Traffic fears over homes on fields
NEW houses on a school’s old playing fields were expected to be approved in principle by planning councillors meeting last night (Wednesday).
Highworth Grammar School for Girls, last week the only secondary school in Ashford to be rated outstanding in Ofsted’s annual report, requested outline permission for up to 13 houses nearly two years ago. After a series of redesigns the revised plans for the new homes on an old playing field fronting Warren Lane were due to be heard by a planning committee at the Civic Centre.
It has caused concern for a handful of Warren Lane residents, who are enduring a muddy mess on the other side of the lane as construction on a 54-bed Bupa care home begins.
Jean Morfee lives on the lane and is concerned about new homes overlooking her property.
The 83-year-old said: “I just don’t know how they expect the lane to cope. It’s such a small piece of land and with a care home being built on the other side of the road it’s going to be a nightmare.
“We’ve got these lorries going to and fro making a filthy mess for the past three weeks and that’s going to go on for another year. Imagine what it will be like if they start building houses as well.”
According to the plans a road leading off the lane would snake round the first two houses leading up to 11 more new homes. Opposite would be the entrance to the care home.
If granted the outline permission will allow the school to sell the plot of land to a developer, using the cash to extend the school.
Business manager at Highworth Julie Gore said: “We have this piece of scrubland that has never been used and it just sits there. The idea is that if we can get permission it makes the land more sellable. We can then use the funds to extend the school. We’re oversubscribed and in need of an extended space.”
As part of the deal the school would have to pay more than £50,000 to Kent County Council to provide extra secondary school places, library facilities, adult education facilities and adult social services.
The plans mean double trou-
Lara Gee and Oliver with Jean Morfee