Main Changes to Local Plan 2030

Policy S11 - Leacon Road (MC18)

Page 79-80 Policy S11

Response to reps 1746, 2355 and 2700

Changes to Policy S11 – Leacon Road

Amend Policy Map S11 to remove northern part of the site boundary area. (This area is now covered by a separate Policy S11a – Bombardier Works)

Amend supporting text to Policy S11 – Leacon Road as follows:

4.121 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. Along the southern edge, the site directly fronts onto Leacon Road and the route into the industrial area to the east that links through to the Domestic and International Stations.

4.122 The whole site is considered suitable for a mix of residential development and commercial B1-B8 uses and should be developed in accordance with an approved masterplan. The connection of Leacon Road and Victoria Road has transformed the potential of this area, creating a high quality urban street with good public transport connections into the town centre, as well as providing an efficient through-road for traffic wanting to by-pass the town centre. It has a prominent position along Leacon Road with the eastern and south west corners of the site being highly visible in the streetscape. As such, residential development would be suitable on part of this brownfield site.

4.123 The scale of any residential development should relate well to the surrounding area. Residential development along the Leacon Road frontage should be primarily 3 storeys in height reflecting a narrower corridor along this part of the route reducing in scale from development allocated in the town centre to the east. However, the prominent eastern and south western corners could accommodate an additional one or two storeys to create some variety and interest in the streetscape. Development should have a strong built form with well designed frontages to reflect the high quality urban route and a positive built return frontage should also be created along Beaver Lane.

4.124 Part of the site lies within flood zone 3. It is critical that development follows sustainable design principles to mitigate any risk of flooding either on the site or elsewhere. A detailed flood risk assessment, prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency, will be required to support any planning application for development here.

4.125 The area to the rear directly adjoins the Ashford – Tonbridge railway line and there is an existing railway siding that links into the site that used to be part of the former Bombardier Works site that is now vacant. This part of the site should accommodate primarily B1- B8 uses. The opportunity to potentially use an existing connection to the railway line is an important one and the development of a masterplan for the site should fully investigate the possibility of retaining and using that link if possible.

4.126 The site to the north is allocated for a mix of B1 to B8 uses as well as retention of the railway sidings for operational railway use. The relationship between uses on these two sites is crucial and the masterplan layout of the proposed development will need to ensure appropriate and adequate separation of uses that delivers a high quality environment for any future residents on the site.

4.127 Given the location, size and numbers of housing units envisaged on the site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing in accordance with policy HOU1.

4.127 While it is expected that the delivery of improvements to the strategic road network will greatly enhance the ability of sites to come forward at pace, there will still be a need to ensure that traffic movements resulting from development proposals are sustainably managed. Therefore, where traffic generation to and from the site is expected to exceed that of previous lawful uses, a Transport Statement/Transport Assessment should be provided in accordance with Policy TRA8.

4.128 There could be access points directly into the proposed residential scheme from Leacon Road but access to any commercial development at the rear of the site should via the existing Beaver Lane access or potentially from the eastern edge of the site. Access to the site should be provided from Leacon Road and/or Beaver Lane. A small strip of land along the southern boundary of the site will be required to fully create the parameters for the Leacon Road / Victoria Road route and this land should not be developed.

4.129 The site lies opposite the Stour river corridor which lies within the identified green corridor area and in accordance with policy ENV2 proposals on this site should make a positive contribution to the setting, role, biodiversity, accessibility and amenity value of adjacent green corridor area. In relation to this, the national cycle network runs through the green corridor opposite the site, connecting Victoria Park and Singleton Lake which are important areas of open space within this urban setting. Development must be designed so that it is well connected to the existing footpath and a cycle network and provides an attractive and safe route for pedestrians and cyclist to the town centre.

Add the following new paragraph:

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.

Consequent changes to policy S11 as follows:

Policy S11 - Leacon Road

This site is allocated for a mix of residential development (up to indicative capacity 100 dwellings) and commercial (B1 - B8 uses)

Development proposals for the site shall: come forward in accordance with a detailed masterplan for the site that should be based on the following principles:

a) Provide residential development along the Leacon Road frontage;

b) Provide commercial development adjoining the railway line and fully investigate the potential to utilise the existing railway sidings as part of any commercial scheme;

ac) Provide a high-quality development with built frontages to Leacon Road and Beaver Lane;

b) Be designed and laid out to take account of the proposals for commercial development on land to the north of the site;

d) Ensure appropriate and adequate separation of uses within the site;

ce) Create new access points to the site from Leacon Road and improve access to the development via Beaver Lane and retain a small strip of land along the southern frontage for the creation of the full extent of the highway;

df) Connect to the existing network of footpath and cycleway routes;

eg) Include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency;

fh) Make a positive contribution to the setting, role, biodiversity, accessibility and amenity value of the adjoining green corridor area;

g) Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with the service provider and provide future access to the existing sewerage infrastructure for maintenance and upsizing purposes.