Local Plan to 2030 Regulation 19 - Publication June 2016

Comment ID ALP/1297
Document Section Local Plan to 2030 - Publication Draft SITE POLICIES Ashford Urban Area William Harvey Hospital Content View all on this section
Respondent Willesborough Parking Action G… View all by this respondent
Response Date 08 Aug 2016
Do you consider this part of the document is Sound? No
On which grounds do you consider the document unsound? (if applicable)
Do you consider the Document is Legally Compliant? Yes

The consultation document is very much from the 'status quo' position rather than looking at the area from scratch and making sound planning decision. It is very weak regarding the effect of developments on local residents and ignores the effects of over development on transport and the the local resident's environment.

For example: I have great concerns about the effect on residents caused by a lack of thought by planners for example:

The continued OVER DEVELOPMENT of the William Harvey S18 site. When I moved to the area 10 years ago Kennington Road / Willesborough Road was a quiet residential road with 'normal' levels of traffic. Now we have about 300% more traffic, increased HGV movements, unacceptable levels of air pollution (this is a semi rural area), noise pollution from traffic and particularly ambulances and the air ambulance. The proposed CARE development at the hospital site (following on from the recently opened private hospital, renal unit and other developments) should not be allowed to proceed because of the increased traffic, a lack of parking on site which will cause overspill into local roads where residents are already burdened with HOSPITAL workers who refuse to pay for parking at the hospital.

No consideration is ever made by ABC planners for this aspect of developments. Quite simply Willesborough Lees residents did not buy houses in the Hospital Car Park we bought houses in quiet residential streets that have now become car parking for hospital workers. This is not acceptable.

The continued OVER DEVELOPMENT of the Willesborough Lees and Kennington areas regarding housing and the expected levels of traffic. Developments in Blackwall Road South, Large Burton, Conningbook Lakes, The rear of the William Harvey Hospital will add to the pollution, traffic jams and noise in the local area. Bearing in mind this area is already over an acceptable limit for local residents.  Ten years ago there were never traffic jams on the approach to the William Harvey Hospital. Now it is a daily problem. When J10A comes in it is likely that this will get worse as the exit road from J10 to J10A via the Tesco mini roundabout is badly planned and will cause traffic to back up on Kennington Road. Any further expansion of the hospital especially a specialist A&E unit or more private health facilities will gridlock the area regularly, which in the case of ambulance traffic could be fatal.

Another Transport related aspect that seemingly has never been considered by ABC is the fact that a growing population north of Ashford needs improved rail links. Ashford International is completely inadequate for an expanded Ashford population. It has inadequate parking and is not easy to get to on public transport. Ashford needs two new stations; Kennington and Park Farm. The ideal place for one of these stations is in the field now being considered for the Large Burton development. Filling this field with houses will not only destroy the area traffic-wise but it will also take away a Railway development site that is PERFECT for the local area. A new railway station next to the Julie Rose Stadium with say 2000 car park places would make Ashford a far better place to live allowing people to work in Maidstone and London as little provision is being made to bring quality employment to Ashford. Reducing the volume of housing at Large Burton and adding a station and car park would be a key infrastructure improvement for the town and the local area. Fill it with houses now and the opportunity to add the railway station later is gone.

Overall ABC has to completely replace the inadequate tactical planning that has gone on for years. ABC has to consider the effect of over-development of the Willesborough Lees / Kennington areas on local residents.

What changes do you suggest to make the document legally compliant or sound?
Do you consider it necessary to participate at the oral part of the examination? Yes
Does your representation relate to an omission site (a site that has not been included). For example a site for Housing, Employment, Travellers, or Local Green Spaces.
Please supply details of the omission site.