Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy S41 - Chilham, Mulberry Hill (MM41)

4.396 Amend supporting text as follows:

4.395 This site is located between the built area of Chilham village and the small hamlet of Old Wives Lees, on a connecting road between the two settlements. The road is a narrow rural lane, on a steep gradient, with limited vehicle passing places and no footpaths to either settlement. It is therefore unable to accommodate a large increase in vehicular traffic and would not be sustainable for general market housing due to the restricted access to services. However, there are a small number of large detached properties located around the site boundary., and therefore the site is not considered to be completely ‘isolated’ in the countryside.

4.396 The site considered to be suitable for the provision of 2 ‘exclusive’ properties low density ‘high quality’ detached dwellings. The properties must be of outstanding design and quality or ‘innovative’ in nature, reflecting highest standards of architecture in accordance with paragraph 55 of the NPPF.

4.397 The site is located within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has views of the surrounding countryside setting. The innovative and high quality design of the 2 properties and the landscaping of the curtilage must make a positive contribution to the landscape setting not harm the immediate or wider setting, or have a detrimental impact on and must have regard to the amenity of the neighbouring properties.

4.398 The buildings should be located on the eastern side of the site, a similar distance from the road to that of the neighbouring properties, to minimise views of the buildings from the AONB to the west.

4.399 The nearby 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. There are also sites of archaeological importance in close proximity to the site. The design of the properties here must be sensitive to these defining heritage assets and characteristics of the local area. Design proposals coming forward must also indicate how the immediate setting will could be enhanced.

Amend policy S41 as follows:

Development proposals for this site must:

a) Meet exceptional a high quality or innovative nature of design, which criteria:

  • Responds to and is well integrated with the natural topography of the site
  • Pays particular regard to its setting, and utilise design to make a positive contribution to local character and that of the AONB
  • Uses locally appropriate materials
  • be truly outstanding or innovative, helping to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas;

  • reflect the highest standards in architecture;
  • significantly enhance the immediate setting; and
  • be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area

b)   Retain and enhance the existing hedge and tree boundariesy around the site and screen the development from the AONB and open countryside by creating to create soft landscaping along site boundaries;

c)   Provide a dedicated vehicular accesses for each dwelling, as shown on the policies map;

d)  Provide a connection to the sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity, as advised by Southern Water, and ensure future access to the existing sewerage system for maintenance and upsizing purposes.