Please be aware due to new government guidelines concerning COVID-19 some of our administrative processes within the Planning department have now changed. This is to process items in a timely manner whilst our teams work remotely. For full guidance on the changes please visit our Coronavirus service disruption pages.
Plan Making and Infrastructure Team: an overview
The Plan making and Infrastructure team (formerly Planning Policy team) are part of the Spatial Planning Team and are responsible for Local Plan making and infrastructure planning (placemaking, conservation and design are dealt with by other officers in the Spatial Planning Team). The team prepares Development Plan Documents such as Local Plans, 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.
Planning for the Future Consultation
In summer 2020, Government held a consultation on proposed reforms to the planning system. This consultation proposed to streamline and modernise the planning process, improve outcomes on design and sustainability, reform developer contributions and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.
The Council prepared a response to the consultation which was submitted to Government with a covering letter from the Leader of the Council highlighting the Council's key concerns with the proposed reforms.
More details about the proposed reforms are available on the Government's Planning For the Future Consultation webpage.
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 the plan making and Infrastructure (Planning Policy) team for further information.