Traf­fic fears over homes on fields

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­group.co.uk

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-

Pic­ture: Martin Apps PD1649606

Lara Gee and Oliver with Jean Mor­fee

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