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The Story

In March 2001 the Regional Planning Guidance for the South East identified Ashford as one of four key growth areas in the South East, alongside the Thames Gateway, Milton Keynes and Stansted/M11 corridor.

In December 2002 a study to assess Ashford's capacity for growth and how this could be achieved was completed. The Ashford’s Future Study by Halcrow concluded that within the period to 2031, Ashford has the capacity to provide an additional 31,000 homes and 28,000 jobs.

In February 2003 these recommendations were included in the Government's Sustainable Communities Plan. The plan set out how housing needs in the South East would be met by providing long-term sustainable communities.

Since then a lot of work has been going on ‘behind the scenes’ to lay the foundations for long-term sustainable growth:

  • Government and private sector funding has been secured
  • Detailed planning and feasibility studies have been performed to ensure the correct infrastructure is in place
  • The Ashford’s Future Core Team and Ashford's Future company has been set up to drive and co-ordinate Ashford’s development, and
  • The Core Strategy which sets out the key strategic planning policies for the borough up to 2021, has been found sound.

This work has been fundamental to ensure Ashford is now in a position to start delivering the growth.