The Landscape Protection Policy was created in 2015 as a result of many residents contacting me about concerns about the pace and scale of development in the area, and the damaging cumulative effects of small pockets of development are having on rural living. It seeks to ensure that development that takes place in the rural areas, is respectful and appropriate to the existing setting and raises expectation on developers to create development with the setting uppermost in their considerations.
The Policy has been created by residents of Aldington, Bonnington, Bilsington, Brabourne and Smeeth in the first instance. The Framework was prepared by peter Brett Associates after I approached them to create a policy to support resident aims- but the evidence base has been collated by residents of the area.
It seeks in particular to address the effects of:
- The scale of developments- ensuring any development that does takes place is approproate for the rural setting in terms of scale
- Ensuring that the pace of development permits absorbability- allowing development to settle into the existing rural setting before more development begins.
- Assesses and mitigates damage to rural quality of life and the ecological system and wildlife.
- Ensures that rural areas will be preserved for years to come- ensuring others will be able to enjoy the beauty and specialness of rural living.
How does the Policy work?
- Residents of any village, parish or even urban area decide which key elements and characteristics of their area are intrinsic and special and need particular consideration and assessment against any planned development.
- The residents then collate the evidence base to back up their assertations and this is then creates the bespoke Policy elements for that area.
- The Policy is then good to go – having the evidence base means that there are then strong material considerations that can be argued in planning applications.
- The Policy would then require developers to demonstrate clearly how they could produce a development that protects and mitigates any removal or damage to these key elements of rural living in the area.
- A Cumulative Impact Assessment would be used to assess each of the criteria and a developer would need to raise the bar on delivery, being far more creative and respectful to the setting.