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The Role of Planning Policy and the NPPF

The Planning Policy Team prepares Development Plan Documents (known as Local Plans). These are documents which set out the strategic priorities for development of the borough, including land allocations and policies which cover issues such as housing, employment, community, environment and heritage. These planning policies are used by the council when determining planning applications or enforcing unauthorised development.

At present these policies are contained within the Local Development Framework (LDF), which is a package of Adopted Development Plan Documents that cover all planning issues and also guides where and what kind of development will take place locally in the next 15 years or so through site allocations.

However, in March 2012, the Government published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which replaced all Planning Policy Statements (PPS) and Planning Policy Guidance (PPG). It was been designed to stimulate growth and promote sustainable development and make the planning system less complex and more accessible. Subsequently, a number of Planning Policy Guidance documents have been published to support the NPPF.

The government require local authorities to interpret and apply the NPPF policies locally, and as such the council has prepared the New Local Plan to 2030 (previously known as Core Strategy Review) to meet these requirements. This draft Local Plan is in the form of one document that will cover the whole borough, and will replace the package of documents currently adopted (with the exception of Chilmington Green AAP).

The Draft Local Plaa 2030 is currently being revised and is due for further Public Consultation in the summer of 2017 and more details can be found by visiting New Local Plan to 2030.

Further information about the NPPF planning system can be found on the Communities and Local Government website.

Policy advice

The Planning Policy team can provide advice on pre-allocation Local Plan site discussions, and offer planning policy guidance. More information can be found on our Planning Policy Advice page.

Neighbourhood planning

A Neighbourhood Plan covers a geographic area and can be taken forward by town and parish councils or 'neighbourhood forums'. It will be the role of the local planning authority to agree who should be the neighbourhood. A Neighbourhood Plan, if approved, becomes part of the statutory development plan for that area and will be used in determining planning applications. Several parishes in Ashford have started the process and 2 have been adopted. More information is available on our Neighbourhood Plans page.

Policy team monitoring and development updates

The policy team also monitor the production of the plans they produce and the policies contained within them in a report called the Authority Monitoring Reports. This report also provides information on the demographic structure, the growth of housing and employment and covers issues such as transport, environment, community facilities, duty to co-operate and public consultation.

Every six months the policy team produces a Development Update that provides the latest information on planning applications and approvals on major development taking place in Ashford.

Contact the Planning Policy Team

Telephone: 01233 330229
Email: planningpolicy@ashford.gov.uk

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