Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy IMP2 – Deferred Contributions (MM98)

Amend title before paragraph 5.459:

Flexibility, Viability and Deferred Financial Contributions

Amend paragraphs 5.462 as follows:

5.462 5.462 However, it is recognised that in some cases a shortfall in the contributions towards infrastructure requirements and affordable housing provision or other policy requirements, as set out in this plan, may be justified on viability grounds. Where an applicant believes that this is the case, site specific viability evidence must be submitted to can robustly demonstrate that the required developer contributions or other policy requirements cannot be met.

In such cases, where a reduction in contribution and relaxation of policy requirement is agreed, the council will work with the relevant service providers to determine the most appropriate balance of infrastructure provision and/or policy requirements, including affordable housing provision (in line with Policy HOU1) that should be delivered so that the impact on residents who need the infrastructure is kept to the minimum possible. 

Insert additional paragraph following 5.463:

In implementing such an approach regard will be had to the Council’s Guidance Note ‘Principles for the Assessment of Planning Applications where the Financial Viability of the Development shows that it cannot afford to pay all of the necessary Infrastructure Contributions’ and any future Supplementary Planning Documents relevant to the issue.

Amend Policy IMP2 as follows:

Policy IMP2 – Flexibility, Viability and Deferred Contributions

Development proposals shall achieve all of the policy and infrastructure requirements set out in this Local Plan in a way that ensures provision comes forward when it is required to support the needs generated by the development. 

Where proposals do not meet all of the policy and infrastructure requirements set out in this Local Plan, proposals which do not fulfil this objective should not be permitted unless it must be is supported by extensive viability evidence that establishes why any departure from policy or deficit in infrastructure contribution is deemed necessary to make the scheme viable and that there should be are wider planning benefits for the development to go ahead. 

Any viability evidence that is provided to support an application must be done so in a transparent way and will be rigorously tested by independent advisors, paid for by the applicant. For larger schemes, where a proposals is to be phased over time, or where the opportunity exists to do so, the applicant will agree with the Council a programme or method of re-evaluating the viability of the scheme, to capture changes in circumstances.

Where a deficit in infrastructure contribution has been deemed acceptable, the Council will require the applicant to agree a deferred contributions approach, to claw back as much of any deficit as possible, should market conditions improve significantly.

For larger schemes, where a deficit has been deemed acceptable and where a proposals is to be phased over time, or where the opportunity exists to do so, the applicant will agree with the Council a programme or method of re-evaluating the viability of the scheme, to capture changes in circumstances.