Ashford Borough Council has officially adopted its Local Plan 2030.
The Local Plan 2030 aims to make sure that future development 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 allocates 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 addresses 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 borough to provide homes, employment, retail floor space and infrastructure such as community facilities and green spaces.
While growth in the economy is important, the plan also seeks to protect valued assets such as heritage, leisure, nature and open spaces.
Initially drafted in June 2016, the plan has been subject to a number of public consultation events, including an examination in public in 2018 by two independent Planning Inspectors. Thousands of responses were received and taken into account during the preparation of the plan.
Now that the plan has formally been adopted it will supersede the current suite of documents contained within the Local Development Framework (Core Strategy 2008, Town Centre Area Action Plan 2010, Tenterden & Rural Sites Development Plan Document 2010 and the Urban Sites & Infrastructure Development Plan Document 2012), as well as the remaining policies in the previous local plan dating from 2000.
However, the Chilmington Green Area Action Plan (2013) will continue to form part of the development plan for the borough alongside the Local Plan 2030, as will the ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plans of Wye (2016) and Pluckley (2017).
Cllr Paul Clokie, portfolio holder for planning and development, said: “The adoption of the Local Plan 2030 is a key milestone and an important document which will shape future development in our borough.
“The scale of consultation, with residents in all parts of the borough, throughout the process has been significant and where it was reasonable to address objectors’ concerns, then the plan was amended accordingly.
“Our Local Plan 2030 sets out our demands for building quality, internal living space and affordable housing ratios. I am confident that it offers the right strategy and policies for the future planning of the borough, here in the garden of England.
“I particularly want to thank the officers involved, for the enormous amount of hard work they put into the process, culminating in this borough plan which now sets out the context in which all planning in the borough will be organised over the next decade.”
For more information on the Local Plan visit www.ashford.gov.uk/local-plan-2030.