Coun­cil­lor con­demns ‘stupid’ and ‘sus­pi­cious’ green­field homes plan

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Big Bur­ton Back­lash - By Vicky Cas­tle

“This is just the tip of the ice­berg and could be the next Chilm­ing­ton Green.”

A wor­ried coun­cil­lor has spo­ken of his con­cern over plans to build more than 700 houses in Ken­ning­ton, brand­ing the pro­pos­als ‘stupid’ and ‘sus­pi­cious’.

C l l r Wi n s t o n Mi c h a e l (Boughton Aluph and East­well) said he be­lieved the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment on the agri­cul­tur­ally rich land stretch­ing from the Con­ning­brook Ho­tel to Or­chard Lane would open the door to thou­sands more homes on the site.

He said: “The like­li­hood is we could see thou­sands more homes within the de­vel­op­ment at the ex­pense of our pre­cious land.

“I am deeply sus­pi­cious of this, and I do not un­der­stand why Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil (ABC) is wad­ing back into a sen­si­tive area of de­vel­op­ment.

“If this site gets put for­ward for the Lo­cal Plan, it would open the flood­gates for other de­vel­op­ments on other green­belt sites be­cause the pro­tec­tion of them would van­ish.

“Se­condly, is this part of a big­ger scheme wait­ing in the back­ground?

“We might not see this hap­pen in the next five years but it will be hid­den away in the Lo­cal Plan and then be brought up again in six years – which is what hap­pened with Chilm­ing­ton Green.

“It crept into the Lo­cal Plan, and so stop­ping the de­vel­op­ment was like clos­ing the sta­ble door af­ter the horse had bolted.

“Coun­cil lead­ers should be left in no doubt res­i­dents want these sites dropped now and are pre­pared to take di­rect ac­tion.

“As a mat­ter of de­cency, in­tegrity, and self-re­spect the coun­cil should drop them now.”

The Ken­ning­ton site is re­ported to have been put for­ward for ABC’s Lo­cal Plan, ear­mark­ing it as a po­ten­tial area for de­vel­op­ment.

Pub­li­ca­tion of the draft Lo­cal Plan 2030 is ex­pected in early April and the site – dubbed Big

‘We could see thou­sands more homes at the ex­pense of our pre­cious land’

Bur­ton – is likely to fea­ture.

A coun­cil spokesman in­sisted sites in the lo­cal plan were still at the spec­u­la­tion stage

He said: “It’s a very long process, and at this stage we do not know what is go­ing where.

“If a de­vel­op­ment site gets into the Lo­cal Plan it has al­ready been through strin­gent tests.”

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

Cllr Win­ston Michael at the site of the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment near Con­ning­brook Ho­tel and Or­chard Lane Ken­ning­ton, and our cov­er­age of the story last week

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