Planning speak- definitions to help you


Affordable Housing

Ashford Borough Council works in partnership with a number of housing associations to help meet the need for affordable homes in the borough.

Affordable housing is housing that is  provided for people who are unable to access  housing in the private housing market. These fall into two categories :

Homes available for rent

These include council or housing association properties. Affordable homes for rent are made available through Kent Homechoice – Choice Based Lettings; this scheme allows applicants to ‘bid’ for available properties of their own choice, based on their housing need. Properties are available for social rent (a rent that is approximately 60% of the local market rent) or affordable rent (a rent which is up to 80% of the local market rent).

Help to Buy

Homes available via Help to Buy is a government initiative to enable social housing tenants, MOD and other first time buyers to buy a share of a home and get a first step on the housing ladder.  For more information see our Help to Buy web page.

Homes available for low-cost home ownership

These properties are sold at 70 per cent of open market value where the remaining 30 per cent is held in the ownership of the developer. There is no rent payable on the un-owned share. There are a small number of properties occasionally available through re-sale. For further details please contact ton ABC on 01233 330687.

Affordable rural local needs housing

Affordable rural local needs housing is affordable housing that is earmarked specificall for those with a link to the village where the build is taking place. These homes enable local people to remain in the village where they live or work and not be forced to move away because of high house prices and high rents. More information is available by contacting your local Councillors, whose details are at the foot of this newsletter, by the below link, or by visiting The Gateway centre in Ashford.

Local needs housing is offered to those in the direct villagfe and surrounding villages first. If insufficient interest is raised, these will then be offered to other surrounding villages on a cascading system until all are occupied.

Download the Rural Local Needs Housing Guidance Notes.pdf [pdf] 278KB

Download the local needs housing survey [pdf] 31KB

The Kent Housing Group and the Kent Rural Board have produced a protocol for delivering affordable local needs housing in rural Kent. The protocol provides guidance to all the partners involved in developing small local needs housing schemes.

Download Rural Homes: supporting Kent’s rural communities [pdf] 2MB

As part of the Kent Housing Group, Ashford Borough Council and English Rural Housing Association has contributed to a short video about rural housing needs.


The Planning Process


Ashford desperately needs new homes as it continues to develop. So too do rural areas, in order to ensure that they continue to thrive. However we need to take great care to ensure that such developments are managed and blend in with the existing rural way of life.

That is why ABC  has a very structured system in place in order to consult with you as residents every step of the way:


currently there are planned submissions in nearly all the areas of Saxon Shore, with a number in the Smeeth & Brabourne area- A site submissions is not a done deal for building and development – We would like to reiterate that site submissions are only submitted sites with suggested development from landowners and their agents and NOT decided suggestions from Ashford Borough Council.


A call for sites is the first step for Ashford to find the sites it needs to build the required number of homes set out by the government.


These sites are NOT decided sites just POSSIBLE Sites. Further the planned development- whether shops, commercial, housing or traveller is something suggested by the Landowner and his or her Agents and not the Borough Council.


The idea is that publishing the site submissions, gives residents a chance to look at whether or not development is desirable, and to examine the site as to WHAT KIND of development would be desirable. This could mean many things, including recommendation by residents for a site to have a different type of development than suggested in the Submission, or no development at all.


The BC will then take all this into account when deciding IF the site is acceptable or not for development of any kind and there will be consideration of your comments and feedback from the “Plan it” consultation