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Plans submitted for new Kent garden city

A  planning application for a 5,750-home development in Ashford, Kent, has been submitted to Ashford Borough Council.

The new Garden suburb will span 415 hectares at Chilmington Green, being developed in four phases over the next two decades.

It will consist of three neighbourhoods, a high street, a secondary school, four primary schools, a park and green spaces, providing 1,000 new local jobs.

The development will be undertaken by a consortium consisting of Hodson Developments, Jarvis Homes, Pentland Homes and Ward Homes. Engineering consultancy WSP was part of the five-strong design team, preparing the project’s engineering and environmental designs and documentation.

Chilmington Green would be connected to Ashford by a network of footpaths, cycle routes and buses, while a renewable energy strategy will meet part of its energy needs.

The Town and Country Planning Association recently hailed Garden Cities and suburbs as part of the solution to the UK’s housing shortage, which recent figures show is deeper than ever.

The consortium’s project manager, Ian Bull, said garden cities were “popular well-designed places that offer communities a lifestyle of wellbeing through a range of employment opportunities, cultural facilities and services, a mix of housing tenures including affordable housing, well-connected and walkable neighbourhoods, and the chance for people to connect with nature through carefully landscaped streets, parks, private gardens and allotments”.

WSP project director Richard Hutchings said: “There were several challenges with this project but our considerable expertise in sustainable urban planning meant we were able to develop effective transport, utilities and drainage strategies that will ensure efficient delivery of this major urban extension.”

“Perhaps most significant was the development of a sustainable transport strategy that resolved existing capacity problems on the A28 corridor by reducing reliance on private vehicle travel and promoting alternative options such as walking, cycling and public transport.”

The plans also include a community development trust to deliver a programme of social activities for the community, and to maintain the key facilities and open spaces on the site.

A decision is expected in Spring next year.

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