Central Ashford Community Forum
Minutes of Trustees’ Meeting held at 38 Albert Road, Ashford
on Thursday 2nd November 2017
Present: Christine Green (Acting Chair), Emily Neighbour (Secretary), Catherine Godard, Popiraj Rai, Sylvia Fairley, Paul Fortnam, Kate Harris
Apologies: Jo Jowers, Malcolm Finch (Treasurer), Betsy Heitman, Jim Davies, Jean Roue,
Approval of Minutes of meeting held on Tuesday 26th September 2017
These were approved with no matters arising not covered in the agenda.
Annual General Meeting
Siri Limbu was added to the list of Trustees elected at the AGM, he had been omitted owing to a misunderstanding.
Meeting with Police and Gurkha Community
So far a new date for this was not known although Councillor Galpin had tweeted that one had been arranged. Kate Harris offered to follow this up with a contact in the Community Safety Unit.[The date of the meeting was set for 8th November, 7pm in Civic Centre]
Drug Use in Town
Concern was expressed about the apparent prevalence of drug use in the town centre and in residential areas, particularly after school around the Memorial Gardens and in the shrubbery around Mace Lane. It was assumed that the Police were turning a blind eye to the personal use of cannabis although some efforts had been witnessed to catch the dealers.
Potential New Trustees
A resident of the new estate in Kings Avenue had expressed interest and would be invited to the next meeting. Other suggestions were the new vicar of St Mary’s and a student representative from the newly opened college. Christine Green would contact the new vicar. It was agreed that any student representative should be over the age of 18. Councillor Bradford had offered to look into this.
Sylvia Fairley suggested that the installation of the mosaic in the new college would make a good project for the students to be involved in. She would follow this up.
Trustees were asked for their views on the best way to spend the £1000 donation.
It was suggested that a contribution could be made to the installation of the library mosaic if that would help.
Kate Harris and the Secretary had attended the launch of the Snowdogs Wild in Art event planned for autumn 2018. Businesses were sponsoring big models (1.5m long, vandal-proof) decorated with their logo and a theme with the help of a professional designer. Schools were being offered the chance to sponsor small ones to be decorated by the pupils. The idea was to encourage visitors to the town to explore areas they might not otherwise visit. It was possible CACF could be involved in some way which could include sponsorship.
Play Area in town
For several years Trustees had been requesting that some kind of play area be provided in the town centre. The idea was that this would encourage people with children to stay longer in town and provide a meeting place for families. The Bowling Club were moving out to an alternative venue and ABC were expected to take over the land. It was agreed to ask Councillor Galpin whether this site could be used for the construction of a play area.
Local KE correspondent contact
Daniel Wright had been in touch to ask what CACF were up to. The Secretary had sent him the minutes of the AGM and he had followed up some of the storylines raised. It was agreed that the contact would only be used if all other avenues had been explored and come to nothing.
The presentation at the AGM about this facility had been very interesting to a number of Trustees. Justin Richards had offered to show Trustees around the building. The Secretary would pass the e mail addresses of Kate Harris and Popiraj Rai to him so they could make contact to arrange this. It was agreed that when open it would be good for CACF to hold meetings there.
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.
Christine Green and Jim Davies had submitted comments on this development already. An amended application had been submitted and was out for consultation. Comments on the website indicated that the residents were quite evenly divided over whether to support or object. The Secretary suggested it would be better to leave it to the planners to decide. She felt that above all some development on the site was better than leaving it in the derelict condition in such a prominent entry-point to town. She pointed out that the flats all had a parking space provided on site and the shop was aiming more at walking traffic as it was expected to be a small convenience store. Jim Davies had disagreed with these views before the meeting but had been unable to attend. Christine would review the comments already submitted and decide whether it would be useful to submit any additional ones.
Former Fabric Warehouse 17/01511/AS Full Planning Permission Godinton House, Godinton Road
The change of use from snooker hall (1st and 2nd floors – Use Class D2) and part change of use of retail (ground floor – Use Class A1) to residential end use, to include the erection of a four storey side extension (south-east) and the creation of a recessed upper floor (4th) to comprise, in total, twenty-nine apartments (19 no. 2-bed, 10 no. 1-bed) of which eight are ‘affordable homes’, along with ancillary works to include basement and surface car parking and landscaping. Part retention of retail use (A1) on ground floor.
This was generally welcomed as it would result in the smartening up of an unattractive building that had been unused for several years. It was agreed to support the application.
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.
Kate Harris welcomed this proposal as the two original houses were been actively vandalised and the Police appeared to have given up attending when she reported it.
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
Trustees were pleased that the developer was planning to redevelop the old hospital building after a long delay which had allowed it to fall into complete disrepair.
Full Planning Permission 23 Tufton Street, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1QN
Demolition of the existing buildings on site within the conservation area and the erection of 9 no. units comprising four no. 3 bed terraced houses and 5 flats.
This proposal was welcomed as a considerable improvement on the previous application. There were concerns that it provided no parking provision at all for the units but as it was in the centre of town, close to bus and train service provision it would be considered acceptable by the planners so there was no point in opposing it.
Kent Wool Growers
Trustees were happy that although the company had been reported to be going bankrupt the individual businesses were continuing to trade under new management.
East Stour Court
Christine Green reported that this sheltered accommodation building was soon to be demolished. It was not yet known what would replace it.
Date and venue of future meeting
The next meeting would be held on Monday 4th December from 7pm. The venue was not decided but it was expected to be in a public building on this occasion.
Meeting closed 8.20 pm