Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy EMP6 – Promotion of Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) (MM74)

Amend supporting text to read:

5.160 The policy below builds upon this pioneering approach and challenges the market yet further to require fibre to the premise (FTTP) for all most new developments. wherever practical. In doing so, the approach underpins one of the key principles of this Local Plan with regard to the utilisation, enhancement and expansion of existing infrastructure wherever possible.

5.163 In the urban area, where the fibre network now exists, the cost of installing FTTP in new developments is considered to be relatively small particularly during the build phase of the development. Any costs (above BCIS assumptions) must also be balanced with increased sales values that are likely to be achieved on account of fast and reliable broadband speeds being available. Based on these factors, Policy EMP6 requires that all residential and employment development within or adjoining the urban area of Ashford, including on site allocations promoted in this Plan that adjoin the urban area of Ashford, shall deliver FTTP.

5.165 However, the Council recognise that there are can be more challenges in terms of the viability of provision in the rural area and sometimes the ability to connect to the network is more difficult than in the urban area in the rural area to the delivery of FTTP. With this in mind, the policy approach is to target development that is of a scale and/or type that will, in most circumstances, be able to deliver FTTP. below is targeted towards For residential development, EMP6 shall apply to those schemes promoting 10 residential units or more in the rural area. and proposals that will deliver reasonably sized, or larger, employment uses For employment development (B classes), EMP6 shall apply to those schemes which provide 10 full time jobs or equivalent in the rural area. The assumption as to the number of jobs to be created should be based on the national Employment Densities Guide, produced by Government.

5.166 However, developments that fall below these thresholds will, nevertheless, still be encouraged to provide FTTP Schemes that fall below these thresholds will be encouraged to deliver FTTP wherever practical to try to assist in ensuring that the Borough’s fibre network is delivered to its maximum capacity.

5.168 However, in order to be consistent with the provisions in the NPPF, the Council recognise that there may be schemes that come forward which cannot be consistent with policy EMP6 fulfil the policy requirements as stipulated below. In such cases, evidence will be needed from the applicant to demonstrate that a departure from policy

is justified. Such evidence could include (but is not limited to) issues of viability, the ability to dig the appropriate physical trench and proximity to the nearest breakout point on the fibre network. They may also be circumstances where the operators themselves have concluded that servicing the site is not practical.

5.169 Where a FTTP solution is not deemed possible (and this position is accepted by the Council) provision of technologies capable of providing speeds in excess of 24Mbps should be delivered instead. wherever practical.

Implementation

5.170  The intention of Policy EMP6 is not to require developers to deliver FTTP solutions themselves. Instead, it focuses on the need to conduct early dialogue with telecom providers in order to best understand what their infrastructure specifications are and how these can be accommodated as part of the new development.  

5.171  To facilitate this, the Council requires that an application for a qualifying development is supported by a ‘FTTP Statement’. This will provide details of dialogue with the telecom operators and establish how FTTP will be provided to serve the development and that it will be engaged upon first occupation. This statement will need to be agreed between the applicant and the Council and it is likely that conditions will be applied to any subsequent permission, to ensure that FTTP will be secured as envisaged by the statement.

5.172 For outline proposals, the ‘FTTP Statement’ may be more limited on specific details relating to the imminent implementation of FTTP. In these circumstances, a commitment to supply the specific details at a later date, including how and when the telecom operators will be consulted, will need to be provided and agreed by the Council.

5.173 More detailed guidance about the implementation of EMP6 will be provided through a future SPD.

 

Delete existing policy wording and replace as follows:

Policy EMP6 - Promotion of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

The Council considers that FTTP is essential infrastructure and vital to the delivery of sustainable development. Therefore, all qualifying development shall deliver FTTP. Qualifying development includes:

All residential and employment schemes proposed in, or adjoining, the urban area of Ashford, including on those sites allocated in this Local Plan on periphery of the urban area of Ashford.

Residential schemes promoting 10 dwellings or more in the remaining parts of the Borough,

Employment schemes promoting 10 or more jobs (FTE) in the remaining parts of the Borough.

Proposals for qualifying development will be required to be supported by a FTTP Statement, to be agreed by the Council. This statement will establish how FTTP will be provided to serve the development and that it will be engaged at first occupation.

Exceptions to the approach outlined above could be justified in circumstances where it is not practical, viable or feasible to deliver FTTP. In such cases, evidence will be needed from the applicant to demonstrate that a departure from policy is justified.

For other residential and employment schemes, FTTP will be encouraged by the Council as a means of expanding the local fibre network.

Where FTTP is not to be delivered, non-Next Generation Access technologies that can provide speeds in excess of 24Mbps should be provided as an alternative.