Res­i­dents ob­ject to new hous­ing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Clare Mul­grew

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.

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