Copyright Kent Past 2010

Kent Past

The History of Kent

Home Towns & Villages Time-Line Articles Kent Past Times Contact

Leave your email address to receive Kent Past Times free every month

View Larger Map

History of New Ash Green

New Ash Green was developed as a 'green fields' site in the 1960s, borrowing its name from the nearest existing village of Ash, between Gravesend and Wrotham

The plan was to house 6,000 people, including some of London's 'overspill' population, in 2,200 homes built on 430 acres of farmland.

The houses would be built around The Minnis, an open green, in a pattern of neighbourhoods separated by woodland but linked by footpaths and vehicle-free roads. A compact shopping centre, with a large car park where shoppers could leave their cars and move about without having to worry about traffic, would provide all the needs of the villagers. It would, its developers promised, be unique and 'one of the most unconventional private housing developments in Europe'.

When the idea was first put forward, Kent County Council turned it down. So did a government inspector at a public enquiry. However, Richard Crossmen, the then Minister of Housing, overruled them both and building began in 1967. Problems started when the Greater London Council, which had said it would rent 450 of the homes for, overspill, Londoners, pulled out. The developers lost financial backing and quit the project, leaving it started but far from finished, and the village was labelled as a an experiment that failed.

In 1971, another developer took over the site of the half-completed village and realised the original concept. The finished result was, indeed, something new in housing development.