Controversial plans to build 250 new homes and a country park at Limes Land were unanimously rejected at the Town Council’s planning committee on Monday, 17 February, with chairman John Crawford describing the proposals as “unwelcome, unneeded, unsustainable and unabsorbable”.
A number of new arguments against the Wates plans for the land, between Woodchurch Road and Appledore, were raised…...
- Tenterden & District Residents’ Association member Siggi Nepp alleged that Homewood School would require permission from the Secretary of State to sell the land, and there was no evidence that permission had been granted.
- Neighbourhood Plan chairman Richard Masefield said there would be a net loss of biodiversity on the site, an argument supported by the Kent Wildlife Trust.
- Planning consultant Helen Whitehead (reading a speech on behalf of Sam Reed who was unable to attend) said researches had shown there were 400 different species on Limes Land, with more likely to be identified, and that this scored highly against the Ratcliffe Criteria, a recognized measure to identify sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).
- Limes Land Group chairman Albert Poole observed that the historically significant Gallows Green site appeared to have been mis-located on the plans.
The meeting, attended by more than 80 residents, also heard that with 46 properties per hectare, the housing density in the proposals was highly intensive, usually only associated with developments in London.
It was also pointed out by Cllr Ken Mulholland the claim that affordable houses would be available for local people was untenable, because affordable housing is allocated on a points-based system applicable across the entire Ashford borough, and that houses elsewhere were less costly.