A need for smaller homes
THE Queen Street proposal was submitted by Folkestone-based planning consultant Spiller Associates, on behalf of the owner, a Mr T. Field.
Director Peter Spiller, who was planning chief at Ashford Borough Council until 2003, said: “There clearly is an increasing need for smaller accommodation in Ashford town centre.
“We’ve had discussions with a number of estate agents, and they say that these flats will be snapped up.
“There have been an increased number of conversions into small flats, which have been rejected and then allowed on appeal.
“I think when you bear in mind that you have got the new shopping facilities and college being built, there’s a need to provide accommodation.
“Twenty-four hour vitality in the town centre is going to be undermined if you can’t do that, and that’s fully in line with government policy.
“You shouldn’t have just one type of resident in an area.”
In response to the residents’ objection that tenants, who might well be students, would not take as good care of the conservation area, he said: “I think that a terrible shame if people do take that view.
“Young people have a right to live in a conservation area as much as anyone else.”