'Water supply will not be enough for planned housing'
DROUGHT restrictions could seriously hamper plans to build thousands of new homes in Ashford, a borough councillor has warned.
Worried Peter Davison says he fears the borough will run out of water as developers continue to press ahead with new houses in the area.
The Ashford Independent Group leader feels developments such as Chilmington Green will put an added strain on the South East's water supply, meaning Ashford could be out of water in the next few years.
The Weald South ward representative told the Herald: "The problem we have is that the borough council wants to build more and more homes but homes need water and we've recently been classed as living in a drought-affected area.
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"It's only a matter of time before water runs out – it sounds quite dramatic but it's a real possibility as things stand."
Controversial plans for Chilmington Green include the construction of up to 5,750 homes and the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.
More than 4,000 people have already signed a petition against the development and Ashford Borough Council launched a public consultation on its Area Action Plan, detailing the proposals on Monday.
But Councillor Davison fears the plans, coupled with further housing developments across the borough, will have a devastating effect on the environment.
He said: "As well as Chilmington Green, there are 6,300 more homes with planning permission already granted. There is going to be a point when water runs out, if something isn't done.
"People should be worried."
ABC has dismissed Cllr Davison's claims, saying it has been in talks with South East Water over water capacity for the borough.
A spokesman said: "The council has taken and continues to take water issues very seriously.
"South East Water is responsible for water supply in the area and has confirmed there is capacity available for the proposed Chilmington Green development.
"They have recently upgraded their strategic supply network to Ashford and therefore do not foresee any issues."
See page 5 for more on the Chilmington Green consultation.