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Plan for 750 homes and school near Ashford

By Charlie Harman

Plans for 750 new homes and a new primary school on the outskirts of Ashford will go under the microscope next month.

Development company Quinn Estates hopes to extend the Little Burton housing estate in Kennington next to the Conningbrook Hotel.

It is proposing the two-form entry primary school alongside the scores of homes, which would be built on fields overlooking the Wye Downs if approved.

Fields off Willesborough Road are earmarked for development
Fields off Willesborough Road are earmarked for development

A planning application is yet to be submitted but residents will have a chance to scrutinise the scheme - officially known as Conningbrook Park - when a public consultation is held next month.

The plans first surfaced in 2016 but the development company behind the scheme has not been known until now.

Former Ashford mayor Cllr Winston Michael, who lives in Boughton Aluph, has fears over the plans.

He said: “It is inappropriate and I am against it like a lot of locals are.

“I am worried about the environmental impact as it is going to have an impact on biodiversity

“It is some of the finest agricultural land you can come across - developers should look for poor farming land to build on.”

The proposed site of the new housing
The proposed site of the new housing

The scheme also involves provision for new sport pitches and a number of small shops.

Cllr Michael fears the development will put “huge pressure” on the nearby Conningbrook Lakes Country Park if given the green light.

He added: “If you are building 750 houses, most of the school places will be taken by people moving in, so that does not help the need for school places locally.

“We already have schools in the area and something should be done with those instead.

“I suspect developers do not want land that is difficult to build on and we seem to be giving them land that’s easy to develop - we shouldn’t be doing that.”

The first public exhibition will be held at the Conningbrook Hotel in Canterbury Road on Wednesday, July 4 between 6pm and 8pm.

A second exhibition will be held on Sunday, July 8 between 9am and 11.30am at the same location.

In a separate scheme, scores of homes are already being built around the Conningbrook Lakes on the other side of the railway line.

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