Urgent Telephone 4pm - 8.30am : 01233 331111

Green light for residential development of 59 homes at Charing

Published: 24/06/2022
Artists' impression of the Charing Development

Plans have been approved for a residential development on land between Arthur Baker Playing Field and Ashford Road in Charing, near Ashford.

The proposal is for 59 homes made up of two, three and four bedroom properties and one five bedroom property and comprises a mixture of flats, terraced, semi-detached and detached dwellings. Once built they could be offered for sale or rent.

A Reserved Matters planning application was submitted for the development in January 2021 and now amended plans were approved by Ashford Borough Council’s Planning committee on Wednesday 15 June.

The rural site adjoins a newly-built age-restricted housing scheme together with new access linking to the A20 Ashford Road. This age-restricted housing formed an earlier development phase and the current application relates to the reserved matters for market housing approved in outline under the same consent.

To the north of the site lies the Arthur Baker playing fields, while to the east is open countryside. A ribbon of residential properties lies to the west on the opposite side of Ashford Road. The site lies 115 metres southeast of the boundary of the Charing Conservation Area.

The scheme, covering 1.86 hectares, has been brought forward by the development arm of A Better Choice for Property Ltd, an independent private limited residential investment/development company owned by and funded through Ashford Borough Council.

'Keith Hollidge, Commercial Development Manager for the Company, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have received a resounding endorsement of our development proposals which is the culmination of nearly four years hard work and I’d like to express our grateful thanks to Charing Parish Council and the Alder Beds Trustees who have worked with us throughout this process. A special thank you also to our consultants, RDA Architects, DHA Planning and Hill-Wood & Co for their tireless dedication to the project.

“We will now embark upon an extensive period of archaeological investigation following the discovery of Roman artefacts on the adjoining site before we can commence building what we hope will be an exemplar housing development and one which the Parish Council, Borough Council and the Company can be very proud.”

Councillor Gerry Clarkson, ward member for Charing, welcomed the development.

“I have followed the progress of this scheme with interest and I believe it will provide much-needed high quality homes for local residents. Charing has a number of unique characteristics and I believe that the sensitive development of this site will sit comfortably at this location and preserve the setting of the Charing Conservation Area,” he added.

A report to the Planning Committee said the Reserved Matters details relating to layout, scale, appearance and landscaping “demonstrate that the proposals comprise a high quality, well designed residential development. In relation to layout, scale and appearance the proposals would be responsive to the site context and would appear integrated with its surroundings.

“The proposed landscaping and open space would integrate with the built form proposed and compliment the site context adding visual interest and biodiversity benefits in accordance with policy and guidance. The proposals offer a range of dwelling types and sizes that would provide a choice of high standard living accommodation and external amenity space for future occupiers.”

Sustainable construction

A Better Choice for Property Ltd is in the process of conducting a renewable (low or zero-carbon) energy assessment to examine the energy needs of each dwelling and make recommendations on energy-efficiency measures and compatibility of different renewable technologies.

There will be a 7.5kw EV charging point for each unit, plus two rapid charging points located in the visitors’ parking spaces. This will promote more sustainable methods of transport.

Planning officers said they were satisfied that the proposed development, subject to conditions, will be designed to address and mitigate the risks of climate change, including through the implementation of a low carbon energy strategy and the construction of buildings designed to minimise energy consumption.

Consent was granted by 11 votes to one, subject to a number of conditions including the implementation of mitigation measures related to the scheme’s impact on water quality at Stodmarsh Lakes near Canterbury. The committee was reminded that work commissioned by the Council has started on a package of strategic mitigation measures that should enable relevant developments within the Borough’s River Stour catchment to come forward on a ‘nutrient neutral’ basis.

About A Better Choice for Property Ltd

ABC for Property is an independent private limited residential investment/development company wholly owned by and funded through Ashford Borough Council. Its aim is to build a private market rental portfolio of up to 500 properties which will not only provide A Better Choice for Property for its working tenants but also a significant alternative revenue stream to the Council.

While the focus is on Ashford, the company is not geographically constrained and might consider opportunities outside the Borough. Of particular rental interest are new build one and two bed flats, and two and three bed houses but the Company is open to buying for private market sale.

For more information visit www.abetterchoiceforproperty.com