Local Plan Response

Kingsnorth Parish Council initial Local Plan response.

The new Local Plan was proposed to be employment led and we hope that this continues to be the guiding principle of the plan.

We believe the number of new homes proposed for Ashford is sufficient to meet local housing need over the life of the plan, up to 2030. South East Ashford has contributed significantly to the provision of new homes and we feel as a Parish, Kingsnorth has made a sufficient contribution to that provision. Any future development in the Parish should be supportive of existing communities on a piecemeal basis and not on a large scale which would create a third urban extension to Ashford, linking Cheeseman’s Green with Chilmington Green.With the development of Park Farm, Finberry and Chilmington Green, South Ashford has taken the lion’s share of new provision in the borough and the very things that made the area attractive are in danger of being lost. Consideration should be given to identifying a green belt between these schemes so they maintain their rural attraction and enable biodiversity to increase.

Kingsnorth Parish would object very strongly to any attempt to create a third urban extension in the Parish, such an extension would destroy the village and it surrounding farmland. The Parish is already struggling to accommodate the existing increase in population in terms of new infrastructure, medical facilities and recreational Facilities. If a further large increase in population were proposed then the existing population would be extremely disadvantaged.

We do accept that there could be areas where small scale development could usefully strengthen the village but we cannot at this stage suggest where this could be. We also feel that small scale local extensions of existing communities around Ashford would all contribute to the required growth and have less impact on one area like Kingsnorth.

Ashford needs to be clear about its own long term vision and aspirations as a town, not grow in response to pressure from London and other areas in the South East, we have done enough to contribute towards the regional and national housing shortage.

The infrastructure to support existing new homes is not adequate and anindication should be given as to how improvements could be made to cope with any further expansion. The Local Plan must address this issue prior to sites being considered.

The principle of developing brown field sites before greenfield should be a guiding principle of the plan.The alleged extra costs in developing these sites should not be used as an argument to support the development of green field sites.  Recent government guidance indicates that priority should be given to the development of brown field sites and that people do not wish to see further urban sprawl.

The range of house types must not be limited to primarily family housing, mixed communities should be the aim so that all sections of society are catered for. The plan should take into account the better use of existing stock not purely at growth.

Now that approval has been given to fund Junction 10A priorities should be given to developing all the land that will now be released before designating additional new large scale schemes.

Update on the Local Plan for Kingsnorth Residents – March 2015

There are various questions currently being asked about the progress of the Kingsnorth Local Plan.

There are a large number of sites, being suggested for housing, in Kingsnorth, both large and small. Planners need to assess each site put forward in the Borough as to its suitability for housing.

Each site is assessed against a number of criteria. The Planners have taken the easiest sites first, i.e. sites in small villages. Several Parishes have already been told which sites have been considered as possibly suitable. None of the small sites within Kingsnorth have, as yet, been assessed. Naturally when they have been, the Parish Council will be informed and the information will be passed into the public domain for consideration by all residents. However, this is likely to be some months ahead.

In addition to the sites mentioned above, Kingsnorth has had several large sites proposed and these require considerably more investigation as to their suitability for development. Planners have not, as yet, started to investigate these in detail. It will possibly be July or later before these sites will have been evaluated.

Once the sites which might be considered suitable for development have been announced, all interested parties will then be able to submit their comments.

Finally there will be an examination of the plans by an Inspector who will consider the Local Plan as a whole as well as each individual site.

Jarvis Homes are already communicating their ideas for plans on the use of land they own. These plans are not a planning application, have no validity and are merely some ideas that Jarvis homes might put forward if their land were deemed to be suitable for development.

This is a slow and difficult process for the planners, but they naturally have to get it right.