Mabledon Avenue Development Proposals

The overall picture

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There are currently around 1,350 people on the council’s 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.

The consultation

This is a genuine consultation. This is the first of two opportunities you will have to comment on the proposals that we have for this area.

Stage 1.               As a housing service we hold a pre-planning consultation event (in this case due to present restrictions we are holding an online consultation). The aim is to identify the thoughts and/or concerns of the local community. We take these views very seriously and ask for your honest feedback.

Stage 2.               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 as any applicant does. You will have a second, more formal opportunity to give your thoughts on the planning application at this stage. The council’s housing team does not have the right to appeal the planning decision.

We would ordinarily hold the consultation at a venue in the locality but given the current situation we are holding it remotely this time. However, we are making the experience as interactive as possible. We are therefore providing:

  • This text as an introduction as to why we are looking to redevelop the former Piper Joinery site at 55 Mabledon Avenue
  • A short video produced by our in-house architect that explains the proposals in greater detail
  • A separate document that shows the slides from the video presentation
  • A questionnaire that provides you with an opportunity to express your views on the plans and to ask questions of the council officers and architect involved in the proposals – the questionnaire will be made available in hard copy form as well as online.

If you have a question please submit it as part of your response.

55 Mabledon Avenue

The former Piper Joinery site at the end of Mabledon Avenue in Ashford (number 55) was acquired by the council within its Housing Revenue Account in May 2019 – following Piper Joinery’s move to the Henwood Industrial Estate.

The council’s housing services team believe this is a developable site for affordable housing because of its proximity to the town centre and local amenities. Being located in an established residential area, the site already has excellent access to transport networks and local facilities and it is therefore considered highly suited to residential development. The council also owns the adjacent East Stour Court site, which is currently being developed to provide 29 units of affordable accommodation that will enable older people to live independently and in comfort.

The old buildings that were on the site have been demolished and contractors working on East Stour Court have, and will continue, to park on the hardstanding on the site while working on the new independent living scheme.

Preparatory work

The old workshop and office buildings that were on the site have been carefully demolished.

However, in order to consider developing the site we have had to understand what lies beneath the hardstanding and we have therefore undertaken extensive surveys of the ground to establish whether it is contaminated in any way and how we need to remove any contaminated materials from the site so that it is safe to build on.

The proposed development

We are keen to develop affordable housing on the site. The intention is that it will be for people on our waiting list needing social and affordable rent homes. We 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 proposed 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 and beyond.

The proposals are outlined in the design by our in-house architect (click here to see the video), who also designed the East Stour Court scheme, as well as general needs schemes across the borough. These plans see a good quality design using good quality materials, with generous areas of soft landscaping which will add to the look and feel of the area.

The buildings proposed take their cue from the surrounding street scene. Planners will take into account the size and scale of the buildings during the planning process as well as issues such as overlooking and protecting the amenity of nearby residents.

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55 Mabledon Avenue – the proposals

Parking

We appreciate that residents will be concerned about parking. It is important to state that the development of East Stour Court will be complete before any development begins on this site. During the works, we would be working with contractors to ensure that there is minimal impact on the local roads during this time.

The proposed development would contain 48 parking spaces, equating to two spaces per dwelling plus four visitors’ spaces. The central parking court would provide 38 of these spaces and would be accessed from Mabledon Avenue, to the northeast of the terrace of houses, giving some separation between the new houses and the existing flats on Mabledon Avenue.

Parking areas will be broken up with trees and areas of soft landscaping, both within the central parking court and along Mabledon Avenue.

Once the consultation phase has finished we will, through the application process, have satisfied the requirements of the planning department to ensure that there is adequate parking on site. We will be using the extensive knowledge we have of our own development schemes in the borough to ensure that the parking provision is appropriate and of course adhering to planning policy. We will also welcome through the consultation process any comments about any matters that you feel will be important to the development.

Flood Risk

You may know that the site is on the edge of the floodplain, with flood zones 2 and 3 overlapping the southwest site boundary. The flood risk consultant employed by the council has recommended the following measures to mitigate the flood risk and these have been incorporated into the design:

  • Setting the ground floor finished floor levels above the flood level, including an allowance for climate change.
  • Locating all living accommodation outside of flood zone 3, which is the area at highest risk of flooding.
  • Minimising the amount of living accommodation in flood zone 2.

During the build

If the project is granted planning permission the council would appoint a contractor from a framework of contractors who have expressed an interest in working with the council and who have met rigorous checks and standards imposed by the council. We would make sure that the contractor signed up to the considerate contractors scheme, which monitors the performance of the contractor and looks at how they are mitigating the effects of their site on the local community. Though a contractor would not be able to prevent there being noise and dust from the site, they would do all things within their power to keep this to a minimum. We hold regular meetings with developers and have an employer’s agent who brokers between the council and the contractor if required.

Timescales

We would anticipate at this stage that subject to obtaining the relevant planning permissions, work would begin on site once East Stour Court has been completed and that the project will be completed within two-to-three years.

Survey

We then ask you to complete the survey. If you have raised any questions that require feedback then we will come back to you. Please leave your contact details and we can supply a full response.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our proposals. We await your feedback with interest.

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Ashford Borough Council (ABC) is the data controller for the personal information you provide in this form. ABC’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted at FOI@ashford.gov.uk. Your information will be used to inform Local Plan consultations and processing is being conducted relying upon the public interest legal basis under the Town and Country Planning Act. Given the statutory status of the Local Plan, relevant regulations, and the public interest in making information on the Local Plan consultation available, it is appropriate for us to make a wide range of information and documents available on our website. Conversely, however, there is no wider duty or need to disclose information other than that which is statutory. Your telephone number and/or email address will not be published. Your information may be retained and used for further consultation and therefore records will be retained permanently. For more information on your rights please see the council’s privacy statement https://www.ashford.gov.uk/.

Timeline

  • Opened
    17 Nov 2020 at 00:00
  • Closed
    21 Dec 2020 at 23:59

Consultation Documents