Main Changes to Local Plan 2030


Policy S47 - Last East of Hothfield Mill (MC90)

Policy S47– Land east of Hothfield Mill, A20

Key Indicative Development area               Access Road 

This site is located along the A20, directly to the east of Hothfield Mill which is in operation as a mixed employment site. The A20 is a main transport route into Ashford and therefore by road the site is a short distance from the Town Centre and the nearby local centres within Eureka Park, Repton Park and Hothfield village.

The boundaries of the site are defined by mature established hedgerows. Of particular importance is the boundary of the detached property ‘Woodside’, which is located directly to the east of the site entrance on the A20. The isolated detached property is served from a layby which is used frequently as an informal lorry parking area.

To the east of the site is a small residential settlement located around Westwell Lane, Potters Corner and Sandyhurst Lane. These residential areas are a mixture of ribbon development and cul-de-sacs to the rear of them, and dwellings here are typically detached or semi-detached 2 storey properties.

Along the western boundary of the site beyond the Mill is an Ancient Woodland belt, which is protected by a Tree Preservation Order and prevents wider views of the site from the west. A Railway line and the M20 directly to the north of the site, disconnects it from the wider countryside and North Downs AONB.

The site is currently in agricultural use as two separate fields, the land is generally flat, although rises from lower ground around Hothfield Mill area and A20 frontage to the east and north, peaking in the centre of the site before declining again as it adjoins the Railway line. However, the AONB beyond the M20 to the north is much higher land and is prominent in the landscape from the north and eastern areas of the site.

The southern area of the site, between the Mill and ‘Woodside’ property on the A20 is suitable for residential development of up to 75 dwellings, a scale which is considered sustainable in this edge of town location. The indicative area for built development is shown on the Policies map. This part of the site is less visible in the wider landscape and is largely screened by the woodland belt on the west of the site, which can be extended. The developable area is around 4ha in size and therefore depending on the layout of development proposals, the overall density would be less than 20dph which is suitable on this countryside edge location and reflective of the nearby residential areas.

It is important that the eastern boundary is sensitively screened to mitigate any visual impact from new development. A lower residential density will be appropriate in this part of the site and a landscaping scheme that ‘breaks up’ the urban edge created by built development here will be necessary as it is visible to the properties in Westwell Lane and ‘Woodside’, and within the setting of the AONB. Design and layout must also take into consideration of the Listed Buildings within the adjoining Mill site. At present these are screened by mature trees, and these should be retained.

The primary vehicular access should be provided from a new access directly from the A20, as shown on the policies map, which will also require Highway improvements to accommodate a right turn lane into the new access. In addition, Highway improvements may be required with regards to the nearby layby, to ensure appropriate separation from the site access. The closure of this layby and a new private access directly from the A20 to serve ‘Woodside’ could be provided. There may be options as to how this can be achieved and proposals for this would need to be consulted on with the relevant homeowners and Kent Highways, who have control of the layby and land up to the A20.

Due to the location of the site, there is no nearby provision of public open space or recreation, and therefore the site should provide an area of designated space within the proposal. There is also potential to connect the site by way of a new footway from the development, across the field to Westwell Lane.

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 S47 - Land East of Hothfield Mill, A20

The site to the east of Hothfield Mill, is proposed for residential development with an indicative capacity of 75 dwellings.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out to take account of the residential amenity of the ‘Woodside’ property, and those that overlook the site in Westwell Lane. Particular attention needs to be given to the topography of the site, adjacent Listed buildings and the wider countryside and AONB settings. The development should be no more than 2 storeys in height;
  2. Provide primary vehicular access from the A20 Ashford Road in the location indicated on the policies map, with the provision of a right turn lane on the A20, in accordance with Kent Highways recommendations;
  3. Investigate the provision of a direct access to the property ‘Woodside’ from the A20, with closure of the current layby, in accordance with recommendations from Kent Highways, and in liaison with the property owners;
  4. Provide appropriate landscaping on the eastern built boundary and retain and improve existing screening around the site boundaries;
  5. Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with the service provider;
  6. Provide an area of public open space and play provision in accordance with guidance contained within the SPD;
  7. Provide new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development with linkages into the wider network where possible, including Westwell Lane.