Tent 1A 14/00757/AS – Area of land between the back of the Leisure Centre and the rear of Tesco’s car park – Approved

Further details: http://www.tenterdentowncouncil.gov.uk/tent1.html

As expected, Ashford Borough Council’s Planning Committee has taken the decision to approve the detailed planning application for TENT 1 (Phase A).

Given the amount of work devoted to this application over the last 2 years by the Steering Group, it is no surprise that this has, subject to some minor alterations, been approved. This will lead to the construction of approximately 250 dwellings (64 of which will be flats) and it is expected that work will start in the spring of 2015.

Although TDRA has been an ever-present member of the Steering Group, there has never been an option to prevent this development, as it has been part of ABC’s core strategy. We have thus sought to ensure that all the desirable aspects of TENT 1 have been enshrined in the planning, such as Useable Public Open Space, high quality design and building materials, sympathetic architecture, appropriate mix of housing and the highest possible proportion of affordable housing. We continue to have concerns over infrastructure provision, especially water supply and health facilities. We are extremely sceptical, to put it mildly, over the effects on traffic in Tenterden High Street (apparently there will be little or none!!).

With regard to the other large-scale proposals which have been put forward (Tilden Gill, Hopes Grove, Westwell, to name but a few), we oppose them all until the whole of TENT 1 has been completed (including Phase B). Our view is that, upon completion of TENT 1, a full review of Tenterden’s housing needs should be undertaken. It is worth pointing out that for the last 15 years an average of 20 dwellings a year have been constructed in infill and windfall sites (eg the old police station in Oaks Road). This level of building is likely to continue, as there is almost nothing that can be done to stop it. We have repeatedly said that significant housing developments should be considered in a Borough-wide context due to the effects on infrastructure. We should bear in mind that 9 miles away in Chilmington Green, plans for a new TOWN the size of Paddock Wood are well advanced.

TDRA response:

1. Phasing

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?”

2. Design and Build Quality Expectations

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.”

3. Public Artwork

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.

4. Monitoring the Quality of the Design and Build

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.”

5. Traffic Implications

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:

TENT 1A – Planning Statement

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.

TDRA Comments 14.7.14

1. Phasing Plan

We query the order of the phasing – surely phase 5 (linking phase 1 to the town centre) should be part of phase 1 or at least become phase 2?

TENT1A-1

2. 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 proposed typical elevation – and precedent images of typical new build properties in Ashford. We would expect to see the documentation of the actual materials (outline specification) and some typical details for doors, windows, roofs, porches etc. in this submission.

TENT1A-2

TENT1A-3

TENT1A-4

3. A piece of public artwork has been proposed, we would like to see the inclusion of local artists to bid for the contract.

4. We would like to see the inclusion under planning conditions of Martin Vink’s suggestions for pre-construction full size mock ups of typical details for comment and approval by the Steering Group committee and ABC.

5. 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 the suggested mitigation. Traffic is an issue now at peak times. Proposals for traffic management are unclear for the East Cross area:

TENT1A-5

Posted by Planning Committee
Sunday 20th July 2014

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