Ashford Borough Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan for the borough. The plan sets out the land that needs to be provided in the borough to accommodate new homes and jobs up to 2030. It also includes the policies that will be used to help decide planning applications.
The Local Plan to 2030 aims to make sure that future development within Ashford is well planned, helping to create great places and strong communities and provides a consistent approach to planning across the whole borough.
The new Local Plan will allocate sites for development as well as establishing planning policies and guidance to ensure local development is built in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
It will address housing, employment, retail, leisure, transport, community infrastructure and environmental issues such as adapting to climate change and ensuring high quality design.
The general principle of the Local Plan is to encourage growth within the economy of Ashford to provide homes, employment, retail floor space and infrastructure such as community facilities and green spaces.
Whilst growth in the economy is important, the plan also seeks to protect Ashford’s valued assets such as heritage, leisure, nature and open spaces.
Consultations of this nature must run for a statutory period of six weeks; however due to its importance the council has decided to extend this for a further two weeks. The eight-week consultation period runs from 15th June until 10th August and can be accessed at www.ashford.gov.uk/consult
During this period a series of exhibitions and events will be held that will enable local residents to ask questions and find out more about the draft Plan. For more information visit www.ashford.gov.uk/local-plan-to-2030 ➚
Government planning policy is clear that a Local Plan housing target should be principally informed by a thorough and objective Strategic Housing Market Assessment, which the council commissioned in 2014 and was subsequently updated in 2015.
This work has led to the proposal in the draft plan of about 12,200 homes being delivered in the borough between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2030 through a combination of committed schemes, proposed allocations and windfall developments.
This represents a very significant reduction in the amount of new sites needing to be allocated for development than was faced in the preparation of the Core Strategy.
The major proposed sites allocations are at Court Lodge Farm (950 homes), Land east of Willesborough Road, Kennington (700 homes), Land at Eureka Park (400 homes) and land south of Kingsnorth (420 homes).
In addition, further extensions to the existing residential areas at Park Farm and Finberry are proposed as well as the consolidation of the Waterbrook site as a mixed residential/employment site together with an enlarged truck stop.
In parallel with the new Local Plan, a draft Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule has also been produced. The CIL aims to provide a more consistent approach to determining financial contributions from developers of new developments towards local strategic infrastructure provision.
The existing process of securing contributions through legal agreements (‘s106’) will continue but be scaled back to provide mainly for local or ‘onsite’ infrastructure provision and affordable housing.
The council will progress the CIL charging schedule alongside the development of an Infrastructure Delivery Plan to support the Local Plan 2030.
Ashford Borough Council 15 June 2016
This announcement was originaly published on 13 June 2016 but was removed from the ABC website. It was re-published on 15 June 2016
The new Local Plan will be presented by Daniel Carter Principal Policy Planner, ABC, and discussed at the South Ashford Community Forum meeting on 13th July 2016