Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE -

The res­i­dents of Queen Street say the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment there will cre­ate a domino ef­fect that will dam­age the his­toric con­ser­va­tion area. Queen Street is mostly made up of Vic­to­rian ter­raced houses, the ma­jor­ity lived in by owne­roc­cu­piers. Res­i­dents say ten­ants will not take as much care of the con­ser­va­tion area. Sharon Har­vey said: “There are a lot of fam­i­lies liv­ing in this street and that’s why it’s looked af­ter and looks the way it does.” The res­i­dents say the pro­posed small flats will only ap­peal to young peo­ple, in what is es­sen­tially a fam­ily area, and that it will in­evitably in­crease road traf­fic, threat­en­ing chil­dren who play in the street. They are wor­ried that, once one con­ver­sion has been al­lowed, it will set a prece­dent that will see fam­i­lies sell­ing their houses to buy-to-let de­vel­op­ers. Peter Rose, who lives next door to the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment, has worked in the build­ing trade for 20 years, and says it breaches con­ser­va­tion guide­lines. Un­til now, home­own­ers on the street have been sub­ject to “clo­sure or­ders”, pre­vent­ing them from mak­ing sim­i­lar con­ver­sions. “There have been clo­sure or­ders on the street for 20 years now, mean­ing peo­ple can­not con­vert at­tics or base­ments into flats,” said Mr Rose.

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