Yet more houses

Govern­ment tells council to build an EX­TRA 1,250 new homes – as well as the 12,000 al­ready planned.

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Ai­dan Bar­low abar­low@thek­m­group.co.uk @aidan­bar­lowKM

Council chiefs say dif­fi­cult choices will have to be made after be­ing told by the govern­ment that they must build even more houses in the borough.

Ash­ford Borough Council (ABC) had ear­marked sites for as many as 12,000 houses in its lo­cal plan up to 2030, which was re­vealed in June last year.

It in­cluded a fur­ther 5,035 homes on new sites around the borough, along with the 5,750 homes which will be built at Chilm­ing­ton Green.

But now, fol­low­ing the govern­ment’s Strate­gic Hous­ing Mar­ket As­sess­ment, the au­thor­ity has been told to al­lo­cate 1,250 more homes in the plan, tak­ing the to­tal to around 13,200.

It means the council will have to find new sites for hous­ing, and will also in­crease the num­ber of houses to be built on sites that have al­ready been ear­marked.

ABC port­fo­lio holder for plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment Cllr Paul Clokie said: “Many dif­fi­cult choices have had to be made to pro­vide the lev­els of growth needed in the borough and for the council to present a sound Lo­cal Plan for ex­am­i­na­tion at the end of the process.

“It is an im­por­tant doc­u­ment and I am de­lighted it has reached this stage. An enor­mous amount of work has gone into this process so far to pro­vide a ro­bust ev­i­dence base for the sites and poli­cies pro­posed.

“In mak­ing the pro­posed changes, the council is not just re­spond­ing to the chang­ing con­text for plan-mak­ing set out at a na­tional level, but is also seek­ing to ad­dress con­cerns raised in the ear­lier con­sul­ta­tion.”

Cllr Clokie added: “We are now out to con­sul­ta­tion on the changes pro­posed to our draft Lo­cal Plan and would like to en­cour­age ev­ery­one to take part and help us to shape the plan to­gether.”

The con­sul­ta­tion into the main changes will start to­mor­row (Fri­day) and will run un­til Thurs­day, Au­gust 31. The changes will then be put be­fore Ash­ford’s full council by the end of the year and will then be submitted for in­de­pen­dent scru­tiny by the Plan­ning In­spec­torate.

To find out more or to take part in the con­sul­ta­tion visit www.ash­ford.gov.uk/con­sult

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, Unit 4, Park Mall shop­ping cen­tre, Ash­ford TN24 8RY or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

More houses must be built, mean­ing some tough de­ci­sions will have to be made, ac­cord­ing to Paul Clokie. in­set

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