The Save Tenterden Action Group (STAG) is a significant group of local Tenterden residents who, after three public meetings attracting over 600 people, have formed a committee to fight the Tenterden Southern Development proposed by Ashford Borough Council and supported by Tenterden Town Council.
Under Ashford Borough Council’s Core Strategy and the Tenterden and Rural Sites Development Plan Document (Click here to view the document ) it is proposed that 475 houses will be built on green fields between Smallhythe Road and Recreation Ground Road. The first 300 dwellings planned on zoned agricultural land would be built by 2016, followed by a further 175 homes by 2021 on productive farmland directly behind the first build site. An average of 25 houses is built in the town each year so Phase A alone would be the equivalent of 12 years growth in less than five years. The total expansion represents an increase of one sixth of all the dwellings in Tenterden and St Michaels combined.
Ashford Borough Council is in the process of reviewing the Core Strategy – of which the Development Plan Document forms a part – but until that is completed towards the end of 2013 the threat of this large scale development looms large.
Tenterden Town Council and its sub-committees, the Council’s appointed agent and various landowners have been making progress towards the masterplanning stage of the development proposals. Some information is available from the Town Council’s website pages in minutes of the Town Council’s meetings and those of its Finance and General Purposes Committee but as most of the discussion takes place in private there is generally only limited information available to the public.
We believe that this massive development will severely damage the town. The increase in traffic, the extra demand for water, particularly now that we live in a formally declared drought area, and for sewerage supplies as well as increased strain on the services of the town such as medical and school facilities will be significant should such a large increase in the number of residents go ahead. The town has limited employment opportunities, having no factories or large offices and poor means of public transport.