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30,000 new homes on horizon for Ashford?


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John Prescott making the announcement on TV
John Prescott making the announcement on TV

DEPUTY Prime Minister John Prescott has lit the blue touch paper under plans for doubling the size of Ashford by another 30,000 homes.

He has also promised the infrastructure to go with them would be provided. A glossy brochure released by the Government says the extra houses could provide 28,000 new jobs by 2031.

But it will only be possible if five key points are addressed:

* new junction for the M20

* funding package for town centre redevelopment and regeneration

* water supply and flood management

* education provision

* new social and community infrastructure like transport links and health services

The contents of Mr Prescott’s statement pleased Ashford council leader Paul Clokie. But there was a mixed reaction from those who battled to save green field sites, many of whom were shunned by announcement organisers.

Cllr Clokie has repeatedly warned the Government his council would not work with Government to expand Ashford unless money was provided up front to support the newcomers.

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