Plan­ning meet­ing to be ded­i­cated to Chilm­ing­ton

Ex­tra rooms set aside for talks on con­tro­ver­sial scheme

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Weeds Shame - By Suz Elvey

An en­tire plan­ning com­mit­tee meet­ing is likely to be set aside to dis­cuss pro­pos­als for the Chilm­ing­ton Green devel­op­ment.

Mem­bers of Ash­ford coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee will next week con­sider ded­i­cat­ing their meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 15, to talk­ing about the con­tro­ver­sial and mas­sive devel­op­ment planned for the ru­ral area to the south west of the town.

The pur­pose of the meet­ing will be to de­cide whether to grant out­line plan­ning per­mis­sion for the devel­op­ment, which could in­clude up to 5,750 houses, a countryside park, a se­condary school, four pri­mary schools, a su­per­mar­ket and a new high street and mar­ket square.

The coun­cil ex­pects the turnout at the meet­ing to be “sig­nif­i­cant” and will have two ad­di­tional rooms set up with an au­dio link so peo­ple who do not fit in the coun­cil cham­ber can still hear what is hap­pen­ing.

Plans and i nfor­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the devel­op­ment, de­scribed by the coun­cil as a sus­tain­able gar­den sub­urb, will be on dis­play in the coun­cil cham­ber from 5pm on the day of the meet­ing and staff from Ash­ford coun­cil and Kent County Coun­cil will be on hand to an­swer ques­tions.

The mas­ter plan for the devel­op­ment was de­signed by ar­chi­tect John Thomp­son and Part­ners and the com­pany has al­ready picked up a strate­gic plan­ning award at the 2014 Place­mak­ing Awards in recog­ni­tion of the pos­i­tive im­pact it is pre­dicted to have on its sur­round­ings.

The Keep Chilm­ing­ton Green cam­paign group col­lected more than 8,000 sig­na­tures on a pe­ti­tion op­pos­ing the devel­op­ment but Ash­ford coun­cil and a govern­ment plan­ning in­spec­tor both gave the Chilm­ing­ton Green Area Ac­tion Plan their seal of ap­proval.

Pa­pers re­lat­ing to Oc­to­ber’s dis­cus­sion would be cir­cu­lated by of­fi­cers two weeks be­fore­hand and a site meet­ing and brief­ing ses­sion would be ar­ranged. The spe­cial plan­ning meet­ing is likely to start at the ear­lier time of 6pm.

A max­i­mum of 10 ob­jec­tors and 10 sup­port­ers will be al­lowed up to five min­utes each to ex­press their views and any­one who wishes to speak must no­tify mem­ber ser­vices by 2pm on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 13.

Other plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions due to be dis­cussed at Oc­to­ber’s meet­ing would be dealt with dur­ing an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 20.

Pic­ture: Coun­try­wide Pho­to­graphic

The Chilm­ing­ton Green area of Ash­ford as it looks now

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