Local Plan to 2030 - Publication Draft

Ashford Urban Area

Commercial Quarter

 

S1

4.4 This area, adjacent to the stations, will become the dynamic new main business sector of the town – a new office quarter complemented with smaller scale residential, retail and space for eating and drinking. The area plays a key part in delivering the wider vision for the town centre and, for this reason, a specific site policy is needed.

4.5 Throughout the area the emphasis will be on creating a network of routes and space and a very high quality public realm – each phase of development making its contribution to this. This network should be animated by local amenities such as small shops, cafes or bars and public art. A central public space within the Quarter will enable a local focal point to be created. This will help set a standard that will give added confidence to future investors and help bring forward further growth.  An approved ‘Design Framework’ provides the basis for this development – this may well require updating to reflect market trends as these change over the relatively long period it will take to complete all phases of the Commercial Quarter.

4.6 Different parts of the site have different roles to play. In the Dover Place area, there is potential to reuse heritage buildings and create new flexible space to house smaller office users – for example, IT and media businesses and small workshop space office suites as well as supporting retail and venues for food and drink.  This is the entrance to the area from the stations and needs to take advantage of the inherent character of some of the buildings that remain to provide an appealing and welcoming with a lively mix of uses, with existing buildings and new ones working in an interesting juxtaposition.   The benchmark for the quality of public realm expected throughout the area has already been set in the works carried out in this area.   

4.7 The riverside frontage of the site is well suited to a residential-led mix of uses providing riverside access and direct pedestrian access over a new bridge to the South Park and Stour Centre.   The listed Whist House should be restored as part of the development of this part of the site either to its former residential use or a suitable alternative use.

4.8 The first phase office development is likely on the area of the existing car park and at least two further phases can be accommodated on land controlled by the Borough Council. As the development progresses the remaining uses on the site – the Kent Woolgrowers and the Royal Mail – have previously indicated they will seek to relocate, creating space for a further series of phased developments.  The Design Framework provides an indicative phasing and car parking strategy as development takes place.

4.9 The northern part of the site also includes existing offices and Ashford Bowling, alongside a public car park owned by the Council. This land is not required to come forward to deliver the level of development envisaged in the policy below but are suitable locations for office development and are well placed to respond if the Commercial Quarter develops as proposed. The car park is considered a suitable location for a future Multi Storey Car Park, utilising its accessibility to the Town Centre and existing access onto Station Road. Should this come forward, the possibility of providing an additional access onto Tannery Lane should be considered as part of the proposal to help with traffic movements in this area. Proposals coming forward on the northern part of the site will need to demonstrate how they will complement the delivery of what is envisaged on the remaining parts of the Commercial Quarter. 

4.10 Unlike many parts of the town centre where a predominant, historic scale of 3-4 storeys exists, there is the opportunity for larger scale development blocks here. The topography of the Quarter slopes away from the town centre so that taller buildings are less prominent and, of course, International House is a existing landmark feature.  It is not proposed to replicate the height of International House - development fronting Station Road should average 5-6 storeys. There may be scope for building(s) of 7-8 storeys closer to the centre of the Quarter and International House but this would depend on a clear design rationale being agreed for the site as a whole and this would need to be tested through detailed modelling.  On the riverside, 2-4 storeys is likely to be the appropriate range.

4.11 Non-residential development in the Commercial Quarter will be required to provide proportionate contributions towards the delivery of strategic parking provision in the town, such as the delivery of a Town Centre Multi Storey Car Park and or a Park and Ride site outside the Town Centre area.  

Policy S1 - Commercial Quarter

 

The Commercial Quarter is proposed to become an important new office based district playing a key role in creating jobs for the town centre and growing the wider economy of the Borough. The site has the potential to deliver up to 55,000 sq m of new office floorspace. 

In addition to offices, other secondary uses such as residential apartments, small scale retail and/ or leisure uses and a hotel would also be appropriate in this Quarter, providing they complement the wider objective to deliver the substantial commercial space envisaged here. The site also has the potential to deliver residential apartments. To the northern part of the site, a multi storey car park is envisaged to come forward. 

The Quarter should be delivered in phases and this needs to be guided by a ‘Design Framework’ which may need revising as the Quarter is developed. The quality of the public realm linking the component parts of the Quarter and more widely to the stations and shopping heart of the town centre needs to be of an especially high quality and each phase will need to be designed and delivered with this in mind.  Active uses will be needed to help animate key routes and important focal points at junctions.

Development in this Quarter should generally be an average of 5-6 storeys above ground level although slightly taller buildings may be appropriate towards the heart of the site. The riverside frontage should generally not exceed 4 storeys. 

Non-residential development in the Commercial Quarter will be required to provide proportionate contributions towards the delivery of strategic parking provision in the town, such as the delivery of a Town Centre Multi-Storey Car Park and / or a Park and Ride site outside the Town Centre area.  

 

Land North-East of Willesborough Road, Kennington

 S2

4.12 The site is located on the north-eastern edge of the built up area of Ashford. It is bounded to the west by Willesborough Road, and the residential development of Little Burton Farm. To the east is the Ashford to Canterbury railway line, with Conningbrook Country Park and Julie Rose Stadium over the railway line. Residential development is proposed (part of which has planning permission) on the Conningbrook site, and will run from Willesborough Road, along half of the site’s eastern boundary, on the other side of the railway line. Linear residential development along Canterbury Road forms the north-western boundary of the site. To the north and east lies further agricultural land.

4.13 The site is best and most versatile agricultural land (approximately 60% being Grade 1) predominantly in arable use, with a small area of the northern corner of the site, being a separate smallholding not in active use. This part of the site contains redundant agricultural buildings. The site is slightly undulating and slopes downwards from south-west to north-east, towards the railway line and the open countryside to the north.

4.14 The site is located on the edge of the existing urban area, and half of its boundaries are currently adjacent to residential development. Once the Conningbrook site has been developed, the site would form a wedge of open land between residential developments on three of its sides. The site is located close to existing services, and in particular there is an opportunity for the Conningbrook Country Park and Julie Rose Stadium to become a hub for local facilities, adjacent to the site.

4.15 The site is proposed as one of the strategic housing allocations in this Plan, and is considered appropriate for residential development in line with the strategy for the distribution of housing as outlined in Policy SP2 . The boundary of the site has been informed by the characteristics of the existing built form, in particular the extent of residential development along Canterbury Road, and to minimise the extent to which the development extends into open countryside.

4.16 The site, which is approximately 40 ha in size, is allocated for primarily residential development with a capacity of up to 700 dwellings. The site should also include a serviced area of land sufficient for the provision of a Two Form Entry Primary School (currently 2.05 hectares).

4.17 Development of the site will need to pay particular regard to the topography of the site, and its relationship with the surrounding built development. The design and layout of the site must take into account the residential amenity of the occupiers of existing residential properties along Canterbury Road, Willesborough Road, Canon Woods Way and Orchard Lane.

4.18 The existing tree/hedge lines along the boundaries of the site shall all be maintained and improved other than along Willesborough Road where there may be some loss in order to provide the necessary vehicular accesses to the site. The provision along the railway line should provide a suitable visual and acoustic barrier.

4.19 The landowner of the northern corner of the site has indicated an interest in delivering self-build properties on that area of the site. In accordance with policy HOU6 the development will be required to deliver a minimum of 5% of the dwellings as self-build, and this area of the site is considered to be suitable to provide for this requirement.

4.20 The primary vehicular access to the site should be provided from the Willesborough Road. The exact location and form of the access shall be determined following an assessment of the traffic generation onto the Willesborough Road. A secondary/emergency vehicular access to the site should also be provided, and the most appropriate location for this will need to be considered in liaison with the Local Highways Authority.

4.21 There are also two potential minor access points to the site from Canterbury Road, however they are relatively narrow and located between residential properties and the Croft Hotel, and it may not be possible to obtain the necessary visibility splays. These accesses are therefore only likely to be suitable for very limited levels of traffic, however they may be considered for the secondary/emergency access. Development proposals for the site must therefore include a detailed assessment as to the suitability of any access onto Canterbury Road, in liaison with the Local Highways Authority.

4.22 The transport modelling carried out in support of the Local Plan has demonstrated there will be an impact of the proposal upon the wider transport network. A Full Transport Assessment will be required to be submitted in support of a planning application for development of this site. This should consider the impact of the proposal on the wider road network, and make recommendations to improve capacity at existing junctions where necessary and possible. Funding for an extension of existing bus services in the area should be part of a package of measures designed to ameliorate the impact of additional traffic.

4.23 The combination of this proposal and the development permitted and proposed in policy S19 at Conningbrook means that there will be additional traffic at M20 Junction 10. Consequently, no occupations of the residential development on this site may take place prior to the completion of Junction 10a, in accordance with Policy TRA1.

4.24 There are two public rights of way running east-west across the site. One provides an at- grade pedestrian crossing over the railway line into the Conningbrook Country Park. The other diverts north to meet a further public right of way which runs just beyond and along the northern boundary of the site, and provides a further at-grade pedestrian crossing over the railway line. Given the proposed scale of development here, combined with that at Conningbrook means that considerable additional use of the at-grade crossing could be expected. The Council’s preferred solution would be to replace the existing crossing with a new pedestrian / cycleway bridge over the railway in order to provide safer access into the Country Park from the site and wider area. Therefore, proposals for the development of the site must fully investigate the potential for it to deliver a new single bridge crossing over the railway line, with the intention of retaining the PRoWs as far as possible. In addition, the proposals for the site must also include cycleways and pedestrian routes that link Willesborough Road and Canterbury Road through the site.

4.25 Part of the site, along the eastern boundary with the railway line is located within Flood Zone 2. In line with the National Planning Policy Framework, it is unlikely that residential development on this part of the site would be considered acceptable but a full flood risk assessment will need to be carried out in consultation with the Environment Agency. In the event that this area cannot be used for residential development, it should be utilised for publically accessible open space.

4.26 Development of this site presents an opportunity to incorporate a sustainable drainage system that will contribute to managing surface water for the benefit of flood risk, water quality, biodiversity and amenity. A drainage strategy will be required to show how the impact of the development will be reduced through site design and SUDS techniques.

4.27 It is important that existing sewerage infrastructure which crosses the site is protected and future access secured for the purposes of maintenance and upsizing. Liaison with the relevant infrastructure company at the time is recommended.

4.28 The northern corner of the site contains features that have the potential to support protected species and biodiversity. Further detailed investigation will be required to determine whether the site does support protected species and biodiversity, and proposals should include any mitigation necessary in order to minimise any impact upon nature conservation.

4.29 Part of the site is located adjacent to the railway line. It is likely due to the location of the flood plain, that only a limited number of properties will be located directly adjacent to the railway line. However, the development proposals will need to demonstrate how they have been laid out and designed in order to minimise the impact from noise and vibration on the amenity of future residents of the development. A noise and vibration assessment will be required to be submitted in support of the planning application for the development.

4.30 The former Orchard Lane Landfill site is located on the northern boundary of the site, and there is evidence of soil contamination on parts of the site. Detailed proposals for development here will need to investigate this and ensure that any land contamination is appropriately dealt with prior to development taking place.

4.31 Kent County Council (KCC) is currently searching for a site for a 2FE primary school within the Willesborough and/or Kennington area in order to meet the need for primary school places. This site provides a suitable location for the provision of a primary school to meet this need. This development will be required to provide the land for the school, and make a proportionate S106 financial contribution towards primary school places to meet the needs for primary school places generated from this development.

4.32 Due to the current pressures with regard to primary school places it is envisaged that the primary school will be delivered in the initial stages of the development and this could be achieved prior to the completion of M20 Junction 10a. Liaison will be required with KCC to ensure the school can be delivered in a timely manner and to agree the details for doing this.

Policy S2 - Land north-east of Willesborough Road, Kennington

 

Land to the north-east of Willesborough Road, Kennington, is proposed for residential development for up to 700 dwellings. A serviced area of land shall be provided within the site for the development of a two form entry primary school. 

Development proposals for the site shall be designed and laid out to take account of the following:

  1. The topography of the site and residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers of the site.
  2. A full flood risk assessment that has been prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency.
  3. Primary access to the site shall be provided from Willesborough Road, with the location of a secondary/emergency access to be determined following further investigation into the feasibility of access onto the Canterbury Road, in liaison with the Local Highways Authority. 
  4. New pedestrian and cycle routes are to be provided throughout the development with connections to existing routes. The PRoWs running through the site should be maintained and incorporated within the development, where possible. Proposals must investigate, and deliver, if feasible, a pedestrian and cycle bridge crossing over the railway line to maintain the PRoW and provide access into the country park.
  5. The existing trees and hedgerows along the boundaries to Willesborough Road, the railway line, and the northern countryside shall be retained and enhanced, except to provide suitable access.
  6. Proposals for ecological mitigation and enhancement measures are to be provided on the site informed by a habitat survey.
  7. The location of the primary school site shall be determined following liaison with Kent County Council, and the site should be made available in the initial stage of developing the wider site.
  8. Provision of an extension to the Green Corridor, allotments and areas of informal open space to meet the needs of the development.
  9. The need to minimise the impact of noise and vibration from the railway line on the amenity of future occupiers of the development, informed by a noise and vibration assessment.

In addition, the development shall:

  1. Make improvements to the local road network, where necessary and achievable, informed by a Transport Assessment carried out in liaison with KCC Highways and Transportation.
  2. Provide a proportionate financial contribution to the delivery of Highway England’s scheme for a new M20 Junction 10a.
  3. Provide a financial contribution to the extension of existing bus services in the area to serve the development.
  4. Provide a proportionate contribution towards primary education to contribute towards the delivery of the primary school on site.
  5. Ensure that any land contamination issues are satisfactorily resolved or mitigated.
No occupation of the residential element of the development shall take place until the proposed M20 Junction 10a is complete, in accordance with Policy TRA1.

Court Lodge

S3_Courtlodge

Please see Map 3 for detailed map

4.33 The site lies to the south of Pound Lane, east of Long Length and north of Magpie Hall Road. It is largely flat, arable and grazing land which lies partly within the floodplain of the Whitewater Dyke which passes through the site. It lies immediately to the south of the existing built-up extent of Ashford (Knights Park).

4.34 The site is proposed for up to 950 dwellings, although a final site capacity should be determined following a detailed and inclusive site masterplanning exercise that should inform any planning application for development on the site. In order to achieve a consolidated and sustainable form of development here, the built footprint should be on the northern half of the site to enable closer links to the existing development to the north. This will necessitate the remodelling of the Whitewater Dyke’s floodplain to the southern part of the site which in turn should be set out to provide publically accessible open space and ecological mitigation areas, that will form an extension of the Discovery Park area proposed to be formed west of Long Length. A detailed Flood Risk Assessment will be required to support any planning application to ensure the latest flood modelling advice and information can be taken into account in the detailed layout for the site. As part of this remodelling, opportunities to improve channel flow in the Dyke should be taken to provide potential flood benefits on-site and downstream. The design of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) on the site will also need to ensure that drainage measures contribute to ensuring that existing properties near to the site are not adversely affected by the development.

4.35 The masterplan will also need to demonstrate how the remodelling of the floodplain and the delivery of SuDS form part of a wider landscape strategy for the site that seeks to utilise the higher ground to the eastern boundary as part of a broader buffer area to the properties that front Ashford Road as well as landscaping within the built up areas to create attractive public realm and natural shading.

4.36 To provide a focal point for the community, the development shall also include a ‘local centre’ for the provision of day to day retail services of up to 450 sq.m. This will also need to include land for the provision of a new 2FE primary school to serve the local area, which the developer will be expected to fund in part, and up to 350 sq.m. of serviced local employment (B1) space. A Community building should also be provided at the local centre which is designed so that its space may be used on a flexible basis by different community groups. The precise scale and specification of this building should be determined in association with the Borough and Parish Councils and other local stakeholder groups. The provision of the services and facilities at the local centre will need to be phased in accordance with the masterplan for the development of the site taking account of the availability and capacity of nearby facilities.

4.37 The Local Centre will also need to be sited at the confluence of the main vehicular links through the development. This will, initially, include a route from the north via Merino Way and a route from the west via Long Length. This latter route will also form part of a new ‘strategic’ route through the development to Pound Lane where it will meet a proposed new single-carriageway link road to the east of Knights Park linking with the A2070 junction at Park Farm (Forestall Meadow). It is expected that the development will help to fund the delivery of this new link road. In addition, the layout shall also provide for the delivery of a route to the south-east as far as the site boundary to deliver a connection to the proposed development allocation at north of Steeds Lane and Magpie Hall Road (see policy S4).

4.38 The route of the Roman Road that passes through the site should be utilised to create a strategic pedestrian route through the development area that also accesses the Local Centre directly. Further pedestrian links east to the site boundary should be provided to enable connectivity to Kingsnorth village and the green buffer planned to the south of Kingsnorth as part of a wider pedestrian route corridor from Discovery Park to the west.

4.39 Within the built footprint of the development, proposals should be brought forward for a variety of areas with different characters based on a varied set of design parameters and residential densities. Each character area should be defined by a legible street hierarchy that encourages connectivity and activity and takes account of its surroundings and context as well as its purpose in the wider development area. For example, it is expected that the area around the Local Centre would be characterised by relatively higher density development with a more ‘urban’ feel and include a mixture of apartments and houses. By contrast, the southern periphery of the built footprint overlooking the open space and parkland should have a lower residential density characterised by more detached properties in larger plots. A detailed design ‘model’ for each character area should be set out in the masterplan for the development and used to inform final dwelling capacities and layouts for specific phases. This should include mean and maximum net residential densities for each area.

4.40 This exercise will also need to show how the affordable housing elements of the scheme should be integrated and distributed across different phases of the development.

4.41 An equipped play space should be provided close to the local centre and opportunities for more informal play should be provided within the publically accessible open space in the southern half of the site. The development also provides an opportunity for new community allotments to be provided. These should be located in an accessible location with suitable parking facilities.

4.42 Given the scale of publically accessible space and ecological reserve areas to be created on the southern half of the site, it is important that there are suitable long term management arrangements in place. Development proposals for this site should include a management plan for these areas that will need to be funded for a period to be agreed with the Council.

4.43 The masterplan for the site will establish a minimum of 4 phases for the development. The initial phases shall include the delivery of the enabling works to the floodplain and the establishment of the ecological reserve areas to allow translocation of protected species. 

Policy S3 - Court Lodge

Land at Court Lodge Farm is proposed for residential development for up 950 dwellings and a Local Centre, incorporating a new 2FE primary school, a set of local retail and employment space and a new community building. The development shall also provide a major new area of publically accessible open space that will form an extension to the planned strategic Discovery Park land that lies to the west of the site.

Development proposals for this site shall designed and implemented in accordance with an agreed masterplan for the general layout and delivery of development and related infrastructure on the site. The masterplan shall include details of the following elements:-

  1. Flood mitigation - being informed by a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency, including levels and features to be introduced to manage flow along the Whitewater Dyke corridor.
  2. Drainage - The layout and treatment of surface water through the use of SuDS should be provided as an integral part of the landscape design and open space strategy along with acceptable maintenance arrangements.
  3. Ecology – full details of ecological mitigation measures to be provided on the site and proposals for their implementation and future maintenance.
  4. Landscaping and public open space – details showing where strategic areas of landscaping and open space provision on the site, including any allotments, will be established.
  5. The ‘Local Centre’ – a detailed block layout showing how residential and non-residential uses will relate to each other, including details of the arrangement of the public realm, equipped play space and any public parking facilities.
  6. Design and Layout principles – a series of principles that set out the prevailing scale and form of the urban environment to be created in different parts or phases of the development. This will include the mean net residential densities and maximum storey heights in any phase as well as road hierarchies, streetscape treatments and building to street width ratios.
  7. Vehicular, pedestrian and cycleway access both at the edge and within the site – in conjunction with the road hierarchies to be set out above, details of linkages and connections to be provided throughout the built and open parts of the site, including the utilisation of the route of the former Roman Road.
  8. Phasing – details of the proposed phasing of built development and infrastructure, including any necessary mitigation works either on or off site. 

 In addition, the development shall also:-

  1. Provide primary vehicular access from Long Length to Pound Lane via the Local Centre to enable connection to the Pound Lane Link Road to the north. Vehicular access to the south –eastern boundary of the site shall also be provided as part of any proposals for the development of the site. Any other links to local roads will be determined as part of the masterplan to be agreed.
  2. Provide a proportionate financial contribution to the delivery of the Pound Lane Link Road and the delivery of Highway England’s scheme for a new M20 Junction 10a.

Land north of Steeds Lane and Magpie Hall Road

S4 

 Please see Map 4 for detailed map

4.44 This site lies to the north of the Steeds Lane/ Magpie Hall Road axis and either side of the Ashford Road. The site is in predominantly agricultural use with scattered homes and clusters of houses with a more linear pattern of development along Ashford Road adjoining the site. The predominant character is one of gently undulating farmland rising towards the north of the site to a small ridge from which there are good views of the surrounding countryside.  To the north of the site there are more trees reflecting a stronger field pattern and sense of enclosure.  This area is an important part of the wider setting of Kingsnorth village Conservation Area.  To the south, the more formal landscape of the cricket field and the cluster of homes at the southern end of Bond Lane contrast with the mainly agricultural land around on both sides of the Ashford Road.

4.45 The main highway framework is the crossing of the north/ south Ashford Road and the east / west Steeds Lane/ Magpie Hall Road whilst towards the eastern side of the site, Bond Lane is a pleasant meandering rural lane.

4.46 This site is proposed for residential development of up to 320 units, although a final site capacity should be determined following a detailed and comprehensive site masterplanning exercise that should inform any planning permission for development on the site. There is potential for residential development in three distinct parts of the site. The land north of the cricket ground forms the principal area of new development but smaller, secondary areas west of Ashford Road and east of Bond Lane can also contribute to the creation of a new settlement which has different and varied characters as part of it and which are part of a wider vision for how the area in general can be brought forward in a sustainable, high quality way.

4.47 The importance of avoiding coalescence in this area is emphasised elsewhere and so the northern extent of built development here needs to be carefully controlled. Development should sit below the ridge line that lies south of Kingsnorth village, with the ridge and the space between it and the village itself forming a strategic open buffer to protect the setting of Kingsnorth and create a sense of separation from the new development. The protection and enhancement of existing landscaping in this area is a key policy objective here and should be reflected in landscaping proposals for the development of the site.

4.48 In the area north of the cricket ground, the opportunity exists for a mix of residential densities but within an overall mean net density of around 20 dph. This should reflect a rural, village style character that would be appropriate in this location whilst allowing for some pockets of slightly higher density commensurate with many village layouts.

4.49 To the east of Bond Lane the setting is more rural and a significant and well defined gap of open countryside is needed between the area proposed for development and the community at Stumble Lane to avoid the areas coalescing. The Ancient Woodland at Isaac Wood forms a natural and visual boundary to the site and it will important that there is a significant landscaped and open buffer between the woodland and the built footprint here. Consequently, low density homes in large plots are appropriate in the range 10 – 12 net dph.

4.50 To the north of the properties in Magpie Hall Road, the land is ecologically sensitive and forms part of the drainage areas from the higher land to the north, so development potential here is more limited. This land also directly links to the areas proposed for ecological and drainage mitigation associated with the neighbouring Court Lodge Farm site and the wider extension of Discovery Park (policy S3). Therefore, development is proposed north of the watercourse that passes through this area, to be accessed from a new road that will eventually link through to the proposed Local Centre at Court Lodge. Development will help to animate this route and should wrap around the contours avoiding the higher ground to the north. Development here should also be at relatively low residential densities reflecting the characteristics of existing properties on Ashford Road and Magpie Hall Road i.e. at a mean net density of around 15dph.

4.51 Given the size and varying nature of different parts of the site and the need for great care in designing the relationship with neighbouring uses and countryside, the masterplan for the site needs to define the precise developable areas of the site and these will form the basis for setting actual net residential densities. Initially, masterplanning will need to establish a reasonable relationship between each area of new development and existing homes – for example, by sensitively designing and locating public open spaces and surface water drainage areas.   More widely, the masterplanning will establish the detailed form of the place and the way its layout relates to the cricket ground at its heart. A comprehensive masterplan will help to build confidence for existing residents about those areas that will be developed and those that will be protected for the long term.

4.52 A landscape strategy will be needed as a key part of the masterplan. It will set out where public space and play areas will be provided; where landscape buffers are to be created, their scale and the planting proposals therein; the location of sustainable drainage features; areas of protected habitat; footpath links to the wider area and a viable, long term management plan for all these areas.

4.53 There are several listed buildings close to the boundary of the site (two on Ashford Road, two on Magpie Hall Road and two on Bond Lane). Their settings need to be preserved. There may be also be archaeological constraints on the site and therefore, a historic landscape survey and assessment will be needed.

4.54 The primary vehicle accesses to the site should be from Ashford Road.   Traffic management measures put in place as part of this development at points north and south of the development area to mark the entrance to this enlarged community to control speeds and improve the environment of the main thoroughfare should be considered.  This will enable junctions onto the Ashford Road to be of a less intrusive scale and design. The highway access created to serve development to the north of Magpie Hall Road will need to be designed to serve as the start of a road linking to the adjoining proposed Court Lodge development area.  Land will need to be reserved and funding made available to complete the construction of this road to the site boundary.  This will help to improve the road network in the area and spread traffic movements around the south of the town. 

4.55 Similarly a package of traffic management measures will be needed on the more minor roads – Magpie Hall Road; Steeds Lane and Bond Lane – to help manage and limit traffic flows to levels that are appropriate given their rural nature and lack of pavements/ lighting, etc. Within the development itself, a network of routes should be established to inform a less urban character commensurate with the generally lower density and village-style form of development.

4.56 Provision of sports and leisure facilities will be required to meet the community needs arising from the development. This could be met in part through improvements to the existing cricket club and its facilities.

4.57 Public rights of way cross the site linking to Kingsnorth village to the north and the wider countryside to the south-east and west. A network of footpaths and cycleways is needed within the site and linking to the wider area, including links in an east-west direction to the Court Lodge site.

4.58 The scale of development allocated here in this Plan will not support local shopping on its own but the passing trade along Ashford Road provides an opportunity for a local convenience shop to serve new and existing residents. The detailed location and access arrangements for a suitable site fronting the Ashford Road will be established at the masterplanning stage. Similarly, the present scale of development would not support the provision of a new primary school as part of this allocation but proportionate contributions will be required.

4.59 Given the location, number of units proposed and size of the site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing, in accordance with Policy HOU1.

4.60 In allocating this site, it is acknowledged that a more sustainable form of development that would sustain its own services and facilities may be achieved by a greater scale and extent of development in the future. The land south of Steeds Lane presents an opportunity to extend this allocation in the future so that a new Local Centre to complement that to be created at Court Lodge Farm may be formed and a more self-sufficient scale of development achieved with a more distinctive identity and character of place created. The masterplan for the site required by this policy should also acknowledge the potential future expansion of this area, particularly in establishing potential connectivity and the treatment of the boundary with Steeds Lane. The potential of the area south of Steeds Lane should be considered as part of the formal review of this Local Plan.  

Policy S4 - Land north of Steeds Lane and Magpie Hall Road

Land north of Steeds Lane and Magpie Hall Road is proposed for residential development, for up to 320 dwellings.

Development proposals for this site shall be in designed and implemented in accordance with an agreed masterplan for the general layout and delivery of development and related infrastructure on the site. The masterplan shall include details of the following elements:-

  1. Design and layout principles – a series of models or codes that set out the prevailing scale and form of the urban environment to be created in each of the three separate areas of the site (north of the cricket ground; east of Bond Lane and west of Ashford Road).This will include the mean net residential densities to be created in each area as well as road hierarchies, streetscape treatments and building height to street width ratios.
  2. Highway access proposals – details of junction arrangements on Ashford Road, Steeds Lane and Bond Lane.
  3. Traffic management – details of any traffic / speed management measures proposed on any adopted highway within the site.
  4. Ecology – details of ecological mitigation measures to be provided on the site and proposals for their implementation and future maintenance.
  5. Landscaping and open space – details showing where strategic areas of landscaping and open space will be provided, including the retention of a significant open buffer area between the northern extent of the built part of the development and Kingsnorth village as shown on the policies map; and between the eastern extent of the built part of the development and the site boundary.
  6. Drainage – the layout and treatment of surface water drainage through the use of SuDS should be provided as an integral part of the landscape design and open space strategy along with acceptable maintenance arrangements and, west of Ashford Road, be compatible with drainage proposals serving the proposed Court Lodge development.
  7. Pedestrian / cycleway routes - provide a network of pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development with connections to existing rural routes and public rights of way and to the new development at Court Lodge.
  8. Community facilities – Public open space and suitably equipped play areas needed to serve the development, taking the opportunity to create a sense of the heart of the community being based around the cricket field at the main traffic corridor – Ashford Road. A local convenience store should be located here in a way that can take advantage of passing trade. A specific set of projects related to the scale of needs arising from the development will be identified in consultation with the local community and the cricket club.   

In addition, the development shall also:-

  1. Provide a proportionate financial contribution to the delivery of Highway England’s scheme for a new Junction 10a.
  2. Provide a link road from the Ashford Road to the boundary with the adjoining Court Lodge Farm development.

Land South of Pound Lane

S5_PoundLane

4.61 Please see Map 5 for detailed map

4.62 This site lies to the south of Pound Lane and west of Ashford Road. It is flat, arable land that provides part of the setting of the village of Kingsnorth, which lies to the north and east. The site also adjoins the proposed Court Lodge Farm site allocation to the west (see policy S3). 

4.63 The land rises gradually from north to south towards a shallow ridge that runs west – east either side of Ashford Road. Development of the site will need to take account of the strategic context provided by the nearby Court Lodge Farm and Steeds Lane/Magpie Hall Road proposed allocations and, in particular, the key objective of avoiding coalescence of development areas. To this end, the southern part of the site should remain free from development so that it may form part of a broader swathe of open space that runs south of Kingsnorth (to the east) to the extension to the Discovery Park (to the west) and provides for the physical separation of Kingsnorth village from new developments to the south. This area should be publically accessible with pedestrian and cycleway links created across it that will form part of a wider pedestrian / cycleway network linking Discovery Park in the west to the land south of Kingsnorth village in the east. A landscaping strategy for the site should reflect this requirement and the need to provide some visual separation from the adjoining proposed development at Court Lodge Farm. 

4.64 The principal access to the site should be gained from Ashford Road with a secondary access to Pound Lane. The potential for vehicular access directly west to the proposed Court Lodge site should not be prejudiced in any proposed layout on this site, and pedestrian and cycleway links should be provided to the site boundary to achieve connectivity to the proposed Court Lodge Local Centre in due course. The potential for signalising the Pound Lane / Church Hill / Ashford Road crossroads and closing the western arm to vehicles should be investigated once the link from Ashford Road to Pound Lane has been delivered.  

4.65 The Whitewater Dyke flows close to the northern boundary of the site and a full Flood Risk Assessment will need to be undertaken to inform a detailed layout for development on the site. Similarly, given the topography of the site, proposals for sustainable drainage systems will need to form part of the layout on the site to ensure that runoff conditions are at least no worse than in an undeveloped state. 

4.66 It is important that the amenities of the residents of the handful of existing properties on the southern side of Pound Lane are protected in the layout and orientation of any new development. This should mean that there is adequate separation and screening provided as part of any development on this site.

4.67 The proximity of the site to Kingsnorth village, the Park Farm District Centre and the proposed Court Lodge Farm Local Centre means that it would not be necessary for this site to accommodate additional new local recreational, educational or community facilities. However, proportionate financial contributions to deliver, improve, extend or refurbish existing or planned facilities as appropriate will be sought to mitigate the additional demands generated by development here. Informal and publically accessible open space should be provided as part of the undeveloped land at the southern end of the site. 

4.68 It will be important for development here to pay regard to the nature of nearby existing and planned housing in terms of establishing an appropriate scale and density. To the north of Pound Lane, Riverside Close accommodates a series of mainly terraced properties whilst the nature of the properties on Pound Lane itself and along Ashford Road tends to be mainly detached or semi-detached. Consequently, a mid-range net residential density of around 25dph is likely to be appropriate here which would generate a residential site capacity of around 100 dwellings. In accordance with policy HOU1, 30% of the dwellings on this site shall be provided as affordable housing and there should be a mix of dwelling types and sizes to reflect the nature of the surrounding area.

Policy S5 - Land South of Pound Lane

Land south of Pound Lane is proposed for residential development, for up to 100 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:-

  1. Retain the southern part of the site free from built development, with the creation of pedestrian and cycleway links across the land from Ashford Road to the western site boundary.
  2. Provide primary vehicular access from Ashford Road and a secondary access to Pound Lane. Proposals shall also enable the ability to provide a vehicular connection to the boundary with the adjoining Court Lodge Farm development.
  3. In addition to the pedestrian and cycleway connection in (b) above, provide a network of pedestrian and cycleway links through the built part of the site including a connection to the site boundary with the adjoining Court Lodge development.
  4. Provide a landscaping plan for the site, to be agreed by the Borough Council, to create a significant visual break with the adjoin Court Lodge development and to screening to the houses and gardens of any adjoining residential properties.
  5. Be subject to a full Flood Risk Assessment, to be agreed by the Environment Agency and the Borough Council. The layout and treatment of surface water drainage will need to ensure that there is no adverse flooding or drainage effects to any neighbouring properties.
In addition the development shall also:
  1. Provide a proportionate financial contribution to the delivery of Highway England’s scheme for a new Junction 10A

Former Newtown Works

S6a

 

4.69 The former Newtown railway works site lies between Newtown Road and the main railway domestic and high speed railway lines. The site is one of the largest available areas of brownfield land in the Borough. The site contains six listed buildings which together form a very important heritage asset and a reminder of Ashford’s historical importance as a centre of railway engineering. Part of the site has recently been developed for housing with over 100 new homes.

4.70 Suitable proposals for the site include residential, tourism uses, workshop and office employment space, and small scale specialist retail uses.

4.71 The listed railway sheds are the dominant feature in a very linear form along most of the length of the site – they provide some noise protection from the maintenance works and operational railway running along the north east boundary of the site but are a very important local heritage asset reflecting the town’s railway heritage.

4.72 The site is closely linked to the adjoining former Klondyke Works (Policy S7) and together both sites have substantial undeveloped areas with the potential to accommodate suitable development that will both regenerate this area but also be an attractive place to visit for a much wider public.  Given these opportunities, and the relationship between the site and the communities and other uses surrounding it, development should be planned comprehensively and proposals need to be based on an agreed masterplan for the whole site.  This will also determine how the development is phased. 

4.73 Vehicle access is available from either end of the Newtown Works site with the Listed clock tower and gatehouse providing much interest and character at the western access opposite the Klondyke site, whilst at the eastern end of the site, the new housing development helps to frame the entrance point. Detailed junction design will need to protect the settings of the listed gatehouse and clock tower, reduce related signage and safety barriers to the minimum and be able to handle the substantial pedestrian movements that are likely to arise in future.

4.74 Whilst the primary access will be from the western end of Newtown Road, additional traffic generated by the development will aggravate the situation on Crowbridge Road where there is a narrow, humped back bridge. The masterplan for the site will need to include proposals for signalisation here to tackle this.

4.75 A network of cycle and pedestrian routes is needed to show how the planned development on the site links to surrounding areas and helps to reverse the current, relatively isolated nature of the sites.

4.76 There is a strong opportunity to take advantage of the many visitors to the Designer Outlet Centre and the proximity of the domestic and international railway stations to attract people to this area to enjoy the railway heritage and help to make a mix of potential uses viable. In turn this will help to secure a long term future for the important listed buildings on the site which are a key part of Ashford’s heritage.

4.77 The residential capacity of the site will be influenced by the eventual mix of uses and the type of homes built and so this policy only suggests an indicative capacity of about 450 homes to be provided on the site (including the 108 already constructed). Substantial employment floorspace is likely to be created within the existing listed buildings – especially the main locomotive shed.  Convenience retailing to support the residential development on the site should be limited to no more than 450 sq.m. of any retail space created and any other retail units should be specialist and small scale in nature and demonstrated to not have a significant impact on the vitality and viability of the Town Centre.

4.78 The policy approach to the mix and combination of uses needs to be relatively flexible to help create the opportunity for a viable scheme to come forward that will fund the re-use and repair of the listed buildings and make good use of this substantial brownfield asset. There are, however, some key constraints that need to shape emerging schemes.

4.79 Before full development of the site can take place, off-site highway improvements are needed to provide additional capacity at the A2070 Orbital Park junction and a clear commitment to the delivery timetable for the new Junction 10a on the M20.   The threshold set for the quantity of development that can be occupied on the site as a whole before these improvements are committed is based on the historic, ‘fall back’ position from previous uses on the Newtown and Klondyke sites.  The relatively close proximity to the stations and town centre and the bus service through the area provide the opportunity to reduce the car based trip rate arising from the development of the area.

4.80 Residents in the area have long been concerned about pressures arising for on-street parking from visitors and those working in the area. A comprehensive approach is needed that links any major development proposals on these sites to the provision of appropriate parking controls (for example, through a controlled parking zone) and a package of traffic management measures. 

4.81 A comprehensive development proposal for the area will need to bring together land use proposals with traffic planning and parking issues and deal with the re-use of the historic buildings. The layout of the development should derive from an historical analysis of the site and create fine quality public spaces as the setting for both the linear form of the main listed sheds, and more intimate spaces around the other smaller listed buildings and the western entrance to the site.  This should also determine the best route for through-traffic in the area – whether along Newtown Road or through the site itself – and for public transport access. 

4.82 The heritage of the area needs to be reflected strongly in emerging proposals and special care given to the sensitive restoration and re-use of the remaining listed buildings, including the huge main locomotive shed. There may be scope for innovative but high quality design interventions to help enable re-use – for example, within the main shed. The masterplan will need to show how phased development of the site will enable the restoration, conversion and reuse of the listed buildings and ‘trigger points’ will be set to link the delivery of new build development to this phased strategy for recovering the historic assets. 

4.83 The scale of new buildings should be carefully related to the scale of the listed buildings – both the imposing main shed and the smaller ancillary buildings. A scale of 4-6 storeys will be appropriate over much of the site with key corners and landmark locations within the site having special prominence.  Building frontages and uses along the busiest parts of the public realm should be 'active' to add interest and vitality.

4.84 The site was levelled for their former railway use resulting in a significant change in levels where the land rises to the Newtown Road boundary. This has the effect of reinforcing a sense of separation between the site and Newtown itself, the railway village that once supported its workers. Residential development on the Newtown Road frontage should face the street and be designed to help integrate it with the existing residential area at Newtown – including respecting the predominantly 2-3 storey scale. 

4.85 Three dimensional modelling will be required so the impact of new building can be tested and the scheme designed to create views of the listed buildings. Given the important heritage assets in the area and the likely demand for high levels of public access, the design of the public realm is especially important - for example, development proposals should include details of the design of outdoor lighting and street furniture, signage, bus shelters, public art and landscaping. The site designs will need to incorporate good public transport facilities, cycleways and pedestrian routes that link to the train station, Designer Outlet Centre and the Town Centre and also clear plans to meet the car parking needs of residents and visitors. 

4.86 The impact on trees and biodiversity must be assessed prior to any development. There are a number of mature trees on the southern boundary along Newtown Road. A clear strategy will need to be agreed for retention of important trees and replacement new planting where appropriate. 

4.87 Details of a scheme to deal with contamination of land and/or groundwater must be submitted and approved for each phase of development and a programme of building recording to ensure that the historic buildings are properly examined and recorded. Archaeological field evaluation works must also be carried out on the site, along with any subsequent mitigation measures, before development commences. Capacity in the local sewerage system is insufficient to service the proposed development. It will be necessary to upgrade the existing local sewerage infrastructure before development can connect into it. It is also important that existing sewerage infrastructure which crosses the site is protected and future access secured for the purposes of maintenance and upsizing. Liaison with the relevant infrastructure company at the time is recommended.

4.88 Affordable housing will need to be provided in line with policy HOU1, subject to the viability of the overall package of proposals, recognising the considerable investment required in providing long term protection for the listed buildings. Starter homes will be an important element of any affordable provision.  The affordable homes already created on site as part of the completed phase of development can be counted towards the future requirement arising on the site. 

Policy S6 - Former Newtown Works

The site of the former Newtown Railway Works is proposed for a mixed use neighbourhood based around the regeneration of the area through the restoration of the range of listed railway buildings to create an attractive new place to live and work and for visitors to enjoy.

Suitable proposals for the area include residential, tourism uses, workshop and office employment space, and specialist, small-scale retail uses of a type that would not seriously impact on the town centre.

A comprehensive masterplan / development brief for the site and the adjoining Klondyke works should be prepared to inform the precise scale and mix of development here but it should include a new mixed use neighbourhood with at least 350 additional homes and a substantial area of commercial floorspace.  

Development proposals for this site shall be in accordance with the agreed masterplan / development brief and:-

  1. ensure the restoration and re-use of the listed buildings on the site;
  2. provide a sensitively design access to the site from Newtown Road taking account of the listed buildings affected;
  3. be based on a parking strategy that provides adequate public and on-street parking to best meet the needs of residents and visitors;
  4. fund the signalisation of the Crowbridge Road bridge, and traffic management works required as a result of the development;
  5. accord with a detailed agreed phasing schedule that will include the timing of the redevelopment of the listed buildings on the site;
  6. deliver excellent and comprehensively planned public realm as part of the development, including a detailed range of materials, proposals for outdoor lighting and street furniture, signage, bus shelters, public art and landscaping;
  7. provide new pedestrian routes and cycleways throughout the development and convenient links to existing routes to areas around the site and local services and the town centre;
  8. retain important trees and be based on a site-wide landscaping plan;
  9. provide details that deal with contamination of land and/or groundwater, building recording and archaeology;

Only development that would generate no more traffic than would have been generated by the equivalent of the previous lawful uses of the site, shall be built and occupied in advance of the granting of a Development Consent order for the construction of the proposed M20 Junction 10a and until additional capacity has been provided at the Orbital Park A2070 junction.

 

 

 

Former Klondyke Works

S6b

4.89 This former railway works site is located on Newtown Road close to the residential area of Newtown and the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Centre lies on the other side of the Ashford to Hastings railway line to the west. 

4.90 The site is closely linked to the adjoining former Newtown Works and together both sites have substantial undeveloped areas with the potential to accommodate suitable development that will both regenerate this area but also be an attractive place to visit for a much wider public.  Given these opportunities, and the relationship between the site and the communities and other uses surrounding it, development should be planned comprehensively and proposals need to be based on an agreed masterplan for both sites.  This will also determine how the development is phased. 

4.91 There is a strong opportunity to take advantage of the many visitors to the Designer Outlet Centre and the proximity of the domestic and international railway station to attract people to this area to enjoy the railway heritage and help to make a mix of potential uses viable.

4.92 Planning permission has been granted for the Ashford International Model Railway Centre and associated parking on the site, which will be a significant visitor attraction for the Borough. If circumstances in the future were to change then an appropriate alternative use could be for a suitable residential development on the site.

4.93 In terms of the possible residential development of the site, the location of the site makes it suitable for a relatively high density development. A building scale of 3-4 storeys is appropriate but both the scale and positioning of buildings at the southern end of the site will need to respect the domestic nature of the surrounding houses and converted school.

4.94 Whilst the primary access will be from the western end of Newtown Road, additional traffic generated by the development will aggravate the situation on Crowbridge Road where there is a narrow, humped back bridge. The masterplan for the site will need to include proposals for signalisation here to tackle this.

4.95 On the site there is a marked level change to the south which adds to the strength of containment of the site from the residential area to the south. The site borders the Hastings railway line and beyond that the Designer Outlet Centre which has planning permission for a significant extension up to Newtown Road.  

4.96 Before full development of the site can take place, off-site highway improvements are needed to provide additional capacity at the A2070 Orbital Park junction and a clear commitment to the delivery timetable for the new Junction 10a on the M20.   The threshold set for the quantity of development that can be occupied on the site as a whole before these improvements are committed is based on the historic, ‘fall back’ position from previous uses on the Newtown and Klondyke sites.  The relatively close proximity to the stations and town centre and the bus service through the area provide the opportunity to reduce the car based trip rate arising from the development of the area.

4.97 Residents in the area have long been concerned about pressures arising for on-street parking from visitors and those working in the area. A comprehensive approach is needed that links any major development proposals on the sites to the provision of appropriate parking controls and a package of traffic management measures. 

4.98 Given the important heritage assets in the area and the likely demand for high levels of public access, the design of the public realm is especially important - for example, development proposals should include details of the design of outdoor lighting and street furniture, signage, bus shelters, public art and landscaping. The site designs will need to incorporate good public transport facilities, cycleways and pedestrian routes that link to the train station, Designer Outlet Centre and the Town Centre and also clear plans to meet the car parking needs of residents and visitors. 

4.99 The impact on trees and biodiversity must be assessed prior to any development. There are a number of mature trees on the southern edges of the site and a clear strategy will need to be agreed for retention of important trees and replacement new planting where appropriate. 

4.100 Details of a scheme to deal with contamination of land and/or groundwater must be submitted and approved for each phase of development and a programme of building recording to ensure that the historic buildings are properly examined and recorded. Archaeological field evaluation works must also be carried out on the site, along with any subsequent mitigation measures, before development commences. Capacity in the local sewerage system is insufficient to service the proposed development. It will be necessary to upgrade the existing local sewerage infrastructure before development can connect into it. It is also important that existing sewerage infrastructure which crosses the site is protected and future access secured for the purposes of maintenance and upsizing. Liaison with the relevant infrastructure company at the time is recommended.

Policy S7 - Former Klondyke Works

The site of the former Klondyke Railway Works is proposed for a tourism/visitor attraction use such as the Ashford International Model Railway Centre. A suitable alternative use would be for residential development.

A comprehensive masterplan / development brief for the site and the adjoining Newtown Works site should be prepared.

Development proposals for this site shall be in accordance with the agreed masterplan / development brief and:-

  1. provide a sensitively design access to the sites from Newtown Road;
  2. be based on a parking strategy that provides adequate public and on-street parking to best meet the needs of residents and visitors;
  3. fund the signalisation of the Crowbridge Road bridge, and traffic management works required as a result of the development;
  4. deliver excellent and comprehensively planned public realm as part of the development, including a detailed range of materials, proposals for outdoor lighting and street furniture, signage, bus shelters, public art and landscaping;
  5. provide new pedestrian routes and cycleways and convenient links to existing routes to areas around the site and local services and the town centre;
  6. retain important trees and be based on a site-wide landscaping plan;
  7. provide details that deal with contamination of land and/or groundwater, building recording and archaeology;

 Only development that would generate no more traffic than would have been generated by the equivalent of the previous lawful uses of the site, shall be built and occupied in advance of the granting of a Development Consent order for the construction of the proposed M20 Junction 10a and until additional capacity has been provided at the Orbital Park A2070 junction.

 

 

Lower Queen's Road

 S7

4.101 The site is at the eastern end of Lower Queens Road and adjacent to the Invicta Press works to the south. Existing residential development lies to the north and the site adjoins the green corridor to the east. The northern half of the site is currently unmanaged woodland, with the southern part currently forming the Invicta Press car park.

4.102 Residential development will be acceptable on this site for up to 40 dwellings. Alternatively, this site could form the first phase of a wider redevelopment scheme with the potential to create an attractive residential riverside environment close to the town centre in tandem with the redevelopment of the adjacent Mace lane industrial estate to the south. A redevelopment of the wider area, in excess of the 40 units, will require the provision of a primary access onto Mace Lane

4.103 The primary access to this site should be from Lower Queens Road but if there is a wider redevelopment of the wider area, in excess of the 40 units, there will be a requirement for  the provision of a primary access onto Mace Lane and at this point the potential to restrict access into the whole site from Lower Queens Road, including full closure, should be thoroughly investigated.

4.104 The area has an attractive setting next to the green corridor but any development will need to demonstrate how it would make a positive contribution to the setting and appearance of the green corridor through innovative design and layout. Development must be of an appropriate scale and reflect existing development in the area ranging between 2 – 3 storeys in height.

4.105 Given the location, size and number of units envisaged for the site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing in accordance with Policy HOU1.

4.106 An existing sewer runs beneath the site and any layout of development will need to ensure that the existing sewerage infrastructure on site is protected and future access secured for the purposes of maintenance and upsizing. Liaison with the relevant infrastructure company at the time is recommended.

4.107 Access to open space and recreational facilities will need to be improved by linking development on the site to the wider network of existing pedestrian/cycle paths surrounding the site. New pedestrian/cycleway routes that improve accessibility into and through the Green corridor to the east shall be provided.

Policy S8 - Lower Queens Road

Land at the end of Lower Queens Road is proposed for residential use (up to 40 units)

Development proposals for the site shall:

  1. Provide the primary vehicular access to the site from Lower Queens Road
  2. Ensure the built form and layout respects the setting of the green corridor
  3. Ensure the development is of an appropriate scale ranging between 2-3 storeys in height
  4. Provide links to existing pedestrian/cycle paths surrounding the site, including improving accessibility into and through the green corridor to the east of the site.

Kennard Way, Henwood

S8

4.108 This site is located on the north eastern edge of Ashford Town Centre, off Hythe Road. It is situated between a residential area to the south and east and the Henwood Industrial estate to the north and west. It has previously been designated as part of a wider Henwood employment allocation in the Local Plan 2000 and Urban Sites DPD 2012 and obtained outline permission in 2008 for employment use (now expired) which was not completed. For these reasons, the site is now considered suitable for residential development, due to its close proximity to the recently developed residential areas in Gordon Close and Kennard Way.

4.109 The site is currently comprises rough scrubland, with a pond and some mature vegetation in the western part. The adjacent Industrial estate comprises of a mix of warehouses, office blocks and open storage areas. The residential areas to the south and east are mainly two-storey terraced and semi-detached houses. The site currently contains two access points, one from the Industrial Estate in the north and one from Kennard Way, which is a private road, unadopted by the Highways Authority. The site has good access to local services due to the edge of town location.

4.110 Residential development is suitable on the eastern side of the site which provides a developable residential area of approximately 0.45ha. This could accommodate around 25 dwellings depending on house size, layout and design. To be in keeping with the existing residential areas, dwellings should be 2 storey, terraced or semi-detached properties, which front the road where possible, with the potential for higher stories in northern parts of the site, where it adjoins the Industrial buildings. The design and layout, particularly the relationship between the industrial and residential areas requires careful planning, to ensure no detrimental impacts on the residents.

4.111 Given the location, size and number of units assumed on the site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing in accordance with policy HOU1.

4.112 The development should preferably be accessed from a new junction mid way along the boundary with Kennard Way, if land ownership issues here can be resolved. The existing vehicle access between the site and Henwood should be retained for emergency access purposes only, and could be redirected through the new access point. Cycle links and pedestrian footpaths should be created that link in with the existing network.

4.113 The site is constrained in the west due to the pond, and lies within flood zone 2 here. Therefore this area should be landscaped and kept free from development, to be used as an ecological area and/or informal open green space and/or SUDS. This will also create a green buffer area between the residential areas of Wallis Road and Gordon Close and the existing employment buildings in Henwood, and the boundaries should be enhanced with additional landscaping. A full flood risk assessment, in consultation with the environment agency should be undertaken prior to any development taking place.

4.114 The site falls within an area of archaeological potential, and also has the potential to contain contamination due to the neighbouring uses. Appropriate surveys should be undertaken in consultation with the relevant bodies prior to planning application stage.

Policy S9 - Kennard Way, Henwood

Land at Kennard Way, Henwood  is proposed for residential development for up to 25 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out to take account of residential amenity. Particular attention needs to be given to the relationship between the residential and industrial areas around the site;
  2. Provide primary vehicle access on Kennard Way, preferably in the centre of the site. An emergency access point should be retained between the site and Henwood Industrial Estate;
  3. Ensure residential parking provision is provided in accordance with policy TRA3(a) and fund implementation of suitable on-street parking restrictions for non-residents;
  4. provide new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development with connections to existing routes and local services;
  5. Retain and extend the tree boundary between the site and Henwood, to screen the industrial buildings from the new residential development and provide new landscaped boundary along the southern edge of the site to lessen the visual impact of the development, particularly from Gordon Close;
  6. Protect and enhance ecological areas in the western part of the site, including the existing pond;
  7. Include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency and provide SUDS in accordance with ENV9 

Gasworks Lane

S9

4.115 This site is adjacent to the Town Centre and located between the railway and Leacon Road. The site was used for the storage and distribution of gas, and as a depot for Southern Gas Networks. However the site is now clear and the gas holder that was on part of the site has been decommissioned and demolished. The site is an opportunity to deliver sustainable development on a brownfield site next to the Town Centre.

4.116 Given the size of this site and its relationship to adjacent sites, development should be planned comprehensively and proposals will need to be consistent with a wider agreed approach based on a masterplan for the redevelopment of the whole site. This will also determine if phasing is required and how this will be achieved.

4.117 Residential development should be the principal use on this site and should be in the form of mainly flatted accommodation, however townhouses are also acceptable. They should be designed in a way that provides a strong street frontage to Leacon Road and generally range from 3 to 4 storeys in height. A gradual transition in scale to the lower height employment buildings to the west will be required. The northern elevations along the railway frontage should create a positive edge to the development and include dual frontages.

4.118 Towards the western end of the site, where it adjoins the existing Leacon Road Industrial estate, some employment development could be appropriate in order to provide a transition from an industrial to a more residential character. This could be in the form of some mixed use buildings or smaller scale buildings suitable for light industrial or office uses. Employment development and site layout issues may warrant an additional access to the approved access to Gasworks Lane.

4.119 In addition, there may also be scope to include complementary small scale retail or office uses at the ground floor. With this in mind, residential development provided at ground floor level facing Leacon Road shall have internal heights that are a minimum of 4 metres, to provide greater flexibility for uses at ground floor level.

4.120 Proposals for developing the site will need to be accompanied by an assessment of any contamination arising from the existing or previous uses and proposals will need to demonstrate how any remaining contamination issues can be resolved.

4.121 Sustainable drainage should be provided inline with policy ENV9 and early liaison is required with Southern Water regarding connections to the sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity and future access to the existing sewerage system for maintenance and upsizing purposes.

 

Policy S10 - Gasworks Lane

This site is proposed for residential development (up to 150 units) and should be of a general scale of between 3-4 storeys in height. A masterplan for the whole site will need to be agreed prior to the granting of planning permission.

Schemes should provide a range of different types and sizes of housing accommodation in the form of flats and potentially townhouses. Some limited employment use towards the western end of the site and retail / office uses at ground floor level is also encouraged.

Development proposals shall:-

  1. Ensure residential parking provision is provided in accordance with policy TRA3 (a) and fund implementation of suitable on-street parking restrictions for non-residents;
  2. Provide new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development with connections to existing routes and local services;
  3. Include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency.

Leacon Road

S10

 

4.122 This site lies to the south of the Ashford – Tonbridge railway line and to the immediate east of the Matalan retail building and car park. Along the southern edge, the site directly fronts onto Leacon Road and the route into the industrial area to the east that links through to the Domestic and International Stations.

4.123 The whole site is considered suitable for a mix of residential and commercial B1-B8 uses and should be developed in accordance with an approved masterplan. The connection of Leacon Road and Victoria Road has transformed the potential of this area, creating a high quality urban street with good public transport connections into the town centre, as well as providing an efficient through-road for traffic wanting to by-pass the town centre. It has a prominent position along Leacon Road with the eastern and south west corners of the site being highly visible in the streetscape. As such, residential development would be suitable on part of this brownfield site.

4.124 The scale of any residential development should relate well to the surrounding area. Residential development along the Leacon Road frontage should be primarily 3 storeys in height reflecting a narrower corridor along this part of the route reducing in scale from development allocated in the town centre to the east. However, the prominent eastern and south western corners could accommodate an additional one or two storeys to create some variety and interest in the streetscape. Development should have a strong built form with well designed frontages to reflect the high quality urban route and a positive built return frontage should also be created along Beaver Lane.

4.125 Part of the site lies within flood zone 3. It is critical that development follows sustainable design principles to mitigate any risk of flooding either on the site or elsewhere. A detailed flood risk assessment, prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency, will be required to support any planning application for development here.

4.126 The area to the rear directly adjoins the Ashford – Tonbridge railway line and there is an existing railway siding that links into the site that used to be part of the former Bombardier Works site that is now vacant. This part of the site should accommodate primarily B1- B8 uses. The opportunity to potentially use an existing connection to the railway line is an important one and the development of a masterplan for the site should fully investigate the possibility of retaining and using that link if possible.

4.127 The relationship between uses on the site is crucial and the masterplan will need to ensure appropriate and adequate separation of uses that delivers a high quality environment for any future residents on the site.

4.128 Given the location, size and numbers of housing units envisaged on the site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing in accordance with policy HOU1.

4.129 There could be access points directly into the proposed residential scheme from Leacon Road but access to any commercial development at the rear of the site should via the existing Beaver Lane access or potentially from the eastern edge of the site. A small strip of land along the southern boundary of the site will be required to fully create the parameters for the Leacon Road / Victoria Road route and this land should not be developed.

4.130 The site lies opposite the Stour river corridor which lies within the identified green corridor area and in accordance with policy ENV2 proposals on this site should make a positive contribution to the setting, role, biodiversity, accessibility and amenity value of adjacent green corridor area. In relation to this, the national cycle network runs through the green corridor opposite the site, connecting Victoria Park and Singleton Lake which are important areas of open space within this urban setting. Development must be designed so that it is well connected to the existing footpath and a cycle network and provides an attractive and safe route for pedestrians and cyclist to the town centre.

 

Policy S11 - Leacon Road

This site is allocated for a mix of residential development (up to 100 dwellings) and commercial (B1 - B8 uses)

Development proposals shall come forward in accordance with a detailed masterplan for the site that should be based on the following principles:

  1. Provide residential development along the Leacon Road frontage;  
  2. Provide commercial development adjoining the railway line and fully investigate the potential to utilise the existing railway sidings as part of any commercial scheme;
  3. Provide a high-quality development with built frontages to Leacon Road and Beaver Lane;
  4. Ensure appropriate and adequate separation of uses within the site;
  5. Create new access points to the site from Leacon Road and improve access to the development via Beaver Lane and retain a small strip of land along the southern frontage for the creation of the full extent of the highway;
  6. Connect to the existing network of footpath and cycleway routes;
  7. Include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency;
  8. Make a positive contribution to the setting, role, biodiversity, accessibility and amenity value of the adjoining green corridor area

 

Former K College, Jemmett Road

S11 

4.131 This site is currently a further education college campus located on Jemmett Road within walking distance of the town centre, railway station and Victoria Park. The site is currently in use as an important educational facility for the borough but the College will shortly re-locate to a site within the town centre which is under construction and hence there is the potential to redevelop this site once the relocation has taken place.

4.132 Most of the southern half of the site accommodates the college buildings and a significant amount of hard standing and car parking. The northern half of the site tapers into the former Ashford South Primary School access road and is largely overgrown scrub with a number of trees, although it was once occupied by buildings in educational use. The disused nature of this part of the site means that it has a degree of ecological value.

4.133 The principle of redevelopment to residential uses has been established on this site linked with the redevelopment of the adjoining Former Ashford South Primary School (Policy S13) . Residential redevelopment of the site was previously granted outline planning permission by the Council under reference 07/00117/AS.

4.134 Immediately abutting the western boundary of much of the site is the public right of way, Jemmett Path, that is also part of the 'Learning Link' which is a major north-south enhanced  pedestrian / cycleway route from the town centre to Stanhope. Development proposals for the site must not detrimentally impact on the retention or use of Jemmett Path and must widen and make enhancements and improvements to it in order to increase its attractiveness to users.

4.135 Development of this site must facilitate the ability to bring forward development on the adjacent former primary school site  and must be designed to be cohesive with the design approach taken on the adjacent site. As part of the development, two all-movement access points from Jemmett Road shall be provided through to the site boundary adjoining the learning link for vehicular access to site S13 to be created – these are shown on the Policies Map.

4.136 The design and scale of development here will need to take account of the character of the surrounding residential areas of Noakes Meadow and Jemmett Road and any scheme proposed on the adjoining former school site. The design should ensure that the residential amenity of existing neighbouring occupiers is protected. Any development proposals would need to provide a frontage to Jemmett Path and public open space to ensure that safety through natural surveillance of this community area is achieved.

4.137 The site is within close proximity (150 metres) of Victoria Park, a strategic recreation facility providing play equipment for different age groups, areas of open space for informal play and more formal areas of planting. Therefore, a contribution towards enhancement of these facilities at the park may be more suitable than the requirement for development of play facilities on-site. However, the site does provide the opportunity to provide more local areas of public open space, which should form part of the overall site design.

4.138 The northern part of the site contains a number of mature trees within the site curtilage, some of which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order. These should be considered for retention to help provide wildlife havens, habitat links and visual softening of the development.

Policy S12 - Former K College Site

Subject to the relocation of the K College campus to the Town Centre Site, the site in Jemmett Road is proposed for residential development. Development proposals for the site shall:

a) provide two vehicular routes through the site from Jemmett Road to the site boundary adjoining Jemmett Path and (Policy S13)

b) enhance and improve the Jemmett Path/Learning Link  pedestrian and cycle route and cease existing vehicular use of the Learning Link once one of the routes required under a) has been provided;

c) ensure that the scale, design and character of the development takes account of the character of the surrounding area and any scheme proposed on site S13;

d) ensure that there is no significant impact on the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers;

e) provide contributions towards the provision, enhancement and maintenance of Victoria Park; and

g) retain the protected trees within the site and provide appropriate additional planting.

Former Ashford South School, Jemmett Road

 S12

4.139 This former primary school is principally vacant with a small number of the buildings being let on a short-term basis for community uses and clubs. It is located off Jemmett Road and provides a rare opportunity to develop a partly brownfield site within walking distance of the town centre, railway station and the existing strategic Victoria Park. However, there are current plans to re-use the school buildings for a period of time of no more than 8 years, as a temporary school to meet the education needs of development in the urban area, currently under construction, until new provision is provided in that specific location.

4.140 The site is land-locked, located to the west of the existing K College site (Policy S12) and north of the Ashford Oak Tree Primary School. However, with the college pursuing a scheme to re-locate to the town centre and a redevelopment scheme proposed for the Jemmett Road K College site redevelopment of this former primary school site becomes deliverable with access to the site being provided through the adjoining college site. 

4.141 The concept of redevelopment to residential uses has long been established on this site and on the adjoining K College sites. The Council has previously resolved to grant planning permission (07/01789/AS) for up to 158 units and the site is currently allocated in the adopted Urban Sites and Infrastructure Development Plan Document.

4.142  Immediately abutting the eastern boundary of the site is the public right of way, Jemmett Path,that is also known as the 'Learning Link' which is a major north-south pedestrian / cycleway route identified in the Core Strategy. This strategic routeway is termed the 'Learning Link' due to its close proximity to several schools and colleges and extends from the town centre to Stanhope. Development proposals for the site should not detrimentally impact on the retention of the 'Learning Link'.

4.143 Development of this site should be cohesive with the adjacent K College re-development proposals but it is important that the development of this site is able to function as a self contained development in its own right. Consequently, the design and scale of development of the scheme would need to take account of the character of the surrounding area and the scheme proposed on the adjoining K College site and ensure that the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers is protected and not over-burdened, this is particularly the case on the northern boundary. Any development proposals would need to provide a frontage facing the Learning Link to ensure that natural surveillance of this community area is achieved.

4.144 The site lies adjacent to the Ashford Oak Tree Primary School and the opportunity should be taken to provide an additional pedestrian and cycle access to the school via this development site.

4.145 The site is within close proximity (150 metres) of Victoria Park, a strategic community facility providing play equipment for a number of age groups, areas of open space for informal play and more formal areas of planting. Therefore a contribution towards this facility may be more suitable than the requirement for an onsite play facility. However, the site does provide the opportunity to provide more local areas of open space, which could form part of the overall site design and aesthetics.

4.146 The closure of the school has led to loss of a playing field that was used by the wider community and arrangements will have to be made to secure the use of an appropriate alternative playing field in the locality.

4.147 The western boundary of the site contains a number of mature trees which would need to be retained as part of any new proposal, this will not only provide a natural boundary to the site but help smooth the transition between the surrounding housing and new development. The existing mature trees within the site curtilage, some of which have a TPO should also be retained to add design features to the new development and to provide wildlife havens and habitat links. 

 

Policy S13 - Former Ashford South School, Jemmett Road

The former Ashford South Primary School site is proposed for residential development (up to 110 units) Development proposals for the site shall:

a) be accessed via the adjoining K College (S12) site;

b) enhance and improve the 'learning link' pedestrian and cycle route way;

c) ensure that the scale, design and character of the development takes account of the character of the surrounding area and the scheme proposed on the adjoining K College site;

d) ensure that there is no significant impact on the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers;

e) provide an additional pedestrian and cycle access through the site to the adjacent Ashford Oak Tree Primary school; and

h) retain the mature trees on the site.

 

 

 

 

Park Farm South East

S13 

4.148 The site is located adjacent to the new residential development known as Bridgefield. The site is currently in agricultural use. Finn Farm Road forms the western and southern boundary of the site and it also adjoins the Ashford to Hastings railway line. Directly to the west is a bridge that crosses the railway line and the A2070 meeting at a three-way traffic light junction joining Finn Farm Road, Brockman’s Lane and Cheeseman’s Green Lane. The north and north western boundary of the site is formed by Cheesmans Green Lane which directly adjoins the existing development at Bridgefield. Once built, the Park Farm Southern Link Road (anticipated to be delivered in 2016) will link this area to new extensive residential development being constructed at Finberry to the east of the site. The site rises to a ridgeline in the southern western corner of the site and the eastern part of the site lies within flood zones 2 and 3.

4.149 The overall context of this site has recently changed as it now adjoins the new development at Bridgefield and, with the extent of other development that has taken place in this part of Ashford since the adoption of the Core Strategy (2008) and that is currently underway, it is considered that the site can now form part of an integrated network of development and supporting infrastructure that could be well connected to adjoining development and services and therefore the principle of development in this location is now considered to be sustainable. The existing developments in the area are well served by public transport via local bus services and there is a proposal for a rail station along the adjacent Ashford - Hastings railway line. Development of this site should make provision for local bus services and contribute towards the provision of the Ashford-Hastings rail station if required.

4.150 The gross site area is approximately 11 hectares which includes a much smaller developable area which is not affected by flooding constraints. This smaller area has potential for up to 250 dwellings depending on size and layout considerations and could achieve net residential densities  to reflect the adjoining development at Bridgefield.

4.151 Given the location, size and number of housing units envisaged on the site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing in accordance with policy HOU1.

4.152 Given the character and appearance of the adjacent development, a scheme of 2-3 storey buildings would be most appropriate here. A mix of dwelling sizes and types will be required. The design and layout must take account of residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers. Due to the ridgeline in the south of the site, particular attention is needs to be paid to the site's topography and it is crucial that the higher, more prominent parts along the ridgeline within the site are kept free from development.There should be a generous soft landscaped edge provided along the southern boundary to provide a transition into the wider landscape and to minimise the visual impact of new development in this location. Existing trees and hedgerows which define the other boundaries should be retained where possible.

4.153 In terms of vehicular access to the site, the primary vehicular access point to the site is shown on the Policies Map and is located in the western edge of the site and would adjoin to the existing controlled junction at Finn Farm Road. The existing arrangement at this junction is unsatisfactory with a three way signalised junction and the opportunity must be taken to improve the junction arrangements if possible by providing an access point into this site. There is also a proposed vehicular access point into the site from Cheesmans Green Lane indicated on the Policies Map. Cycle and pedestrian links will need to be provided throughout the site to help integrate the development with existing development at Bridgefield.

4.154 The eastern part of the site lies within flood zone 2 and 3 which is unsuitable for development but may provide an area for sustainable drainage, the conveyance of water, open space including an extension to the existing green corridor that runs adjacent to the eastern boundary of Park Farm East.

4.155 Development of this site presents an opportunity to incorporate sustainable drainage that will contribute to managing surface water for the benefit of flood risk, water quality, biodiversity and amenity. The Sustainable Drainage SPD should be adhered to in establishing suitable options for surface water disposal.

4.156 The developable area outside of the flood constraints will need to be supported by a full flood risk assessment which should be carried out in consultation with the Environment Agency.

4.157 It will be necessary to upgrade the existing local sewerage infrastructure before development can connect to it. Liaison with the relevant infrastructure company at the time is recommended.  

Policy S14 -  Park Farm South East

The site south east of Bridgefield is proposed for residential development for up to 250 dwellings.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out to take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers. Particular attention needs to be given to the topography of the site and dwellings should be orientated to enable overlooking and natural surveillance of open areas. The development should be no more than 2-3 storeys in height.
  2. Investigate the potential to provide a primary vehicle access from the traffic controlled junction at Finn Farm Road to improve the overall junction arrangements, as shown on the policies map.
  3. Make provision for links to the public transport network including contributions to the rail station along the Ashford-Hastings railway line if required;
  4. Ensure parking provision is provided in accordance with SPD/fund implementation of suitable on-street parking restrictions for non-residents.
  5. Provide new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development with linkages into the wider network and adjoin developments.
  6. Provide generous soft landscaping along the southern edge to lessen the visual impact of the development and retail existing trees and hedging where possible.
  7. Extend the existing green corridor along the eastern part of the site.
  8. Include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency; and Provide SUDS in accordance with the SPD.

Finberry North West

S14

4.158 The site lies to the south of the A2070 and west of the Ashford - Hastings railway line. It represents an opportunity to integrate additional residential development with a currently under construction and award winning high quality residential led development called ‘Finberry’ on the edge of Ashford. The current development is being delivered pursuant to outline planning approval (02/00278) for a total of up to 1,100 residential units (including 110 live work units) and 70,000 sqm of business floorspace, together with mixed use community facilities, landscaping and public open space.

4.159 The land covered by this policy was to be the location of 70,000 sqm of business floorspace, live work units and residential uses approved in the outline permission. It was envisaged to come forward in large scale employment buildings and relatively high density residential accommodation, although the outline permission for this part of the development has now expired.

4.160 The Council and landowners have been in dialogue regarding this land parcel for some time, as it has been clear that the significant scale and form of the employment space permitted was unlikely to be delivered. This position is reinforced by employment evidence that supports this Local Plan which identifies the area as a secondary location for employment use. Significant levels of employment growth should instead be focused towards the ‘primary’ employment areas (Commercial Quarter, Eureka Park, Waterbrook and Sevington).

4.161 The Local Plan therefore provides the opportunity to re-examine what role this land should now play in achieving a sustainable and deliverable planning solution – one which meets the wider objectives of this Local Plan and is consistent with the NPPF.  With this in mind, the site is proposed to deliver up to 300 residential units and 8,500 sqm of employment space, alongside additional community uses to cater for the increase in local population.

4.162 Given the complexities associated with the site in terms of its integration with what is being delivered and the wider schemes now more residential focus, a masterplan shall be prepared and agreed prior to planning permission being granted. The masterplan will need to consider the following.

4.163 New development coming forward at this site will be delivered in a way that complements the existing and planned development at Finberry, in terms of its scale, density, design and materials used. It will be consistent with the established design principles in that it achieves the ‘sustainable village’ principles which are embedded within the current scheme, including the creation of a distinct identity and architectural style, the promotion of a range of dwellings types and sizes and the promotion of an active and vibrant central area that is a defining feature of the scheme and includes a range of complementary uses.

4.164 This central area will be expanded (to that currently planned) to include 8,500 sqm of employment floorspace to maximise its accessibility, promote activity and movement and complement the other non-residential uses that will be delivered here which combined will give the central area much of its vibrancy and sense of place. This scale of employment floorspace will cater for small and medium employment uses in line with evidence that supports the Local Plan that identifies a need for such space in accessible locations – such as those which enjoy easy access to the strategic road network.

4.165 In addition, the masterplan shall explore how the delivery of not less than 10 live/work units around the central area can be achieved as a means of providing flexible space at ground floor level to cater for start-up businesses or very small scale operations. This approach will complement similar units which are being implemented through the current scheme, help to enhance the central area and allow for flexibility to cater for changing employment demands over time. 

4.166 Where residential development is proposed adjacent to the central area it will be designed in a way that provides an appropriate sense of enclosure with strong building lines to promote clear legibility throughout the development. Higher density development will be sought in this location. Elsewhere, residential development will be delivered in a way that provides a gradation of housing density across the site from medium densities in the middle part of the site to lower densities on the periphery, to mark a suitable and soft transition into the countryside.

4.167 In line with policy HOU1 of this Local Plan suitable affordable housing provision will be delivered on-site, including starter home provision. Its suitable integration with the general market housing offer will be explored through the masterplan process.

4.168 A green spine consisting of open space and a cycle route will form a key design feature for development here. It will connect with the green spine that is currently being implemented and provide clear desire lines and direct access to the countryside and beyond.  A local children’s play space area will be delivered along this green spine to provide accessible play for the new residents of this area.

4.169 The masterplan shall be supported by a landscape strategy and a detailed ecological and flood mitigation strategy that will need to ensure that the impact of the whole development is suitably mitigated and any provisions are consistent, where applicable, with what is currently being implemented.

4.170 As reflected in the housing trajectory that supports this Local Plan (appendix 5) – and as reflected through the current outline permission – housing development is limited to 700 dwellings at Finberry until M20 Junction 10a is completed. However, should planning permission be granted before this date then the dwellings on this site can come forward provided the overall total figure for the wider site does not exceed the current capacity constraints. This position will need to be agreed with the Council and the Highways Authorities. 

Policy S15 - Finberry North West

Finberry north-west is allocated for up to 300 residential dwellings and 8,500sqm of B1-8 employment floor space.  Development proposals for this site will be implemented in accordance with an agreed masterplan that will set out how:

a) Residential development is delivered in a way that provides:

  • A continuation of the current scheme in terms of the design, scale, layout, materials used and style of build.
  • A gradation of average densities across the site with high density development framing the central area through to lower density development where the scheme will mark a soft transition to the countryside.
  • Affordable housing in line with Policy HOU1 of this Local Plan in a way that is suitably integrated with the general market housing offer.

b) Employment space is delivered to cater for a mix of small and medium sized uses that provides an extension to the currently planned central area. The masterplan will also establish how not less than 10 live/work units are provided with flexible ground floor space, adjacent to the central area.  

c) Landscaping and open space shall be provided in a way that:

  • Provides connectivity and legibility with what is currently being planned.
  • Delivers a ‘green spine’ – a strategic corridor and cycle route through the site that is complemented by a local children’s play space.
  • Provides a suitable buffer for the development where it adjoins the countryside

d) Suitable ecological and flood alleviation measures are delivered.

Development on this site shall also provide appropriate financial contributions towards the delivery of Highway England’s scheme for a new M20 Junction 10a. 

Waterbrook

S15

4.171 The site is a key development opportunity located on the south eastern edge of the built up part of the Ashford urban area and lies adjacent to the Orbital Park commercial area. It is bounded to the north by the A2070 / Southern Orbital Road, to the north- east by the Ashford – Folkestone railway line and Cheeseman’s Green Lane to the east. The south western boundary of the site adjoins the East Stour river corridor with the Finberry development on the opposite side of the river.

4.172 The Waterbrook site has been allocated since 2000 and, most recently, in the Core Strategy 2008 as part of the wider Cheeseman’s Green/Waterbrook area for mixed use development. Under this policy the wider Cheeseman’s Green / Waterbrook area was proposed to provide around 4,300 homes and at least 1475 jobs by 2021 with further development thereafter.

4.173 Planning permission currently exists for mineral and waste operations on land adjoining the site. Permission has been granted for the permanent retention and use of sidings for the importation and distribution of construction aggregates. There is also permission for aggregate storage, construction and demolition waste recycling, hot tarmacadam storage, concrete crushing and screening, concrete batching, and provision for a domestic, commercial and industrial waste transfer station. This area falls outside the draft policy site area.

4.174 Planning permission also exists for a vehicle testing facility – this is a facility operated by VOSA (the Vehicle Operating Standards Authority) which is currently under construction – vehicle and plant storage and maintenance facility, B1, B2 and B8 units, and associated highway and earth works on part of the site. Otherwise, the site is currently undeveloped except for the area in use as a commercial lorry park on the eastern edge of the site.

4.175 The site is proposed for a mix of residential and commercial uses. Proposals will be required to be in accordance with a masterplan that will determine the detailed quantities of development and the overall layout of the site.

4.176 The masterplan shall include the provision of an additional 300 commercial lorry parking spaces on the site as part of a relocated and enlarged truck stop facility that will be designed to cater for currently unmet overnight lorry parking needs. This currently  results in lorries parking in unauthorised locations around the area. The most suitable location for this facility is in the northern part of the site adjacent to the railhead – accessed via the proposed commercial area which would minimise impact upon the proposed residential development. There are residential properties on the adjoining Cheeseman’s Green Lane that will be  relatively close  to the re-located lorry park and the noise, artificial lighting and visual impact will need to be carefully mitigated, including  with noise attenuation and substantial landscaping and planting.

4.177 Elsewhere on the site, the principal uses should be commercial development (B1, B2 or B8) and residential development. Some ‘sui generis’ uses, such as those found at Orbital Park (e.g. car showrooms) will also be acceptable in principle here. The masterplan shall make provision for a minimum of 20 hectares of commercial development (excluding the truck stop).

4.178 Residential development can also be accommodated on the site for up to 300 dwellings, depending on detailed layout, dwelling size and mix. It is critical that any residential scheme is physically separated from the commercial development and the extended lorry park. The most suitable locations for residential development are on the south western edge of the site, which lies across the river corridor from Finberry; on the site of the existing truck stop at the south of the site, and on the eastern side of Waterbook Avenue.

4.179 The location of the residential development and its relationship to adjoining commercial uses will be a key consideration. It is critical that there is a high quality and imaginative landscape framework with significant scale and density of landscaping and screening included as part of the open spaces that separate land uses and link to the river and countryside to the west. Proposals for the mitigation of noise from lorry movements and any associated commercial operations will need to be specifically addressed as part of the masterplan.

4.180 Given the location, size and number of residential units envisaged on the site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing in accordance with Policy HOU1.

4.181 The primary access to the site is from the A2070 Southern Orbital Road junction. There is currently an access road in place through to the existing lorry park and another access road within the site being constructed that gives access to the VOSA facility that is under construction and will provide access to other commercial buildings, railhead site and the proposed replacement lorry parking facility.

4.182 The junction with the A2070 has recently been improved to accommodate the initial development stages of the Finberry site and further improvements are planned to improve access to both Waterbrook and Finberry in due course. 

4.183 A secondary link to the site shall need to be provided to the Finberry development where the majority of new local services that will support the residential development at Waterbrook will be sited. This should become an ‘all-movements’ link to accommodate public transport services, a cycle and pedestrian route as well as car traffic. The masterplan should also consider opportunities for more cycleway and footpath links to the wider network of rights of way towards the Ashford urban area and the surrounding countryside. All development on this site should be served from either of these two access points with no vehicular access from Cheeseman’s Green Lane.

4.184 Development of the Waterbrook site is also dependent on the delivery of the additional motorway junction capacity proposed in the M20 Junction 10a scheme. Whilst an initial stage of development (which has planning permission) may come forward in advance of the new junction, occupation of new development on the remainder of the site will need to be restricted until Junction 10a is completed.

4.185 The south western edge of the site adjoins the East Stour river corridor and falls within flood zone 3, it also is part of Ashford’s green corridor network and is a Local wildlife site. Acceptable proposals for this site will need to show how the opportunity has been taken  to enhance this significant landscape corridor to help set the development of this site in the wider landscape  and at the same time improve the green corridor environment and ecology.

Policy S16 - Waterbrook

Land at Waterbrook is proposed for a mix of residential and commercial development together with a re-located and extended commercial lorry parking facility.

Detailed proposals for this site shall be developed in accordance with an approved masterplan that:-

  1. provides a re-located 600 space lorry park on the eastern part of the site, adjacent to the aggregates facility;
  2. provides up to 300 dwellings on the western and southern parts of the site;
  3. provides a minimum of 20 hectares of commercial development;
  4. ensures the proper segregation of uses within the site through the provision of substantial landscaping and screening based on a strong landscape framework for the site;
  5. provides suitable mitigation to deal with noise, visual impact and artificial lighting to restrict the impact of the new development on the new residential properties to be developed on the site and the existing properties along Cheeseman’s Green Lane;
  6. provides vehicle access from the A2070 and to the Finberry development with no access from the Waterbrook site to Cheeseman's Green Lane;
  7. provides new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development and connections to existing urban and rural routes;
  8. protects and enhances the East Stour river corridor local wildlife site;
  9. contributes to the improvement of the green corridor that runs through the site;
  10. includes a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency;
  11. ensures that any land contamination issues are satisfactorily resolved or mitigated;
  12. provides a connection to the sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity, as advised by Southern Water, and ensure future access to the existing sewerage system for maintenance and upsizing purposes;
  13. provides a proportionate financial contribution towards the delivery of Highway England’s scheme for a new M20 Junction 10a.
No residential development or any commercial development (beyond that with an extant planning permission) shall be occupied until the proposed scheme for M20 Junction 10a is complete, in accordance with policy TRA1.

Land at Willesborough Lees

S17

4.186 The site to the south east of the William Harvey Hospital was identified in the 2008 Core Strategy and Urban Sites and Infrastructure DPD 2012 as suitable for development which also enables a secondary access point for the Hospital to accommodate its growing sub-regional role. 

4.187 The site directly adjoins the built up urban area of Ashford and links in to attractive open countryside on the eastern edge of the town. At its western edge, the site directly adjoins the Conservation Area at The Street. Hinxhill Lane forms the northern edge that slopes up to the small settlement of Hinxhill and at the southern edge is the A20. The site is characterised by rolling countryside with some substantial areas of woodland.

4.188 The built footprint of development on this site needs to be carefully planned. It should avoid any of the existing areas of woodland that provide both natural screening and habitat whilst also including a distinct gap and soft green buffer along part of the western boundary to help mitigate the impact on the adjacent residential occupiers and on the character and setting of the Conservation Area.

4.189 This area is residential in character consisting mainly of large detached properties, some of which are listed and so, the scale and density of new development in this part of the site should also be low. In the central area of the site, particularly along the new link road to the hospital, slightly higher densities can be achieved but overall, the site is suitable only for lower net residential densities (i.e. below an average net 30 dph).

4.190 The opportunity exists, by detailed design, layout and landscape planning, to create a distinct neighbourhood to help create a real sense of place in this attractive location. Street frontages should be 'active' to add interest, life and vitality to the public realm. This can be achieved by minimising blank walls and making all primary entrances overlook the street. The layout of the site should be designed to allow views, and pedestrian links where possible, through to the countryside and woodland to the north and east of the site.

4.191 Cycle and pedestrian links are critical. They should provide easy access to bus stops and serve all areas of the site. A pedestrian crossing on the A20 to the supermarket is essential, to connect with the improved walking/cycling environment around M20 Junction 10, and to link with the existing pathways and enable access towards the Town Centre. Links to existing rural footpaths should also be provided.

4.192 The main access point to the site is shown on the Policies Map and is located on the A20 to the west of the Highmead House/Warren Lodge land. To accommodate the whole of the development and the link to the hospital, this junction must be signal-controlled due to the amount of traffic that will be entering the area and to enable the smooth flow of traffic on the A20. However, up to 100 dwellings could be accessed from a more simple priority junction prior to completing the link road to the hospital and the resulting closure of Hinxhill Lane (see below).

4.193 The access route through the site to the hospital should be delivered by an appropriate layout of the 200 dwellings allocated in this policy. The phasing of the opening of the access route should be agreed with the Council, the local highway authority and the Highways Agency and should follow highway works to the existing secondary access point to the hospital, which would increase capacity and pedestrian and vehicle safety at this new junction.

4.194 As a consequence of the above, Hinxhill Lane should be closed south of the hospital access in order to avoid traffic using this narrow road to access the Hospital and having a detrimental impact on the existing residential area, although a gated access should remain for emergency vehicles. The proposed closure of Hinxhill Lane should benefit the existing residents of The Street as it will mean that the road will no longer be used as a through route to and from Wye and the villages north-east of Ashford. However, the Council will endeavour to monitor this change to the road layout once the link road is opened and should it be identifiedthat there are increased traffic movements on The Street as an alternative route is sought to the A20 by road users, then the Council will look at potential schemes for closing The Street and creating two separate two-way cul-de-sacs.

4.195 The site lies close to M20 Junction 10. Development of the site will generate additional peak hour traffic movements around the existing motorway junction. Although a full Transport Assessment will be required to support a planning application for development here, an initial assessment indicates there is sufficient capacity at the existing motorway junction to cater for a 200 dwelling scheme on this site to be brought forward within the DPD period, based on the likely trip generation from the site set out in the Jacobs 2010 Study which indicates a peak hour generation of 250 two-way movements.

4.196 The eastern edge of the site is mainly open countryside and long established woodland (Breeches Wood). This woodland spreads into the centre of the site and the landscape and topography of the north eastern edge would act as a boundary and screening for any development. Development should not occur in the area east of the woodland as this would be greatly visible in this location. Additional screening should be placed on the north eastern boundary of the site, from the woodland edge to the Hospital, to reduce the visibility of the development from the north.

4.197 The site also includes Highmead House and Warren Lodge on the A20, west of the Pilgrims Hospice. This part of the site contains some large trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders, so lower densities in this part of the site would also be appropriate. This section of the site could be redeveloped as a separate scheme, although it must be accessed through the new A20 junction as the existing residential access would not be suitable. In either circumstance, development shall not prejudice the delivery of the main site access and the associated development.

4.198 The connection of the link road through the site to the hospital should be provided prior to the completion of development. A phasing programme will need to be agreed with the Council and the Highways Authorities to ensure that the opening to hospital-bound traffic would not have an adverse effect on the operation of the surrounding highway network identified in the Transport Assessment. In order to ensure that hospital staff and visitors are not encouraged to park on the residential streets of the new development, appropriate on-street parking restrictions within the new development would need to be provided as an extension of the existing arrangements in the area and funded as part of any Section 106 agreement.

4.199 The land to the north of this site, adjacent to the existing secondary access of the hospital is a Local Wildlife Site - Willesborough Lees and Flowergarden Wood (AS44). The site is formed of wet woodland and bog habitats and both badger setts and rare plants have been recorded here.

4.200  Careful consideration will need to be given to the impact of the proposed development on the adjacent LWS and this could include the development of an appropriate management strategy.

4.201 Due to the wet woodland and bog habitats present within the LWS there is a need to ensure no change in the hydrology within the site as the health of the woodland and bog is likely to be dependant, at least in part, on water from the U14 site. Therefore a hydrological survey may be required at the planning application stage to ensure water feed to the LWS is not impacted. The possibility of producing this strategy in partnership with the developers of site U5 would be seen as an acceptable approach.

4.202 The south eastern edge of the site (behind the Pilgrims Hospice into the woodland) falls within Flood Zone 2 and is close to Flood Zone 3. Therefore, a full flood risk assessment must be provided, in consultation with the Environment Agency. In addition, the depth of groundwater is limited and thus the use of soakaways may not be permissible due to the risks of direct discharge to groundwater. The Sustainable Drainage SPD should be adhered to in establishing suitable options for surface water disposal.

4.203 There is evidence of soil contamination on parts of the site and detailed proposals will be needed to deal with this prior to development taking place. In addition, capacity in the local sewerage system is insufficient to service the proposed development. It will be necessary to upgrade the existing local sewerage infrastructure before development can connect into it. It is also important that existing sewerage infrastructure which crosses the site is protected and future access secured for the purposes of maintenance and upsizing. Liaison with the relevant infrastructure company at the time is recommended.

Policy S17 - Land at Willesborough Lees

 

The site to the south east of the William Harvey Hospital is proposed for residential development for up to 200 dwellings.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. provide a new signal-controlled junction, including a pedestrian crossing on the A20 at the point shown on the Policies Map;
  2. provide a road through the site to act as a secondary link to the hospital at the point shown on the Policies Map;
  3. make improvements to the existing emergency access to the Hospital, and Hinxhill Lane, to accommodate a new link road and junction, and close Hinxhill Lane to traffic south of the hospital access. A restricted access shall remain on Hinxhill Lane for emergency vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists only;
  4. include a phasing programme to be agreed with the Borough Council, local Highway Authority and Highways Agency that will include the construction and opening of the access road from the A20 to the hospital and the closure of Hinxhill Lane;
  5. provide new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development and connections to existing urban and rural routes and local services;
  6. Fund the implementation of suitable on-street parking restrictions via a new traffic order, restricting non-residents parking on the roads of the new development;
  7. be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect the character and setting of the adjoining Conservation Area and neighbouring listed buildings;
  8. retain the woodland (Breeches Wood) in the north east of the site and extend the tree boundary between the woodland and the hospital, to screen the development of the site from the north;
  9. include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency;
  10. ensure that any land contamination issues are satisfactorily resolved or mitigated;
  11. contribute towards the monitoring of the traffic situation on The Street to enable an assessment to be made of the need to secure amendments to the existing access arrangements and to deliver those amendments if required; and,
  12. provide a connection to the sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity, as advised by Southern Water, and ensure future access to the existing sewerage system for maintenance and upsizing purposes.

William Harvey Hospital

 S18

4.204 The Council recognises the importance of the William Harvey Hospital and the range of services it provides for the community for Ashford Borough and the wider area. The Council is working closely with the relevant health providers in order to understand the requirements for the future of the hospital site. The continued improvement, expansion, reconfiguration and consolidation of the hospital is therefore supported in principle.

4.205 The main area of land available lies to the north-west of the existing hospital car park. There has been a recently completed development on the site, that of a private hospital, but there still remains land available for development. This is a prominent site and given the scale and nature of many hospital buildings, careful attention will be needed to create an attractive layout of buildings with strong, structural planting to limit the impact of buildings here. Planting at the boundaries of the site will need to be carefully designed to screen any long views into the site.

4.206 As this complex of buildings grows, the need for good pedestrian and cycle routes increases for both visitors and staff. These should be designed as an integral part of future expansion. Equally there may be a need for bus access to new facilities and this should be designed to be convenient for bus users and operators.

4.207 There will also be an impact of any development on the wider transport network, and a transport assessment should be submitted in support of applications for development, to identify the impact and provide for mitigation measures. A Travel Plan should also be produced in line with Policy TRA8.

4.208 The Council is concerned that adequate car parking exists to serve health facilities at the William Harvey Hospital and a survey of existing demand for spaces will be required before additional facilities are built. New parking will be needed in line with at least the adopted parking standards. 

POLICY S18 - William Harvey Hospital

The Council will supports proposals to improve, expand, reconfigure and consolidate the range of medical facilities at the William Harvey Hospital, subject to the following:

a. Design, scale and layout should take account of the prominent site and site typography

b. Landscaping should be provided to limit the impact of built development and protect long views into the site

c. Suitable provision of pedestrian and cycle routes

d. Car parking to be provided in accordance with adopted standards as a minimum, informed by a car parking survey of existing demand.

e. A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan should be produced in accordance with Policy TRA8 and measures proposed to mitigate any impact of development on the wider transport network.

f. Provide a financial contribution to the extension of existing bus services in the area to serve the development 

Conningbrook Residential Phase 2

S19

4.209 Conningbrook Lake and the land surrounding have long been outlined as a location for a strategic park and water sports facility following a long period of mineral extraction. The site was originally outlined for this purpose in the Core Strategy and more recently allocated in policy U22 ‘Conningbrook Strategic Park’ in the Urban Sites and Infrastructure DPD (2012) which set out a clear vision for the park and lake, both of which could be delivered through an ‘enabling’ residential development of 300 dwellings.

4.210 A masterplanning exercise was undertaken to plan for the park and a planning application for the Conningbrook Park and Lake, plus enabling residential development was granted planning permission in October 2014. The first phase of the country park opened in September 2015, which included access tracks and public rights of way, watersport facilities and ecological conservation areas. Further phases of the country park scheme are due for completion following the end of mineral workings and extraction. It is likely that building of the first phase of dwellings will begin in 2016.

4.211 Conningbrook Residential Phase 2 is on the area of land that has planning consent for a mineral produce packing, storage and distribution facility and is located at the western extent of the original Conningbrook policy area and therefore forms part of the wider vision for recreational open space and enabling development for the area.

4.212 It is crucial that any development on this site accords with the wider aspirations for the Conningbrook Country Park area, including the Julie Rose stadium, the lake and the permitted residential development.

4.213 This site is bounded to the north by the railway and to the west by the A2070 Kennington Road, lying opposite the Premier Foods and Givaudan manufacturing facilities. The Julie Rose athletics stadium and the permitted residential scheme are located to the east of the site. There is an existing access road between the Phase 2 site and the existing Julie Rose Stadium - this road link will extend into the first phase of residential development when it is completed.

4.214 The site is considered suitable for redevelopment for residential use for up to 120 units. Any proposed scheme should be in accordance with the current Conningbrook Masterplan and be designed to complement the existing and proposed buildings and facilities. In accordance with Policy HOU1 of this Local Plan a minimum proportion of 30% affordable housing will be delivered on site.

4.215 The site is located in a visually prominent part of the Conningbrook site. An opportunity exists to provide an attractively designed frontage onto the A2070, whilst providing a key entrance to the site. Given the character and appearance of the surrounding areas, including the commercial buildings on the opposite side of the A2070 and the permitted housing development, 2-3 storey buildings would be most appropriate on the site. The design and layout of Phase 2 must take account of the permitted layout of Phase 1 and the relationship of adjoining properties, with particular attention being given to the topography of the site.

4.216 The primary vehicular access should continue to be provided from the A2070 at the main Julie Rose Stadium entrance, with an additional throughway access to Phase 1 at the north of the site. The site is currently utilised as an overflow carpark for the Julie Rose Stadium that is utilised during major events at the stadium. Any proposals coming forward should set out how excess parking during events should be managed and this would need to be agreed with the Borough Council before any development is approved. Proposals will need to include a solution to prevent visitor parking on residential roads on event days.

4.217 The woodland area in the northern section of the site will need to be cleared, and options should be explored to retain the trees along the north-western edge to provide for natural screening and a buffer between the new development and the railway line. If this buffer cannot be provided, other screening options should be explored and provided.

4.218 Due to the loss of woodland on this site, the impact on biodiversity must be assessed at the early stages of any planning application. Where species are identified, plans for their relocation should be undertaken and delivered prior to any development being started. Utilising a wider approach to biodiversity surveying and management across the whole masterplan area would be seen as a suitable approach.

4.219 Sustainable drainage should be provided inline with policy ENV9 and early liaison is required with Southern Water regarding connections to the sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity and future access to the existing sewerage system for maintenance and upsizing purposes.

4.220 A new two-form entry primary school is proposed on the adjoining site (Land north of Willesborough Road – policy S2). It is anticipated that this school will cater for the primary educational needs generated by this development and so a proportionate contribution to the delivery of this school will be required as part of any planning permission here.

4.221 It is not expected that this site will come forward in advance of the permitted 300- dwelling scheme in Phase 1 as that scheme will enable the delivery of the full country park and its facilities. In any event, the occupation of this site should be dependent on the delivery of the proposed M20 Junction 10a scheme as this provides the additional off-site junction capacity necessary to mitigate the additional traffic generated by the development.

Policy S19 - Conningbrook Residential Phase 2

The Conningbrook Phase 2 site is proposed for residential development for up to 120 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out to take account of the proposals set out in any agreed masterplan for the wider Conningbrook development area;
  2. Provide a designed active frontage of the site onto the A2070 Kennington Road;
  3. Be designed and laid out to take account of the adjoining residential development at Conningbrook Residential Phase 1, including providing a link between the two schemes;
  4. Minimise the impact of noise and vibration from the railway line on the amenity of future occupiers of the development, informed by a noise and vibration assessment.
  5. Provide a substantial landscaped screening between the development and the railway line;
  6. Proposals for ecological mitigation and enhancement measures are to be provided on the site informed by a habitat survey;
  7. Ensure that any land contamination issues are satisfactorily resolved or mitigated;
  8. Provide a proportionate contribution towards primary education to contribute towards the delivery of the primary school on the adjoining site (policy S2).
  9. Provide a proportionate contribution to be used towards delivering the vision of the Conningbrook Country Park masterplan;
  10. Provide and agree proposals for managing overflow parking from large events at the Julie Rose Stadium;
  11. Provide a proportionate financial contribution to the delivery of Highway England’s scheme for a new M20 Junction 10a.
Development on this site shall not be occupied until the proposed scheme for M20 Junction 10a is complete, in accordance with Policy TRA1.

Eureka Park

S20_Eureka Park

4.222 The site is located in the north western part of the Ashford urban area and is bounded by Sandyhurst Lane to the north which is characterised by ribbon residential development that directly abuts the Eureka site. To the south and south west, the site adjoins the Ashford golf course whilst to the east is the existing residential development of Goat Lees. The A251 Trinity Road runs through the eastern part of the site linking to the M20 junction 9.

4.223 The Eureka Park area was identified in the Ashford Local Plan (2000), the Core Strategy (2008) and the Ashford Urban Sites and Infrastructure DPD (2012) as a key strategic employment area. The Urban Sites & infrastructure DPD makes it clear that the Eureka site plays an important role as the principal ‘higher –order’ business park for the town. It is emphasised that it is essential to be able attract headquarter buildings and ‘blue-chip’ companies to an attractive parkland-style business environment with the aim to broaden the economic base of Ashford and provide a wider set of employment opportunities. The area provides a different type of offer to the other business locations in the town and it is important that this type of provision continues to be accommodated.

4.224 There are established B1 uses along both sides of Trinity Road and along Nicholas Road (Brake Bothers). The areas known as Northdown 1 and 2 which lie between Nicholas Road and Upper Pemberton are now constructed and fully occupied. Eureka Place is a local centre that provides a range of shops and services for both residents and employees.

4.225 The proposed policy area extends beyond the area identified in previous Local Plans to include the area to the north and north-west extending to the boundary with the properties that border Sandyhurst Lane.

4.226 The Local Plan provides the opportunity to review the overall approach to this area. It is critical that the site remains a strategic location for higher-order employment development recognising the importance of the area to the overall business offer of the town but there is the opportunity to re-consider the potential for some high quality residential development on part of the extended site that could fit in with the overall development concept on the site and improve the overall development offer. A high quality mix of employment and residential development in an attractive landscaped setting could deliver wider benefits to improve the business attraction of the site in particular as well as the town as a whole.

4.227 It is proposed that detailed site proposals should be determined following a detailed and inclusive masterplanning exercise that should inform any planning application for development on the site. The site is proposed for up to 300 dwellings and 20 hectares of commercial development.    

4.228 In terms of the employment development, the Eureka Park site will not be appropriate for all types of employment uses. For instance, it is unlikely that primarily B2 or B8 uses will be acceptable here. However, it is possible to broaden the scope of potential uses here beyond just B1 office developments. For example, health care facilities or similar high quality services that complement the wider B1 office elements of the site may be acceptable where these generate new jobs for the area. Beyond the existing local centre, retail or leisure uses will not be acceptable as these should be located in, or closer to, the town centre.

4.229 The character of the site and its wider strategic role dictates that new commercial development must be of a particularly high quality in respect of its design, layout and materials. In general, B1 commercial building footprints should be limited to not more than 20% of the total area of the Business Park and generous planting and landscaping should be provided to ensure the proper “parkland” character of the area is maintained. The topography of the site varies significantly, generally rising from the south to the north towards the adjoining residential areas. Innovative designs that complement this topography should be considered with the potential for taller buildings (up to four storeys) on the lower-lying parts of the site nearest the golf course being an option. Conversely, on those parts of the site closest to the Goat Lees housing estate, proposals must ensure that buildings are orientated to generally face away from nearby dwellings and should be designed and laid out to minimise the potential impact on residential amenity from noise and disturbance from vehicle movements and intrusive lighting.

4.230 Residential development shall be located primarily west of the lake that lies in the middle of the site but would also be suitable on land to the south of Grosvenor bungalow on the higher part of the site and, on a more limited basis, south of Nicholas Road opposite the Brake Brothers office. In locations which adjoin employment areas, the masterplan should determine the precise nature and orientation of the residential development to take account of future residential amenities and the likely operational requirements of the employment sites.

4.231 At the western boundary of the site, there should be a generous landscaped buffer provided to reduce the impact and provide some visual separation to the properties on Sandyhurst Lane. In general, residential development here should be of a lower average density to reflect the wider parkland setting of the whole site with average residential densities for individual parcels determined through the masterplan.

4.232 Given the location, size and number of housing units envisaged on this site, 30% of the dwellings shall be provided as affordable housing, in accordance with policy HOU1.

4.233 Vehicular access to the site shall only be from Trinity Road. The current access points at Nicholas Road and Upper Pemberton should form the principal access points to the site, with the former providing the main entrance to the residential development west of the lake and the latter forming a loop to serve the employment development west of Trinity Road and a secondary access to the residential areas. There should be no vehicular access from Sandyhurst Lane other than for emergencies, although pedestrian and cycleway connections from the development to Sandyhurst Lane should be provided.

4.234 Parking provision for the site shall be in accordance with the standards proposed for residential and employment developments in policies TRA3 (a) and TRA3 (b) of this Plan but proposals for development of the area shall also need to include arrangements for parking and traffic management to minimise the risk of staff parking in nearby residential streets (e.g. a controlled parking zone). Alongside this, development proposals shall contribute financially towards the operation of a regular and frequent bus service to the town centre. This service should directly serve both the employment and residential areas of the site.

4.235 Outside the site, strategic highway access is provided by the recently improved M20 Junction 9 and the Drovers Roundabout. It is expected that development here will make a proportionate contribution to the repayment of the forward funding of the junction improvements by the HCA.

4.236 Proposals for the site will need to be based around a comprehensive landscaping and open space strategy that incorporates attractive pedestrian routes through the site. The lake that lies in the centre of the development area should provide the focal point for the strategy with landscaped routes feeding out through the site from this location, including the existing wooded area to the north. An east-west route from the Eureka Place local centre to Sandyhurst Lane should also form part of the strategy. This strategy should also include provision of SuDS to serve the surface water drainage requirements for the site.

4.237 The proximity of the local centre means that the development is not expected to provide similar facilities as part of the residential area on the site but financial contributions to the delivery of off-site facilities for education, play facilities and sport will be required to meet the demand generated by the development. Informal public open space should be planned into the layout of the development as part of the landscaping and open space strategy.

4.238 The site adjoins the Ashford Golf Club land to the south. The Club has indicated a desire to improve their facilities which may best be achieved by moving to a new location around the town. At the time of preparing this Plan, no firm proposals for relocation have come forward but it is reasonable to anticipate that this may occur during the Plan period. If a suitable site for relocation of the Club can be identified and the Club decide to vacate their current site, this land would form, in principle, a natural extension to the Eureka Park site. As vehicular access to the Golf Club land is from Sandyhurst Lane and thus heavily constrained, proposals for Eureka Park must ensure access to the golf club land is available via the development and where necessary access roads should be constructed to the site boundary.

Policy S20 - Eureka Park

The site at Eureka Park is proposed for a mix of commercial (around 20ha) and residential development (up to 300 dwellings). 

Development proposals for this site shall be designed and implemented in accordance with an agreed masterplan for the general layout and delivery of development and related infrastructure on the site.

Development proposals for the site shall include the following elements:-

  1. A comprehensive landscaping and open space strategy, incorporating a linear park based around the existing lake and proposals for the future management and maintenance of the areas of shared open space and SuDS;
  2. A generous landscaped buffer to residential properties along Sandyhurst Lane;
  3. A drainage strategy that includes proposals to provide SuDS in accordance with Policy ENV9;
  4. New pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development with connections to Sandyhurst Lane and existing routes. The Public Rights of Way running through the site should be maintained and incorporated within the development;
  5. Vehicular access to the site shall be provided from Trinity Road only;
  6. Ecological mitigation and enhancement measures informed by a habitat survey;
  7. The provision of vehicular connections to the southern boundary of the site;
  8. Parking provision on-site to meet at least the minimum parking standards for residential and commercial development set out in policies TRA3 (a) and TRA3 (b);
  9. A proportionate financial contribution towards the repayments of the forward funding that delivered the M20 Junction 9 & Drovers roundabout improvements;
  10. A proportionate financial contribution to the extension of local bus services to serve the development;
  11. Laid out and orientated so that the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers is preserved;
  12. A connection to the sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity, as advised by Southern Water, and ensure future access to the existing sewerage system for maintenance and upsizing purposes.

In addition, for commercial proposals on the site, the following will also be required:-

  1. Individual commercial buildings shall be imaginative in their architectural style and designed to sit comfortably in a parkland setting, with car parks and service areas located discreetly, and additional landscaping used where necessary to help reinforce the parkland setting;
  2. The plot ratio for each commercial development parcel should not exceed 0.4:1;
  3. The footprints of B1 buildings are limited to no more than 20% of the total area of the Business park and that each development parcel achieves a minimum of 50% of “soft” landscaping

For residential proposals on the site, the following will also be required:-

  1. A residential design strategy setting out the key design criteria and average net residential densities on different plots and, where appropriate, how residential development will juxtapose with adjacent employment uses.
  2. The provision of proportionate financial contributions towards off-site primary and secondary education facilities, children’s play equipment and sports facilities.

Orbital Park

S21

4.239 Orbital Park is located on the south eastern edge of the urban area adjacent to the A2070 Southern Orbital Road. The site has been identified as a strategic employment site in previously adopted Plans and has been extremely successful in delivering employment floorspace. The site comprises various employment uses spread over a large site area. Although the majority of the site has now been developed, there are still plots where new development could take place.

4.240 Traditionally, Orbital Park has seen a range of different employment –generating uses take place from more general B1 and B8 uses to car showrooms, restaurants, a hotel and the relocation of the cattle market from the town centre. Orbital Park is therefore an important employment location within the urban area. With the proposed development to the south and east of the site at Cheesemans Green/Finberry and Waterbrook this site will play a key role in delivering a variety of local job opportunities.

4.241 Given its current important role in delivering employment floorspace, it is more important now that the remaining plots at orbital Park are retained for more traditional B-class employment uses. Alternative provision within the town centre has been made for retail (including restaurants) and hotel uses and further proposals for these uses will not be acceptable at Orbital Park. Other, sui-generis uses may be acceptable where they are significant employment generators, for example motor dealerships that contain a repairs/servicing element.

4.242 n common with the Council’s previous policies for development at Orbital Park, it remains appropriate to ensure that the remaining areas (and any redevelopment proposals) deliver a suitable form and density of development. Higher density office proposals are not suitable for this location and therefore a maximum plot ratio figure of 0.4:1 should apply to all B1 office uses here, so that a 1ha plot should accommodate no more than 4,000m2 of B1 office space.

4.243 The site is very prominent when viewed from the A2070 Southern Orbital Road and abuts residential development on part of its northern/north-western boundary. New buildings should be designed and oriented to avoid any significant impact on the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers. Consideration will need to be made regarding the layout and topography of the site. The site slopes down towards the East Stour River and the trees and hedgerows in the area are important features. Detailed proposals should aim to protect these and incorporate them in the overall design of the site.

4.244 The site also contains the Boys Hall scheduled Ancient Monument (the remains of a moated house). This requires protection, including an open buffer between it and any development. The effect of any proposal development on the monument will be an important issue, including the proposal’s impact on the level of the water table in the area.

4.245 Landscaping of developments here should also comply with the approach taken in previous development plans to ensure a consistent approach to the remainder of the development land. At least 20% of each development plot area should be available for “soft landscaping” such as planting or water features with opportunities to enhance existing features such as groups of trees, or hedges, being taken where possible.

4.246 As a result of previous planning permissions, developing the majority of the remaining undeveloped plots at Orbital Park is not constrained by the need to deliver any off-site highway improvements, either at junction 10 of the M20 or at the A2070 junction that provides the main access into the site. The remaining vacant plots in the “central island” of the site (enclosed by The Boulevard, Monument way and the long barrow) would be constrained in this way and as such, may also be brought forward for development when it can be demonstrated through a robust Transport Assessment, that sufficient capacity is available at both the motorway junction and the A2070 junction to accommodate the form of development proposed. 

 

Policy S21 - Orbital Park

Land at Orbital Park is allocated for B1, B2 and B8 uses. Other sui-generis uses that generate a significant employment output may also be acceptable.

Development proposals for this land shall

  1. Be designed to avoid any significant impact on the amenities of neighbouring residential occupiers on the site’s northern boundary;
  2. Protect existing important habitats (especially alongside the East Stour river and within the South Willesborough Dykes Local Wildlife Site) wherever practical and design the site layout to provide new habitat links – such as planted areas, hedgerows and ditches – linking habitats and providing routes for wildlife and provide for the long term habitat management of these areas;
  3. Ensure that the plot ratio for the development of B1 office plots does not exceed 0.4:1;
  4. Protect the setting of the Boys Hall scheduled ancient monument.

 

Chart Industrial Estate

S22

4.247 The Chart Industrial Estate is a well established employment site in the western part of Ashford, approximately 2km from Junction 9 of the M20 and accessed via Leacon Road and Victoria Way. The site is self contained, bounded to the north by railway lines and to the south by the river corridor, with parts of the area lying in Flood Zone 3. The site has a mix of B1, B2 and B8 uses with a variety of premises from high quality modern industrial space to older premises.

4.248  The site lies relatively close to the town centre and adjacent to town centre redevelopment areas making it an important area for locating jobs. The area has been identified as one with redevelopment potential which could accommodate a higher density form of development and the construction of Victoria Way, creating a through route to Leacon Road, has opened up this area improving access to the town centre. 

4.249 This change in the accessibility of the area means that it becomes suitable for a wider range of uses and potentially a denser form of development, particularly along Victoria Way itself. Redevelopment proposals could be for alternative employment uses within use classes B1-8 as well as other employment generating uses such as tourism, healthcare and education.

4.250 The area contains a number of existing employers, and as it is not the Council's policy to encourage redevelopment of their facilities for other uses until alternative land or premises within the town are available, there is likely to be limited potential for redevelopment prior to new employment areas requiring new infrastructure coming forward.

4.251 This location is an important transitional area between the higher density mixed use developments envisaged to the east in  the town centre and the more suburban character of western Ashford leading out to Singleton and beyond. The existing, relatively low density, warehousing and storage character of the area would provide a sudden and jarring change to the urban environment envisaged to the east, the vision for the area is for it to gradually evolve to accommodate a greater mix of different, primarily employment generating uses with potential for some residential development in the longer term.

4.252 Proposals will need to contribute to this overall vision for the area with Victoria Way being a major determining factor in a scheme's design and layout. The public realm and design of buildings fronting Victoria Way will be particularly important. Currently, buildings in this area tend to present blank facades to Leacon Road but redevelopment proposals should re-orientate buildings to present the main facade to this main thoroughfare, with the aim of creating more active streetscene through this area which will complement the high quality public transport linkage that has been created. It is important that schemes here relate well to the site's location adjoining the town centre.

4.253 A large area south of Victoria Way lies within Flood Zone 3. This area has the attraction of a riverside setting next to the Green Corridor but any proposal for development will need to adhere to policy ENV2. Proposals will need to demonstrate that adequate mitigation measures against flooding will be in place as well as providing a protective buffer from the building line to the river bank. A flood risk assessment should be produced in consultation with the Environment Agency.

4.254 An existing sewer runs beneath the site and any layout of development will need to ensure that the existing sewerage infrastructure on site is protected and future access secured for the purposes of maintenance and upsizing. Liaison with the relevant infrastructure company at the time is recommended.

4.255 The location of the site along the riverside Green Corridor is important. At present the existing development does not relate well to the riverside area so any new development should improve the relationship of the site to the riverside and have regard to nature conservation interests. There is extensive open space within the Green Corridor at Victoria Park and Watercress Fields on the southern side of the river and accessibility should be improved by providing a new pedestrian/cycleway bridge link.

 

Policy S22 - Chart Industrial Estate

Land at the Chart Industrial Estate is allocated for B1, B2 and B8 uses and has the potential to be redeveloped more intensively than its current layout. Proposals for bulky goods retail warehousing and other employment generating uses would also be acceptable in principle provided that existing employment uses can be relocated within Ashford and Policy EMP2 is complied with.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. create a built form with a scale, design and layout which respects the long term vision for this part of Victoria Way;
  2. ensure that future development has regard to the riverside setting of the site, nature conservation interests and the need to take account of the wider riverside corridor area;
  3. include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency. Where necessary, innovative design solutions should be employed to achieve appropriate mitigation measures;
  4. provide a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Great Stour to link with the greenspaces to the south of the river; and,
  5. ensure future access to the existing sewerage infrastructure for maintenance and upsizing purposes.

Henwood Industrial Estate

S23

 

4.256 Henwood Industrial Estate accommodates a range of B1, B2 and B8 uses. It is an important strategic employment location within the town and has been allocated for primarily employment uses in previous Local Plans. It lies to the north east of the town centre close to local services. The site is reasonably self-contained, bounded to the west by the river and green corridor, to the north by the M20 and to the south east by existing residential development. 

4.257 The potential for expansion of the area is limited to one relatively small piece of land located north of the recently developed KCC highways depot. This is bounded to the north by the M20 and has the potential for a wide range of B class uses.

4.258 Henwood is an older estate where redevelopment of poorer buildings could upgrade the stock and add more employment floorspace, while refurbishment or subdivision of units would also be appropriate. An example of this is the Javelin Enterprise Park which is a conversion of an older factory to small industrial units. In principle, this approach is encouraged where this would generate new jobs and investment but this will need to be considered against the range of premises available across the town to ensure that a suitable range of types and sizes remain.

4.259 Proximity to existing residential properties - therefore need to demonstrate that they would not have any adverse impact on residential amenity.

4.260 Minimum rather than maximum parking standards will be applied to ensure new development does not compound existing inappropriate parking in residential streets. Where development necessitates highway and transport improvements, these will need to be agreed by KCC as part of the planning application process and may need to be wholly or partially funded by the developer.

4.261 A part of the site to the west falls within flood zone 2 and 3.Any development proposals for this area of the site will require a flood risk assessment, which includes the vulnerability of the area to surface water flooding, in consultation with the Environment Agency

Policy S23 - Henwood Industrial Estate

The Henwood industrial estate is proposed for B1, B2 and B8 uses. This industrial estate has potential for gradual upgrading and replacement of older premises. Detailed proposals for any new development on vacant plots or redevelopment will need to ensure:

  1. that future redevelopment or intensification of existing developments will not result in a shortage of available premises of a particular size or type in Ashford;
  2. proposed uses would not have a significant adverse impact on the amenity of local residents: and,
  3. include a full flood risk assessment prepared in consultation with the Environment Agency