Local Plan to 2030 Regulation 19 - Publication June 2016

Comment ID ALP/2354
Document Section Local Plan to 2030 - Publication Draft SITE POLICIES Ashford Urban Area Gasworks Lane Content View all on this section
Respondent Southern Water (Ms Mayall) View all by this respondent
Response Date 16 Aug 2016
Do you consider this part of the document is Sound? No
On which grounds do you consider the document unsound? (if applicable)
  • Not Positively Prepared
  • Not Effective
  • Not Consistent with national policy
Do you consider the Document is Legally Compliant? Yes

Policy S10 allocates up to 150 dwellings on ‘Gasworks Lane’. In line with paragraph 162 of the National

Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG), we have

undertaken an assessment of our infrastructure, including its ability to meet the forecast demand for the

proposed development. That assessment reveals that: (i) additional local sewerage infrastructure would be

required to accommodate the proposed development (involving making a connection to the local sewerage

network at the nearest point of adequate capacity).

Sewerage infrastructure

Southern Water has limited powers to prevent connections to the sewerage network, even when capacity is

insufficient. Accordingly, planning policies and planning conditions play an important role in securing the

necessary local sewerage infrastructure in parallel with development. The principle relating to the recognition of

sewerage requirements in site specific planning policies was tested at the examination of the Ashford Urban

Sites and Infrastructure DPD. The Inspector (Patrick T. Whitehead DipTP (Nott) MRTPI) concluded in his report

(paragraph 84): ‘The NPPF (para.157) makes it clear that local plans should plan positively for the infrastructure

required in the area. In the context provided by this new guidance I agree with SW that the requirement to

upgrade the existing sewerage infrastructure where necessary should be included within policy wording’. Our

proposed site specific criteria would also be consistent with the approach taken for policy S16 and in line with

policies IMP1 and IMP2 in this version of the Local Plan. Also the following sections of the NPPF endorse this


· paragraph 17 and the Core Planning Principle to ‘proactively drive and support sustainable economic

development to deliver the homes, business and industrial units, infrastructure and thriving local places that

the country needs’;

· paragraph 21 which states that planning policies should recognise and seek to address any lack of


Furthermore, it is important to give early warning to prospective developers regarding the need to connect offsite,

as it will add to the cost of development. If the requisite infrastructure is not delivered, the sewers would

become overloaded, leading to pollution of the environment. This situation would be contrary to paragraph 109

of the NPPF, which requires the planning system to prevent both new and existing development from

contributing to pollution.

We note that the supporting text to policy S10 indicates that there is a need to provide additional sewerage

infrastructure. However, as planning law dedicates that applications should be determined in accordance with

planning policy and so a site specific criteria should be included in policy S10.



What changes do you suggest to make the document legally compliant or sound? Accordingly, in line with NPPF and NPPG and to ensure a sustainable development, we propose that the
following criteria is added to policy S10 after ‘Development proposals shall’:
d) Provide a connection to the nearest point of adequate capacity in the sewerage network, in collaboration with
the service provider.
Do you consider it necessary to participate at the oral part of the examination? No
Does your representation relate to an omission site (a site that has not been included). For example a site for Housing, Employment, Travellers, or Local Green Spaces.
Please supply details of the omission site.