Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy S51 - Aldington, Land north of Church View (MM48)

Amend map, supporting text and policy as follows:

4.461 This site is located on the north eastern entrance to Aldington village, adjoining the small cul-de-sac of Church View. On the opposite side of Goldwell Lane are the former surgery, the Aldington Eco Centre, and 5 terraced houses in Goldwell Close. The site is located in close proximity to the village hall/recreation field and Primary School, and a number of other local services in the village centre.

4.462 At around 0.35ha, the site is considered suitable for an indicative capacity of 6 dwellings. The topography and landscape setting of the site is significant, as Aldington sits on top of the Greensand Ridge, and the North Downs frame views to the north. This site is part of a larger agricultural field which slopes down from the Roman Road and existing linear housing development which is located along its frontage, to the north and east, before inclining again towards Aldington Church in the east.

4.463 From within the site, and from Goldwell Lane itself, there are long and important views of the Grade I listed Aldington Church, Court Lodge Farm and the remains of the Archbishops Palace which are also listed. Situated 1km away from the village to the east, this cluster of listed buildings is included within a Conservation Area designation, and together forms an important heritage asset and a key feature in the landscape as it sits prominently on higher ground. For these reasons, it is concluded that only single depth, frontage development of 2 storeys is suitable in this location, with a distinct gap between the properties and an area of open space of approximately 25 metres kept free from built development south of the PRoW to enable retention of these key vistas and protection of the wider landscape character. At around 0.35ha, the site is considered suitable for up to 10 dwellings. Given the landscape character and vistas of the heritage assets, only single or two storey buildings would be appropriate here.

4.464 There is a PRoW located along the northern edge of the site which must be retained and, if possible, enhanced in collaboration with the development of Site S52. The important views from this footpath towards the site, and across the Greensand Ridgeway towards the church, must be retained. This can be achieved through the open spaces created within the layout and by providing gaps in the built frontage. and any Screening that should also be provided to lessen the visual impact of the development from this wider setting, but designed in such a way as to retain the views from the open spaces. The design and layout must also take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers in Goldwell Close and Church View.

4.465 There is currently an agricultural vehicle access on the northern part of the site in Goldwell Lane, however it is recommended that a new vehicle access is created for the development in the southern area, at the point shown on the policies map.

4.466 The boundary between the site and the road frontage is currently defined by an established mature hedgerow, and to preserve the existing character it is proposed that this be retained within the development layout where possible. It is suggested that a set back layout similar to that of the adjacent Church View development would achieve this aim.

4.467 Due to the close proximity of the village’s public open space and equipped play area to the site, no on-site provision is required as part of this development, but there are opportunities through financial contributions to provide enhancements for these areas. Contributions to the maintenance of the designed open spaces within the development will also be sought. A footpath connection must be made to the local network.

4.468 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 S51 – Aldington - Land north of Church View

The site is proposed for residential development of up to 10 with an indicative capacity of 6 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

a) Be designed and laid out in such a way as to conserve the mature hedgerow along the road frontage if where possible, retain gaps in the built frontage of the new development and create an area of open space free from development of approximately 25 metres south of the PRoW to preserve views and vistas through the site to the Grade l listed church and surrounding heritage assets. and also The overall design of the scheme must also consider the wider landscape settings, the topography of the site and Greensand Ridge location. Dwellings should be a maximum of 2 storeys in height;

b) Retain and enhance the PRoW adjoining the site;

c) Provide vehicle access from Goldwell Lane, as shown on the policies map, and pedestrian footways to connect to the village centre and the local services;

d) Provide a soft landscaped boundary along the eastern and northern edges of the site, which should include mature tree planting in places to lessen the visual impact of the development on the wider landscape, but also enable the longer views to be retained towards the heritage assets cluster around the church from the areas of open space within the scheme;

e) Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with the service provider;

f) Provide contributions towards the enhancement or maintenance of the nearby public open space and equipped play area provision and to the long term maintenance of the informal open spaces created within the development, in accordance with Policy COM2.