I represented the ward at the Ashford Local Plan at 3 sessions.
- I argued that Poilcy HOU3a is not fit for purpose in its current form as it treats small villages and hamlets inexactly the same way for the purposes of residential development as a large village and Ashford town itself- wholyy inappropriate and potentially very damaging to the rural setting.
- I suggested that the 2 sites in Aldington were unsustainable based on poor infrastructure and would conflict with the NPPF’s insistence on greater reliance on public transport.
- I registered concern about the damage the development in Brook would have on the amenity and the character of the village and that the term sustainable was being unreasonably argued, as the village is more than 3 miles away from the nearest facilities.
- I raised the concerns that the development in Smeeth would need exacerbate the danger at the Smeeth Crossroads and that developers would need to contribute to mitigation to alleviate this.
- I presented strong social and political arguments about the need for an extra layer of protection for rural areas by the inclusion of the Landscape Protection Policy into the Ashford Local Plan.
The Examination in Public as it is called is now over and the Inspectors have retired to consider whether the Ashford Local Plan is sound or not. It is exprected that any changes or adaptations will be indicated imminently by the Government Inspectors. If the Plan is considered sound and acceptable, then it is expected that Ashford Borough Could seek its adoption before the end of 2018.
The Examination required no pauses and ABC adjusted some policies as the EiP progressed. This leads me to believe that it is likely that the plan will be found to be sound and that its adoption will be possible before the close of 2018.