Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy HOU15 – Private external open space (MM68)

Amend policy wording as follows:

Add paragraphs after 5.107 to supporting text as follows:

In the case of private gardens attached to a house, a minimum area based on the 10m depth x the width of the dwelling (m) provides a helpful starting point. This calculation – resulting in a square metre figure - provides a very modestly sized garden but in most cases can accommodate a sitting out area, clothes drying area, small shed and area of play as well as space to plant shrubs and small trees. The benefit of a garden is undermined if it cannot comfortably accommodate these important functions.

However, the Council realises this standard requires an element of flexibility depending on factors such as the size and type of the dwellings proposed, the character, design and layout of the development and the shape and topography of the site. This could result in the requirement either for a larger or a smaller area in order to achieve a space that can accommodate those elements outlined above.

Furthermore, any proposal affecting an existing dwelling will be refused unless its private external open spaces are retained in accordance with the standards set out in the policy.

Delete existing policy table and policy wording as follows:

Policy HOU15 - Private external open space

Unless drawings indicate alternative provision of private useable external open space, new dwellings, whether created as ‘new build’, subdivision or conversion shall be provided with an area of private open space. Unless demonstrably unfeasible, this should not be overlooked from the road or other public spaces in accordance with the table below:

Table deleted

For flats, a minimum of 5m2 of private outdoor space should be provided for 1 or 2 bedspace dwellings, and an additional 1m2 should be provided for each additional bedspace. The minimum depth and width for all balconies and other private external spaces (e.g. roof garden, patio) should be 1.5m.

For houses, as a starting point, the private garden area should be calculated as the width of the dwelling (m) x 10m. This standard can be flexible providing it can be adequately demonstrated that alternative solutions provide a sufficient area of usable private outdoor space which contributes positively to the character and appearance of the area and ensures a high standard of living conditions can be achieved.

These standards also apply to any proposals which result in the loss of private external space to existing residential property.