New Ash Green
Building of the village began in 1967, with Span as the developer and Eric Lyons as the designer. The architectural design of New Ash Green was extremely innovative for its time. The original concept was a prototype for a new way of living in the latter twentieth century. The first buildings were created to be airy, pleasant and modern. There was generous landscaping and cars were separated from pedestrians. The village is arranged in twenty four neighbourhoods.
The development soon ran into difficulties. Originally, the Greater London Council was going to buy 450 of the properties for renting. This idea was dropped when the leadership of the GLC went into Conservative hands. This reduced the financial viability of the development and of the planned social mix of residents. Another problem in the early years was that some lenders were sceptical about the unconventional design of the properties and would not give mortgages.
Span, the original developer, sold the project to Bovis in 1971 for £2.65 million. Bovis increased the size of the development, increasing density and giving less attention to design or provision of public space.
New Ash Green is now a quiet residential area. It has a rugby club, tennis club, football club, shops, children's parks, a primary school, a special needs school and many more public buildings.Although the design of the village is considered innovative and makes good use of space, the design has brought some problems. New Ash Green has over recent years had some problem with car-theft since parking bays are not located near houses. In addition the shopping centre has become run-down due to lack of landlord maintenance; the Landlords themselves being 'absent' and living overseas, though plans are now being put forward to redesign it.
New Ash Green is served by the Arriva Kent bus routes 423/433 to Dartford via Bluewater and Longfield, and 489 to Gravesend via Longfield and Southfleet. The nearest rail link to New Ash Green is at Longfield station.
Media related to New Ash Green at Wikimedia Commons