Local plans must be consistent with national policy but can also take on board local planning issues. The Ashford Local Plan 2030 sets out the land that needs to be provided in the borough to accommodate new homes and jobs up to 2030. It contains a number of sites across the borough proposed for development as well as establishing planning policies and guidance to ensure local development is built in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
Ashford Borough Council submitted the final draft of the Local Plan 2030 (submission version) to the Secretary of State on 21 December 2017. The independent examination process into the Local Plan was held over the summer of 2018 and the Inspectors notified the council in January 2019 that, subject to modifications, the Local Plan 2030 was sound and compliant with the relevant legislation. The Ashford Local Plan 2030 was adopted in February 2019 and now forms the main statutory development plan for the borough.
The viability study carried out to provide the evidence for HOU1 used data based on the ward areas prior to the recent boundary changes. For this reason the map on page 198 of the Local Plan largely reflects the ward boundaries of the Borough at submission of the plan. The policy supporting text also lists the wards included in each of the affordable housing viability zones.
The boundary amendments that came in at the May elections brought about a number of changes to the boundaries of the urban wards. This means that ward boundaries may now not match the viability zone boundaries. For example, the Victoria ward has been enlarged to include what was part of Godinton, and where previously all of Victoria ward was in Zone A (Ashford Town), it now contains areas that are in Zone B (Ashford Hinterlands).
Therefore for the purpose of applying HOU1, you should rely only on the map layer in GIS and not the list of wards in the policy supporting text.
If you need confirmation on whether a site is within Zone A, B or C then please contact the Planning Policy team on 01233 330229.
The Local Plan and adoption statement is available for download below: