The core plan – Ashfords Blueprint for development is being updated to include the years 2015- 2030.
We had a number of sites that were put forward, but the list has been reduced to just 2 sites in Aldington & Bonnington, 3 in Brabourne & Smeeth, 1 in Brook. The other villages, Hastingleigh, Ruckinge & Bilsington had no submitted sites.
All the affected villages consulted with residents, by inviting them to a workshop to review all the sites,and to Parish Council meetings and encouraged resident feedback. After this a report was sent to ABC witha summary of Community feeling.
Aldington concluded that with the pace of recent developments there was a collective feeling that the area needs a breather to take stock and address some of the mentioned infrastructure concerns.
Brook did not support development as the residents feel it would open the door to further building.
Smeeth & Brabourne identified a need for additional housing on small sites of maximum 10 dwellings, with priority given to local needs housing.
So as you can see, different areas have acted according to their need.
In Aldington, there is now a small working group, developing a response to the shortlisted sites, that will be presented to the Parish Council and passed on to ABC, within the next 3 -4 months.
This is concentrating on the highlighted arguments of the initial report sent to ABC in April 2013, following the first workshops:
– infrastructure concerns- including parking, local school, road usage,bus services and amenities such as shops
– Affordable and local needs homes
– Build quality of any new developments
– lack of Broadband provision
– drainage concerns
The working group will be commisioning and carrying out surveys to validate their arguments on your behalf, and do ask that you support them by responding.
The Borough Council with take these submissions into account when deciding whether to include these sites in the plan.
There will then be a second round of consultation with Borough Council Members and residents to collate views- this will be in early 2016.
Your opinions will be vital at this time, and will play a key role in shaping how Aldington looks moving forward to 2030.
The Council then need to present their plan to the government inspectorate for a decision on acceptance or refusal.
If accepted, the Plan will then become the fixed development plan for Ashford, and it would be difficult to remove any land considered acceptable for development at a later date. It is therefore imperative, that all those who have an interest in their area going forward,get involved when the next consultation period begins. I will kep you all informed as to when that is.