Support for rail platform
A proposed new railway platform has been described as a vital development for suburban Ashford.
There was huge support for the planned rail halt on the Park Farm estate at the Joint Transportation Board (JTB) meeting on Tuesday night.
Many members said the platform, which was originally put forward in 2001, was a long time coming.
Committee member Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con. Godinton) said: “We’ve been talking about this for a long time. We have six years left to do something.
“It could improve the line to Hastings, and even Brighton. It could regenerate the Romney Marsh and Hastings areas.
“The station won’t only serve Park Farm, but will be a suburban station for South Ashford.”
Cllr Jim Wedgbury (Con. Park Farm), who has called for the station for a number of years, said: “The town wants it and the community want it.
“We talk about costs, but by not putting it in it is damaging to the town.”
Cllr Aline Hicks (Con. Weald South), said it would relieve some pressure on Hamstreet station.
The scheme would see the construction of a small railway platform on the Ashford to Hastings line, and would improve transport links for thousands living on the Kingsnorth estate.
The scheme was revisited in a planning application in 2012 which looked at the remaining undeveloped elements of the Park Farm development.
Both Network Rail and the Department for Transport have been consulted on the proposal, and the land is protected from any other development until July 2021.
A total of £35,000 is promised from Section 106 obligations to pay for a independent rail consultant, and £10,000 of this has already been secured.
The next step is for members of Ashford Borough Council’s planning team to procure a consultant to carry out the first stages in the process of pursuing the halt.
Cllr Jim Wedgbury