Local Plan to 2030 Regulation 19 - Publication June 2016

Comment ID ALP/2179
Document Section Local Plan to 2030 - Publication Draft TOPIC POLICIES SECTION D - THE NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT Biodiversity and Landscape Green Corridor Content View all on this section
Respondent Village Alliance (Padraig Herlihy) View all by this respondent
Response Date 12 Aug 2016
Do you consider this part of the document is Sound? No
On which grounds do you consider the document unsound? (if applicable)
  • Not Justified
  • Not Effective
Do you consider the Document is Legally Compliant? Yes

The Ashford Green Corridor is an important element of the Local Plan, providing ‘welcome breaks’ in the built up areas and into the countryside beyond. However, it is absolutely essential that the Green Corridor should be extended in a north easterly direction around Waterbrook and past site U19 from its current eastern extremity near Cheeseman’s Green as far as the M20 motorway and incorporating site WE15. This would provide a strategic gap between the village of Mersham (both lower and upper Mersham) and the eastward expansion of Ashford. The Village Alliance firmly believes that it is essential that this strategic gap is included within the Ashford Green Corridor in order to protect the village of Mersham and to prevent it from becoming swallowed up and destroyed as a community by the eastward expansion of Ashford. The Village Alliance is aware of the development pressure that will be created in this area by the construction of junction 10A, and that makes it even more important that WE15 and land near Cheeseman’s Green is actively protected against development of any kind for the duration of the Local Plan period.

What changes do you suggest to make the document legally compliant or sound? To make the document sound the Ashford Green Corridor should be extended in a north easterly direction to cover land near Cheeseman’s Green and site WE15. This will protect the community of Mersham and provide a strategic gap between the picturesque village and community of Mersham and the eastward expansion of Ashford. Councillor Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, has said that one of the key advantages of the District is ‘the beautiful rural countryside and our delightful villages’. The expansion of the Ashford Green Corridor in the manner proposed would help protect upper and lower Mersham – one of the prime examples of just such a ‘delightful village’. Councillor Clarkson also remarked at a recent meeting of the Council that ‘I think we have to do something to look after Mersham. The Village Alliance agrees wholeheartedly, and therefore suggests that this proposal to extend the corridor is essential to achieve just that.
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. No
Please supply details of the omission site.