Plans to transform derelict patch of land plagued by fly tipping into affordable homes and parkland in Kent

The plan include a total of 28 affordale homes
The plan include a total of 28 affordable homes -Credit:Ashford Borough Council

Plans for 28 affordable homes, parkland and a community project have been unveiled in Ashford. The Borough Council's ambitious plan will aim to develop derelict land between Eastmead Avenue and Torrington Road, which it said often attracts fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

This comes after the council asked people in autumn 2022 to comment on plans to create a multi-purpose site to include a community project aimed at tackling isolation in older people, a new parkland, additional parking, a smaller number of commercial units for start-up businesses and 35 affordable homes comprising of a mix of houses, flats and townhouses.

The housing would be the enabler for the other improvements on the site, which is a derelict patch of land that is overgrown and is blighted by fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour. Part of the site is hard standing which was previously used by the Coneybeare Engineering Company.

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The council is now embarking on a second phase of public consultation on plans which have been revised following comments made by residents and the planning authority since 2022. The updated plans include:

  • A professionally landscaped enhanced public green space.

  • A community sheds project. This aims to tackle isolation and loneliness in older people, providing a space to connect, converse and create.

  • A total of 28 affordable homes to the west of the site which is a mixture of houses and flats.

  • A new road layout, which is made possible by the purchase of Eastmead House. This change is in direct response to feedback from the first consultation.

  • Removal of the commercial area. This was not seen as a viable option in the end.

  • Public Right of Way and connectivity. It is proposed to reopen the existing public footpath through the site providing north/south connectivity. The council is also proposing to formalise the existing pedestrian access via Torrington Road in the west, providing additional connectivity through the site.

The project also aims to tackle isolation
The project also aims to tackle isolation -Credit:Ashford Borough Council

The proposed 28 affordable homes have strong green credentials – green roofs, photovoltaic panels (PVs), energy-efficient construction practices, and water harvesting systems such as water butts and other water retention technologies.

Councillor Bill Barrett, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, said: “There are around 1,500 people on our waiting list for affordable housing. Like every other authority in the UK, we must do our bit to try and alleviate the housing issues that we face and we are committed to delivering as much affordable housing as possible.

The council said the land often attracts fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour
The council said the land often attracts fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour -Credit:Ashford Borough Council

“These are bold plans that will transform this derelict land and I would urge local residents to have their say once again and help us to shape the final proposals that will make up the planning application.”

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