Yet more houses
Government tells council to build an EXTRA 1,250 new homes – as well as the 12,000 already planned.
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
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More houses must be built, meaning some tough decisions will have to be made, according to Paul Clokie. inset