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Court Lodge plans for 1,000 homes in Ashford go on show at public consultation

By Georgia Woolf

Controversial plans for up to 1,000 houses, a two-form entry primary school and shops go under the microscope at a public consultation today.

The development - branded Court Lodge - is being proposed for the land south of Pound Lane in Kingsnorth, Ashford.

Development company Hallam Land Management is looking to submit an outline planning application for the new residential development.

The proposed site
The proposed site

Plans also include open space, a nature reserve, and children’s play space.

It comes as developers begin construction of Ashford’s largest housing estate at Chilmington Green, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Court Lodge site on the other side of the Long Length road.

Residents who live in the area claim it is time developers left Kingsnorth alone.

Daisy Cumming, who lives near Pound Lane, said: “We are outraged that this proposed development is taking away one of the few green recreation spots left to residents south of Ashford.

“These fields are used daily by walkers, joggers, dog walkers and cyclists and children play in the woods and ride their BMX bikes along the paths.

“It will be awful if another green field is swept aside when there is already a massive development enveloping this part of Ashford.

Where the homes could go
Where the homes could go

“The air quality will be further diminished by the vast increase in traffic and add to the congestion caused by the Chilmington Green development.

“I dread to think what impact this will have on the badgers, foxes, pheasants and other wildlife."

Chartfields resident Vera O’Brien agreed, saying too many houses are being built in the area.

She said: “I think the area is being over-developed, it looks as though any piece of land around here is going to be built on.

“I moved to this part of Ashford as it was closer to the countryside but it is becoming more and more urbanised.”

The proposed site
The proposed site

The Court Lodge site has been earmarked for development in Ashford Borough Council’s Local Plan.

The plan is a blueprint mapping where 13,521 homes will be built across the district up to 2030, in accordance with government guidelines.

Cllr Paul Bartlett, member for Ashford Central at Kent County Council (KCC) says road improvements are crucial.

He said: “This is a difficult area. There is a large demand for housing in Ashford and we need to make sure that adequate infrastructure is available.

“The council has made a commitment to build a certain number of houses and the site has been allocated in the Local Plan.

Cllr Paul Bartlett
Cllr Paul Bartlett

“Some of the roads in Kingsnorth are accident blackspots and we need to make sure the developer improves the roads.

“There are plans to build a new road near Tesco to access the new houses, but the downside is that it will affect a lot of people as the new road will run past existing houses."

The Kentish Express contacted Hallam Land Management, but the company said it was not interested in commenting.

A public exhibition detailing the Court Lodge plan will be held at the Homelands Stadium in Ashford Road today from 3pm.

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