Bridgefield

BRIDGEFIELD UPDATE FROM ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL

The following has been put together by Cllr Paul Bartlett.   Paul is Borough Councillor, Weald East ward and can be contacted on  0773 929 3502 or paulbartlett@ransleygreyhounds.com if you have any questions. You can also speak to Len Bunn, Parish Clerk on 01233 50296 or email kingsnorth.clerk@btconnect.com.

Please contact Paul or Len with your problems and they will do their best to help.

 

Remaining Taylor Wimpey Land Parcels 2-5 and 8, 10 & 11

Taylor Wimpey have begun building homes again on site and have an active presence. This enables residents to report problems and get them sorted out. The land parcels involved are shown below in light orange (those in grey being already completed).

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Remaining Persimmon Land – Parcel 1

A planning application has been approved for this site which is shown in bright yellow on the image above – 33 homes so a very small parcel.

The Sports Land

This land is shown in light green on the image above. Formal sports provision is not viable at this site due to land quality, funding and demand.  The public consultation last year supported a play space for older children, informal open space, community orchards and a small car park.  The Parish Council are interested in locating allotment plots on the site.  At this stage ABC are commissioning organisations to carry out various land studies (ecological, topological and utilities) for the site to ensure they are aware of any issues that may arise over the next year or two.  These studies will take place in March, April time depending on the weather. Any proposals will need to go through the normal planning process and residents will be given the opportunity to comment.

The Local Park at Bridgefield

This is shown in dark green on the image above. The Local Park is now in a Maintenance Period which allows any defects to be identified and put right at the owner’s expense before passing to the Council. There has been a ROSPA inspection of the completed play equipment which has not highlighted any issues. Liabilities will remain with the owner until adopted by the Council.

Dog and Waste Bins

The Council is working with the landowner consortium’s landscape architect on the linear green space shown in bright green on the image above. The Council is hopeful that this will be resolved and has raised this with the consortium of builders because although the linear space will be adopted by ABC in due course it is currently the responsibility of the builders.

The Accommodation Bridge Connecting Park Farm South with Bridgefield

The consortium has paid KCC the sum due to upgrade the bridge. Finishing the upgrade works and installing some missing bits of panelling will limit the risk of trespass on the railway. This is a pre-requisite for a bus service entering Bridgefield.

Bus Service to Bridgefield

The proposed extension to services from Park Farm South by Stagecoach is dependent on parking controls in part of Bluebell Road in order that bus access and stopping is not impeded. The parking restrictions have not yet been agreed. Financial support (£255,000) for the extended service and the works has been approved by the Council.

Turning Facility for a Bus

Until such time as onward movement to Finberry is provided, a bus will be required to turn around at on land reserved for the rail halt car park. Once the turning facility is no longer required it will be removed.

Road Links to Cheeseman’s Green (Finberry)

The ‘Northern Link Road’ is pedestrian, cyclist, and bus only. The ‘Southern Link Road’ is an all movement connection. These are shown below.   Work on the northern link will start this year. Each Link Road will be built up to Finberry on its southern side with the Finberry developer (Crest) completing the links into Finberry. The Northern Link Road provides the onward through route for a bus coming into Bridgefield from Park Farm South (via the Accommodation Bridge) and then moving along Damara Way, over the Northern Link Road, stopping at the Finberry local centre, then onwards out of Finberry via the A2070 access road to Ashford.

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Rail Halt

This is shown in purple on the site layout above. Work is ongoing to convince the rail authorities to proceed with this. Although there has been some progress with Network Rail, a Rail Utilisation Strategy has delayed progress. The ‘door was left open’ by Network Rail for the ‘case to be made’. The Council requires the consortium to fund an independent consultant to review and progress delivery. Funds for that independent consultant review just been received and ABC will be moving forward with that process.

Landscaping

The Council has been chasing snagging of soft landscaping in various areas of the site for some time. The consortium has made some progress. The issue of well-maintained soft landscaped frontages being located adjacent to poorly maintained frontages remains disappointing: it could be related to poor ground preparation conditions at the time of planting but it could equally be down to some occupiers adopting a low-maintenance route. In the design of further homes at Bridgefield, the landscape architect has reviewed depths of shrub beds to make them more manageable. The area at the end of Damara Way and Herdwick Close has recently has recently received some attention by the consortium, improving its visual appearance. The northern link road will pass through this part of this space area and so the landscaping there cannot, realistically, be finalised at present: nevertheless, the area looks better generally. Elsewhere, a number of street trees on Rutledge Avenue have been inspected: some need pruning and monitoring – this has been agreed with the consortium’s landscape architect. A number have also been agreed as being dead/dying and so replacements have been requested in the current planting season.