Village Protection Policy

Within the Ward, it has come to my attention that there are a number of issues that need addressing created by increased traffic, often as a result of increased development. Development in our rural area can be a myriad of things- new housing, larger farms, Business Parks and so on. All such developments have an effect on the characteristics of the rural setting. Some affects may be beneficial, but others may be detrimental. The “Village Protection Policy” is a policy which will if accepted, be enshrined in the planning policy of Ashford Borough Council, and will be a measurement to which any new development in our area will need to adhere.

In order to ensure that we have success, Peter Brett Associates- infrastructure Experts have been commissioned and residents of the first area to embrace the aim to get the policy adopted – (Aldington)- have been busy collating the evidence to support the Policy.
whilst some development including economic activity in this part of the Borough is to be expected, many residents feel that it should be permitted only on the basis that it can show that it will not exacerbate this environmental impact on the lanes and streets of the defined sensitive area. Moreover, it is their view that inappropriate development within the south eastern part of the Borough will be detrimental to the local quality of life and will have potentially severe and irredeemable transport, social, economic and environmental impacts on the local area.

The aim therefore is to promote the management and control of the cumulative effects of development on the local area through the inclusion of an area specific policy within the Local Plan that would consider the following:

Proposals for new development in Saxon Shore area will only be permitted on sites adjacent to or within the defined built up areas of existing settlements provided that all of the following criteria are met:
a) The development respects the character of this sub area, its landscape setting, historic and archaeological reference points and sites of biodiversity value, and in particular, can demonstrate that it will not exacerbate current impacts to existing verges, the street amenity in villages, or rural activities that sensitive to development impacts;
b) It can be demonstrated that the development will not on its own or cumulatively as a result of other permitted, committed or planned schemes within or adjacent to the south eastern Saxon Shore area generate a type or amount of traffic that would be inappropriate to the rural road network that serves it;
c) There would be no significant impact either individually or cumulatively as a result of other permitted, committed or planned schemes within or adjacent to the south eastern Saxon Shore area on the character of or important features within the sub area including the rural lanes, verges and hedgerows which cross the sub-area ; and
d) There would be no significant impact on the amenities of occupiers of any neighbouring properties.

The evidence base will be constructed from the collation of:

• photographic evidence identifying key architectural characteristics of the sub area
• photographic evidence and written justification of areas considered by the local community to be valuable, ecological assets
• Identification of locations within the sub area that are socially/environmentally sensitive
• traffic counts (number and vehicle class)
• speed data
• crash data
• photographic evidence demonstrating damage to footways / carriageways and hedgerows etc. caused by HGVs

I will be posting more information as the Policy unfolds- suffice to say, this is vital to ensuring that the area remains rural and that the very characteristics that make it a rural setting are also permitted to thrive.

Any villages interested should get in touch with me by Email or mobile