Ashford Borough Council is launching an online public consultation into plans to build 22 affordable homes on former joinery site

An interactive community consultation has been launched by Ashford Borough Council into plans to redevelop a former joinery site in Mabledon Avenue, Ashford, to create 22 quality affordable homes for the borough’s residents.

Usually the council would hold an event in a community hall but due to Coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings this is not possible. So the consultation has moved online, where local residents will find a video explaining the proposals, plans and documents and a questionnaire for people to complete and ask questions of officers and the architects involved with these proposals.

The plan follows the same blueprint as adopted by the council when it ran its first-ever online consultation earlier this autumn into plans to redevelop the disused Oakleigh House in South Ashford into an independent living scheme offering 69 quality homes for elderly people. The consultation prompted some very interesting community engagement and plans are now being revised in light of the constructive comments made.

Plans for the development

This is the first of two opportunities people will have to comment on Mabledon Avenue. The housing service holds a pre-planning event, aimed at identifying the thoughts of the community. We then take these comments into consideration and adapt our proposals before they are submitted to the council’s planning committee. We then go through the planning process and residents will have a second, more formal opportunity to comment on the application at this stage.

Cllr Bill Barrett, portfolio holder for housing, said: “There are around 1,350 people on our waiting list for affordable housing. These are people who depend on affordable housing and need somewhere to live that is more suitable for their needs. Throughout the pandemic the Government has prioritised construction as an essential industry, ensuring that there remains a national focus on delivering good quality council housing.

“Like every other authority in the country, we must do our bit to try and alleviate the housing issues that we face and I’m delighted that we are bringing this scheme forward at Mabledon Avenue.”

The proposed development

The council will aim to set affordable rent levels on these homes that are around 60%-80% of market rent levels in the area. This is so that the homes are genuinely affordable to those who are housed in them. We are proposing to develop:
4 x 2-bedroom houses
8 x 3-bedroom houses
8 x 2-bedroom flats
2 x 3-bedroom flats

The scheme would be arranged in three blocks around a central communal parking court. A terrace of two and three-storey townhouses completes the street scene on Mabledon Avenue, and a block of two and three-storey apartments look out towards the open green space. A further terrace of townhouses overlooks the footpath linking Birling Road to the green space. It would contain 48 parking spaces, equating to two spaces per home plus four visitors’ spaces

The proposals are outlined in the design by our in-house architect, who also designed the East Stour Court scheme, as well as general needs schemes across the borough. The development of East Stour Court will be complete before any development begins on this site.

Please visit https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/consult.ti/Mabledonave/consultationHome to learn more about the proposals. The deadline for comment is 21 December.

By Ed

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