Green policies see creation of dark-sky zone
Ashford’s Local Plan also sets out policies for infrastructure, shopping and the environment.
Part of the plans include continued protection for the town’s Green Corridor which extends along the River Stour.
In the south of the town, the East Stour and Aylesford Stream is protected from development, including fields south of the Designer Outlet.
The corridor goes through the town centre at Tannery Lane, East Hill and Henwood, and then extends protection to the green strip of land at Ashford Rugby Club in Kinney’s Lane and to the south of the Little Burton Estate.
Another policy is for the creation of a ‘dark-sky zone’ which aims to protect rural areas from light pollution of new homes and streetlights.
This is one of the country’s first designated spaces and the council hopes to boost tourism by working with the Ashford Astronomical Society in a bid to create a space centre and observatory.
Villages from Aldington to Hamstreet and from Woodchurch south to Appledore have been given the International Dark Skies Association designation, and this will form part of local planning policy.
Road networks could be extended, with a new junction 10a to be built at Willesborough and the dualling of the Chart Road A28, near Godinton Park.