Policy S58 - High Halden (A28), Stevenson Brothers Site (MC101)

Policy S58 - High Halden (A28) – Stevenson Brothers

This level site occupies land adjacent to the A28 Ashford Road and lies approximately mid-way between the settlements of Bethersden and High Halden. The south, west and east of the site are bounded by agricultural land, and the north by dwelling houses and the A28. Further to the west, approximately 70m from the site, is a residential development known as The Martins. Beyond the A28 to the north is a grade II listed pair of semi-detached cottages. Dwellings fronting the A28 are generally set back from the highway with generous front gardens.

The north of the site is occupied by a former petrol filling station forecourt with associated buildings, a small in-use workshop, and a small freestanding single storey retail unit. The workshop is currently in use by Stevenson Brothers and surrounding these uses is hard standing. The workshop and former petrol station uses have the potential to generate land contamination, and therefore any proposal on this site shall be accompanied by a contamination assessment as well as proposed mitigation measures.

The east of the site contains a collection of small agricultural buildings associated with Linden Farm, and the reminder of the site is in agricultural use. Access to the site is direct from the A28 which offers good visibility on this relatively straight stretch of highway. Mature trees and hedgerow edge the west and southern boundaries of the site and a ditch runs through the site from north to south, dissecting the natural pond in the centre of the site. Public Right of Way footpath AT158 traverses the site, connecting the A28 with footpath AT167.

The gross site area is approximately 3.5 hectares; however this includes the pond within the centre of the site. Given its rural location and the spacious layout of nearby developments, the site is considered suitable for around 50 dwellings, depending upon the size and layout. This would result in an approximate density of 14.3 dph is reflective of the site location and its surroundings.

Given the character of surrounding uses and buildings, a scheme of 2 storey buildings would be post appropriate here. The design and layout of any proposal must take account of the rural character of the area, and should respect establish building lines along the A28. Redevelopment on this site offers the opportunity to improve its appearance through the removal of the disused forecourt, and any proposal must seek to capitalise on this opportunity and enhance the setting of the adjacent listed building.

Within the site provision should be made for the retention of existing landscape. Proposals for development should be accompanied by a detailed landscaping scheme which pays particular attention to retaining and enhancing natural boundary features such as mature trees and hedges. A landscaping scheme should also propose suitable natural screening where not currently present and where the site abuts the open countryside. 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.

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 S58 – High Halden (A28), Stevenson Brothers

The site at Stevenson Brothers is proposed for residential development for an indicative capacity of 50 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out to take account of the rural character of the area and the surrounding building layouts. Particular attention should be given to the enhancement of the setting of the Listed Building adjacent to the site. The development should be no more than 2 storeys in height;
  2. Include a comprehensive landscaping scheme that seeks to make provision for the retention and enhancement of existing natural features within the site. In addition, proposed new landscaping should provide generous soft landscaping along the western edge of the site in order to lessen its visual impact;
  3. Ensure that land contamination issues are assessed and satisfactorily resolved or mitigated;
  4. Be accessed directly from the A28, as shown on the policies map;
  5. Provide suitable public open space and facilities within the development;
  6. Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with the service provider.