School’s homes plan branded as ‘ugly’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­

A HOUS­ING de­vel­op­ment by a gram­mar school has been branded “ugly”.

Coun­cil­lors slammed the de­sign qual­ity of 13 houses planned by High­worth Gram­mar School for Girls in Ash­ford.

They also said the de­vel­op­ment over­crowded the area and caused ac­cess prob­lems and have de­ferred their de­ci­sion on the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil leader Paul Clokie (Con) told a plan­ning meet­ing: “I have rarely seen, in a long time, any­thing quite so ugly. It is un­be­liev­able.”

High­worth wants the houses it plans for its grounds off War­ren Lane to be sold and the pro­ceeds used to ex­pand the school.

Cllr Jill Hutchin­son (Con) said: “The school needs to ex­pand but I be­lieve it is a very ugly de­sign for the houses.

“If we are try­ing to im­prove Ash­ford and make it a qual­ity town we must have qual­ity houses.”

Coun­cil­lors be­lieve there are ac­cess prob­lems and also be­lieve no more than eight houses should be built.

Neigh­bours had also sent in four let­ters of ob­jec­tion, say­ing the homes were unattrac­tive and poorly de­signed and also say­ing the de­vel­op­ment would cause too much traf­fic for the nar­row War­ren Lane.

Those who spoke to the Ken­tish Ex­press last week said they were al­ready hav­ing to put up with mud from the build­ing of a neigh­bour­ing 54-bed Bupa care home. But coun­cil of­fi­cers rec­om­mended ap­proval of the High- worth scheme, say­ing the den­sity of the de­vel­op­ment was sat­is­fac­tory.

School gov­er­nors’ chair­man Peter Aves told the plan­ning meet­ing on Wed­nes­day last week: “In the last five years there has been in­creased de­mand for places at the school be­cause of the in­crease in pop­u­la­tion in Ash­ford.”

Agents Lee Evans Town Plan­ning of Can­ter­bury stressed that this was still an out­line ap­pli­ca­tion and the artist’s im­pres­sions of the houses would not nec­es­sar­ily be their fi­nal ap­pear­ance.

Paul Hop­kins

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