Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy SP4 - Delivery of Retail and Leisure Needs (MM5)

Amendments to paragraphs 3.126 to 3.128 and insert additional paragraph following 3.128:

3.126 Since the RLNA was completed, planning permission has been granted for a six-screen cinema, hotel, restaurants and cafes, at Elwick Place, is currently under construction. This development is adjoining the primary shopping area, and will be a key part of the town centre offer. Development has also commenced on the Permission has also been granted for an extension to the Designer Outlet, which provides additional comparison floorspace and restaurants and café uses.

3.127 These committed developments provide for the need for comparison retail up to at least 2025, and cinema, restaurant and café development, for the whole plan period, in Ashford Town Centre. Given the uncertainty regarding retail forecasts beyond this time, it is not considered appropriate to allocate additional sites to accommodate the remaining need for the last few years of the plan period. In any event, there are sites within the Ashford Town Centre Policy Area, as set out in Policy SP5 which provide opportunities for development.

3.128 With regard to the provision of convenience retail need, since the RLNA was completed, a planning permission has been granted for 1,750sqm of A1 convenience retail store, within the Ashford Town Centre Policy Area, for an Aldi supermarket, has been implemented and is now open to the public. This development permission provides for the need for convenience retail within the town centre, under the ‘claw back’ scenario, until at least 2025. In terms of the need for the remainder of the plan period, in order to maintain flexibility, it is not considered appropriate to allocate a specific site. The need is only required if it is possible to further re-distribute the market share to improve Ashford’s convenience provision, therefore the delivery of such a proposal will be very much market driven and there is also significant uncertainty regarding retail forecasts beyond this time. It is considered that a flexible approach should therefore be maintained to enable any further proposals to come forward within the Town Centre policy area, as set out in Policy SP5. Proposals will be required to demonstrate that they accord with Policy EMP9 (Sequential and Impact Assessments) and proposals for convenience provision out of town will be strongly resisted through that policy. 

Local needs are addressed through Policy EMP10 which is supportive of additional shopping and service provision within local centres and villages across the Borough.

Delete content of Policy SP4 and replace with the following:

At Ashford Town Centre provision is made for an additional 1,548 sqm of convenience retail floorspace and 14,202 sqm of comparison retail floorspace between 2015 and 2030, through the delivery of existing commitments, development proposals in the pipeline, and site redevelopment opportunities, within the Ashford Town Centre Policy Area as defined by Policy SP5. Any further retail and leisure proposals shall be accommodated in the first instance in the town centre, in accordance with Policy EMP9.

At Tenterden Town Centre provision should be made for an additional 50 sqm of convenience retail floorspace and 1,122 sqm of comparison retail floorspace between 2015 and 2030, through small scale development and changes of use within and adjoining the existing centre.