Central Ashford Community Forum
Minutes of Trustees’ Meeting held at 77 Kings Avenue, Ashford
on Monday 4th December 2017
Present: Christine Green (Acting Chair), Emily Neighbour (Secretary), Catherine Godard, Kate Harris, Betsy Heitman, Jim Davies
Apologies: Jo Jowers, Malcolm Finch (Treasurer), Jean Roue, Popiraj Rai, Sylvia Fairley, Paul Fortnam
Approval of Minutes of meeting held on 2nd November 2017
These were approved.
Matters Arising not covered in the agenda
Library Mosaic – Sylvia Fairley had contacted Councillor Galpin but he had been unable to take it further as he was in undergoing surgery. Christine Green pointed out that there was a picture of the mosaic on her website www.ashfordkent.web.com It was currently in storage in two pieces behind the Gateway in Church Road, Ashford, having been removed from the old library entrance before it was demolished. It had been expected to be incorporated into the new college building but so far no action had been taken on this. The Secretary would contact the local County Councillor for an update.
Facebook Page: Kate Harris and Christine Green volunteered to jointly manage the CACF page. They would contact Jo Jowers to organise this.
Potential New Trustees
Trustees were asked to encourage suitable people to come along to the next meeting to see whether they would like to get involved with CACF.
Diane Comley of the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership had provided a quote for an additional interpretation panel for Queen Mother’s Park to be installed by them. The cost would be just under £1000. It was unanimously agreed to go ahead with this, with the proviso that the costs did not exceed £1000.
Police Meeting with Gurkha community
Emily Neighbour had attended this along with Siri Limbu and Popiraj Rai. The Police and ABC were well represented, and around 35 members of the Nepali community attended. The Police explained that Ashford is not unique in having many burglaries of jewellery from Nepalis. It had been reported in the last few years from several areas as far away as Newcastle, and there were indications that there were several teams at work, not just a few individuals. Jason Atkinson spoke about how to protect your property from burglary and also to look out for individuals behaving suspiciously. There had been some photos of individuals taken by victims on CCTV given to the Police which had not been good enough to provide any ID and a car spotted driving away had been found to have false number-plates. The meeting had gone on for over one and a half hours. The Nepali community were clearly disappointed with the service provided by the Police. But the meeting did help open up lines of communication so it was hoped CACF would not need to be involved in the future.
Play Area in town
As at the time of enquiry Councillor Galpin was not able to take this forward it was agreed to write to the town centre Borough Councillors to ask for their support.
Local KE correspondent contact
It was suggested that the issue of so many flats being built in the town centre as opposed to family homes could be raised with Dan Wright as he had expressed some interest in the matter.
Kate Harris had contacted Justin Richards to have a look around the new building but it had not yet been handed over to the Trust. She would follow this up.
East Stour Court was due to be demolished shortly. A consultation would follow as to what should be built in its place.
17/01049/AS 1 and 3 Chart Road, Ashford, Kent, TN23 3HT
Outline application for two dwellings to side of existing houses creation of new access and car parking. This application had still not been decided. [Kent Highways has questioned the safety of the access as the visibility splays are not sufficient, despite being redrawn].
17/00925/AS Ashford Hospital N H S Trust, Kings Avenue, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1NT
Partial demolition of building and rebuilding to 4 No. 2 Bedroom flats as a change of use from the former hospital administration building. With associated car parking, bin and cycle storage. This had been permitted.
17/01118/AS Prince Albert, 109 New Street, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8TP
Demolition of existing public houses and associated buildings and erection of a five storey apartment building containing fourteen 2 bedroom units and 84m2 of commercial space at ground floor level including 14 car parking spaces, refuse and cycle storage and a vehicle layby.
This had not yet been decided. Trustees agreed the new building was much too tall for the site. Comments had already been submitted to this effect. There were a considerable number of objections on the site both to the design and the principle of the demolition of the old pubs. It was expected to come to committee shortly.
17/01727/AS Variation/Modification of Condition Site of former Rimmel International Ltd, Cobbswood Industrial Estate, Carlton Road, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1ED.
Variation of condition 25 of application 16/01727/AS for the Hybrid application comprising: 1. Outline planning permission for 12 industrial units (B1c/B2/B8) on 1.3ha with all matters except access reserved. 2. Full planning permission for a grounds maintenance depot and a ready mix concrete and satellite aggregate depot, internal spine road and improved access points off Carlton Road and Brunswick Road to vary BREEAM target rating to be changed from ‘Very Good’ to ‘Pass’.
Concern was expressed that this was a lowering of standards but the issue was highly technical so it was difficult to comment usefully. It was hoped that the planning officers understood the implications of allowing this change close to a built up area.
Jim Davies had attended this interesting event at the Friends Meeting House reporting the many significant findings in the Ashford area.
Parking Restrictions in Kings Avenue
Commuter parking was already becoming a problem. Parking restrictions could not be put in until the road was adopted and it was not known when this would be.
Date and venue of future meeting
The next meeting date was provisionally set for Wednesday 10th January, to be confirmed nearer the time. The venue was not yet decided but it was hoped to be in a public building on this occasion.
Meeting closed 8.50 pm