Main Changes to Local Plan 2030

Policy S56 - Chilham, Branch Road (MC99)

Policy S56 – Chilham, Branch Road 



The site is located on the South west of the settlement of Chilham, on Branch Road, a rural entrance road to the village from the A28. The site wraps to the south of a 2-storey single residential property of Harvest House and is currently garden land associated with this property. To the north of Harvest House is a single storey building, in use as the village GP surgery. Opposite the site to the east of Branch Road is a small cul-de-sac of detached houses, Arden Grange, and the village sports and recreation ground which includes an indoor hall, outdoor facilities and a children’s equipped play area with a large car park. To the north is the built residential area of the settlement, with the site adjoing the rear gardens of properties in Hambrook Lane.

This site has been identified as a suitable location, on the edge of a large village, for a small residential development of up to 10 dwellings, whilst also being able to improve the current problem of on-street parking associated with the GP surgery with the provision of a new parking area within the site. The parking area will provide a minimum of 5 spaces, in addition to retaining existing spaces located at the front of surgery. However, these existing spaces could be relocated within the new parking area.

The vehicle access for the new residential area should be located on Branch Road, as shown on the policy map. Access to the GP surgery and new parking area, will remain in the current location.

The whole settlement lies within the designated Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and therefore development proposals for this site must conserve the natural beauty of the landscape. The boundary of the site along Branch Road is defined by a mature and maintained hedgerow and trees and there are a number of mature trees on the southern boundary of the site, within the site and a small woodland area on the land parcel to the west of the site. Therefore the site is reasonably well screened from the wider setting.

As Branch Road is a key rural entrance road to the settlement, the trees and natural features must be retained within the proposal and the current gaps in the tree boundary on the southern edge should be planted to enhance the screening and lessen the visibility of the new development from the south, where the site is visible from the busy A28.

The village of Chilham is particularly important in heritage terms as it contains Chilham Castle and a large number of Listed Buildings within a Conservation Area which covers most of the settlement. This site is a located within the Conservation Area on its eastern edge, and there are two semi-detached properties adjoining the North West corner of the site which are Grade ll Listed (Hatfield Lodge and Hatfield House). Development proposals for this site must ensure that the setting of these heritage assets is conserved.

The developable area of the site, after providing GP surgery parking area and retaining a curtilage for Harvest House, is around 0.6ha, and therefore residential development would result in a maximum density of 17dph, which is appropriate and suitable with regards to the AONB and Conservation Area location and reflects local character and density. Given the character and appearance of these surrounding areas, a scheme of 2 storey buildings would be most appropriate here. The design and layout must take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers and be guided by the principles set out in the Chilham Village Design Statement.

Due to the close proximity of the village recreation ground, on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the village recreation ground provision will be sought. Enhancements to the pedestrian access around the area through the creation traffic calming measures along Branch Road, should also be explored in consultation with Kent Highways.

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.

Policy S56 - Chilham, Branch Road

Land at Branch Road is proposed for residential development for up to 10 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Provide a car park of a minimum of 5 additional spaces for the use of the GP surgery;
  2. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect and conserve the character and setting of the village Conservation Area and the residential amenity of neighbouring dwellings, particularly listed buildings, whilst also taking into account the guidance in the Chilham Village Design Statement;
  3. Provide primary vehicle access to the residential area on Branch Road, as shown on the policies map and retain the current access for the GP surgery and associated parking;
  4. Include the provision footpaths and/or traffic calming measures in Branch Road, in accordance with the recommendations of Kent Highways;
  5. Retain and enhance the hedge and tree boundaries within and around the site, and make enhancements to the southern boundary ensuring the setting of the AONB is preserved and the development is well screened from the wider area;
  6. Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with the service provider.