Opposition ‘respected’ – but development hailed as helping Ashford to thrive Green light for 5,000 Chilmington homes plan
email@example.com The document which outlines how development at Chilmington Green will take place has been recommended for adoption.
The Chilmington Green Area Action Plan was given the stamp of approval by Ashford Borough Council’s cabinet last Thursday.
The plan, which was declared “sound” by a planning inspector earlier this year, gives a vision for the area and outlines the scale and nature of the development around the hamlet.
It will allow the council to control the delivery of the scheme for up to 5,750 homes at Chilmington Green, along with schools and a high street, being put forward by a consortium of developers.
Portfolio holder for planning and development Cllr David Robey (Con) said: “An adopted AAP is a vital component of the council’s ambitious vision for a sustainable garden suburb at Chilmington Green – a development that will be of major significance for the future of Ashford.”
Acknowledging the local opposition from the Keep Chilmington Green campaign group, who amassed 8,000 signatures against the plans, Cllr Robey said it was only right that the council respected their views but said they must be balanced with the wider needs of the borough.
He said: “Chilmington Green provides an opportunity to plan for a high quality new development where infrastructure and services are carefully integrated from the very start, while playing a large role in meeting the borough’s housing sites needs for many years to come.
“It will play an important role in raising the profile of the town, helping it to thrive and prosper.”
One concern raised at last week’s cabinet meeting was about the A28 and whether the bridge by Matalan could be dualled to cope with the additional traffic.
Cllr Neil Shorter (Con), who has been present at masterplanning meetings, said that the railway crossing was a key issue that had been discussed.
ABC’s head of planning Richard Alderton reassured the committee that the dualling would be dealt with as part of the phased improvements of the A28 as the development came forward.
Once adopted by the full council, the AAP will become part of the council’s adopted development plan.
An artist’s impression of the proposed market square at Chilmington Green