Aldington & Bonnington have been followed by Smeeth and Brabourne in collating and creating a vital piece of policy to protect these beautifulrural areas. We have named these documents the Village and Landscape protection Policy and have submitted these to Ashford Borough Council for adoption into the new core plan.
This is a major step forward for rural areas and will benefit notonly Aldington, Bonnington, Brabourne and Smeeth, but also all rural areas of the Borough as they too will be able to make use of the broad policy providing they collate the evidence.
This policy is the first of its kind in the UK and seeks to act as a link to existing policy to tie together thedifferent strands of planning regulationwhen it comes to assessing development in a rural setting. It asks the intangible questions that are not currently provided for in planning policy- how will a development affect the intrinsic character of the area, what are the cumulative effects of a number of consequtive developments on a particular area, will the charachter and quality of life in the area be irrevocably damaged or altered by the development> These are vital considerations that have until now had no place or weighting in planning policy and they are vital in preserving the rural areas.
I think it is important to state that this policy is not a policy that will halt development, rather one that will require eveidence that only development that is appropriate to the setting will be consideed for approval.