Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy EMP8 – Primary Shopping frontage in Tenterden Town Centre (MM76)

Amend supporting text as follows:

5.192 Previous policies for Tenterden Town Centre, have aimed to maintain a high concentration of A1 uses, by restricting proposals that would result in more than 35% of the length of particular primary frontages becoming non-A1 uses. Whilst the current mix of uses within the centre makes for a well functioning and vibrant centre, given the recent extensions to permitted development rights, as with Ashford town centre, it is not considered appropriate to restrict uses by such a threshold, and in any event, this would have no practical effect.

The current mix of uses within the centre makes for a well-functioning and vibrant centre, and it is therefore important that the policy framework protects and enhances this. As with Ashford Town Centre, it is recognised that permitted development rights provides more flexibility without the need for planning permission, but in cases where planning permission is required, it is important that the Council can consider the impact of proposals on the vitality and viability of the centre. Previous policies for Tenterden Town Centre have aimed to maintain a high concentration of A1 uses, by restricting proposals that would result in more than 35% of the length of particular primary frontages becoming non-A1 uses. However it is considered that, as with Ashford, a more flexible and pragmatic policy approach is appropriate, given the changing role of town centres. The policy identifies the primary shopping frontage for Tenterden Town Centre and is supportive of all main town centre uses, subject to the proposal maintaining or enhancing the centre’s vitality and viability, taking into account a range of factors. In addition to those factors identified above in relation to Ashford Town Centre, for Tenterden, the impact of the proposal on the character and function of the Tenterden Town Centre, as the Borough’s main rural service centre and tourism destination, will also be taken into account.

 

Delete Policy EMP8 and replace with the following:

Policy EMP8 - Primary Shopping Frontage in Tenterden Town Centre

Primary Shopping Frontages and the Primary Shopping Area are defined for Tenterden Town Centre as set out on the Policies Map and extract above.

Within the Primary Shopping Frontages, permission will be granted for development falling within Use Class A1. All other main town centre uses will be permitted, subject to the proposal maintaining or enhancing the centre’s vitality and viability, taking into account the following factors where relevant:

a)  the impact the proposal will have on long term and persistent vacancy and the continued suitability and viability of the unit for A1 retail use

b)  the ability of the proposal to attract vibrancy, activity and pedestrian footfall to the town centre during the daytime;

c)  whether the proposal is compatible with a retail area in that it includes an active shopfront and is immediately accessible by the public from the front;

d)  the accumulation of non-A1 uses in parts of the frontage, which would significantly erode the retail function of the frontage;

e)  the loss of a large or anchor A1 retail unit

f)   the impact of the proposal on the character and function of the Tenterden Town Centre as the Borough’s main rural service centre and tourism destination

The Council will support proposals to bring underused upper floors back into beneficial use, including residential and office use.

Changes of use to residential will not be permitted on the ground floor of any unit.