Planning Policy


We are working hard to review and adapt our processes as we transition into a new way of working brought about by the circumstances surrounding the current Coronavirus outbreak. These relate to our delegated powers regarding planning decisions and associated arrangements for Planning Committees. As you appreciate much of this is contingent on continuing government guidance and legislative change which is anticipated. We are not yet in a position to provide you with a definitive illustration of these arrangements but are working hard to arrive at that point. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.

Planning Policy Team: an overview

The Planning Policy team (part of the Spatial Planning Team) is responsible for Local Plan making and infrastructure planning (placemaking, conservation and design are dealt with by other officers in the Spatial Planning Team). The policy team prepares Development Plan 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 Plan to 2030 and other adopted development plan documents found in this section of the website. They also produce planning guidance through supplementary planning documents and other informal advice and design documents.

Neighbourhood planning

A Neighbourhood Plan covers a geographic area and can be taken forward by town and parish councils or 'neighbourhood forums'. 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 the borough have started the process and are supported by the team.

Monitoring the plans and development updates

The team also monitor the production of the plans they produce, and the policies contained within them.  This is recorded in an annual report called the Authority Monitoring Report. 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.

The Policy Team produces an annual Development Update that provides the latest information on planning applications and approvals on major developments taking place in Ashford.

Contact the Spatial Planning Team

The team can offer general planning policy guidance and can offer pre-application advice relating to site allocations – see our Planning Policy advice page.

Email Spatial Planning for further information.