Chapter 4 – Site Policies
Ashford Urban Area
This site was include in Policy S11 in the 2016 Draft Local Plan. The safeguarding of part of the site for railway use is a new requirement in the 2017 changes.
This site lies to the south of the Ashford – Tonbridge railway line and to the immediate east of the Matalan retail building and car park. The site is that of the former Bombardier Works site, and is now vacant. The land contains railway sidings within the northern section of the site, which provide a signalled connection to the mainline.
The site and in particular the railway sidings, has been identified by Southeastern Railways, the Department for Transport and Network Rail as a highly important piece of infrastructure that needs to be maintained for rail purposes. The site has the potential to provide facilities for the berthing of trains for storage, cleaning and light maintenance. Additional provision of train berthing is required in the Borough in order to accommodate additional rolling stock that is required to meet the increased demand for rail services from Ashford and the surrounding network. It is therefore considered vital that the site is safeguarded for that purpose. An initial feasibility study for the proposals has indicated that only part of the site would be required for rail use, leaving the remainder of the land open for development. It is considered that employment uses, with a mix of B1-B8 would be most appropriate on the remainder of the site.
If, for any reason, the rail operating company / Network Rail subsequently decide that alternative berthing facilities are to be pursued, then that part of the site may be also be redeveloped for an appropriate type and scale of commercial development, in discussion with the local planning authority.
The land to the south is allocated for residential development (site S11), and in all circumstances, the need for appropriate mitigation of noise and disturbance from activities on this site will need to form part of any redevelopment proposals.
Southern Water’s assessment has revealed that additional sewerage infrastructure would be required to serve the proposed development. The development will therefore be required to make a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network. Early liaison should take place with the service provider in this regard. There is also existing sewerage infrastructure on the site that needs to be taken into account when designing the proposed development. An easement width of between 6 and 13 metres would be required depending upon the pipe size and depth. This easement should be clear of all proposed buildings and substantial tree planting.
Policy S11a – Former Bombardier Works site
The site is allocated for a mix of operational railway use and commercial (B1-B8 uses) development. Development proposals for the site shall:
- Safeguard an area of land to the north of the site adjacent to the railway line, including the existing railway sidings, for operational railway use in accordance with the requirements of the train operators;
- Provide commercial development on the remaining land that is not required for operational railway use
- Ensure the commercial uses along the southern boundary of the site are compatible with the residential development proposed on land to the south of the site;
- Provide access to the site via an improved access from Beaver Lane;
- Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with the service provider.