Blame govern­ment for homes build­ing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

Ash­ford has many fun­da­men­tal prob­lems cur­rently and un­doubt­edly will have in the fu­ture too, so it’s very easy to put the blame at the coun­cil’s door although they are far from blame­less.

There is with­out ques­tion a govern­ment agenda to build thou­sands of new homes in Kent, cheap land and good trans­port links are prob­a­bly the main rea­sons why. Ash­ford in par­tic­u­lar, some might say, is a ben­e­fi­ciary of the project but many oth­ers would dis­agree.

An ex­am­ple of this is the en­hance­ment of a sec­tion of the A28 Chart Road, great news in the short-term but in 10 years time with the con­struc­tion of Chilm­ing­ton Green near com­ple­tion the A28 from Junc­tion 9 of the M20 to Ten­ter­den will be a night­mare. Add to this to this the other nu­mer­ous hous­ing de­vel­op­ments in the pipeline and also the new Ot­ter­pool Park gar­den town near Hythe, which is pro­vid­ing 12,000 new homes, and these de­vel­op­ments will pro­vide over 20,000 new homes in the fu­ture.

How on earth is the lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture go­ing to cope? It won’t, is the an­swer. Govern­ment bud­get cuts to hos­pi­tals, doc­tor ser­vices, so­cial care, schools and roads are dev­as­tat­ing. Some of these new de­vel­op­ments say they will pro­vide new schools and doc­tors surg­eries but sel­dom de­liver, and so it con­tin­ues, with more and more pres­sure on fewer re­sources. It was not that long ago when hous­ing de­vel­op­ments were sup­posed to ful­fil lo­cal needs, but those days are long gone. The Ken­tish Ex­press en­cour­ages its read­ers to send in pho­to­graphs of Ash­ford’s past! Now might be the time to start tak­ing pho­to­graphs of our green spa­ces and coun­try­side be­cause it will soon be a dis­tant mem­ory. J. Dun­ton Ash­ford

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