£45m earmarked to build five schools at Chilmington
Developers agree to provide four primaries and a secondary
A massive £45 million has been secured to provide five new schools in Ashford.
The funding will come from the developers behind the new Chilmington Green housing estate, which will be built on fields to the west of the town.
Around half of the money will go towards a new secondary school, due to open in 2022/23.
It will be constructed to the edge of the development, just off the A28.
The rest will provide four primary schools: three two-form entry schools and a one-form entry school.
A spokesman for Kent County Council said this week that an “agreement has been reached with the developers, but not yet signed off, for a total contribution of £45m for education provision in that area.”
They added: “The number of children needing secondary school places in the area will rise before 2022, but there is currently spare capacity in other schools in the area, and we anticipate that these will be sufficient to meet demand until the new school is built.”
Despite facing fierce opposition from the Keep Chilmington Green campaign, plans for the scheme – Ashford’s biggest ever housing estate – were approved in October 2014 by Ashford Borough Council’s planning committee.
The development is being backed by a consortium of four major housing firms: Pentland Homes, Ward Homes, Barratt Homes and Hodson Development.
When complete, it will include 5,750 new homes, community facilities, the new schools, its own high street, a market square, village green and cricket field, a supermarket and sports pitches.
There will also be a community hub containing a village hall, nursery, youth centre, library, GP surgery and place of worship.
It is estimated that the new estate will generate up to 1,000 new jobs and deliver 3,350 new homes within five years of construction.
Work on the site is expected to begin in the next few months.
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Impression of proposed market square and 3D aerial shot at Chilmington Green