Published: 06:00, 27 June 2020
| Updated: 06:40, 27 June 2020
Hundreds of homes, a retirement village and business park could be built on a 150-acre site in Ashford, new documents have revealed.
Bosses at Quadrant Eureka have unveiled plans to develop huge swathes of land between Trinity Road and Sandyhurst Lane next to Ashford Golf Club.
They are looking to build up to 600 homes alongside the 150-bed retirement village and 12-acre business estate.
The site – dubbed Eureka Park – is included in Ashford Borough Council’s Local Plan which maps out where 13,000 homes will be built across the district up to 2030, in accordance with government guidelines.
If built, the development would mainly be accessed via two entry points off Trinity Road, with a separate no-through road off Sandyhurst Lane leading to 150 properties.
Although no planning application has come forward yet, developers submitted a scoping opinion request to ABC which was adopted by the authority last week.
It marks the first step of the planning process which assesses the environmental impact of any potential development prior to a full application being submitted.
ABC does not notify residents about scoping opinion requests, but the information should be included by the developers in a future Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The purpose of the scoping document is to request opinion from the council and statutory bodies including Natural England before full plans are lodged.
In ABC’s Local Plan, the site, which is mainly made up of farmland and takes in Sandyhurst Farm, is earmarked for 375 homes and 49 acres of commercial development.
But in Quadrant Eureka’s scoping report, between 400 and 600 homes are proposed in the scheme, which would see the existing lakes retained close to the Brakes food distributor’s head office.
Developers are proposing 27 acres of open space, as well as pedestrian and cycle routes across the site.
As part of the scoping opinion response, Kent County Council Highways has noted the impacts the development will have on nearby roads – especially the M20 Junction 9 roundabout and main approach roads into the town centre, including Faversham Road and Canterbury Road.
The highways authority says the impacts "will need to be considered as part of the required transport assessment associated with any planning application submitted".
This week, Ashford Golf Club bosses confirmed they have no plans to move from their Sandyhurst Lane home.
In ABC's Local Plan, it states the club, which sits next to the development site, had considered shifting to a new site within the borough.
No firm proposals for relocation had come forward when the planning blueprint was prepared, but ABC said it was "reasonable to anticipate this may occur during the plan period [up to 2030]".
However, chairman Norman Barnes, who has been a part of the club since 1985, says there are no such plans.
He said: "We have no intention of moving anywhere – none whatsoever.
"We have been at Sandyhurst Lane since the very early 1930s and we are more than happy with where we are.
"Since we reopened after lockdown, we have had 60 new members join, taking our total membership to 530.
"We have an interesting layout and it's a course you just don't get bored of."
Not far from the golf club, a new office block is currently being built off Trinity Road.
The three-storey site is set to become home to Bizspace Ltd when complete.
To view the scoping opinion documents, visit www.ashford.gov.uk and search for the 20/00002/EIA/AS application.