Plan would de­stroy our vil­lage iden­tity in­sist ob­jec­tors

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kingsnorth Green - By Ai­dan Bar­low

De­vel­op­ers have sub­mit­ted plans for up to 750 new homes across 60 hectares of land in Kingsnorth.

The out­line plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion put for­ward by Pent­land Homes and Jarvis Homes could see the con­struc­tion of a pri­mary school, shops and road im­prove­ments.

The Kingsnorth Green de­vel­op­ment would see a mix of high, medium, and low den­sity hous­ing ar­eas in fields off Pound Lane, Mag­pie Hall Road, and in the fields both sides of Bond Lane.

Pro­ject spokesman Ian Bull said: “Ash­ford is fac­ing a hous­ing cri­sis with the need for new homes far out­pac­ing cur­rent build­ing rates. Kingsnorth Green will help ad­dress this is­sue.

“Our pro­posal will de­liver up to 750 much-needed open mar­ket and af­ford­able homes for Ash­ford.

“The houses are spread evenly across the site in what is the low­est den­sity large-scale hous­ing ap­pli­ca­tion sub­mit­ted to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil for decades.”

But the plans have al­ready at­tracted crit­i­cism from res­i­dents.

Gor­don McBain, of Hay­wain Close in Kingsnorth, de­scribed it as a build­ing by stealth de­vel­op­ment and said the coun­cil had failed to no­tify res­i­dents about the plans.

Mean­while oth­ers such as Rod and Ruthie Gil­bert, and David Nut­ley, have ex­pressed their con­cerns that the ru­ral char­ac­ter of Kingsnorth will be lost.

Mr and Mrs Gil­bert said: “Specif­i­cally, we draw at­ten­tion to the unique his­toric build­ings in Mill Hill and Ash­ford Road, which in­cludes the old­est in the vil­lage, Mill House, built in 1670 and The Old Mill, The Barn, and Mill End.

“There must be wide open space around these, linked down to the Parish church St Michaels to keep the heart of the vil­lage alive. Keep­ing Kingsnorth ru­ral is es­sen­tial.”

Mr Nut­ley said: “This large scale de­vel­op­ment is to­tally dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the vil­lage. Kingsnorth has now ef­fec­tively merged with Ash­ford to the north, and this de­vel­op­ment will com­pletely de­stroy the vil­lage iden­tity of Kingsnorth.”

Mr Bull de­fended the plans, and says it will be based on a care­fully con­sid­ered vil­lage green de­sign lay­out which will be built in stages over a five-year pe­riod.

He says the de­vel­op­ers are con­tin­u­ing to main­tain and pro­tect the ru­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

“The hous­ing forms just part of the over­all plans, with sub­stan- tial land­scape, ecol­ogy, and bio­di­ver­sity works also in­cluded.

“This en­sures we de­velop a high qual­ity vil­lage com­mu­nity peo­ple will be proud to live in.”

What do you think of the plans? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­

Land be­tween Bond Lane and Ash­ford Road

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM3696765

Ian Bull, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ian Bull Con­sul­tancy at the ex­hi­bi­tion of plans for a 750-home vil­lage in Kingsnorth

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