Can our town take AN­OTHER 700 homes?

Plans for ‘Large Bur­ton’ es­tate are re­vealed Op­po­si­tion to ‘mis­guided and un­nec­es­sary’ de­vel­op­ment

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Vicky Cas­tle vcas­tle@thek­m­group.co.uk @vick­y­castleKM

Plans to build 700 new homes on a green­field site in Ken­ning­ton known as the Large Bur­ton Es­tate have been re­vealed.

The con­tro­ver­sial de­vel­op­ment is al­ready fac­ing op­po­si­tion from Ken­ning­ton res­i­dents and ward mem­ber Cllr Philip Sims has branded the pro­pos­als un­nec­es­sary.

If ap­proved, the huge es­tate would stretch from the Con­ning­brook Ho­tel up to Orchard Lane, across agri­cul­tural land.

Cllr Sims said: “It is a long way ahead yet but I’m not un­happy that this has come out early be­cause it gives res­i­dents some time to un­der­stand what’s in­volved and make their com­ments.

“The idea is mis­guided, to say the least, be­cause some­thing would need to be done to deal with all the traf­fic that it would cre­ate.

“Seven hun­dred homes would typ­i­cally own 1,400 ve­hi­cles and so the num­ber of ve­hi­cle move­ments would be many thou­sands per day, but there are no plans to en­hance the main roads.

“I do not think it’s nec­es­sary and I do not think the res­i­dents would be sup­port­ive of a de­vel­op­ment of this scale.

“Wor­ried res­i­dents have come to me say­ing ‘what’s go­ing on, we do not want this’.”

Cllr Sims said the plans will form part of Ash­ford Bor- ough Coun­cil’s Lo­cal Plan 2030, which looks at po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ments across Ash­ford over the next 25 years.

The so-called Large Bur­ton Es­tate – op­po­site the ex­ist­ing Lit­tle Bur­ton Es­tate – is one part of the whole de­vel­op­ment plan for the bor­ough, which is due to be made pub­lic in early April.

If the plans get the thumbs up from res­i­dents, de­vel­op­ers would be likely to sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tions around 2020.

Cllr Sims added: “It is a long way ahead yet but I would like res­i­dents to share their views early.”

The pro­posed site runs along­side the Downsview Guest­house, which has re­cently been sold by Hobbs Parker to a mys­tery cou­ple for nearly £1 mil­lion.

How­ever Cllr Sims in­sisted that the Large Bur­ton Es­tate plans were “en­tirely sep­a­rate” from the guest­house’s re­cent sale.

He also added that the des­ig­nated land is grade one agri­cul­tural land and has been ruled by the Na­tional Plan­ning Pol­icy Frame­work as “only to be con­sid­ered un­der ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances.”

He said: “There are no such ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances caus­ing this site to be cho­sen.

“I have al­ways main­tained that I will op­pose any sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment in Ken­ning­ton, un­less the road in­fra­struc­ture is im­proved to cope with ex­tra traf­fic move­ments.

“I have not found any­body who is in sup­port of such pro­pos­als.”

Res­i­dents wish­ing to share their views on the pro­pos­als should write to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil plan­ning of­fi­cer Si­mon Cole at si­mon. cole@ash­ford.gov.uk or Cllr Sims at philip.sims@ash­ford.gov.uk.

What do you think of this pro­posal? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email us at ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

Pic­ture: sjb@si­mon­burchett.co.uk REF KE8

The site for the so-called Large Bur­ton Es­tate which would see 700 homes built on green­field land

Cllr Philip Sims - ‘It’s mis­guided’

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