Local Plan to 2030 - Publication Draft

The Villages

Appledore - The Street

  S26

4.279 This site is located on The Street, the main route through village, situated adjacent to the side and rear of the former GP Surgery and Village Hall. It is currently two fields in agricultural use, bounded by hedgerows and trees. The site is a gap in the linear form of built development along this road and is located centrally in the village confines and in walking distance of the services and community facilities available.

4.280 To the north of the site is a row of 2-storey housing along the road frontage, with Magpie Farm and its associated outbuildings to the North West. There are properties adjacent to and opposite the site along The Street, in linear form, mainly detached or semi-detached 2-storey properties. To the north east, on the opposite side of the road is the recreation field and play area. To the west, open countryside and an area that dips towards a stream and falls within floodzones 2 & 3.

4.281 At 1ha in size, the site is considered suitable for around 15 units, dependant on a suitable layout and design. It also offers an opportunity to provide an area to extend the village hall and its car park. There is also an opportunity to redevelop the former GP Surgery as part of this development, and community and/or business uses would be acceptable. The residential area of the development should be provided in a cul-de-sac arrangement, in the northern section of the site.

4.282 The site lies within the Appledore Conservation Area (CA) and is also within an area of Archaeological Importance (Viking Encampment). However, the site is located away from the historic core and main area of the CA, which is situated to the south of the site. Development of this site is therefore proposed at a low density (20dph) to be in keeping with the CA setting, open landscape, and the low density of the surrounding linear development. Archaeological investigation work should be undertaken to prior to construction work commencing.

4.283 The hedgerows and trees must be retained around the boundary of the site and new planting should be placed around the western edge of the new development to provide screening between the site and the countryside. The hedgerows that currently divide the site should be retained where possible. It should be shown in the design proposals that care has been taken to limit the visibility of the new development from the main road to minimise the impact on neighbouring residents.

4.284 The Proposed Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay Ramsar site will lie immediately to the north east of the village along the Royal Military Canal. All applications for the development of this site should therefore include an Environmental Impact Assessment study demonstrating how the proposals will effect upon the integrity of the biodiversity of this designated wildlife area. Development that will have an adverse effect on the integrity of the proposed Ramsar site will not be permitted.

4.285 Opportunities to incorporate and enhance biodiversity will be encouraged. In particular, development should take opportunities to help connect and improve the wider ecological networks in this area and to mitigate against any potential increase in recreational pressure that may arise from the development of this site. There is an opportunity at the rear of the site to enhance the biodiversity and ecology of the area, and potentially create an informal nature reserve. A pedestrian access point should therefore be retained at the rear of the village hall to access this part of the site.

4.286 The main vehicular access will be provided on The Street, as shown on the policy map. There is a Public Right Of Way (PROW) that runs through the site from Magpie Farm in the north, to the front of the former GP surgery. This pathway should be retained/re-routed and enhanced through the new development proposals.

4.287 Due to the close proximity of the village recreation ground, on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the village recreation ground offer will be sought.

Policy S26 - Appledore - The Street

The site in The Street, Appledore is proposed for residential development for up to 15 dwellings and an extension to the village hall and its car park. There is potential for redevelopment of the former GP surgery to community and/or business uses.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect the character and setting of the Conservation Area. Particular attention needs to be given to the visibility of new development from the road;
  2. Retain the existing hedge and tree boundary around the site to screen the development from the open countryside and create soft landscaping. Retain as much as possible of the hedgerow that divides the site in the new development;
  3. Retain and enhance the PROW that crosses the site;
  4. Provide an Environmental Impact Assessment study;
  5. Undertake biodiversity surveys and explore potential of providing an informal nature reserve, connecting to wider networks.

Biddenden - North Street

 S27

4.288 This site is located on North Street (A274), the main road through the village of Biddenden which connects to St.Michaels and Tenterden to the south and Headcorn (Maidstone) to the north. The site lies to the rear of existing detached properties in linear form along the western side of North Street and to the north of Mansion House Close, a cul-de-sac development of mainly 2 storey, mixed size properties. The site is currently a field in mixed agricultural and equestrian use, with woodland to west and open countryside to the north.

4.289 The site is considered suitable for residential development of up to 45 units, which should be located on the southern half of the site. This part of the site is approximately 2.3ha and therefore development will be less than 20 dwellings per hectare. This reflects the density of adjoining properties and is suitable for a setting adjoining the countryside in this location.

4.290 The vehicular access will be provided on North Street as shown on the policy map. As this site is located on the edge of the village, the new development must be designed in a way that integrates it, visually and functionally, as much as possible to the existing settlement. There is pedestrian access to the village centre through a well used PRoW, which runs alongside the western boundary of the site and joins Mansion House Close, the Meadows and the recreation field. However, this route into the centre of the village is unlikely to be suitable for all users, particularly when wet, and a pedestrian crossing and traffic calming measures must be provided on the A274, from the site entrance, to the footpath on the opposite side of North Street.

4.291 The village of Biddenden offers a range of services and community facilities, however, at present there is an identified need in the Biddenden Community Led Plan 2014 for a new community facility that could be used to provide improved healthcare facilities such as a GP surgery/branch (branch currently operating out of a small room in the village hall) and other village activities. Development of this site provides an opportunity to provide a mixed use community building that could meet these needs. Liaison with the Parish Council, local healthcare providers, the Village Hall Committee and other local stakeholders is essential to ensure that the community building meets reasonable local requirements and is built to appropriate building specifications for the range of uses it could be used for.

4.292 Careful consideration must be given to the overall site layout to ensure the community facility is accessible to all, without impacting on the residential amenity of the new homes in ways such as parking and overlooking. This can be achieved by locating the community building on the northern part of the site, close to the site entrance on North Street, and providing sufficient car parking for the facility to ensure that on-street parking of its users does not adversely affect residents.The design and layout of the development should reflect the local surroundings and must take into account design guidance in the adopted Biddenden Parish Design Statement.

4.293 The site is currently visually well screened by mature trees and hedgerows. This screening and landscaping should be retained and enhanced to minimise the visual impact of the new development on the existing residents to the east and south of the site and on the character and setting of the nearby Conservation Area and listed buildings.

4.294 Informal public open space must be provided on-site, but due to the proximity of the village recreation ground, on-site provision of formal public open space will not be expected, but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the village recreation ground provision will be sought.

Policy S27 - Biddenden - North Street

The site is proposed for residential use for up to 45 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Provide a community facility building on-site to accommodate local services and functions, designed in consultation with appropriate stakeholders;
  2. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to integrate the development into the existing settlement, taking into account design guidance in the Biddenden Parish Design Statement; 
  3. Create a pedestrian crossing and appropriate traffic calming measures on North Street and ensure pedestrian access to the existing Public Right of Way on the western edge of the site that leads to the village centre;
  4. Ensure appropriate bespoke on-site parking is provided for the community facility building;
  5. Retain and enhance current hedge and tree boundaries around the site to create a soft landscape buffer between new development and neighbouring properties;
  6. Create informal open space on-site and provide contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement  of formal open space and play equipment located on the village recreation ground.

Charing - Northdown Service Station, Maidstone Road

 S28

4.295 This site is located within the village of Charing, on southern side of the A20 and is currently in operation as a Service Station and associated retail shop. The frontage of the site is the drive-in forecourt area with fuel pumps with parking and a grassed verge buffer along the roadside. The service station buildings, are located just beyond the forecourt area. The original building is a 2-storey dwelling, which has single storey extensions containing the shop and storage rooms. To the west of the service station is a recently built steel framed car workshop, operated by Charing Motors. This larger structure extends further into the rear of the site and which is an area of hardstanding for vehicle storage/parking. The remainder of the site to the south is a field with mature tree and hedge boundaries.

4.296 To the east of the site on the frontage is a single residential dwelling with a large curtilage, and beyond this open countryside. To the west of the site is a restaurant, The Swan Hotel. The restaurant has a large rear garden directly adjacent to the eastern boundary of the site. However, both properties are well screened from the site with high hedges and mature tree boundaries.

4.297 Charing is a large settlement with a variety of services, including a primary school, train station and small high street. The site is in close proximity to these services and following recent developments in the village to the south east, this site is considered suitable for a residential allocation. The layout of development should be designed to allow for vehicular and pedestrian connections to the land adjoining the site to the rear of the Swan Hotel. The current employment use of the service station, and associated retail development should be retained on as much of the existing area as possible, whilst allowing for a new access road to be provided from the A20 as shown on the Policies Map.

4.298 The area of the site considered appropriate for built development (excluding the current garage/workshop area) is around 0.8 hectares and therefore is considered suitable for up to 20 units which is equivalent of around 25 dwellings per hectare. Consideration must be given to the Charing Parish Design Statement when planning the style and layout of development. There is a pond/spring on the southern edge of the site which must be considered.

4.299 Given the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside area and proximity to the AONB to the north, larger properties in generous plots should be generally located in the most sensitive locations on the rural edge. Consideration must be given to the Charing Parish Design Statement when designing the style and layout of development.

Policy S28 - Charing - Northdown Service Station, Maidstone Road

Land at Northdown Service Station is proposed for residential development for up to 20 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect the character and setting of the countryside. Particular attention needs to be given to the topography of the site and advice in the Charing Parish Design Statement;
  2. Provide vehicle access onto the A20 Maidstone Road, as shown on the policies map;
  3. Retain the existing employment uses on the frontage where possible;
  4. Retain and enhance the hedge and tree boundaries around and within the site, particularly where there is adjoining countryside.

Charing - Land south of the Arthur Baker Playing Field

S40

4.300 The site is located at the eastern entrance to the village along the A20. The site adjoins existing built development at The Moat but adjoins open countryside to the southeast which includes the 'Alderbeds', an area with local biodiversity value. The woodland and meadow which comprise the adjoining Alderbeds Local Wildlife Site are dependent upon the site remaining characteristically wet and relatively undisturbed. It is therefore important that development of the CHAR1 site is carried out in compliance with policy ENV1(Biodiversity). Compliance with ENV1 is likely to require both hydrological and ecological surveys to be carried out as well as the submission of a scheme showing how any necessary mitigation measures will be carried out and maintained. The extensive Arthur Baker playing field is located to the north. A ribbon of residential properties lies opposite on the southern side of the A20.

4.301 The prominence of the site at this key entrance point makes it essential that careful attention is paid to design and layout issues. The creation of a built-up frontage with dwellings facing the A20 to mirror the form of development on the opposite side of the A20 would be appropriate. Equally, the position of the site adjoining open countryside makes it essential that the extent of any built development on the site is carefully considered. The framing of the site by the adjacent playing fields (which themselves are bounded by development  to the west and north) provides the limit to the eastern extent of built development footprint here. This enables the opportunity to be taken to create a definitive edge to this part of the village through a significant landscaped strip along the south eastern edge of the site. This should include the planting of mature trees to provide an appropriate natural screening for development here.

4.302 The layout of development on this site should also ensure that an attractive built frontage to the playing fields is achieved. Dwellings should be designed with their primary aspect overlooking the playing fields. In addition, proposals should also reflect the 'design guidelines' set out in the Charing Parish Design Statement (2002).

4.303 Vehicular access to the site shall be from the A20. The levels between the highway and the site mean that this should be towards the eastern end of the site in order to minimise the difference in levels. Frontage properties may need to be set back from the highway boundary in order to achieve good design and amenity for residents.

4.304 The playing fields to the north of the site are a well used and popular local facility. Existing access to the playing fields is unsatisfactory being via the adjoining residential development at The Moat. The layout of this site should enable a separate access to be created for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists to the playing fields from the A20. Similarly, the pavilion and changing facilities are poor which undermines the ability of the playing fields to cater for the additional demand that will occur from the proposed significant increase in development in Charing. Development of this site should make a financial contribution towards the the provision of a new or upgraded pavilion. The scale of such a contribution will be negotiated with the Borough Council (in consultation with the Parish Council).

4.305 Due to the proximity of the playing fields, on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but a financial contribution towards the provision of play equipment on the playing field will be required in accordance with policy COM2.

 

Policy S29 - Charing - Land South of the Arthur Baker Playing Field

The land south of the Arthur Baker playing fields is proposed for residential development, up to 35 units.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. provide a vehicular, pedestrian and cycle link from the A20 through the site to the adjoining Arthur Baker playing fields;
  2. provide footpath and cycleway links to the playing fields;
  3. be designed to include a built-up frontage to the A20 (and provide footpath and cycle links along the frontage);
  4. provide a landscaped edge to the development along the south eastern edge of the site;
  5. provide play equipment on the adjacent playing field in accordance with policy COM2; and,
  6. provide a financial contribution towards the provision of a new or upgraded pavilion at the Arthur Baker playing field.

Egerton - Land on New Road

S29 

4.306 This site is located in the south eastern edge of Egerton village on New Road, opposite Harmers Way, a modern housing estate. The site is in agricultural use and is currently used for grazing. The site is bounded by hedgerows and a limited number of trees creating a natural buffer to the countryside to the east and south. There is an existing PRoW footpath along the south eastern boundary.

4.307 This site provides the opportunity to create a natural extension to the village as it lies within walking distance of the village centre and the wide range of services provided there. At 1ha the site is considered suitable for residential development of around 15 dwellings (at 15dph).

4.308 The prominence of the sites location at the entrance of the village makes it essential that detailed consideration is given to design and layout issues. This site has a rural aspect and its development will impact on views of the village church when approached from the south, a scheme of no more than 2 storeys would be most appropriate here. The site should mirror the building line on the opposite side of the road. The Egerton Parish Design Statement should be taken into account to achieve a suitably designed development that reflects local character and that makes a positive contribution to the built environment.

4.309 With the exception of creating a suitable point of access at the point shown on the policies map, existing hedgerows should be retained to provide a natural buffer between the new development and the countryside. New planting is needed to soften the southern edge of built development to minimise visual impact and to make an attractive entrance to the village.

4.310 Pedestrian access with a safe road crossing point should be provided linking the new development to existing footpaths that facilitate Harmers Way and lead to the centre of the village. The developer will also need to negotiate the existing 30mph speed limit being extended further south along New Road with the local Highways Authority.

4.311 The site lies within an Area of Archaeological Potential and is approximately 80 metres from a Bronze Age barrow. Archaeological investigation work should be undertaken to access the archaeological potential within the site prior to construction work commencing.

4.312 Due to the close proximity of the village recreation ground, on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the village recreation ground provision will be sought. 

Policy S30 - Egerton - Land on New Road

The land north east of New Road is proposed for residential development for up to 15 units. 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 views of the village church. The Egerton Parish Design Statement should be taken into account;
  2. Create soft landscaping along the south eastern edge to lessen the visual impact of development when approaching the village from the south; 
  3. Provide primary vehicle access on New Road, as shown on the policies map and the extension of the existing 30mph speed restriction; 
  4. Provide new pedestrian routes throughout the development and connections to existing rural routes facilitating Harmers Way and local services; 
  5. Undertake Archaeological investigation work.

Hamstreet - Land North of St Mary's Close & Land at Parker Farm

S30

4.313 This site is located in the north of Hamstreet village covering an area of land between the Ashford to Rye Railway line and Ashford Road. The site is currently cultivated agricultural land. The northern boundary adjoins Court Wood which is ancient woodland and a narrow strip of woodland borders the western boundary. There are open views to the north east of the side where a Public Right of Way bisects the site. St. Mary’s Close, a residential development built in the 1980’s, adjoins the sites southern boundary.

4.314 The site adjoins existing development and is within easy walking distance of Hamstreet railway station, the village centre and the range of services provided there.

4.315 The site is opposite the Hamstreet Primary Academy and the development of this site presents a unique opportunity to deliver improved facilities for the school which currently has limited space within its existing site. Development of the site would enable the provision of a youth football pitch (Under 14/15’s) with an associated changing room facility (2 room and storage) for the use of the Academy that could also be used by the wider community. Also, the Academy currently has limited car parking on site and this is an opportunity to provide additional staff car parking spaces within the new development. The site will also enable the provision of an outdoor classroom facility and this should be located on the eastern edge of the site within the second phase of the development. The expansion and improvement of the Academy’s facilities will also help to facilitate the expansion of the academy to a full 2FE school.

4.316 Alongside these facilities, the site is considered suitable for a residential development of up to 80 dwellings (15dph). Due to the size of the development, it is proposed that the site should be developed in two phases. The initial western phase (Phase A) is for 50 units with a second phase (Phase B) for an additional 30 units that should not come forward before 2023. Phase B should not be developed before Phase A.

4.317 Vehicular and pedestrian access shall be provided from Ashford Road but the road will separate the school from its new facilities associated with the development site and the control of traffic and parking along Ashford Road will be crucial in ensuring a safe environment for children, parents and the residents of the new development.

4.318 Any development scheme for this site must contain detailed proposals for the management of traffic, including traffic calming measures, along this section of Ashford Road to improve vehicular and pedestrian safety at this point in the village. Such traffic management proposals shall need to indicate how vehicle speeds can be slowed on the approach to the access, especially from the north, and will be required to facilitate the delivery of suitable measures to improve pedestrian safety at this point in the village. The treatment of the access point and the immediate area outside the school needs careful consideration to deliver a safe crossing between the site and school.

4.319 The location of the development site adjoining open countryside and sensitive woodland areas means that the density of new development should be and provide generous landscaped buffers to the northern and eastern boundaries. A mix of dwelling types and sizes should be provided. The site has a rural aspect and given the character and appearance of the surrounding area, dwellings no greater than 2 storeys in height would be appropriate here. The design and layout of any scheme must take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers. The Hamstreet Village Design Statement should be taken into account to achieve a suitably designed development that reflects local character and to ensure that any development makes a positive contribution to the built environment.

4.320 The existing Public Right of Way that runs through the site leading to Bourne Lane and Hamstreet Woods (a SSSI and National Nature Reserve) should be retained within the overall layout of the new development. The developer will need to work with Network Rail to minimise risks to pedestrians when crossing the railway line.

4.321 The topography of the site means that the site slopes generally from north to south and it will important to ensure that sustainable drainage systems are provided as part of the development to mitigate against runoff to the existing properties to the south. Any drainage scheme should be provided in line with the SuDS Policy.

4.322 The Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay Ramsar site lies immediately to the south west of the village  along the Royal Military Canal. All applications for the development of this site should therefore include an Environmental Impact Assessment study demonstrating how the proposals will effect upon the integrity of the biodiversity of this designated wildlife area. Development that will have an adverse effect on the integrity of the Ramsar Site will not be permitted. Opportunities to incorporate and enhance biodiversity will be encouraged. In particular, development should take opportunities to help connect and improve the wider ecological networks in this area and to mitigate against any potential increase in recreational pressure that may arise from the development of this site.

Policy S31 - Hamstreet - Land North of St. Mary's Close

Land North of St. Mary’s Close, Hamstreet is proposed for residential development for up to 80 dwellings and associated facilities for use in conjunction with Hamstreet Primary Academy. The area shall be implemented in two separate phases with the western part of the site (Phase A) of up to 50 units to be developed first. The eastern part (Phase B) of up to 30 units shall not commence until 2023.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Provide a new youth football pitch to Football Association standards with changing room facilities and storage, for use by the Academy and by the wider community at other times;
  2. Provide a new area of staff car parking for the Academy with a minimum of 60 spaces which would be used to serve the new football pitch at other times;
  3. Provide an outdoor classroom facility for the Academy at the eastern edge of the site within Phase B;
  4. 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 two storeys in height. The guidance in the Hamstreet Village Design Statement shall inform the design and layout of the development;
  5. Provide vehicular and pedestrian access from Ashford Road;
  6. Provide and fund the implementation of an agreed detailed traffic management plan for the scheme that includes measures that reduce vehicle speeds along Ashford Road and improve pedestrian safety at this point in the village;
  7. Fund implementation of suitable on-street parking restrictions for non-residents;
  8. Provide new pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development and connections to the existing PRoW that runs through the site, as well as any necessary improvements to the pedestrian crossing at the railway line as part of PRoW;
  9. Provide a generous landscaped buffer to the northern and eastern boundaries of the site; 
    and,
  10. Provide for the installation of children’s equipped play facilities within Phase A of the development.

S31

4.323 The site is located to the south west of the village, and is directly adjacent to the recent development at Orlestone View. The site is currently in agricultural use and there are several large agricultural buildings located along the eastern boundary. The Speringbrook sewer and 2 pumping stations are adjacent to the site boundaries. The southern boundary of the site abuts open countryside but the typography of the land means that long views to the south are contained.

4.324 This site was allocated for residential development within the Tenterden and Rural Sites DPD (as policy HAM2) with an indicative capacity of 20 dwellings, phased post 2016. However, the latest Environment Agency flood mapping shows that flood zones 2 and 3 have extended into the site since its previous allocation in 2010, and is now covering approximately half of the site area. For this reason, the developable area has been reduced to 0.38ha and only includes the area outside of the flood zones. This has lowered the capacity of the site for up to 10 dwellings (at 26dph). 

4.325 The farm currently owns the private vehicular access onto Warehorne Road. This road also provides access to five existing properties and will need to be widened in places to provide appropriate passing points and re-surfaced along its length to accommodate the level of development proposed. Access to the site via the Orlestone View estate would not be acceptable, given the tightly-knit nature of this estate and its limited capacity.

4.326 The large agricultural buildings are of no great architectural value and therefore, it is required that these buildings be removed as part of the development of this site. This will enable safe vehicle access into the site and to improve the visual amenity of the immediate area for existing and new residents.

4.327 Development of the site must provide landscaped screening along the southern boundary to ‘break up’ the urban edge of the site and help create a clear edge to the settlement and provide a transition from the built form of the village to the open countryside. Screening must also be enhanced along the site boundaries with the residential areas, to limit the visual impact on these neighbouring properties, particularly the one farm property directly adjacent to the site.

4.328 A public right of way runs alongside the southern boundary of this site. The layout of development on this site should enable pedestrian access to this public footpath to create links to the wider countryside and the village services to the east.

4.329 Due to the close proximity of the Pound Lees recreation ground on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the Pound Lees provision will be soughtThe area of the site within the floodzones should be designed as informal open space.

4.330 The Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay Ramsar site lies immediately to the south west of the village  along the Royal Military Canal. All applications for the development of this site should therefore include an Environmental Impact Assessment study demonstrating how the proposals will effect upon the integrity of the biodiversity of this designated wildlife area. Development that will have an adverse effect on the integrity of the Ramsar Site will not be permitted. Opportunities to incorporate and enhance biodiversity will be encouraged. In particular, development should take opportunities to help connect and improve the wider ecological networks in this area and to mitigate against any potential increase in recreational pressure that may arise from the development of this site.

Policy S32 - Hamstreet - Land at Parker Farm

Land at Parker Farm is proposed for residential development for up to 10 units.  Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Retain and enhance the existing hedge and tree boundary around the site to screen the development from the open countryside and create soft landscaping along site boundaries. The Hamstreet Village Design Statement should be taken into account when considering design and layout;
  2. Provide a dedicated vehicular access directly onto Warehorne Road via the existing private access lane, creating appropriate vehicle passing places along its length and re-surfaced to accommodate new traffic;
  3. Remove the existing agricultural structures;
  4. Create a pedestrian link to the public right of way that runs alongside the southern boundary of the site;
  5. Provide informal open space in the flood zone area of the site; and
  6. Provide a flood risk assessment in consultation with the Environment Agency.

High Halden - Land at Hope House

 S32

4.331 This site is located within the village of High Halden on southern side of the A28 opposite the housing estate known as Hopes Grove. The site is currently an open area of grassland comprising a field with a large pond in the western area which adjoins Hope House, a Grade ll listed building. The land slopes upwards towards the southern boundary where there is a substantial hedge and tree line.  There are also some small trees growing in the area around the pond and some more substantial trees to the rear of Hope House.

4.332 This site has been identified as a suitable location within the confines of a large village, for residential development whilst also being able to retain and improve the wildlife habitat around the pond and links with the adjoining countryside to the west and south.

4.333 The part of the site considered appropriate for development is 1.3 hectares, which is the land between Oakland, Rowans and Lynton in the east and Hope House to the west and including the land immediately to the rear of Hope House.  The area in which the pond is located has not been taken into account for built development and must be enhanced to create a wildlife area. The site is therefore considered suitable for up to 25 units which is equivalent of around 20 dwellings per hectare.

4.334 Given the character and appearance of the surrounding areas, a scheme of 1 – 2 storey buildings would be most appropriate here. The design and layout must take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers, particularly on the eastern boundary and avoid any adverse impact upon the adjoining listed building. Particular attention needs to be given to the topography of the site.

4.335 Dwellings should be orientated to enable overlooking and natural surveillance to the enhanced pond and wildlife area. Dwellings on the Ashford Road parcel should provide frontage development here. Larger properties in generous plots should be generally located in the most sensitive locations on the rural edge and around the listed building. 

4.336 In view of the limited visibility splays currently available, the development will be dependent upon the provision of 2.4 x 43m.visibility splays being provided in conjunction with the extension of the 30mph limit to cover the site access, to be agreed with the local highway authority. The new speed limit area will need to be accompanied by traffic calming measures such as traffic islands and interactive signs to help reduce traffic speeds to the desired level or red surfacing with speed limit roundels as in the case of the existing adjoining 30mph restriction.  Proposals for the site must also include the provision of a footpath between Oakland and Hope House.

4.337 Due to the site's proximity to a Grade ll listed farmhouse (Hope House), high quality design must be achieved within the new development. For example, development proposals should include details of the design of outdoor lighting and street furniture, signage, and landscaping. The built footprint of development on this site needs to be carefully planned. It should avoid and enhance the existing areas of hedges and trees that provide both natural screening and habitat whilst also including a soft green buffer along part of the western and southern boundaries to help mitigate the impact on the adjacent residential occupiers and on the character and setting of the adjoining countryside.

4.338 Due to the close proximity of the village recreation ground, on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the village recreation ground provision will be sought.

Policy S33 - High Halden - Land at Hope House

Land at Hope House is proposed for residential development for up to 25 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Enhance the north western area of open space associated with the existing pond/s and mitigate against impacts from development on the biodiversity. Provide a wildlife corridor from this area to the adjoining countryside by retaining existing trees and hedging within the site, where possible;
  2. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect the character and setting of the village and the residential amenity of neighbouring dwellings, particularly the listed building, Hope House; attention needs to be given to the topography of the site and dwellings should be orientated to enable overlooking and natural surveillance of the wildlife/pond area;
  3. Provide primary vehicle access onto the A28 Ashford Road, as shown on the policies map and include the provision of traffic calming measures to slow the traffic to 30mph or less, in accordance with the recommendations of Kent Highways;
  4. Retain and enhance the hedge and tree boundaries around the site, particularly the adjoining countryside the development and listed building.

Hothfield - Land East of Coach Drive

 S33

4.339 Hothfield is a relatively compact village with a central residential core and clearly defined edges to open countryside along its eastern and southern boundaries. It lies to the west of the A20 and is well screened by a combination of the local topography and the wooded areas that form part of the Hothfield Common SSSI.

4.340 This site is located on the north eastern edge of Hothfield at the main entrance point to the village when approached from the A20. The site adjoins Coach Drive which, on its eastern side, has a substantial tree belt that is the subject of a Tree Preservation Order and hence the site is relatively well screened from the existing built part of the village.

4.341 Hothfield has been designated as a Neighbourhood Area with the intention that there will be a Neighbourhood Plan prepared for the parish. This site has been identified in this Local Plan as the most appropriate location for additional residential development in the village but it may be possible for an emerging Neighbourhood Plan to identify alternative locations for development.   

4.342 The site provides an opportunity to create a modest expansion to the village that can help to sustain and support local services but it is important that the development is limited to an area that would not be visible from the northern approach to the village, particularly from the A20, and hence the site is proposed for 40 units. This may necessitate the provision of single storey accommodation on the eastern and northern edges of the built footprint of the development with a suitable buffer of mature landscaping provided to screen mid to long range views. The central residential core of the village contains relatively high density residential development so some relatively low density development is appropriate on part of the site.  

4.343 The site should be accessed by vehicles via a single access point from the junction of Coach Drive and Station Road. Suitable traffic management arrangements will need to be implemented to ensure a satisfactory junction arrangement at this point.

4.344 The existing tree belt along Coach Drive is a significant local feature that will be a barrier between the existing built part of the village and the new development. However, it is important that the proposed development is integrated into the rest of the village whilst retaining the large majority of the tree belt and hence it is proposed that provision should be made for a pedestrian and cycleway link through the tree belt on Coach Drive to provide direct links and connectivity to the main part of the village.

4.345 Hothfield Common SSSI lies to the north of the village and is also designated as a Local Nature Reserve. This is a site of national importance that is already under considerable pressure from recreational use. Any development proposal needs to give careful consideration to potential additional recreational use of the Reserve and contributions towards appropriate mitigation measures will be required. This site is also within the Biodiversity Opportunity Area of Mid Kent Greensand and Gault and this should be reflected in any landscaping, planting or open space provision associated with the development. Liaison with the Council and Kent Wildlife Trust will be necessary to ensure that appropriate measures are defined and delivered as part of the wider programme for the management of the SSSI.

Policy S34 - Hothfield - Land East of Coach Drive

Land to the east of Coach Drive, Hothfield is proposed for residential development for up to 40 units.

Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. be designed and laid out with particular attention given to the topography of the site and dwellings should be orientated to limit the impact of the development on the landscape to the north and east of the site;
  2. Provide vehicular access from the junction of Station Road and Coach Drive as shown on the policies map;
  3. Provide a new pedestrian and cycle route from the development to Coach Drive;
  4. With the exception of meeting clauses b and c above, retain the existing trees along the boundary to Coach Drive that are subject to a Tree Preservation Order;
  5. Provide a financial contribution towards the provision, management and maintenance of existing community facilities, open space and play equipment in the village;
  6. Ensure that any direct or indirect impact on the SSSI or the Mid Kent and Greensand and Gault Biodiversity Area is suitably mitigated.

Mersham - Land adjacent to Village Hall

 S34

4.346 This site is located in the south western edge of Mersham village behind Church Road. The north eastern part of the site adjoins Mersham Village Hall and associated parking facilities, in addition to three detached bungalows that wrap around the southern boundary. The site is in agricultural use and is currently used for grazing. The western boundary of the site is lined with trees and hedgerows providing a natural buffer to the countryside beyond. The northern boundary is a continuation of the field beyond and so there is currently no natural boundary.

4.347 This site provides an opportunity to facilitate an extension to the Village Hall as well as additional parking provision. It is within walking distance of the village centre and the range of services provided there. It is considered suitable for residential development for up to 10 dwellings (15 dwellings per hectare).

4.348 This area is residential in character and consists mainly of detached dwellings and bungalows, some of which are listed and so, the scale and density of new development should also be low. A mix of dwelling sizes and types should be provided, within a scheme of no more than 2 storeys in height. The design and layout must take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers.

4.349 The site has a rural aspect and abuts open countryside to the north and west. Trees and hedgerows must be retained where possible along these edges. New screening may be needed along the western edge beside the new access road to soften this edge and provide a gradual transition from the village to the countryside. The development should be well designed and must not result in any significant adverse impact on the character of the area or the surrounding landscape or the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers.

4.350 A new vehicle access point shall be created to provide access to the development from Blind Lane. The layout of the site should enable direct access from the new residential development to the village hall for pedestrians. This will enable new residents to safety access existing facilities within the village such as the school.

4.351 Village halls have an important role to play in helping to keep local communities active. Mersham Parish Council has identified the need for a village hall extension and to increase the capacity of existing parking provision which serves the village hall. This development provides a unique opportunity to deliver an extension to the village hall and additional parking which should be undertaken in consultation with Mersham Parish Council.

4.352 Due to the close proximity of the village recreation ground, on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the village recreation ground provision will be sought.

Policy S35 - Mersham - Land adjacent to the Village Hall

The site on land adjacent to Mersham Village Hall is proposed for residential development, for up to 10 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out to take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers. Dwellings should be orientated to enable overlooking and natural surveillance of open areas;  
  2. Provide new pedestrian routes throughout the development and connections to existing rural routes facilitating the village hall and local services; 
  3. Create soft landscaping along the southern and western boundaries to lessen the visual impact of development on the countryside beyond; 
  4. Provide an extension to the Village Hall in consultation with the Parish Council with additional parking provision. These elements should be completed before work can commence on the residential elements of the scheme.

Shadoxhurst - Rear of Kings Head PH

 S35

4.353 This site is located on the eastern side of the village of Shadoxhurst, which has a very linear settlement form. This part of the village has seen more development in recent years and is emerging as the core of the village, centred around the Kings Head Public House (PH). The site wraps around the south of the PH, and has already been partly developed in the western edge as ‘Maytree Place’, a small development of 4 detached units, with a private access road which also serves the pub car park.

4.354 There is a cul-de-sac development which adjoins the site on the south west, Nairne Close, which is terraced 2-storey housing and contains a small open space area (this used to include play equipment). The close is well screened from the site by a line of mature trees. To the east of the site the built form is mostly in linear form along the road frontage and is a mix of styles.

4.355 At 1.4ha in size, the site is considered suitable for up to 25 units, depending on the size and layout of the dwellings. Larger properties should be located on more spacious plots joining on to the open countryside to the south and east. Development should front onto Woodchurch Road, Maytree Place and the proposed new access road, creating rows of development. There is also opportunity for small clusters of development in the southern area of the site.

4.356 The design of proposals coming forward should take into account the setting of the Public House which is a listed building. The existing hedgerows trees must be retained around the boundary of the site and new planting should be placed around the new development to provide screening between the site existing residents and create soft landscaping to lessen the visual impact of the development.

4.357 The main vehicular access will be provided on Woodchurch Road, as shown on the policy map. This new access road should be designed in a way that the current Maytree Place access will connect to it. The current Maytree Place access will be closed to only serve the PH car park in future. The visibility splays that have been created along the roadside verge at the front of the PH must be retained.

4.358 The development site has a prominent frontage to Woodchurch Road and there is the potential to create a central feature for the village that could be in the form of a village green. Any development on this site should investigate the potential to deliver this as part of the development. together with suitable arrangements for its management. There is potential for this site to provide additional benefits to the village in the form of retail space. This should be explored further through the4 design and planning of this development.

4.359 There are 2 north/south public rights of way across the site which are well used as connections across the village. A new pedestrian/cycle access should be provided through the site to enhance these connections. This creates an opportunity to connect to the Nairne Close open space area, which should be enlarged to provide a wider open space community benefit and assist with village integration.

4.360 .The site is in an area of archaeological potential, and close by to known Iron Age/Romano activities. Evaluation and Investigation work should be undertaken, in consultation with KCC Heritage team prior to development commencement.

Policy S36 - Shadoxhurst - Rear of Kings Head PH 

The site rear of the Kings head in Shadoxhurst is proposed for residential development for up to 25 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect the setting of the PH listed building and take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers.
  2. Proposals should seek to link the new development with adjoining Nairne Close, to create an area of shared public space;
  3. Provide primary vehicle access on Woodchurch Road, as shown on the policies map, which will also serve Maytree Place. The existing Maytree Place access will serve only the public house car park once development is complete;
  4. Create a pedestrian/cycle route through the site to enhance the current connections and retain or enhance the existing PRoW’s;
  5. Development proposals should investigate the potential to create an area of open space along the frontage to Woodchurch Road along with appropriate management arrangements;
  6. Retain the hedge and tree boundary around the site to screen the development of the site and create soft landscaping to lessen the visual impact of the development;
  7. Assess the opportunity of providing retail facilities within the site to serve the wider community.

Smarden - Land adjacent to Village Hall

S37

4.361 This site is located along The Street, the main route through village. It is currently a field in agricultural use, bounded by hedgerows and trees. The site is a gap in the linear form of built development along this road and is situated to the north of the Village Hall. Smarden is a village with much historic character and contains many unique listed buildings in its central core, which is designated as a Conservation Area. The site is situated outside of this historic core of the village but is still within walking distance of the many community facilities and services available there.

4.362 To the north and north-west of the site are a number of 2-storey detached dwellings along the road frontage. There are also a number of cul-de-sac developments off the main road in this area, to the north-west and south of the site. To the east is open countryside, and an area that falls within floodzones 2 & 3 along the river Beult, over 400m away. There is a mature hedgerow along the road frontage, but no footpath in this location.

4.363 At approx. 1.2ha in size, the site is considered suitable for around 25 units, dependant on a suitable layout and design. Development should enhance the character of this part of the street by providing attractive frontage development with fits in with the street scene, whilst preserving the rural edge by backing on to the countryside.

4.364 Development of this site is proposed at a low density (around 25dph), and should reflect the open landscape, and the density of the surrounding developments by providing lower densities along the countryside edge. The design of proposals coming forward should also reflect the 'guidelines' set out in the Smarden Parish Design Statement.

4.365 The hedgerows and trees must be retained around the boundary of the site and new planting should be placed around the eastern edge of the new development to provide screening between the site and the countryside. It should be shown in the design proposals that care has been taken to limit the visibility of the new development from the main road and the nearby Public Right of Way (PRoW) and also must minimise the impact on neighbouring properties by providing planting, particularly in the area adjacent to the property ‘Weathercock’.

4.366 The area alongside the village hall in south is highly visible from the main street, and is an important aspect of the village hall setting and usage. It also contains a PRoW that leads into the countryside. This area should be provided as informal Public Open Space, as shown on the policies map, which will benefit the village hall users and new residents and will also minimise the visibility of the new development.

4.367 Access to the site should be close to the village hall, as shown on the policies map. There is currently no footpath on this side of the road, and one should be provided within the development. However, proposals should attempt to preserve the green edge of the street, the hedgerow and ditch along the road frontage here.

Policy S37 - Smarden - Land adjacent to Village Hall 

The site adjacent to the Village Hall in Smarden is proposed for residential development for up to 25 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed in accordance with the Smarden Parish Design Statement. Particular attention needs to be given to the visibility of new development from the Street and the village hall and minimise the impact on adjoining countryside;
  2. Create an area of informal Public Open Space along the southern parcel of the site, adjacent to the memorial hall, which includes the existing PRoW, as shown on the policies map;
  3. Retain and create new hedge and tree boundary’s to screen the development from the open countryside and neighbouring residents and create new soft landscaping throughout the development;
  4. Provide primary vehicle access on The Street, as shown on the policies map;
  5. Provide a new footpath along the road frontage, which must retain hedgerows where possible.

Smeeth - Land south of Church Road

S37

4.368 This site is located on the south western edge of Smeeth village along Church Road opposite the village playing field. This area of the village is characterised by detached dwellings. The site is currently a gap between development along Church Road and also wraps behind Walnut Tree Farm. The north western boundary of the site is lined by a mature hedge providing screening of the site along Church Road. A PRoW runs along the north eastern edge of the site with sporadic hedging. The site is open in the south-eastward direction however distance views are restricted by a wooded area approximately 200m beyond.

4.369 This area is residential in character and consists mainly of detached dwellings and bungalows so the scale and density of new development should be low. The site is within walking distance of the village centre and the range of services provided there, as is located opposite the village recreation field. It is considered suitable for residential development of around 30 dwellings depending on the size and layout (at around 30 dwellings per hectare).

4.370 A mix of dwelling sizes and types should be provided within a scheme of no more than 2 storeys in height. The design and layout must take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers.

4.371 With the exception of creating a suitable point of access at the point shown on the policies map, existing hedgerows should be retained. The site abuts open countryside to the southeast and so new soft landscaping with an element of screening will be required to soften this edge and to provide a gradual transition from the village to the countryside.

4.372 Due to the close proximity of the village recreation ground opposite, on-site provision of public open space will not be expected but appropriate contributions towards the management, maintenance and enhancement of the village recreation ground provision will be sought.

Policy S38 - Smeeth - Land South of Church Road

The land south of Church Road is proposed for residential development for up to 30 units. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out to take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers. Dwellings should be orientated to enable overlooking and natural surveillance of open areas. The development should be no more than two stories in height;
  2. Provide a pedestrian link to the public footpath that runs alongside the eastern boundary of the site;
  3. Create soft landscaping along the south-eastern edge to lessen the visual impact of development on the countryside beyond.

Woodchurch - Lower Road & Front Road

S38

4.373 This site is located on Lower Road, one of the main roads that runs through the eastern edge of village. The site is currently a field in agricultural use bounded by hedgerows and trees, and is currently a gap in the linear form of built development along this road. The site is very central in the village and in walking distance of the many services and community facilities available here.

4.374 To the north of the site is an open area of land in the centre of the village, used for agriculture, but an important part of the setting of the village centre. The area immediately to the north of the site, along the road frontage has recently commenced construction for a single dwelling and a holiday let. These fields adjoin a well used village green further to the North which is accessed from Lower Road and Front Road. Adjoining the site to the south is the residential close of Kirkwood Avenue, a ‘T’ shaped cul-de-sac development of detached bungalows, which is accessed from Front Road. There are also adjacent properties along Lower Road, in linear form, mainly detached 2-storey properties.

4.375 At 0.7ha in size, the site is considered suitable for up to 8 units, depending on the size and layout. Development here is proposed at a low density to be in keeping with the open landscape here and village green to the north.

4.376 The design of proposals coming forward should reflect the 'guidelines' set out in the Woodchurch Village Design Statement and take into account the Conservation Area Setting of this site. The open character of Lower Road should be retained where possible, along with the views towards the church. This can be achieved through low density housing in this location. Development should front Lower Road, and the access road, as shown on the policies map.

4.377 The main vehicular access will be provided on Lower Road as shown on the policy map, but there is an opportunity to provide an emergency access point through Kirkwood Avenue. A pedestrian/cycle access should also be provided here to link the new development with the southern end of the village.

4.378 The hedgerows and trees must be retained around the boundary of the site and new planting should be placed around the south of the new development to provide screening between the site and Kirkwood Avenue residents. It should be shown in the design proposals that care has been taken to limit the visibility of the new development from the open space to the north, and limit the impact on the setting of the Conservation Area.

4.379 The area around Woodchurch is one of the areas of darkest skies in the county and meets the criteria for designation as an 'intrinsically dark landscape' as described by the NPPF. It provides important opportunities for stargazing activity. All applications for the development of this site should therefore include a full lighting scheme and should comply with policy ENV4 and with the guidance contained in the Council’s Dark Skies SPD 2014 with regard to the installation of external lighting schemes.

Policy S39 - Woodchurch - Lower Road

The site in Lower Road is proposed for residential development for up to 8 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect the character and setting of the Conservation Area and protect and enhance the views towards the church. Village Design Statement guidelines must be taken into account;
  2. Take account of the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers. Particular attention needs to be given to the visibility of new development from the open areas to the north and the open setting of Lower Road;
  3. Create a green link from Kirkwood Avenue towards the village green, with suitable pedestrian access;
  4. Provide primary vehicle access on Lower Road, as shown on the policies map. An emergency access could be provided through Kirkwood Avenue;
  5. Retain the existing hedge and tree boundaries around the site to screen the development of the site from Kirkwood Avenue and Lower Road and create soft landscaping to lessen the visual impact of the development.

 

S39

4.380 This site is located on Front Road, the main road through the village centre which also serves many of the services and community facilities. The site is located on the western side of Front Road, approximately halfway between the village green to the north and the Stonebridge Inn Junction to the south and is within walking distance of the many services and community facilities available at the centre of the village.

4.381 The site is currently a field in agricultural use, located between the linear form of built development along this road which comprises of different dwelling types, styles and ages but has a very rural ‘informal’ nature. The site is raised above road level, has a hedged road frontage and open character Visibility of the site from Front Road is currently limited at most times of the year due to the high hedge.

4.382 The linear form of this road has been punctuated in several locations by cul-de-sac layouts on the eastern edge, including Kirkwood Avenue, a ‘T’ shaped cul-de-sac development of detached bungalows, located opposite the site, but this would be out of character on this western edge.

4.383 This 0.6ha site was allocated for residential development within the Tenterden and Rural Sites DPD (as policy WOOD1) with an indicative capacity of 10 dwellings. However, a number of planning applications for the site have shown that this scale does not achieve an appropriate, design in this prominent location, which is situated at the entrance to the village and forms part of the setting of the Conservation Area.

4.384 In order to respect the rural setting of this part of the Conservation Area, proposals for development in this area must have a sufficient degree of openness and visual connection with the countryside. The design and layout of the scheme should allow for significant spaces between buildings to allow for long views through the site to the countryside beyond. This could be achieved with varying plot sizes.

4.385 In order to respect the adjoining Townland Green Character Area within the Conservation Area and the siting of properties opposite the site, development should be set well back from Front Road and not be of a scale or massing which would dominate this approach to the Conservation Area or the public views from it.

4.386 The site is now therefore considered suitable for up to 8 units depending on the size and layout of the dwellings. Development here is proposed at a low density (>14dph).

4.387 Due to the height of the land above the road and rise in land from south to north, a maximum of 2-storey housing only will be acceptable. The design of proposals coming forward should reflect the 'guidelines' set out in the Woodchurch Village Design Statement and take into account the Conservation Area setting of the site, with reference to the updated Conservation Area Appraisal.

4.388 The layout and design of the development must be consistent with the current linear building line and principal elevations should be located on the road frontage, with parking located on the front and side of properties.

4.389 The main vehicular access will be provided on Front Road as shown on the policy map, however access to properties fronting the road may be achieved individually if this does not require significant hedge loss. A pedestrian footpath must also be provided along the frontage.

4.390 The south western boundary of the site is open to long views from the South (Brook Street) and therefore appropriate, substantial landscaping must be provided along this boundary to lessen the visual impact on the landscape, but also be designed to allow views through the site to the countryside beyond..

4.391 The area around Woodchurch is one of the areas of darkest skies in the county and meets the criteria for designation as an 'intrinsically dark landscape' as described by the NPPF. It provides important opportunities for stargazing activity. All applications for the development of this site should therefore include a full lighting scheme and should comply with policy ENV4 and with the guidance contained in the Council’s Dark Skies SPD 2014 with regard to the installation of external lighting schemes. 

Policy S40 - Woodchurch - Front Road

The site in Front Road, Woodchurch is proposed for residential development for up to 8 dwellings. Development proposals for this site shall:

  1. Be designed and laid out in such a way as to protect and enhance the character and setting of the Woodchurch Conservation Area. The updated Conservation Area Appraisal and Woodchurch Village Design Statement guidelines must be taken into account when considering the design of the site;
  2. Be of a scale or massing which would not dominate this approach to the Conservation Area and ensure a maximum height of 2-storey properties;
  3. Be set well back from Front Road with the principal elevations facing the road frontage;
  4. Subject to providing safe access to the site, retain and enhance a hedge boundary to Front Road and provide substantial soft landscaping around the site to screen the development from the open countryside and protect the amenity of neighbouring properties, whilst allowing some views through the site to the countryside.