Main Changes to Local Plan 2030

Policy S50 - Land at Caldecott, Smeeth (MC93)

Policy S50 – Land at Caldecott, A20 Smeet

  S50

This site is located between the M20 motorway to the south and the A20 to the north. It is currently in operation as a charitable, partly on-site residential, school; The Caldecott Foundation. Planned future changes to the operations of the charity will release a number of parcels of brownfield land within the site, which are currently used as the on-site residential elements. The day school facility buildings and grounds within the east of the site will remain.

The site is accessed from the A20, which is a key transport route into Ashford. The site is a short distance from the nearby local centres within Willesborough and the villages of Smeeth/Brabourne and Mersham. There is also an entrance to the site from Station Road on the eastern boundary.

Currently within the site are a number of buildings associated with the current use which are detached residential buildings within large curtilages, mostly situated around the western area of the site, most notably within the site boundary is the main building located on the A20 frontage.

It is considered that these previously developed areas of the site are suitable to be redeveloped for residential use for an indicative capacity of 50 dwellings. These broad areas are shown on the policies map and total around 3 hectares in size. Residential development of the site would be around 16dph, which is considered suitable in this edge of settlement location.

There are opportunities to extend built development into the area east of the main building, which is currently in operation as a storage yard facility. However, development of the eastern and southern areas of the site must have regard to the residential amenity of the four large detached residential properties located adjacent to the site boundary, and the school buildings and grounds which will remain to the east.

The existing buildings within the site that are used for residential purposes would not need to be retained, with the exception of the large building located on the A20 frontage, which although not listed, is significant in terms of local heritage interest and should be retained and redeveloped as part of the overall scheme if this can be achieved. This may impact on the overall site capacity and densities, but should be considered in the master planning and design and layout proposals.

It will also be important that the eastern boundary is sensitively developed to mitigate any visual impact from new development from Station Road. 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.

The site is well contained within the wider landscape and the site is relatively level. It contains a large amount of mature trees around the boundaries and within the site curtilage itself, which creates a secluded, parkland character and setting. Along the north western boundary of the site, adjacent to the A20 access in an area of long established woodland and a smaller pocket of trees which is protected by a Tree Preservation Order on the western edge. Trees, particularly those deemed to be of significance must be retained within the development proposals. An arboriculture and landscape survey will be required.

Preferred vehicular access to the site is from Station Road as shown on the policies map, and this may require some on-site adjustments to the school car parking area to ensure that the school retains a separate access. There is also potential for vehicular access to remain directly from the A20, but this will dependent on a Highways Assessment. It is possible that improvements to accommodate a right turn lane, improved visibility splays, pedestrian crossings and/or speed reductions may be required on the A20. There will be options as to how this can be achieved and liaison with Kent Highways is recommended.

Due to the close proximity of the site to the M20 and A20, the noise impact of both must be taken into consideration in design and layout with suitable landscaped buffers and acoustic protection.

Due to the location of the site, there is no nearby provision of public open space or recreation, and therefore the site should provide areas of designated space within the proposals.

A detailed masterplan will be required which addresses all the issues raised above and provides a comprehensive layout which is considered suitable for the new development and the school.

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 S50 - Land at Caldecott, A20

The site at Caldecott is proposed for residential development with an indicative capacity of 50 dwellings.

Development proposals for this site shall be presented within a detailed masterplan which includes the following:

  1. Retain and redevelop the main building of local historic importance where possible;
  2. Provide an arboriculture and landscape survey and incorporate important trees within the design and layout where possible, and retain the woodland areas on the site boundaries;
  3. Be designed and laid out to take account of the residential amenity of the nearby residential properties and school building and grounds;
  4. Provide primary vehicular access from Station Road, and retain a separate access for the school or/and an access from the A20 in the locations indicated on the policies map, in addition to highway improvements in accordance with Kent Highways recommendations and requirements;
  5. Provide appropriate landscaping on the eastern built boundary and retain and improve existing screening/ acoustic protection around the site boundaries;
  6. Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with the service provider;
  7. Provide public open space provision in accordance with guidance contained within the SPD.