Published: 06:00, 30 October 2020
| Updated: 17:09, 02 November 2020
Thousands of trees are to be planted at a huge housing estate in Ashford following a successful bid by the council.
Although the species are not yet known, 6,666 trees will go in at Chilmington Green between December and February.
It follows a bid from Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to the Forestry Commission’s ‘Urban Tree Challenge Fund’.
The project aims to support the planting of more than 130,000 trees across towns and cities in England.
Bosses say the first residents moving into Chilmington Green will be involved in the scheme to encourage a “greater sense of local ownership”.
They will be planted close to John Wesley Primary School on the edge of the new 5,750-home estate, which was given planning permission in 2014.
Cllr Neil Shorter (Con), lead member for Chilmington Green, said: “Everyone associated with this is to be congratulated.
“There were very specific guidelines to meet and it has taken a team effort from services across the council, the Chilmington Community Management Organisation (CMO) and especially the developers Hodson Developments to put this successful bid in place.”
The road is to be widened so the notoriously busy stretch can cope with more cars travelling from the housing estate.
But, as Hodson is yet to stump up a security bond, the works have been delayed until at least 2022.
A planning condition states the developer’s money will be released once 400 homes are occupied at Chilmington.
The first residents moved into the development last year.
Following the successful bid, council leader Gerry Clarkson (Con) says it shows the authority “means business”.
“It’s not just the odd tree here and there, but it will create almost a forest for Ashford,” he said.
“I think it’s a great accolade for the officers of ABC to have secured such a huge number of trees.
"It will help our Garden of England, our ecology and everything else.”