East Stour Park refused.

Riverside view of proposed development

Members of Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee, yesterday evening voted to Refuse the Planning Application for the East Stour Park Development.

After a local resident had spoken in objection to the development and the developer’s architect Guy Holloway had spoken in support, Chair of South Ashford Community Forum, Bob Shrubb, objected to the Development. He raised issues relating to:

  • The Sequential and Exception Test required to ensure that development is carried out in areas of lower flood risk and that the wider sustainability benefits to the community outweigh flood risk and that the proposed development would be safe,
  • The impact on the movement of wildlife through Ashford’s Green Corridor and
  • The site not being allocated for development in Ashford’s Local Plan although it had assessed through the land availability assessment process through which sites are allocated.

South Ashford Community Forum are pleased that a large majority of Members (15:1) chose to Refuse the application, but are aware that the option to appeal the decision is open to the developer.

The Community Forum believe that the reason for refusal (Green Corridor Policy ENV2) is sound and trust, if an appeal is submitted, that the Council are able to evidence the case to the inspector. We also believe that the validity of the developer’s Sequential and Exception Test should be independently reviewed.

Jemmett Road

In 2015 South Ashford Community Forum raised the condition of Brookfield Road and Jemmett Road at one of it’s meetings. We were told “There are jetpatching works scheduled for Brookfield Road in coming weeks and Jemmett Road has been patched in recent months. The specific roads referred to are structurally sound and therefore do not require reconstruction as suggested.”

The County Councillor commented that Brookfield Road is the priority due to the sheer traffic volume which includes heavy vehicles. To ensure a more permanent solution the concrete slabs need to be taken out and new surface laid down. The patching work at Jemmett road is not to satisfactory standards.
We pointed out that when Ashford College move out of their site in Jemmett Road, the demolition and construction works on the site could potentially damage Jemmett Road.

At the time we photographed the defects in Jemmett Road.

As the works on the college site are now well advanced we have raised the issue again with the current County Councillor and carried out a further photographic survey. The photographs have been plotted on a Google Map which can be viewed at

  • Photographs taken in 2019 are shown by red markers
  • Those taken in 2015 are shown by blue markers
  • Green markers have similar photographs taken in 2019 and 2015

The photographs show a severe deterioration in the general condition of the road and that repairs undertaken in or before 2015 are themselves beginning to fail.

Response to East Stour Park development

Satellite image of site

South Ashford Community forum has drafted its response to the planning application for the proposed East Stour Park Development.

We are aware that a petition has been started against the development. Petitions cannot be presented at meetings of the Planning Committee so will have no effect on the decision. All who wish to object to this development should submit their comment using the process set out on the Ashford Borough Council website:

South Ashford Community Forum will include the issues listed below in its comment. You may include these issues in your own comment but need to formulate them into suitable paragraphs.

  • Site is in Green Corridor
  • Development would add further severe restriction to the Green Corridor and movement of wildlife in an area adjacent to which such movement is already constrained by the station, railway and roads round it.
  • The proposed ‘enhancement’of the Green Corridor does not adequately mitigate the loss of Green Corridor.
  • The exit of traffic onto Norman Road so close to the Kimberley Way Roundabout will create a hazard
  • Site is not allocated in local plan; development not required to meet 5y  housing need.
  • Developments of the proposed size on greenfield sites should go through the SHEELAA selection process and not be considered as windfall sites.
  • The sequential test does not include the Homeplus site.
  • The claim that properties in Riversdale Road would flood before the site is incorrect as experienced in 2014.
  • There is no mention in the current Green Corridor Action Plan of a Wetland Country Park in the South Willesborough Dykes.
  • Development of the South Willesborough Dykes, or part of it, as a country park would have a severe negative impact.

Ashford Bourough Council Case Reference: 19/00709/AS

South Ashford Community Forum AGM

The Annual General Meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will be held

  • at 7:00 pm
  • on Thursday 28th February
  • at South Ashford Baptist Church
    Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

Agenda items are:


  • Previous minutes
  • Report
  • Future of SACF
    proposal to change the operation and constition of the Forum
  • Election of Committee

Ordinary Meeting

  • Previous minutes
  • Council Tax
  • Victoria Park
  • Health: Sustainability and Transformation Plan
  • Development
    • Local Plan
    • East Stour Park
    • Halstow Way
    • Poplars

All who live or work in South Ashford are welcome

Future of South Ashford Community Forum

A proposal to change the way that the Forum operates will necessitate a change of the constitution. Please click on the links below to download copies of the:

Guide to your councils

We are making it easier to find information about your councils (Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council)

Under our new menu item Councils and Government you will find:

Representatives: Your elected representatives in Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council as well as Parliament and European Parliament

Council and Government Services: Lists of services provided by Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council. We will expand this to government departments in the future.

Have your say

We want to hear what those who live and work in South Ashford think about issues that affect them.

As proposed at our meeting on 5th September we are promoting online discussion of such matters.

We will post any information we receive about such issues here on our website and on our Facebook Page. We have also created a Facebook Group where you can join the discussion.

Join in now:


SACF September 2018 meeting

The next meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will take place
at 7:00 pm
on 5th September 2018
at South Ashford Baptist Church
Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

The Agenda can be downloaded from this link and minutes of the previous meeting here or both from the Minutes and Agendas page on the South Ashford website.

Proposal to change the operation of South Ashford Community Forum

As a result of falling attendance at meetings, making the Forum less representative of those who live and work in South Ashford, the Agenda includes a proposal to change the way that South Ashford Community Forum operates. The proposal is that we cease to hold public meetings and move the discussion to internet based forums, which more people may be willing to participate in. Whilst I appreciate that this may prevent participation by a few residents that have attended meetings in the past, I believe that if the Forum is to retain any relevance we need to involve more people and that this will be a means of achieving that.

We would be pleased to hear your views on this at the meeting.

SACF June 2018 Meeting

The next meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will take place

  • at 7:00 pm
  • on 13th June 2018
  • at South Ashford Baptist Church
    Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

The Draft Agenda is:

1         Welcome

2         Police & Crime

  • Police report
  • Crime statistics
  • At risk of going missing

3         Ashford Town Centre

Cllr Graham Galpin, will give a presentation on Ashford Town Centre

4         Minutes of meetings of 21st March 2018


Matters Arising

5         Councillors’ reports

5.1     Borough Council

5.2     County Council

6         Victoria Park

Friends Group


7         Planning and Development

7.1     Development Proposals

  • Poplars (see post below)
  • Halstow Way
  • Hillyfields Rise
  • Lantern House, St. Stephen’s Walk
  • Klondyke Site

7.2     Local Plan

8         Health

Online GP consultations

9         Any Other Business

If a matter for discussion is raised that is not on this agenda, the Chair may make it a future agenda item.

10      Future Meetings


The Draft Agenda can also be downloaded from Minutes and Agendas page on the South Ashford website. If there are any items that you would like added, please contact us by 4th June.

We are pleased that Cllr. Graham Galpin will give a presentation on Ashford Town Centre.

Please do encourage your friends, colleagues and acquaintances, that live or work in South Ashford to come to this meeting. If they would like to be added to our email distribution list they can register via Mailchimp

SACF March 2018 Annual General Meeting

The next meeting of South Ashford Community Forum, our Annual General Meeting, will take place
at 7:00 pm
on 21st March 2018
at South Ashford Baptist Church
Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

The Agenda can be downloaded from this link or from the Minutes and Agendas page on the South Ashford website.

We are pleased that Graham Hall, Minister at Gateway Church will be telling us of their plans for the Riverside Centre.

This meeting will include our Annual General Meeting. We are seeking more people who live or work in our area to join our Committee.  If you would like to help please contact us.

We will also be discussing

  • progress on Victoria Park improvements
  • proposed development at Halstow Way
  • Improving urgent stroke services