Chilmington Green, Ashford
Chilmington Green was identified in Ashford Borough Council’s 2008 Core Strategy as the site for a sustainable urban extension able to accommodate up to 7,000 dwellings and 1,000 jobs, along with a new park.
A design team led by JTP developed a masterplan on behalf the Chilmington Green Consortium which led to a radical re-evaluation of the size and form of the new settlement.
The ambition to make Chilmington Green an exemplar Garden Suburb emerged through a collaborative design process involving many stakeholders. Local councillors and residents, who attended collaborative design workshops early in process, highlighted the importance of creating a community and a high quality environment rather than just providing housing. They also identified problems with recent developments around Ashford where ‘wiggly layouts’ with no hierarchy of routes made wayfinding difficult. Rear parking courts, fussy street design, repetitive standard house types and a lack of greenery in residential areas were also criticised.
The Consortium’s masterplan, submitted for outline planning approval in August 2012, is based on a ‘warped grid’ of interconnected streets that follow the site’s topographical contours and respect landscape features. A high street, market square, boulevard and two neighbourhood squares are designed to provide a memorable sequence of spaces and a clear structure for the residential areas, while wider access to green space, a key aspect of Garden City planning, is provided by a network of green corridors that follow existing watercourses and provide a sympathetic setting for listed buildings in Chilmington Green hamlet.