We queried the order of the phasing: “…. Phase 5 (linking Phase 1 to the town centre) should be part of Phase 1 or at least become Phase 2?”
We commented on the level of design detail submitted: “Typically a full planning application would be made at RIBA Stage C or D. This looks like a Stage C submission. Usually an outline specification forms part of a Stage C report, detailing the materials and finishes to the buildings. For example – whether the bricks are handmade or mass produced, timber window frames versus plastic, etc. As the decision was taken to follow a traditional style of housing, we need to avoid blatant cheap looking pastiche. This is a very sensitive issue as the quality of the materials and the details will make all the difference – for example an extract from the document showing a typical elevation – and images of typical new build properties in Ashford. We need to push for better documentation of the actual materials and some typical details for doors, windows, roofs, porches, etc.”
We suggested selecting local artists: “A piece of public artwork is being proposed – which is being agreed between developers and ABC. We should push for involvement of local artists to bid for the contract.” In addition, it may be more beneficial if this artwork had a function, for example creative seating, innovative play equipment or wild life homes.
We suggested pursuing pre-construction full size mock ups: “TDRA should push…….suggestions of pre-construction full size mock ups of typical details for comment and approval by the Steering Group Committee and Ashford Borough Council.”
We expressed our concern about the traffic implications to Tenterden’s roads: “We are not convinced about the conclusions stated in the application regarding impact on traffic, particularly at peak times. We are also not convinced by their suggested mitigation. Traffic is an issue now at peak times.”
Proposals for traffic management are unclear for the East Cross area:
West Cross – The traffic resulting from the development will increase marginally within this location, with queues and delays at this junction not increasing significantly above the existing situation. Any delays that may occur could be mitigated through the adjustment of signal timings.
East Cross – This junction will see an increase in delays during morning and evening peak hours. However, the developers are willing to provide Kent County Council appropriate funding to adjust the operation of the junction, which would be the most suitable solution.
Smallhythe Road – This is the principal access to the site from the West and it has been concluded that the access junction will continue to operate effectively with negligible queues and delays.