Plans to build 250 new homes on Limes Land, Tenterden were unanimously rejected by Ashford Borough Council’s (ABC) planning committee on Wednesday, 16th September – but Cllr Callum Knowles, who sits on both ABC and Tenterden Town Council, has warned that the fight must go on.
Acknowledging the possibility that developers Wates might appeal to the government’s Planning Inspectorate, Cllr Knowles said: “Two years ago, the inspectors endorsed the Local Plan, which makes it crystal clear that Tenterden cannot afford to absorb any more large-scale development.
“The application falls short on so many measures, and in particular the impact on biodiversity – Limes Land contains endangered species of county significance, and the application would not only destroy those, but also wreck the beautiful avenue of horse chestnut trees which leads into the town.
“The application also refers to providing a country park – what’s the point of that, when Limes Land already constitutes a country park?
“This development is not wanted, and it’s not needed”.
Earlier this year, the application was turned down by Tenterden Town Council’s own planning committee, but went to ABC as the principal local planning authority.
At last night’s meeting, ABC’s planning officers outlined a series of objections, including……
- The number of new homes runs counter to a sustainable distribution of houses across the borough until the Local Plan timescale of 2030;
- It would involve a large scale, intensive residential development on undeveloped land which contributes positively to the local landscape;
- The loss of trees would be detrimental to the character of Appledore Road, and
- Occupiers of any new houses would not be assured of minimum levels of privacy, amenity and car parking.
Cllr Knowles also pointed out that while the Wates application proposed leaving space for much-needed local football pitches, making them fit for purpose would be at local taxpayers’ expense.
And he added: “We need to keep a very close eye on whether Wates decide to appeal to the Inspectorate, and be ready to act quickly and forcibly if that happens.”