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Council publishes Local Plan 2041 ‘Call for Sites’ information

Published: 18/03/2024
Small graphics of an oast house, ashford international station with cars driving past, the designer outlet, a river and tree, a church and international house

Ashford Borough Council has published information on each of the sites submitted as part of its recent Local Plan 2041 - ‘Call for Sites’ exercise.

Between September and November 2023, residents, developers and businesses were invited to put forward sites that they own, or to suggest land that may potentially be available, for inclusion in a new Local Plan for the borough.

Overall, approximately 300 sites were submitted for a variety of different potential uses that range from housing and employment to biodiversity, wetlands and energy generation. Officers will now begin the process of individually assessing each site for their suitability, availability and achievability.

At this stage, the list of submitted sites is published for information purposes only and no decision has been taken as to which sites will form part of a future strategy for the borough. Being put forward for consideration for development does not mean a site will be allocated in the Local Plan nor does it determine whether planning permission should be granted on any subsequent planning application that may be submitted. Once all sites have been assessed, the council’s preferred options for growth will be published for public consultation.

Having an up to date Local Plan is important to guide and manage growth and change across the borough to ensure that future development is built in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. It sets out the spatial vision of the land that needs to be provided to meet identified needs for a range of uses such as new homes and jobs, as well as places for retail and leisure uses, community infrastructure, and visitor and tourism facilities. The plan also seeks to protect valued assets such as landscape, heritage, nature and open spaces.

The council also has an ongoing commitment to create sustainable places that support the environment, residents’ health and wellbeing and that seek to mitigate and adapt to, climate change. The ‘Call for Sites’, therefore, also encouraged site submissions for new green spaces, energy generation, Biodiversity Net Gain opportunities, and wetlands for Nutrient Neutrality mitigation.

Cllr Linda Harman, portfolio holder for Planning, Housing Delivery and Communication, said: “The council had a really positive response to its ‘Call for Sites’ exercise, which is the first stage in the process for preparing the Local Plan 2041. Now that we have a list of potential development sites put forward, we will begin assessing each one.

“Throughout the process of drafting our Local Plan 2041 the needs of our borough and its residents remains paramount. There will be extensive consultation at every stage of the process to ensure future development is well planned to create great places and strong communities.”

For more information on how to view which sites have been suggested to the council, visit our Call for Sites webpage.