…)

College housing granted permission after 5 years

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has granted permission for up to 154 houses on the site of the Ashford College Campus in Jemmett Road, five years after the Planning Committee voted to permit the development.

Plans for the college to vacate the site go back to 2008, when an application made by South Kent College was approved for up to 241 dwellings on the site. This was linked to a proposal for a new campus (The Ashford Learning Campus) at the junction of Beaver Road and Victoria Road. The scheme was not implemented due to funding problems.

The application for renewal of the permission in 2011 resulted in a new scheme being drawn up with a reduced number of dwellings to meet the Council’s residential space standards.

The Planning Committee voted to permit the development, subject to a maximum of 154 dwellings being built on the site, on 21 September 2011. The resolution to permit was dependent on the applicant entering into a Section 106 agreement for contributions toward the provision of infrastructure and services. Again funding problems prevented implementation of the scheme. A Section 106 agreement has now been exchanged between ABC and West Kent & Ashford College, as successors to South Kent College.

The ABC Case reference is 11/00405/AS, we have posted the notification under Local Information / Planning and Development / Planning Notice today

Planning committee votes to allow Travis Perkins and hotel applications

travisAshford Borough Council’s planning committee, this evening, voted to permit two applications for construction of a total of 59 flats on two sites in Victoria Crescent/George Street, which had previously been occupied by Travis Perkins.

Councillors also voted to permit construction a 120 bed hotel, forming part of the ‘Victoria Way’ development on the adjacent site. At October’s planning meeting  a brewery, with shop, bar and restaurant, three commercial units and 216 residential units and an Aldi superstore, which form the rest of the development, were permitted.

All three permissions are subject to the developers entering into Section 106 agreements for contributions for local infrastructure and services.

The Travis Perkins site case reference are 16/00981/AS and  16/00986/AS, as notified in our posts of 6 July 2016

The Victoria Way case reference is 16/01164/AS and was posted by us on 10 August 2016