Campaigners celebrating town green status victory
RESIDENTS have won their campaign to have a piece of land in Kennington turned into protected open space.
The regulatory committee at Kent County Council agreed to give the grass plot on the corner of Beecholme Drive and Grasmere Road the urban equivalent of village green status last week.
The ruling means the land is protected from the £3 million development of 19 eco-homes by Hyde Housing that led to the application and subsequent public inquiry in February.
At the inquiry, evidence was presented by residents to prove that the land was well used by the community for outdoor activities such as football and dog walking.
After two months, inspector Lara Wood decided to recommend approval of the application and the committee at KCC granted it last Tuesday. Applicant Pat Boorman, whose hard work led to the town green status being granted, said: “It’s great news after all of the hard work.
“It’s nice we can keep it for all of the children and dog walkers who use it.”
Conservative county councillor for Ashford Central Eliza- beth Tweed supported the application.
She said: “It’s really good news all round. I’m delighted.
“I’ve supported them the whole way through. They deserve more open space and now they’ve got it.
Ashford Borough Council said it did not want to block development on land it described as ‘poor quality’ and which it was felt did not contribute positively to the community.
Ashford council head of housing Tracey Kerly said: “We are pleased the decision has concluded the debate about the future of this open space.
“The community now have a village green which will prevent development from taking place on this land in the future.
“The plans for a small development of much-needed affordable homes on the site will now not take place.”
Pat Boorman and residents celebrate the land on the corner of Beecholme Drive and Grasmere Road being granted town green status