Ashford local Plan and the Village Confines exercise

The Ashford Local Plan Policy HOU3a, HOU5 and the Village Confines Exercise.

This will be adopted by Ashford Borough Council at the February Full Council. .

There has just been a Village Confines consultation- this was aimed at creating clear maps defining the borders of villages, so that policies HOU3a and HOU5 can be administered. It’s importance for the small villages listed in both policies, is that if defined, this could limit where and what kind of development can be planned. In the case of larger villages such as Aldington, Officers have agreed, that it will have little weighting on restricting development, both inside and outside confines. This concerns me greatly, and I consider the exercise not at all of value in seeking to preserve the rual setting, nor of defining boundaries.

The Village confines plan for Ruckinge defines only Lower Ruckinge . Given that HOU3a also permits development in Ruckinge and that Ruckinge is BOTH lower and Upper, I would urge residents to write to ABC asking for clear definition by use of  “Lower” and “upper” as to where development can and may take place. Without that clarification, Upper Ruckinge could possibly be open to development. I have spoken with Officers on this point and they agree that this needs to be addressed.