Planning and Development

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

Travis Perkins applications to be considered by planning committee

travisTwo applications for construction of a total of 59 flats on two sites in Victoria Crescent/George Street, vacated by Travis Perkins, are to be considered by the Planning Committee of Ashford Borough Council on 16th November.

The sites are adjacent to the residential part of the Victoria Way site, for which councillors voted to permit development at last months Committee Meeting. The third application for the Victoria Way development, for a 120 bed hotel, is also to be considered at the November meeting.

The officer’s recommendation for all three applications is to permit, subject to the applicants first entering into S106 agreements.

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

 

ABC improved online reporting system

ancreportAshford Borough Council has improved its online reporting system, making it easier for residents to report issues such as flytipping, littering, dog fouling, vandalism, anti-social behaviour or planning enforcement issues.

The new system replaces some of its online forms and allows residents to report incidents and then track their progress via a unique reference number.

This is part of the council’s tough but fair approach to enforcement and compliance.
For more information, visit the ABC enforcement section. (more…)

Victoria Way applications approved

brewery buildingAshford Borough Council’s Planning Committee, this evening, voted overwhelmingly in favour of permitting two of the planning applications for land at the junction of Beaver Road  and Victoria Road, dubbed ‘Victoria Way’ by developer U+I.

Councillors generally spoke in favour of the application for a brewery, with shop, bar and restaurant, three commercial units and 216 residential units (case ref.: 16/01157/AS) but some reflected concerns expressed by local resident, Mr. Hawkins, regarding adequacy of parking and potential traffic impacts. Concerns regarding the tenure and size of the apartments were also voiced by some. Council officers stated that parking had been increased by the applicant and any further increase would impact the viability of the proposals. It was stated that residents of the flats would not be eligible to apply for on street residents parking permits. Junction improvements agreed with KCC and funded by the Commercial Quarter development, were more than adequate to deal with the extra traffic created by the this and the Powergen site developments. Leader of the Council, Cllr Clarkson, said that the Council needed to reassure residents that traffic management was continuously monitored.

Similarly the only concerns expressed regarding for an Aldi superstore (case ref.: 16/01167/AS) related to parking and problems with trolleys being removed from the site. It was agreed that a condition relating to trolley management should be added to those recommended in the officer’s report.

A third application for a 120 bedroom hotel (16/01164/AS) was not considered at this meeting.

Hampden Road appeal dismissed

ABC CrestAn appeal against Ashford Borough Council’s decision not to allow the building of a new house in Hampden Road has been dismissed by the planning inspector. The inspector has agreed with the Council’s view that the proposal would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area.

The application, decision and appeal can be viewed on the Council’s website,
Case Reference 16/00257/AS http://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=102902 ➚

We have updated our notice of the proposal:
https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2016/02/24/11-hampden-road-tn23-6jl/

Victoria Way goes to Planning Committee

01-Aldi-CGITwo of the planning applications for land at the junction of Beaver Road  and Victoria Road, dubbed ‘Victoria Way’ by developer U+I, are to be considered by Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee on 19th October. The application for a brewery with visitor centre and residential accommodation and that for a retail store (designed for Aldi) will be considered by the Committee. The separate application for a hotel is not on the agenda for the meeting.

Application details

Details of all three applications can be found at the following links:

South Ashford Community Forum’s comments on the applications can be read in our post of 17th August 2016

We have reproduced the application details on our Planning Notices page. The developers website for the proposals is http://victoriawayashford.com/

Another HMO unlawful

ABC CrestAshford Borough Council have refused to issue a ‘Certificate of Lawful Use’ for another House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in South Ashford. This follows a similar refusal in July of this year. These applications claim that the use as an HMO has exceeded the four year period within which the Local Planning Authority must start enforcement action. Again the Council have stated that “The evidence submitted in the application does not establish that, on the balance of probabilities, the building has been used as a large HMO for up to 7 people continuously since 2006″.

Although, since 2010, change of use from a house to a small HMO has not required planning permission, change to a HMO for more than 6 people still requires planning permission. Before 2010 change of use to any HMO required planning permission.

SACF Comment on Victoria Way

03-PRS-South Ashford Community Forum (SACF) have prepared draft comments on the planning applications for redevelopment of land at the junction of Beaver Road and Victoria Road.

SACF’s Comments

16/01157/AS, 16/01164/AS, 16/01167/AS
Former Pledges Mill and South Kent College Site and land south of junction of Beaver Road and, Victoria Road

South Ashford Community Forum has examined the documents relating to the above applications.
Whilst we are aware that some residents of Victoria Crescent are against these developments, most people that we have spoken to, including several living close to the sites, are pleased to see proposals come forward for redevelopment of these long derelict sites. We are supportive of mixed use development on the sites.
We do have the following comments:

General comment:

We note that although the traffic assessment concludes that the impact of traffic from these developments will be modest, residents remain concerned regarding the impact on congestion at the busy Beaver Road / Victoria Road Junction and issues this could create with egress from George Street.

16/01157/AS

Brewery, with shop, bar and restaurant, three commercial units and 216 residential units with associated parking, substations, landscaping and access works.

We note the application allocates the ground floor of the Victoria Road residential block for retail use. We believe that small craft workshops, with sale of goods produced on-site, should be included in any permission granted for this location.
We are pleased that the open space bounded by the Built to Rent is to be public and believe the arrangement will reduce the visual impact of the block from the riverside walk.
Whilst it is appreciated that there are no remaining heritage assets on the site, we would like a reference to the heritage of the site provided. The Brewery site was the location of a school that was destroyed by a German bomb in the Second World War. Although there were no injuries to occupants of the school, elsewhere in Ashford, 50 people were killed and 77 seriously injured in that raid. Adjacent to the school stood a flour mill, one of two large mills in Ashford, owned by H.S. Pledge & Sons. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1984. We believe that the proposed visitors centre offers the opportunity to mark this history.

16/01164/AS

120 bedroom hotel and associated parking, landscaping, substation and access works

Whilst we note that application complies with Kent County Council Supplementary Planning guidance that refers to maximum parking provision, and that as a town centre hotel, close to the station, the intention is to attract customers using public transport, residents are concerned that the low parking provision, of 0.5 spaces per room, could be inadequate, leading to overflow of parking to local streets. This is of particular concern as the residential parking restrictions do not apply during late evening and night time.

We are generally pleased with the finishes proposed but have concerns regarding the appearance of the render proposed for the ground floor exterior walls.

As a pdf

You can download the comments as a pdf document here

Make your views known

SACF welcome any suggestions, from those who live or work in South Ashford, for amendments or additional comments before they submit them at the end of this month.

Make your suggestions by commenting on this post.

Application details

Three applications have been submitted:

U+I exhibited their initial proposals in March this year. South Ashford Community Forum’s comments on the consultation documents can be viewed from the Publications page on the South Ashford websitehttps://southashford.org.uk/index.php/about-us/publications/

We have reproduced the application details on our Planning Notices page. The developers website for the proposals is http://victoriawayashford.com/