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Ashford Borough Council's legal challenge to 141 new homes on Limes Land in Tenterden is thrown out

A legal challenge by Ashford Borough Council against a decision by the Planning Inspectorate to allow a controversial 141-home development has been dismissed.

The local authority lodged the challenge in May after the Inspector granted approval for the scheme on Limes Land between Woodchurch Road and Appledore Road in Tenterden.

CGI shows the proposed Wates development in context with the rest of Tenterden
CGI shows the proposed Wates development in context with the rest of Tenterden

Plans for the Wates Developments estate, which will also feature a community clubhouse, football pitches and outdoor exercise and play equipment, was twice rejected by the council because it is contrary to the Local Plan adopted in 2019.

This refusal to grant permission was then appealed to the Inspectorate, leading to a public inquiry in December and approval in March.

But now a judge has found insufficient merit to the council's arguments against the decision to approve the development, which will now go ahead.

Cllr Neil Bell, portfolio holder for planning, said: "We are extremely disappointed by the judge's view, as we were by the original Inspector's decision.

"The council has made its position on the development of this land right from the start by resisting proposals to include it within the Local Plan and then by refusing planning permission not once but twice, then robustly contesting the planning appeal and subsequently legally challenging the Inspector's decision.


"We do not take appealing to a planning Inspector's decision lightly, which shows how strongly we fought our case.

"Whilst we still disagree with the outcome, we must now reluctantly accept the decision and move on.

"We will now endeavour to ensure that whatever scheme does come forward here, it is of the highest quality possible and that the developer makes good on the promises and claims they made during the public inquiry."

In finding in favour of the proposed development, the Inspectorate noted issues of housing supply in the borough - which the council argued had been caused by delays in building due to pollution concerns at Stodmarsh nature reserve.

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