As set out in the Local Plan 2030, page 206, the traditional approach taken to defining settlement/village confines in the Borough has been to rely on a written definition, rather than a boundary line drawn on a map. This has provided a flexible approach to assessing new developments, particularly given the number of settlements within the Borough and given that the built-up confines may change over time in response to development coming forward.
This written definition is:
“Limits of continuous and contiguous development forming the existing built-up area of the settlement, excluding any curtilage beyond the built footprint of the buildings on the site (e.g. garden areas).
This definition may, however, include sites suitable for 'infilling' which is the completion of an otherwise substantially built-up frontage by the filling of a narrow gap, usually capable of taking one or two dwellings only."
However, in April 2019, Ashford Borough Council adopted a series of 'village confines' maps, drawn up in accordance with the written definition of 'built-up confines' as a guide for assessing new housing applications against Policies HOU3a and HOU5 in particular. They are intended to ensure that residents and developers have a better understanding of the confines and application of the windfall housing policies.
Not all settlements have been through this mapping process, and some settlements are undertaking the confines identification separately through their own Neighbourhood Plan process.
Those adopted as a guide by the council to date can be found below: