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Village Design Statements

Village Design Statements (VDS) and Parish Design Statements (PDS) are tools that local communities use to influence the design of new development locally by identifying, describing and analysing local character and drawing guidance directly from this character. All rural settlements undergo change. This may be small incremental change or there may be pressure for major new development, but in either case a VDS or PDS offers a practical way to set high standards of design that respect local character and patterns of development. New development can then begin to enhance rather than detract from the quality of the village or parish.

Whilst the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) does not specifically mention Village or Parish Design Statements, their use will support the need to require good design. In addition, VDS/PDS are also supported at the local level by Local Plan 2030 policies SP6 (Promoting High Quality Design), the windfall housing policies HOU3a and HOU5 and site specific allocations.

A VDS or PDS cannot, however, determine whether or not development should take place, which is the role of the Development Plan, nor can it address matters such as the ongoing management or maintenance of buildings or spaces, or the provision of community facilities within the village, although some of these issues are covered by adopted Supplementary Planning Documents

Village and parish design statements within the Ashford borough

The statements below were produced to support the 2000 borough Local Plan, but still contain useful guidance. Not all villages/parishes undertook this process at the time. Also note that some Neighbourhood Plans contain updated local design guidance, as do the Management Plans for the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) where these are relevant.

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