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Call for Sites

The new Local Plan 2041 will need to identify sufficient land to meet future requirements for new homes, Gypsy and Traveller pitches, and jobs in the borough; as well as places for retail and leisure uses, and community infrastructure, and visitor and tourism facilities.

To reflect the council's ongoing commitment to create sustainable places that support the environment, health and wellbeing, and that seek to mitigate and adapt to, climate change; potential sites for new green spaces, energy generation, Biodiversity Net Gain opportunities, and wetlands for Nutrient Neutrality mitigation and/or nature based initiatives are also being sought.

The 'Call for Sites' does not determine how much new development is needed, or whether a site should be allocated in the Local Plan. It is simply an opportunity for landowners, developers, businesses, organisation community groups, and residents to suggest sites that they would like to be considered as part of the preparation of the Ashford Borough Local Plan 2041.

Latest News

The Council have recently undertaken a Call for Sites. The Call for Sites was held between September – November 2023.

The call for sites consultation has now closed. 

What sites have been submitted in the 2023 Call for Sites?

All submissions received in response to the 2023 Call for Sites exercise are available to view on our Consultation Portal.

At this stage, this is a list of submitted sites published for information purposes only.

To date, no site assessments have been undertaken and no decisions have been made on any of the sites submitted.

Each of the sites have been assigned a HELAA reference number and also a Call for Sites response ID. 

To view the sites on our Consultation Portal you will need to search for the site submission using the response ID. 

All the response ID references and correlating HELAA reference numbers are set out in the spreadsheet attached below.

Download the spreadsheet with all HELAA references and Call for Sites response IDs [xlsx] 27KB.

View our interactive map of the site submissions.

How to make a site submission?

The Call for Sites consultation has now closed.

However, if you have a site that you wish to promote, please get in contact by emailing the Spatial Planning Team.

What happens next?

The next stage in the process will involve assessing the suitability, availability and achievability of sites for development.  This will be done through a process known as a Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

The work undertaken as part of the HELAA will help to inform the spatial strategy for planned growth within the borough to 2041.

View further information about the HELAA.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ What is a Call for Sites?

The purpose of the ‘Call for Sites’ is to enable the Council to identify what land is potentially available within the Borough to help meet future development requirements. It provides an opportunity for land owners, developers, land agents, businesses, community groups, and residents to submit either their own land or make suggestions for land that may be potentially available for inclusion in the Local Plan. Sites received through the Call for Sites will be assessed through a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

+ What is a HELAA?

A HELAA is a document that is prepared by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) after the ‘Call for Sites’; and forms an important part of the evidence base supporting a new Ashford Local Plan to 2041. It provides a clear and up-to-date picture of land availability across the borough, and assesses each site’s suitability, availability, and achievability for their proposed land uses.

+ Who can submit a site?

Sites are typically promoted by land owners, developers, land agents and local businesses; but anyone including Parish Councils, local community groups, residents and any other interested party can put forward a site for consideration in the Local Plan. However, anonymous submissions cannot be accepted.

+ How long is the 'Call for Sites' open for?

Completed ‘Site Submission Forms’ must be received no later than 5pm on Monday 20 November 2023. Further ‘Call for Sites’ will be open during future Local Plan consultations; the approximate timings for which can be found in our Local Development Scheme (LDS).

+ Where and how can I submit a site?

An online Site Submission Form can be found on this webpage; alternatively a digital copy can be downloaded and either e-mailed to planning.policy@ashford.gov.uk; or printed and posted to the Council at: Spatial Planning Team, Planning and Development, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, TN23 1PL.

+ What type of land is the council looking for?

We are seeking available sites for a broad range of uses. Primarily, this includes land to meet the diverse housing needs of the borough, Gypsy and Traveller pitches, and jobs; as well as places for retail and leisure uses, community infrastructure, and visitor and tourism facilities. To reflect the Council’s ongoing commitment to create sustainable places that support the environment, human health and wellbeing and that seek to mitigate and adapt to, climate change, potential sites for new green spaces, energy generation, Biodiversity Net Gain opportunities, and wetlands for Nutrient Neutrality mitigation and/or nature based initiatives are also being sought.

+ Is there a minimum/maximum size threshold for sites?

The minimum threshold for sites proposed is 0.25 hectares; or sites capable of accommodating 5+ dwellings or 500+ sqm or more of employment floorspace. There is no maximum size threshold for sites. The submission of small sites for housing (1 hectare of less) is particularly encouraged, as a proportion of our housing should be delivered on ‘small sites’.

+ Can sites that involve the conversion or extension of an existing building(s) be submitted?

We are interested in all site opportunities that could achieve the minimum size or development thresholds. Site proposals that identify opportunities for strategic conversions or extensions to existing buildings (horizontally or vertically) should be put forward for consideration.

+ Do I need to own the land to submit a 'Call for Sites'?

A sites does not necessarily need to be in your ownership; although demonstrating ownership of the land and/or landowner support, is a key part of assessing and evaluating sites submitted and whether these should go forward for further consideration.

+ Can I withdraw my land from the 'Call for Sites' process?

A landowner may write to the Spatial Planning Team at planning.policy@ashford.gov.uk requesting the removal of their land from the assessment process at any time.

+ Does a site have to be available now?

The availability of the site will be assessed within the HELAA. The site does not need to be available now; although officers must be confident that it will become available and be deliverable within the Local Plan period to 2041.

+ How much information do I need to provide?

In addition to the ‘Site Submission Form’, a scale map clearly showing the site boundaries must be included, along with evidence of landownership, and any information relating to site availability i.e. existing tenancies, covenants etc. is all that is required at this stage of the process. It is not necessary to undertake or provide any additional studies or supporting documentation.

+ Can I submit more than one site?

Multiple sites can be submitted by a single landowner. However, a separate ‘Site Submission Form’ must be completed for each site.

+ I submitted a site as part of a previous 'Call for Sites' - do I need to submit again?

Any site submitted as part of a previous ‘Call for Sites (and not allocated as part of the Ashford Borough Local Plan 2030) should be resubmitted using the most up-to-date information.

+ Is there a charge for submitting a site?

There is no fee for submitting a site through the ‘Call for Sites’ process.

+ Will sites submitted be made publicly available and where can I view information?

All site submissions will be made publically available on our website in due course, following the close of the ‘Call for Sites’ exercise.

+ Are all sites submitted allocated for development?

Submitting a site does not mean that it will be allocated or provide any indication of the outcome of any assessment process through the Local Plan or any subsequent planning application. The actual number of sites that are finally allocated in the Local Plan will need to be sufficient to meet development needs but is likely to be a small number of the total number of sites submitted.

+ Is a site allocation the same as planning permission?

When the Ashford Borough Local Plan 2041 is adopted, the site ‘allocation’ will confirm that the principle of the development of that site for a particular use or purpose is acceptable. Nevertheless, sites that are allocated will still be required to obtain planning permission, and proposals for development will be assessed against Local Plan policies.

+ How does the 'Call for Sites' inform the Local Plan?

When the site assessment process has been completed, the Council will consider how sites which have passed through the HELAA process, fit with the preferred spatial strategy for the Local Plan. Officers shall then work alongside Members, Parish Councillors and residents to prepare a draft Local Plan, which set out our thinking about choices and options for where the Borough should grow and change.
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