Residents object to new housing
ANGRY residents crammed into Furley Hall in Ashford to have their say on the volume of housing development in the town.
A meeting of the Central Ashford Community Forum last week saw presentations by developers working on the Park and Ride scheme and the new clinic in King’s Avenue.
But the 70 or so people who attended the meeting were very concerned about the number of new houses that go hand-in-hand with each of these projects.
Maudie Vanden Berghe, project manager for Ashford locality, Eastern and Coastal Primary Care Trust, presented the revised proposals for the King’s Avenue health facility to the packed hall.
She explained the clinic was smaller than originally planned as it was felt many health needs were already being catered for in Ashford.
A planned 12-bay ambulance station as well as a cardiology and dermatology department have all been scrapped. But services including pain management therapy, a podiatry clinic, services for the elderly and dentistry will all still be available.
Residents heard how the remainder of the four-acre site will be filled with houses, the number of which is unconfirmed.
Hilary Gerard, of Chart Road, said: “This was a proposal to develop facilities and services for an increasing population. What I see here is quite a small footprint for essential services.
“We already know the William Harvey is full to bursting. We already know we are lacking crucial services in this area.
“Yet we are seeing plans here to sell off a crucial site for the development of these services.”
Other householders from Western Avenue and Chart Road said the area was already too built up and that further housing would exacerbate existing traffic problems.