Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy EMP9 – Sequential Assessment and Impact Test (MC77)

Amend paragraphs 5.199 to 5.203 as follows:

5.199 5.199 For the avoidance of doubt Policy SP 4 5 does not over-ride the need for development proposals in edge of centre locations to accord with the following policy.

5.200 5.200 Proposals for development outside of the PSA will be required to demonstrate, by carrying out a Sequential Assessment, that there are no sites located within a more central location that would be suitable for the proposed development. Applicants will be required to demonstrate flexibility in respect of the format and scale of the proposed development.

5.201 5.201 The National Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) provides advice in setting locally appropriate thresholds for impact assessments. The Retail and Leisure Needs Assessment concludes that impact assessments will be required for proposals for retail, leisure and office developments, which are greater than 500 sqm. Other town centre uses will be required to carry impact assessments where their size is greater than those standards set out in the NPPF.

5.202 5.202 The scope of the Sequential Test and Retail Impact Assessments which are required to be submitted in support of planning applications should be discussed and agreed between the applicants and the Council at an early stage in the pre-application process. The level of detail included within the assessments should be proportionate to the scale and type of retail floorspace proposed and shall be determined on a case by case basis. National Planning Practice Guidance sets out detailed requirements for carrying out such assessments. The Council will impose conditions on planning permissions where this is necessary to appropriately control the impact of a particular use.

5.203 5.203 The following policy sets out the requirements for consideration of applications for retail development which are located outside of identified primary shopping areas, and other main town centre uses that are not proposed in existing town centre boundaries and are not in accordance with supported by other policies within this Local Plan. For the avoidance of doubt, this policy does not apply to small scale retail and service provision, which is permitted in accordance with Policy EMP10 of this Local Plan or to conversions of rural buildings to employment, non-residential tourism and leisure uses permitted by Policy EMP4.


Amend Policy EMP9 as follows:

Policy EMP9 - Sequential Assessment and Impact Test

Proposals for retail development which are not located in the Primary Shopping Areas, or for other ‘main town centre uses’ which are not located within the town centre boundaries of Ashford or Tenterden Town Centres (as defined in Policy SP4, EMP7 and EMP8 and set out on the Policies Map), and are not in accordance with supported by other policies in this plan, will only be permitted if all of the following criteria can be met:

a)    A sequential assessment has been carried out, that to demonstrates that no suitable sites are available, first in the primary shopping area, for retail, or the town centre boundary for other town centre uses, then in edge of centre locations. Only if no sites are available in these locations should out of centre locations be considered in more central locations. Preference will be given to sites that are well connected to the town centre;

b)   The proposal, either by itself, or in combination with other committed development proposals, will not have a significant adverse impact on investment or the vitality and viability of a town centre harm significantly the vitality and viability of the relevant centre, or any significant adverse negative impact upon the town centres can be adequately mitigated. Proposals for retail, leisure and office development which are greater than 500 sqm will be required to carry out an impact assessment.  Other main town centre uses will be required to carry impact assessments in line with the requirements of the NPPF.