SACF

Consultation on ABC draft warding proposals

Boundary CommissionThe Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has announced the dates for the public consultation on draft recommendations for warding for Ashford District as 7 February 2017 to 3 April 2017.

This will be the second stage of consultation during the Electoral Review of Ashford. South Ashford Community Forum’s proposal for wards for the unparished area of South Ashford can be viewed here: https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2016/08/09/sacf-electoral-review-proposal/. Other submissions can be viewed on the LGBCE website www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-east/kent/ashford

The aim of the electoral review is to recommend ward boundaries that mean each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters. The Commission also aims to ensure that the pattern of wards reflects the interests and identities of local communities as well as promoting effective local government.

We will post the announcement of the consultation.

SACF September 2016 Meeting

South Ashfprd Community ForumA reminder that the next meeting of South Ashford Community Forum will take place
at 7:00 pm
on 21st September 2016
at South Ashford Baptist Church
Brookfield Road, TN23 4EY

The Agenda and the minutes of the meeting of 13th July are available from the Minutes and Agendas page on the South Ashford website.

You will see that two of the agenda items relate to parks and open spaces:

  • Chris Dixon is returning to give an update on the Victoria Park and Watercress Fields Masterplan.
  • We will be discussing our submission to the Common Select Committee for Communities and Local Government (CLGC) Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks (please refer to the note below).

Please do encourage your friends, colleagues and acquaintances, that live or work in South Ashford to come to this meeting.

CLGC Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks

We are currently preparing a draft submission to the CLGC Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks. We will discuss this briefly at the meeting and have posted the draft on the South Ashford website. Please feel free to comment on the draft: https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/category/parks/.

For more information on the Inquiry follow these links:

If you would like to submit evidence directly to the Committee:

#ParksMatter

Our Parks Matter video

Action is needed to avert a crisis that will undermine more than two decades of investment in the UK’s public parks, according to a new Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) report. www.hlf.org.uk/state-uk-public-parks-2016

Thanks to National Lottery players, our parks are in great shape. With the Big Lottery Fund, HLF have invested over £ 850 million in more than 800 of the UK’s public parks, improving facilities, renovating historic features and making them more popular than ever.

But according to our new State of UK Public Parks 2016 report, there is a growing deficit between the rising use of parks and the declining resources available to manage them.

Two years on from the first report into the state of UK parks, the downward trend in condition and maintenance we predicted in 2014 looks set to continue and many of our precious parks and green spaces face an uncertain future. (more…)

ABC Boundary Proposal to go to Council

ABC warding proposal for South Ashford

ABC ward boundary proposal for South Ashford

On Thursday, Ashford Borough Councillors will be shown proposals for ward boundaries that are being submitted to the Local Government Boundary for England (LGBCE) by the Council. South Ashford Community Forum (SACF) believe that the ABC proposal fails to use the opportunity to address issues with the existing warding arrangement, identified in SACF’s submission and in some respects makes them worse.

The submission is the Councils’s response to the LGBCE’s consultation on warding arrangements, undertaken as part of an Electoral Review of the Borough.

Proposals have to be submitted to LGBCE by Monday, after which they will consider all submissions and produce their Draft Recommendations. A consultation on these is due to start on 8 November 2016.

The ABC proposal can be viewed on the Council Agenda page on the ABC website, https://secure.ashford.gov.uk/committeesystem/ViewAgenda.aspx?MeetingId=3030&MemberRef=23. We have shown an approximate representation of the proposal for South Ashford wards in the attached plan.

SACF’s submission can be viewed under Local Information / Representation / Electoral Review on the South Ashford website https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2016/08/09/sacf-electoral-review-proposal/

Tell us why parks in South Ashford matter

Victoria ParkSouth Ashford Community Forum (SACF) are asking for your help in telling a parliamentary committee why parks in South Ashford matter.

South Ashford Community Forum (SACF) is considering submitting evidence to the Inquiry into the Future of Public Parks being undertaken by the Commons Select Committee for Communities and Local Government (CLGC).

CLGC Chair, Clive Betts MP, has said: “Whether it is kicking the ball about with friends, joining a parkrun, walking the dog or just relaxing with a paperback, people value their local parks, but with councils under enormous financial pressures and with no legal obligation to fund and maintain public parks, these precious community resources may be at risk. (more…)

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/