Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy EMP2 – Loss or redevelopment of employment sites and premises (MM73)

Amend paragraph. 5.141 as follows:-

Otherwise, for proposals involving the loss of employment floorspace, either an equivalent amount of floorspace must be provided at a suitable site elsewhere in the Ashford urban area, or it will be necessary for developers to provide robust evidence that the premises have been marketed unsuccessfully for a substantial period of time on reasonable terms. Whilst each proposal will need to be treated on its own merits with the context of the prevailing market conditions, as a guide, appropriate marketing of at least for less than one year 6 months is unlikely to be considered sufficient necessary. Evidence should be provided that the terms compare with other similar premises and locations being let or sold for B-class employment uses within the local area. The extent of the marketing carried out will be an important factor in the weight given to the evidence. Marketing should also extend to the potential use for other suitable employment generating uses for which the particular location and premises may be suitable. These uses might include, for example, trade counter uses, motor dealerships, education and training facilities, or small scale leisure facilities not suitable for town centre locations.

Amend paragraph. 5.142 as follows:-

In addition to marketing the site, developers will need to have carried out a viability assessment of the redevelopment potential of the site for any other types of suitable employment generating uses. These uses might include, for example, trade counter uses, motor dealerships, education and training facilities, or small scale leisure facilities not suitable for town centre locations. The viability assessment should consider not only the redevelopment of the site in the current market conditions, but also redevelopment of the site within the timescale of this Plan.

Amend paragraph. 5.147 as follows:-

When considering an application for the loss of an employment site, an assessment will need to be made as to the viability of the existing use or an alternative employment use. In order to demonstrate that a site is no longer viable for an employment use, the application must be supported by robust evidence that the premises have been marketed unsuccessfully for both the existing use and any alternative suitable B-class employment use for a period of at least 6 months on terms that should compare with other similar premises and locations being sold or let for employment purposes. The extent of any marketing carried out and the prevailing market conditions will also be material considerations in the Council's assessment of viability evidence. Marketing should also extend to the potential use for other suitable employment generating uses for which the particular location and premises may be suitable.

Amend Policy EMP2 as follows:-

In the Ashford urban area:

Proposals for the loss or redevelopment of existing employment sites or premises (outside the town centre) will not be permitted unless at least one of the following criteria applies:

a. The site is no longer appropriate for the continuation of the previous or any other employment use in terms of its serious impact on the neighbouring occupiers or environment; or,

b. It has been shown that the unit has remained unlet or for sale for a substantial period for all appropriate types of B class employment uses or other suitable employment generating uses, despite genuine and sustained attempts to let or sell it on reasonable terms, and furthermore, that it will not be viable to redevelop the site for any appropriate types of alternative employment use within the Plan period; or,

c. The premises are replaced with similar facilities within the existing site or elsewhere in the Ashford’s urban area, providing at least the overall amount of developable B class employment floorspace that would be lost to redevelopment.

Within Tenterden and the HOU3a listed villages:

Proposals for the loss or redevelopment of existing employment sites or premises within the confines of Tenterden or the villages listed in policy HOU3a, or adjoining/close to a settlement listed in policy HOU5 will not be permitted, unless one of the following criteria apply;

a)The site is no longer appropriate for the continuation of the previous or any other employment use in terms of its serious impact on the neighbouring occupiers or environment;

a b) they The premises are replaced with the same sized or larger sites or premises within or adjoining the same rural settlement, or at the nearest rural service centre, or

b. c It has been shown that the unit has remained unlet or for sale for a substantial period for all appropriate types of B class employment uses or other suitable employment generating uses, despite genuine and sustained attempts to let or sell it on reasonable terms, and furthermore, that it will not be viable to redevelop the site for any appropriate types of alternative employment use within the Plan period.