New Homes Policies

Based upon our preferred policy approach, the following sets out the draft supporting text and policies in relation to housing.

Strategic Policy 2: Housing Growth

Delivering Housing Growth

A minimum of 11,920 new homes are required in the District over the Plan period to 2040. The Council's housing supply comprises:

  • The extant supply of planning consents (both major and minor) for new dwellings as identified in the housing information audit (HIA) at the end of March each year and reported in the AMR. A non-implementation reduction of 10% has been applied to the total number of extant units across these commitments (with the exception of the extant permissions for the Whitfield Urban Expansion.
  • The existing planned urban extension at Whitfield. To date 1,483 homes have been granted consent at Whitfield of which there have been 200 completions, leaving 1,283 homes extant as at 31 March 2020. It is currently estimated that in addition to the delivery of the extant permissions, a minimum of a further 2,200 homes can be delivered at Whitfield over the Plan period, with the remainder of the development being delivered outside the Plan period (further justification for this is provided in the Housing Topic Paper).
  • Residential windfall sites i.e. proposals that come forward on sites that have not been allocated for housing over the plan period. The windfall contribution from small sites of less than five new dwellings to the overall supply of housing is 70 dwellings per annum - based on the annual average of past trends from this source since adoption of the Core Strategy in 2010. The contribution from small windfall sites is considered appropriate from year 4 of the Plan period (2023/2024) to avoid any double counting from windfall sites that have already received planning permission, and are counted within the extant permissions. Therefore, it is considered justified and deliverable to include a windfall allowance of 1,190 dwellings in the anticipated housing supply for the Plan period (further justification for this is provided in the Housing Topic Paper).
  • Sites that have been allocated for residential development in the Local Plan, based on the findings in the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment.
  • In order to meet the level of identified housing need it is important to maintain a healthy supply of housing. To provide flexibility and choice, and to account for changing circumstances and under-delivery, a buffer of 10% is therefore provided within the identified supply (further justification for this is provided in the Housing Topic Paper).

The table below summarises the Council's current housing supply position and shows that in order to meet the Local Housing Need for the District the Council will need to allocate housing sites in the Local Plan to deliver 5,288 homes over the Plan period.

 

Dwellings (net)

Dwellings (net)

Local Plan housing need figure (20 X LHN 2020 - 596)

 

11,920

Supply resilience buffer (10% Local Plan housing need figure)

 

1,192

Local Plan housing target

 

13,112

Extant supply at 31st March 2020 (Excluding Whitfield and with 10% non-implementation discount applied)

3,151

(3,501 - 10%)

 

Whitfield Urban Expansion (extant)

1,283

 

Whitfield Urban Expansion (estimated within plan period)

2200

 

Windfall

1,190 (70 a year from year 4)

 

Total housing supply

7,798

 

Balance to be delivered on allocated housing sites

 

5, 288

 

Five Year Housing Land Supply

National policy requires local planning authorities to demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites, which must be updated annually. At 1st April 2020, the Council has 6.16 years of housing supply, including a 5% buffer. Accordingly, it is considered that the Council can demonstrate a five year housing supply for the purpose of paragraph 11 of the revised NPPF. At present this supply does not contain any of the proposed site allocations set out in the draft Plan. Whilst the Council can demonstrate a five year housing land supply without the need for additional housing sites, the provision of additional sites within the first five years of the housing trajectory will ensure resilience and promote flexibility and choice, and assist in ensuring the Council can demonstrate a five year housing land supply in future years.

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation

The NPPF requires Local Plans to include provision for the needs of Gypsy and Travellers. This is informed by a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment which has been carried out for Dover by consultants Arc4. In January 2020, the Gypsy and Traveller accommodation need was updated to the plan period 2020 to 2040 . By applying the annualised needs figures this results in a cultural need for 26 pitches and a PPTS need for 16 pitches, a total of 42 pitches in the District over the plan period. This need is planned to be met in the following way:

  • 10 pitches are likely to become available through turnover on existing sites and this will be monitored as part of the Council's yearly Housing Information Audit.
  • 9 pitches can be provided through suitable intensification of existing sites (see DM Policy 10).
  • Land is allocated to the south of Alkham Valley Road / Land to the rear of The Meadows for up to 10 pitches (SA Policy 2).
  • Land is allocated as part of the strategic allocation to the south of Aylesham for 10 pitches (Strategic Policy 6).
  • A call for sites will be carried out as part of the Regulation 18 consultation on the draft Local Plan seeking to identify additional land that could deliver the 3 pitches required to meet the level of identified need and to provide a wider range of options for potential site allocations.

Housing Distribution

The Council's settlement strategy continues to focus on the development and regeneration of Dover Town, with around half of new housing development planned there, the majority of which is to be delivered as part of the new urban expansion at Whitfield (see Strategic Policy 4).

If the distribution of housing growth in the district were to purely follow the settlement hierarchy (as set out in Appendix 1) the secondary focus for development should be the District Centre of Deal, followed by the Rural Service Centres of Sandwich and Aylesham. However, given the combined constraints of landscape, access, flood risk, wildlife and site availability, the growth potential of Deal and Sandwich is considered to be limited and therefore the main focus of development here will be through the strategic expansion of Aylesham (see Strategic Policies 5 and 6).

The remainder of the housing growth will then be distributed across the District's local centres and large and small villages in the rural area, taking into account existing constraints and site availability. Here, a key part of the Council's growth strategy is to promote the sustainable development of rural areas, to support the vitality of rural communities in line with the NPPF (2019) and Planning Practice Guidance. New housing can enable rural communities to retain and strengthen existing services and community facilities and help to create a prosperous rural economy. At the same time national policy advises that a balance must be achieved between allowing new housing and the need to protect the character and heritage of the settlements themselves, as well as the surrounding countryside.

As part of the Council's strategy for the rural area it is proposed to grow the villages of Eythorne and Elvington to create a new local centre in the District, and this is shown on the revised settlement hierarchy in Appendix 1. This reflects the level of services and facilities likely to be delivered alongside new homes here. Further details of the Council's strategy for Eythorne and Elvington is set out in Strategic Policy 7.

The identification and allocation of housing land has been informed by the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment which aims to identify a future supply of land in the District which is suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic development uses over the Plan period to 2040.

A number of allocated sites are of strategic importance for delivering the quantity and type and variety of homes required to deliver the strategy. These are identified as strategic sites.

The distribution of housing growth in the District, by settlement type, is set out in the table below.

Settlement Type

Proposed Housing Number

% Distribution by Settlement

Dover (Secondary Regional Centre)

3,592

47.82%

Deal (District Centre)

554

7.38%

Sandwich; Aylesham (Rural Service Centres)

1,490

19.83%

Eastry; Wingham; Ash; Shepherdswell; St Margarets at Cliffe; Eythorne/Elvington (Local Centres)

1,152

15.34%

Larger Villages

660

8.79%

Smaller Villages and Hamlets

63

0.84%

Total

7511

100%

 

Strategic Policy 2 sets out the scale and distribution of housing growth in Dover to 2040. The strategy aims to direct growth to the most sustainable locations in the District, taking into account existing environmental, historical and highways constraints, and seeks to support and maintain the vibrancy and sustainability of settlements.

Strategic Policy 2: Housing Growth

Provision is made for at least 11,920 net additional homes, in the District between 2020 and 2040. In order to achieve this target, additional housing sites are proposed to provide choice and competition in the market up to 2040.

The housing target will be met through a combination of committed schemes, site allocations and suitable windfall proposals.

Provision is made for 42 Gypsy and Traveller pitches in the District over the Plan period. This need will be met through turnover on existing sites, intensification of existing sites and site allocations.

The Council will resist any net loss in the District's stock of dwellings, or authorised permanent Gypsy and Traveller sites; unless otherwise in accordance with other plan policies. Areas and sites that are key to the delivery of the housing growth strategy have been designated or allocated on the Policies Map.

The majority of new housing development will be in and around Dover Town where accessibility to strategic transport networks and public transport is good and the greatest potential exists to maximise accessibility to job opportunities, shops, services and other facilities, and to create a new neighbourhood with supporting infrastructure. With this in mind, in addition to existing commitments, land allocations to deliver 3,592 homes are proposed.

Development will then be focused in the District Centre of Deal, and the Rural Service Centres of Sandwich and Aylesham, subject to the satisfactory mitigation of environmental and highways constraints identified here. Development in Deal, Sandwich and Aylesham will be at a more limited scale than Dover Town, compatible with the more limited range of job opportunities, shops, services and other facilities available in these locations. With this in mind, in addition to existing commitments, land allocations to deliver 2,044 dwellings are proposed.

Development in the rural areas will be of a scale that is consistent with the relevant settlement’s accessibility, infrastructure provision, level of services available, suitability of sites and environmental sensitivity. With this in mind, in addition to existing commitments, land allocations to deliver 1,875 dwellings are proposed.

Development that would result in disproportionate growth to any of the District's settlements, which cannot be supported by the necessary infrastructure and services or would result in a loss of services and facilities which are considered to be key to supporting local communities will be resisted.

Windfall housing development will be permitted where it is consistent with the spatial strategy outlined above and is consistent with other policies of this Local Plan.

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Strategic Policy 3: Residential Windfall Development

Residential Windfall Development

Windfall sites are sites that have not been identified for residential development through the land allocation process but that may be otherwise suitable for development. They tend to be small in scale and can offer a significant contribution to the supply of homes using previously developed land and vacant areas within settlement boundaries. Over the last 10 years windfall development has made an important and sustained contribution to the provision of additional homes in the District, accounting for 45% of all completed dwellings within the District over this period. Over two thirds of these windfall developments have been new-build dwellings with 85% of these coming forward on previously developed land. Over this period, the spatial distribution of windfall development has largely followed the settlement hierarchy, with 39% at Dover, 31% at Deal and 12% within the defined confines of rural villages.

In accordance with the NPPF and associated guidance it is important that policies allow for suitable development opportunities for windfall housing to come forward during the Plan period in sustainable locations, within or immediately adjoining the built confines of settlements which have a reasonable range of facilities. In doing so it is important that the scale and quantity of such windfall developments should always be in proportion to the size of the settlement and the range of services and community facilities it offers at the time. Such an approach acknowledges that new housing can help rural communities retain existing services, such as public transport routes, retail and educational facilities. In Districts such as Dover where the countryside is characterised by groups of smaller settlements, development in one village may also support the viability of services in another village close by.

However, in adopting such a policy approach a balance must be achieved between allowing residential windfall development in rural settlements and the need to protect the scale, character, built form, economy, heritage and natural environment of the settlements themselves, as well as their settings and surrounding countryside. In order to ensure that windfall developments are successfully integrated, all development proposals will therefore have to demonstrate that they complement the layout, scale, fabric and appearance of the existing settlement and that they will not result in the loss of important green spaces within the built up confines that contribute to the existing character of that settlement, to be considered acceptable.

As part of the evidence base for this Plan the Council has undertaken a review of its Settlement Hierarchy. Alongside the main town of Dover and the two other principle settlements of Deal and Sandwich, the District continues to possess a wide range of rural settlements which define much of its attractive character. Aylesham in the north west of the District has been identified as a Rural Service Centre and continues to play an important role in that regard. The majority of the remaining rural settlements are villages and hamlets, many with Conservation Areas at their core. These villages and hamlets are considered suitable in principle for windfall development of appropriate scale, taking account of the cumulative impact of any allocated sites and other developments with planning permission within the settlement. In the larger of these villages, windfall development will be acceptable in principle within or immediately adjoining the settlement boundaries. In the smaller of these villages and hamlets windfall development within the confines only will be acceptable.

Settlement Boundaries

A review of the existing settlement boundaries will be undertaken prior to the publication of the Regulation 19 Draft and when responses to the consultation on this Regulation 18 Plan have been assessed. Such a review will also take into account of any village boundaries produced as part of Neighbourhood Plan work.

Residential windfall development elsewhere in the countryside

National policy is clear that isolated new dwellings in the countryside outside of settlement boundaries are only permissible in exceptional circumstances. These circumstances are limited to dwellings where there is an essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work, or where the new dwelling would represent the optimal viable use of a heritage asset, or would be appropriate enabling development to secure the future of heritage assets, or would re-use redundant or disused rural buildings and enhance their immediate setting, or would involve the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling or, finally, where the new dwelling is of exceptional design quality.

Applications coming forward for isolated new dwellings in the countryside outside the boundaries of the District’s rural settlements will be assessed against these national criteria. For applications to convert redundant rural buildings to dwellings, proposals will need to demonstrate that that the existing buildings have been on site for a period of years, have been appropriately maintained and are no longer needed for their current or previous use. Proposals submitted under the final category of exceptional design quality should be demonstrably outstanding or innovative, reflect the highest standards of architecture and significantly enhance and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of its immediate setting. Such proposals will be subject to rigorous and independent assessment of their design quality by the Dover Design Panel and applications will be expected to respond to the advice provided.

Strategic Policy 3: Residential Windfall Development

Residential development or infilling of a scale that is commensurate with that of the existing settlement will be permitted within or immediately adjoining the settlement boundaries, as shown on the Proposals Map, of the following settlements:

Ash, Alkham, Aylesham, Capel-le-Ferne, Deal, Dover, East Langdon, Eastry, Elvington, Eythorne, Goodnestone, Kingsdown, Lydden, Northbourne, Preston, Ripple, Sandwich, Shepherdswell, St Margarets at Cliffe, Wingham, and Worth.

Minor residential development or infilling of a scale that is commensurate with that of the existing settlement will be permitted within the settlement boundaries, as shown on the Proposals Map, of the following settlements:

Ashley, Barnsole, Betteshanger, Chillenden, Coldred, Denton, East Studdal, Elmstone, Finglesham, Martin, Martin Mill, Nonington, Ringwould, Staple, Stourmouth, Sutton, Tilmanstone, West Hougham, West Langdon, Wingham Green, Woodnesborough and Wootton.

Subject to all of the following criteria being met:

1. It is of a scale that is appropriate to the size of the settlement and the range of services and community facilities that it offers at the time taking account of the cumulative impact of any allocated sites and other developments with planning permission within the settlement;

2. It is compatible with the layout, density, fabric and appearance of the existing settlement;

3. It would not result in harm to or the loss of important green spaces within the confines that contribute positively to the existing character of that settlement;

4. It would not result in significant harm to heritage assets, landscape character or biodiversity;

5. It includes an appropriately sized and designed landscape buffer to the open countryside;

6. It would not have a significant adverse impact on the living conditions of existing adjoining residents;

7. It would not result in the loss of active employment, leisure or community facilities within the settlement;

8. Vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian access can be safely provided into the site without requiring extensive additional infrastructure; and

9. It is demonstrated that traffic generated from the development can be safely accommodated on the local road network.

New dwellings elsewhere in the countryside outside of settlement boundaries will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances under one or more of the criteria set out in national planning policy and guidance.

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Strategic Housing Allocations

Housing Site Allocations

To deliver the Council's identified housing need four strategic housing site allocations are proposed, in accordance with the housing growth strategy set out above.

When planning for the supply of new homes Local Authorities are required by the NPPF to consider the use of Garden City Principles to guide the development of new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns (para 72 of the NPPF 2019).

A Garden City is a holistically planned new settlement that enhances the natural environment and offers high-quality affordable housing and locally accessible work in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities. Garden City principles are an indivisible and interlocking framework for delivery and provide an opportunity to create innovative, resilient and inclusive places that will stand the test of time. The Garden City movement was founded by Ebenezer Howard and the first Garden City was developed at the start of the 20th Century in Letchworth.

More recently there has been been a renewed interest in smaller ‘garden community’ developments, in the form of garden villages, and this has become part of the governments wider programme for housing delivery.

Like the idea of the Garden City, the garden village concept is not new, and have formed an important part of Britain’s urban development history since the Industrial Revolution.

The Town and Country Planning Association define a garden village as a new community that is designed, delivered and managed in accordance with the Garden City principles, but tailored for a smaller scale than new Garden Cities (which are likely to be more than 10,000 homes in size). It may be developed within existing settlements (as an urban village or suburb) or as a sustainable urban extension(TCPA, Understanding Garden Villages, 2018).

The Council will expect the development of the strategic allocations to follow the Garden Village principles set out in the Box below.

Garden Village Principles

Key principles for designing garden villages include(TCPA, Understanding Garden Villages, 2018):

  • Holistically planned: New garden villages should be holistically planned, with a strategic framework (masterplan) which is comprehensive enough to guide investment but flexible enough to evolve over time.
  • Small in Scale: The government is supporting a broad range of development scales under the umbrella term ‘garden village’. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to managing growth, and the right approach will be different in each area. What is important is that the whole range of scales and options for accommodating growth is considered, alongside a long-term view of what is the right option.
  • Planned for healthy living: Planning for healthy communities is integral to the creation of new places today. New garden villages should foster healthy and active communities by encouraging walking and cycling and by providing a comfortable, stimulating and therapeutic environment, bringing together the best of the urban and natural environments, for people of all ages.
  • Make provision for a vibrant social life: New garden villages should be characterised by their social and cultural vibrancy.
  • Designed with high-quality materials and attention to detail: The creation of a new garden village provides an opportunity to set a framework for design and development that is both sensitive to local character and creates distinctive neighbourhoods. Garden villages must be exemplary in high-quality and innovative design, featuring the application of the highest sustainability standards, innovative use of local and sustainable new materials, and high-quality imaginative architecture, making use of expert craftsmanship.
  • Designed to provide affordable homes close to employment: New garden villages should meet the full range of housing needs and aspirations through a diversity of housing opportunities, having particular regard to the needs of older people and the provision of plots for self-/custom-building.
  • Provision of services for day-to-day needs within walking distance of homes: New garden villages should provide a sustainable urban structure of walkable neighbourhoods based around a network of mixed-use town and local centres in which residents can meet most of their day-to-day needs.
  • Land ownership and long-term stewardship: Delivering a successful new community requires a clear understanding of how assets generated by the development process will be managed in perpetuity. New garden villages must demonstrate how such management will be undertaken on behalf of the community.

 

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Strategic Policy 4: Whitfield Urban Expansion

Whitfield Urban Expansion

The urban expansion of Whitfield is currently identified as a strategic allocation in the Core Strategy 2010 for the delivery of at least 5,750 new homes. The Whitfield Supplementary Planning Document (2011) provides the planning framework to guide the delivery of the site.

Through the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment work the Council has also identified an area of land to the north-west of the existing allocation (HELAA Ref: WHI001) for the delivery of approximately 600 new homes. Strategic Policy 4 allocates this site in addition to the existing allocation at Whitfield for development in accordance with the growth and settlement strategy of the Plan.

To date 1,483 homes have been granted consent at Whitfield of which there have been 200 completions, leaving 1,283 homes extant as at 31 March 2020. It is currently estimated that a minimum of a further 2,200 homes can be delivered at Whitfield over the Plan period, with the remainder of the development being delivered outside the Plan period (further justification for this is provided in the Housing Topic Paper).

Strategic Policy 4: Whitfield Urban Expansion

Land to the west, north and east of Whitfield is allocated for the creation of a new neighbourhood comprising at least 5,750 homes supported by transport, education, primary health and social care, utility services and green infrastructure together with retail, leisure and employment uses.

Land is also allocated to the north-west of the existing allocation at Whitfield to deliver approximately 600 new homes.

A revised Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) will be required, incorporating the proposed extension to the site, to guide the future delivery of the Whitfield urban expansion. This should set out the quantum and distribution of land uses, access, sustainable design and layout principles, in addition to providing an updated phasing and delivery strategy for the whole site. This should be prepared by the land owner, working jointly with the Council, and key stakeholders. Any application for development should be preceded by, and consistent with, the SPD.

In order to ensure that the site is planned and delivered comprehensively, any application for development on part of the site will be assessed against its contribution to the masterplan set out in the revised SPD, and will not prejudice the implementation of the site as a whole.

The HRA has identified the need for a wintering bird survey to be undertaken on this site as part of any future planning application. If the bird survey identifies that proposed new development will exceed the threshold of significance mitigation will be required.

Mitigation will also be required to address the air quality issues identified in the Air Quality Study (2020).

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Strategic Policy 5: North Aylesham & Strategic Policy 6: South Aylesham

Aylesham Growth Area

Aylesham was developed as a planned settlement to serve the emerging East Kent Coalfield. According to Sir Patrick Abercrombie's plan of 1928, Aylesham was to be a small town of about 15,000 residents with a range of commercial and civic buildings. However, mainly due to the recession in the 1930s, his grand scheme was abandoned after only 500 dwellings were built. Since then the village has expanded, though largely not in keeping with the original layout. According to the 2011 Census, Aylesham Ward (which is dominated by Aylesham) now has 1,981 dwellings and a population of 4,905.

The 1990 Dover Structure Plan identified Aylesham as strategically suitable for the release of land to deliver around 1000 dwellings. This provision was made to help meet Canterbury District's housing needs which could not be met at the City itself, due to environmental and infrastructure constraints, and to attract new investment to the former East Kent Coalfield to regenerate this area. Further to this, Aylesham was identified as a strategic development opportunity site in the Dover District Local Plan 2002, for the provision of 1,000 new homes, a primary school extension, employment uses, retail and an associated mix of uses. A masterplan was then prepared to guide the development of this site and this was adopted by the Council on the 21st July 2004. The site was granted outline permission for 1,210 units (App no 07/01081) in November 2012 with an additional 150 units (App no 19/00821) granted in August 2020 bringing a total of 1360 units permitted for the site. To date 785 units have been delivered with 575 remaining.

Aylesham is identified as a Rural Service Centre in the settlement hierarchy (see Appendix 1) and is well supported by a range of services and facilities including two primary schools, village hall, two churches, fire station, sports club, social club, leisure centre and a library. Aylesham has two industrial areas and a small neighbourhood centre of nine shops including a post office, a co-op and a butchers, four take-aways and four cashpoints. There is also a bus service to Dover and Canterbury with buses every hour on weekdays, and railway station which also provides access to Dover and Canterbury.

Through the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment work the Council has identified two sites for development in Aylesham, one to the North of Aylesham (HELAA Ref: AYL004) for the delivery of approximately 500 new homes and the second to the south of Aylesham (HELAA Ref: AYL003) for the delivery of approximately 640 new homes. Strategic Policies 5 and 6 allocate these sites for development in accordance with the growth and settlement strategy of the Plan. Whilst it is recognised that constraints do exist on these sites, primarily in relation to the cumulative impact upon the local road network, work is on-going to address this and develop an appropriate mitigation scheme.

To support the delivery of the Local Plan the Council is working with key stakeholders to produce an Infrastructure Delivery Plan. This is an iterative document that sets out the infrastructure required to support the planned development set out within this Plan. As part of the Regulation 18 consultation on the draft Local Plan the council will be engaging with infrastructure providers, on site specific infrastructure requirements. These comments will be used to inform the Infrastructure Delivery Plan. The Infrastructure Delivery Plan will be published as part of the Regulation 19 consultation on the Local Plan.

Strategic Policy 5 North Aylesham

An extension is planned to the North of the Rural Service Centre of Aylesham to create a new neighbourhood, incorporating garden village principles.

Land to the North of Aylesham is allocated to deliver approximately 500 new homes over the Plan period.

A masterplan is required to set out the quantum and distribution of land uses, access, sustainable design and layout principles. This should be prepared by the land owner, working jointly with the Council and key stakeholders. Any application for development should be preceded by, and consistent with, the agreed Masterplan.

In accordance with the relevant Local Plan policies the sites will provide:

1. A wide mix of housing types, sizes and tenures, including affordable housing; housing for older people; serviced plots of land to contribute towards meeting evidenced demand for self-build and custom housebuilding;

2. Suitable access arrangements and any necessary wider strategic and local highway mitigation measures, including addressing impacts on the A2, B2046, A257 and local roads;

3. Sustainable transport measures including the improvement of pedestrian links, cycle paths, passenger transport and community transport initiatives;

4. Community facilities, and a new small convenience shop in an accessible location to meet the day-to-day convenience shopping needs of new residents; 

5. Formal and informal open spaces for leisure and recreation, including play areas, sports fields, allotments and community orchards. Spaces will contribute to wider ecological networks and as such, spaces should:

  • be accessible to new and existing communities;
  • provide upgraded routes for walkers and cyclists;
  • improve connections between and enhancements to existing habitats;
  • provide safe routes for wildlife, protecting and enhancing wildlife assets.

 6. Protection and enhancement of heritage assets and their settings through appropriate mitigation measures;

 7. Landscaping and planting, including a generous landscape buffer to the west to minimise visual impact on the surrounding landscape;

 8. Sustainable drainage;

 9. Necessary utilities, including integrated communications infrastructure to facilitate home-working.

 10. Financial contributions towards the delivery of required off-site infrastructure and community facilities in accordance with Strategic Policy 13.

 11. In order to ensure that each site is planned and delivered comprehensively, any application for development on part of the site will be assessed against its contribution to the masterplan, and will not prejudice the implementation of the site as a whole.

12. The HRA has identified the need for a wintering bird survey to be undertaken on this site as part of any future planning application. If the bird survey identifies that proposed new development will exceed the threshold of significance mitigation will be required.

 

Strategic Policy 6 South Aylesham

An extension is planned to the South of the Rural Service Centre of Aylesham to create a new neighbourhood, incorporating garden village principles.

Land to the South of Aylesham is allocated to deliver approximately 640 new homes over the Plan period.

A masterplan is required to set out the quantum and distribution of land uses, access, sustainable design and layout principles. This should be prepared by the land owner, working jointly with the Council and key stakeholders. Any application for development should be preceded by, and consistent with, the agreed Masterplan.

In accordance with the relevant Local Plan policies the site will provide:

 1. A wide mix of housing types, sizes and tenures, including affordable housing; housing for older people; and serviced plots of land to contribute towards meeting evidenced demand for self-build and custom housebuilding;

 2. Provision for 10 permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches to meet the council's identified need. This should be provided on the land directly to the east of the site, on Aylesham Rd, which is within the control of the land owner, as shown on the draft policies map;

 3. Suitable access arrangements and any necessary wider strategic and local highway mitigation measures, including addressing impacts on the A2, B2046, A257 and local roads;

 4. Sustainable transport measures including the improvement of pedestrian links, cycle paths, passenger transport and community transport initiatives;

 5. Employment opportunities, community facilities, and a new small convenience shop in an accessible location to meet the day-to-day convenience shopping needs of new residents;

 6. Formal and informal open spaces for leisure and recreation, including play areas, sports fields, allotments and community orchards. Spaces will contribute to wider ecological networks and as such, spaces should:

  • be accessible to new and existing communities;
  • provide upgraded routes for walkers and cyclists;
  • improve connections between and enhancements to existing habitats;
  • provide safe routes for wildlife, protecting and enhancing wildlife assets.

 7. Protection and enhancement of heritage assets and their settings through appropriate mitigation measures;

 8. Protection and enhancement of the area of ancient woodland identified on site (Ackholt Woods). This should include a 15 metre buffer zone around the wood;

 9. Landscaping and planting, including a generous landscape buffer to the south and west to minimise visual impact on the surrounding landscape;

 10. Sustainable drainage;

 11. Necessary utilities, including integrated communications infrastructure to facilitate home-working.

 12. Financial contributions towards the delivery of required off-site infrastructure and community facilities in accordance with Strategic Policy 13.

 13. In order to ensure that each site is planned and delivered comprehensively, any application for development on part of the site will be assessed against its contribution to the masterplan, and will not prejudice the implementation of the site as a whole.

14. The HRA has identified the need for a wintering bird survey to be undertaken on this site as part of any future planning application. If the bird survey identifies that proposed new development will exceed the threshold of significance mitigation will be required.

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Strategic Policy 7: Eythorne and Elvington Local Centre

Eythorne and Elvington Local Centre

Eythorne and Elvington are located to the north of the District, between the A2 and A256. Both settlements are within the Parish of Eythorne which at the 2011 census had a population of 2,594. The closest train station is approximately 2 miles away in the Local Centre of Shepherdswell.

Eythorne has two parts, each with their own settlement confines, bisected by the East Kent Light Railway Line. This heritage railway line was originally built to serve the colliery at Tilmanstone and link to the mainline, and now provides a two mile long tourist service to Shepherdswell. The larger part of the settlement contains a conservation area. This designation overlaps with the boundary of the Historic Park and Garden designation covering Waldershare Park, which is located immediately to the south of Eythorne.

Elvington, which was mostly built in the early twentieth Century to serve the nearby coal mine at Tilmanstone, is located approximately 300 metres to the north of Eythorne, and has its own settlement confines.

Eythorne has a number of services and facilities including two village halls, a primary school (which also serves Elvington), two churches, three public houses/cafes, a post office, village shop and a playground. Elvington has a village hall and church, a small parade of shops (with hairdressers and takeaways) and a recreation ground. To the north east of the two settlements lies the Pike Road Industrial Estate which offers a mix of units of varying age; current occupiers include road haulage companies and Tilmanstone Salads.

Eythorne and Elvington are currently identified as villages in Policy CP1 of the Core Strategy (2010). However the recent Settlement Hierarchy study conducted by the Council shows that both these settlements score well in relation to the number of services and facilities provided. Given this, as part of the Council's strategy for the rural area it is proposed to grow the villages of Eythorne and Elvington to create a new local centre in the District.

Through the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment work the Council has identified an area of land between Eythorne and Elvington for the delivery of approximately 350 new homes (HELAA Refs: EYT003, EYT009, EYT012). Strategic Policy 7 allocates the land to the east of Adelaide Road for development in accordance with the growth and settlement strategy of the Plan. Whilst it is recognised that constraints do exist on this site, primarily in relation to the cumulative impact upon the local road network, work is on-going to address this and develop an appropriate mitigation scheme.

To support the delivery of the Local Plan the council is working with key stakeholders to produce an Infrastructure Delivery Plan. This is an iterative document that sets out the infrastructure required to support the planned development set out within this Plan. As part of the Regulation 18 consultation on the draft Local Plan the council will be engaging with infrastructure providers, on site specific infrastructure requirements. These comments will be used to inform the Infrastructure Delivery Plan. The Infrastructure Delivery Plan will be published as part of the Regulation 19 consultation on the Local Plan.

Strategic Policy 7: Eythorne and Elvington Local Centre

An extension is planned to Eythorne and Elvington to create a new sustainable community, incorporating garden village principles.

Land is allocated to the east of Adelaide Road to deliver approximately 350 new homes over the Plan period.

A masterplan is required for the site to set out the quantum and distribution of land uses, access, sustainable design and layout principles. This should be prepared by the land owners (of which one is the Council), working with key stakeholders. Any application for development should be preceded by, and consistent with, the agreed Masterplan.

In accordance with the relevant Local Plan policies the site will provide:

a. A wide mix of housing types, sizes and tenures, including affordable housing; housing for older people; and serviced plots of land to contribute towards meeting evidenced demand for self-build and custom housebuilding;

b. Suitable access arrangements and any necessary wider strategic and local highway mitigation measures;

c. Sustainable transport measures including the improvement of pedestrian links, cycle paths, passenger transport and community transport initiatives;

d. Community facilities, employment opportunities, and a new small convenience shop in an accessible location to meet the day-to-day convenience shopping needs of new residents;

e. Formal and informal open spaces for leisure and recreation, including play areas, allotments and community orchards. Spaces will contribute to wider ecological networks and as such, spaces should:

  • be accessible to new and existing communities;
  • provide upgraded routes for walkers and cyclists;
  • improve connections between and enhancements to existing habitats;
  • provide safe routes for wildlife, protecting and enhancing wildlife assets.

 f. Protection and enhancement of heritage assets and their settings through appropriate mitigation measures;

g. Landscaping and planting;

h. Sustainable drainage;

i. Necessary utilities, including integrated communications infrastructure to facilitate home-working.

j. Financial contributions towards the delivery of required off-site infrastructure and community facilities in accordance with Strategic Policy 13.

In order to ensure that each site is planned and delivered comprehensively, any application for development on part of the site will be assessed against its contribution to the masterplan, and will not prejudice the implementation of the site as a whole.

The HRA has identified the need for a wintering bird survey to be undertaken on this site as part of any future planning application. If the bird survey identifies that proposed new development will exceed the threshold of significance mitigation will be required.

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Site Allocations Policy 1: Non Strategic Housing Allocations

Non-Strategic Housing Allocations

To deliver the Councils identified housing need a number of site allocations are proposed, in accordance with the housing growth strategy:

Housing Allocations

In addition to the Strategic Housing Allocations set out above, the Council will also allocate non-strategic housing sites to deliver 3,821 new homes, to meet the housing target.

The proposed non strategic housing allocations are informed by the sites identified in the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). Sites have been selected in accordance with the Council's preferred option for the distribution of housing growth (as set out above), based on their suitability, availability, and achievability. Where constraints have been identified on sites, it is considered that these can be mitigated and the policy sets out a number of key considerations for each site, that will need to be addressed when taking the site forward.

To support the delivery of the Local Plan the Council is working with key stakeholders to produce an Infrastructure Delivery Plan. This is an iterative document that sets out the infrastructure required to support the planned development set out within this Plan. As part of the Regulation 18 consultation on the draft Local Plan the Council will be engaging with infrastructure providers and other stakeholders on site specific infrastructure requirements. These comments will be used to inform the Infrastructure Delivery Plan. The Infrastructure Delivery Plan will be published as part of the Regulation 19 consultation on the Local Plan.

The Council's proposed non strategic housing site allocations are set out below and identified on the policies map. These need to be considered in conjunction with the Strategic Housing Allocations set out above (see policies SP4 Whitfield Urban Expansion, SP5 North Aylesham, SP6 South Aylesham and SP7 Eythorne and Elvington). 

Site Allocations Policy 1 Non Strategic Housing Allocations

In addition to the Strategic Housing Allocations identified in Policies SP4, SP5, SP6 and SP7, the following sites, as defined on the policies map, are allocated for housing during the plan period up to 2040. Planning permission will be granted for proposals that:

1. Accord with the policies in the Local Plan; and

2. Address the key development considerations for each site.

The phasing for development is based on site availability, identified constraints and progress towards gaining planning consent.

Click here to view all Non Strategic Housing Allocations 

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Site Allocations Policy 2: Land to the south of Alkham Valley Road

Gypsy and Traveller Site Allocations

The largest existing permitted site assessed with availability and capacity for further intensification has been deemed appropriate for allocation. The site is located close to the south west of Alkham’s designated settlement area and benefits from a well-maintained access and footpath leading into the village. Sitting in a small valley the site is contained with tree lines to the east, south and west and Alkham Valley road to the north. The established pitches are located in the south of the site with the remainder site being tended grassland and an access road. It is considered that the impact of site intensification can be accommodated through increasing the number of trees providing screening along the east, south and western boundaries and that the impact on the valleys landscape will be minimal through sensitive layout of the new pitches.

The allocating of this site will ensure that part of the established Gypsy and Traveller need can be met on an identified site that has planning permission. The setting of policy criteria as detailed below, will also ensure that appropriate levels of mitigation are achieved for the intensification proposed. The Councils evidence at present, doesn't identify a need for transitional pitches for those of the community who continually roam. However, this site allocation has capacity to accommodate 2 pitches for any transitional pitch need that may occur in the future.

Site Allocations Policy 2 Land to the south of Alkham Valley Road / Land to the rear of The Meadows, Alkham

Proposals for up to an additional 10 permanent and 2 transitional pitches will be supported at Land to the south of Alkham Valley Road / Land to the rear of The Meadows, Alkham, as shown on the policies map subject to the following criteria:

a. The total capacity of the site does not exceed 18 permanent and 2 transit pitches;

b. A landscaping scheme for the site is provided which retains and improves vegetation along the site boundary including tree planting to mitigate the impact on the landscape and AONB.

c. The positioning of additional hardstanding and the siting of pitches minimise the visual impact on the AONB.

d. Widening of the site access from Alkham Valley Road is provided to ensure that a car turning right can pass a car waiting to exit the site and a towed caravan can turn in/out in a single manoeuvre;

e. All foul water drainage is linked to the mains sewer;

f. Suitable pollution measures are provided for surface water runoff from vehicle hardstanding; and,

g. Fuel storage for generator sets are compliant with oil storage regulations and best practice.

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DM Policy 10: Gypsy and Traveller Site Intensification

Gypsy and Traveller Site Intensification

To help meet the established Gypsy and Traveller need and to provide identified sites for future growth, existing permitted and tolerated sites have been assessed for their availability and capacity to accommodate additional pitches. Intensification will be deemed permissible provided it is within the criteria of the policy set out below.

DM Policy 10 Gypsy and Traveller Site Intensification

Proposals for additional pitches on sites identified as suitable for intensification will be supported subject to the following criteria:

1. The proposals do not exceed the identified additional pitch capacity set out in the following table;

2. It can be demonstrated that infrastructure requirements can be adequately met on site and not affect the amenities of nearby properties; and

3. The intensification of the site can be adequately screened.

Site Address

Additional Pitches

Plot 1A, Land at Hay Hill (The Oaklands), Ham, Eastry, CT13 0ED

2

Plot 2B Land at Hay Hill (Bluebell Place), Ham, Eastry, CT13 0ED

1

Plot 3 Land at Hay Hill (Strawberry Place), Ham, Eastry, CT13 0ED

2

Romany Acres, Belsey Lane, Ewell Minnis, CT15 7DY

4

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DM Policy 11: Type and Mix of Housing

Type and Mix of Housing

The housing needs of the various community groups and the emerging population trends and demographics have been assessed through the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for the District. To meet the projected local housing needs for the District, the assessment goes on to set out the dwelling size, household type and tenures that are required to be built over the plan period.

The SHMA partial update December 2019 projects that by 2040 the population of the District will have grown by nearly 19,000 persons. Figure 6.1 below illustrates that the age groups 60-75 and over 75s are projected to be the major contributors to the Districts population growth and will account for nearly 16,000 persons. The SHMA update also projects the growth of nearly 12,000 households by 2040 and that approximately half of the new households will come from one person formations (figure 6.2).

Using the latest local housing need for the District and being considerate of projected demographic and household changes, the SHMA update states that 73.1% of the dwellings built should be market housing, 5.1% Starter homes, 5.8% shared ownership and 16.0% affordable rent. The SHMA also prescribes that 576 units of housing for older people and 66 units of housing with care should be provided within the identified need. Detail is also given within the SHMA on the dwelling sizes by tenure, with an overall mix sought of: 12.2% from one bedroom; 20.4% from two bedrooms; 35.2% from three bedrooms; and, 32.2% four or more bedroom dwellings.

The SHMA 2019 also identifies a need for 990 additional spaces of Registered Care for housing those aged 65 and over between 2020 and 2040. This forms part of the institutional population and is in addition to the housing supplied within the local housing need identified above.

The Councils Authority Monitoring Report will review annually over the plan period the mix of tenures and size of dwellings being granted planning permission. The review will assess: whether the targets of the SHMA are being met; and, identify any trends of over or under provision that may develop. Changes in the local housing need will be identified through review of the plan and subsequent updates to the SHMA.

Housing chart 6.1 Housing chart 6.2

DM Policy 11 Type and Mix of Housing

Proposals for development of 10 or more dwellings will be required to provide housing that contributes towards a mix of market and affordable housing types and sizes including meeting the needs of different age groups as set out within the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the District. The proposal should also consider the progress being made towards the targets in the SHMA as set out within the Council's Authority Monitoring Report.

Where it is not possible to provide the full range of housing types and sizes on a development, then evidence of any physical, locational, developmental and local needs constraints will be required to justify departing from the required need.

Development proposals for standalone older persons housing or other specialist housing are exempt from this requirement and will be supported in principle where the need has been identified by extensive and robust evidence, and where they can be located in a suitable and sustainable way.

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DM Policy 12: Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

The Local Plan Whole Viability Study has tested a number of viability scenarios with differing thresholds and tenure splits in order to ascertain the most appropriate and deliverable levels of affordable housing within the district. The study has concluded that within the Dover Urban Area (as shown in figure 6.3) it is not viable to provide affordable housing. The strategy for Dover Urban Area is therefore to require a nil provision of affordable housing in order to ensure viability of schemes coming forward within the plan period in this area. This includes not being able to meet the National Planning Policy Framework (Feb 2019) requirement for 10% affordable home ownership.

It is considered for the rest of the district that a 30% requirement for affordable housing is viable for the majority of sites. The most recent Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2017), stipulates a tenure mix of 5.1% Starter homes, 5.8% shared ownership and 16.0% affordable rent. At the time of writing, Government's proposals for First Homes are emerging, and it is expected that a requirement will be brought in that requires a certain percentage (currently 25%) of the total affordable housing provision to be provided as first homes. This is expected to replace the requirement for Starter Homes and is likely to reduce the proportion of the shared ownership requirement. The percentages tested within the Local Plan Whole Viability Study have concluded that the tenure split of 65% affordable rent and 35% affordable home ownership are deliverable and in accordance with the housing need for the district. These are the percentages which will be used for the purposes of the Affordable Housing policy, which satisfies the National Planning Policy Framework (Feb 2019) requirement for 10% affordable home ownership to be delivered on sites as well as the ability to deliver 25% First Homes as a proportion of the 35% affordable home ownership requirement.

In terms of the housing need for wheelchair users, this is set at a proportion of the affordable rented units, for which there are nomination rights from the Housing Register and detailed in DM Policy 37.

The threshold for the Designated Rural Areas is set at 6 dwellings or more for development located in the following parishes: Alkham, Ash, Capel-Le Ferne, Denton with Wootton, Eythorne, Goodnestone, Guston, Hougham without, Preston, Ringwould with Kingsdown, Ripple, Shepherdswell with Coldred, Sholden, St Margarets at Cliffe, Staple, Tilmansonte, Wingham, Woodnesborough, Worth, Temple Ewell and Lydden.

It is presumed that affordable housing requirements are met on site. If independently verified viability evidence submitted to accompany a planning application, highlights any viability issues, this will be considered in accordance with the policy in first looking to consider on a case by case basis flexibility as set out in the policy in terms of tenure, reduction of overall proportions, an off site contribution, a combination of these, or a deferred contribution.

For the purposes of planning applications received, planning policy and planning legal agreements the Council will use the affordable housing terms within the National Planning Policy (Feb 2019) Annex 2.

Dover Urban Area Map (Figure 6.3)

DM Policy 12 Affordable Housing

1. The Council require the provision of affordable housing on schemes of 10 dwellings or more (and on sites of 0.5 hectares or more), and in Designated Rural Areas, on schemes of 6 dwellings or more, with provision being not less than 30% of the total housing provided on the site. This is with the exception of Dover Urban Area as set out on the policies map, where there will be no requirement for affordable housing to be provided.

The affordable housing shall be provided with a tenure split of 65% affordable rent and 35% affordable home ownership. All proposals are expected to meet their full affordable housing provision on site.

2. Should independently verified viability evidence establish that it is not possible to deliver the affordable housing as required by this policy, and the viability position is agreed by the Council, the Council will consider on a case by case basis flexibility in the provision of affordable housing, including through the following options:

a. Change in the tenure mix required.

b. Reductions in the overall proportion of affordable housing.

c. Provision of an off site financial contribution in lieu of affordable housing provision on site, to secure equivalent provision of affordable housing off site.

d. A combination of the above.

e. Deferred contributions.

If a site comes forward as two or more separate schemes, of which one or more falls below the appropriate threshold, the Council will seek an appropriate level of affordable housing on each part to match in total the provision that would have been required on the site as a whole.

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DM Policy 13: Rural Local Needs Housing

Rural Local Needs Housing

Given the lower levels of housing supply in rural areas, affordability has historically been a particular issue in rural parishes, resulting in people with employment or family ties to a village being unable to find housing there that they can afford. In order to address such specific housing need, the development of low cost, local needs housing in rural areas, on land that would not ordinarily be acceptable for housing development and therefore where planning permission would not otherwise be granted, is supported at national level. Such housing must remain affordable in perpetuity, i.e. below prevailing market value, for either sale or rent, to meet an identified local need. To achieve this, occupiers should be prevented from being able to own Local Needs dwellings outright. Such schemes are therefore usually managed by a registered social landlord.

The need for such schemes will arise from circumstances unique to a parish. It will therefore be the responsibility of the Parish Council, or relevant local community organisation, to identify the extent and type of need for such housing (which may include the need of adjacent parishes) for those with genuine and proven local connections. It is expected that the Parish Council will play an integral role in the development of such schemes, including involvement with the administration of a local housing needs survey. The format of such surveys will need to be agreed with the District Council’s housing department in the first instance.

As such developments come forward as exceptions to other policies and are restricted to this particular form of housing, the value of the land will be substantially lower than that of market housing land. Furthermore, such exception schemes are supported by grant funding, usually from Homes England. It is therefore the low cost of the land and the availability of grant funding which enables such housing developments to be affordable and not the built quality of the development, which is expected to be of a high standard, compliant with the design policies of this Plan.

In assessing the scale and extent of any proposed local needs housing, account should be taken of affordable housing already planned in the parish or nearby area, including sites with existing planning permissions and sites allocated in this Local Plan. In addition, it will be particularly important, given the exceptional nature of such schemes, that the landscape setting of the proposed site, suitability of the local road network and amenity of any nearby residents underpin the design, layout and scale of any scheme proposed.

The NPPF requires that planning authorities consider whether allowing open market housing on such sites would help facilitate the delivery of local needs housing. With low land cost and grant funding available, there should be no need for market housing to make a scheme viable, unless there are particularly abnormal site costs. In order to control sporadic development in the countryside and to maintain the primary objective of meeting rural affordable housing need, the Council will therefore only permit an element of cross subsidy on rural exception sites in exceptional circumstances, and where there is a proven viability issue. In such instances, the applicant will be required to provide an open book viability assessment which will be rigorously assessed by an independent adviser appointed by the District Council. To avoid such exception sites being dominated by market housing, in conflict with the policies of this Plan, and in order to ensure efficient use of exception site land any market housing should be kept to a minimum and should only comprise two bed houses, bungalows, small 2/3 bed self-build plots or such specific adapted small properties as the Housing Needs Survey may identify. Development of cross-subsidy sites will not be regarded as creating a precedent for future expansion of rural settlements to meet general housing requirements.

DM Policy 13 Rural Local Needs Housing

Proposals for local needs housing in the rural area beyond a settlement's identified confines will be supported provided that:

a. The local need is clearly evidenced in a comprehensive Local Needs Housing Survey of the parish or where appropriate, of adjacent parishes, prepared by, or in consultation with, the Parish Council; and

b. The development is well designed and is appropriate in scale, layout and materials to the character and appearance of the area and of nearby settlements, and will not have a significant or adverse impact on the living conditions of any adjoining residents or the local road network; and

c. The development is of a suitable scale taking account of the affordable housing already planned in the parish or nearby area, type and tenure, and will be available at an appropriate cost to meet the identified need; and

d. Initial and subsequent occupation is controlled through legal agreements to ensure that the accommodation remains available to meet the purposes for which it was permitted in perpetuity.

Proposals which promote market housing as a means of enabling local housing need will not normally be supported as it is expected that all local needs housing schemes coming forward will be delivered without the need for cross market subsidy. Where this is not possible, evidence including a robust financial viability assessment, which will be assessed by independent advisers, will need to be submitted as part of an application.

Should a viability case be proven, the enabling market housing element should be the minimum required to make the scheme viable, and should only comprise 2 bed houses, bungalows, small 2/3 bed self-build plots or such specific adapted small properties as the Housing Needs Survey may identify. Any market housing should be comparable in design to the local needs housing on the site.

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DM Policy 14 Gypsy and Traveller Windfall Accommodation

Gypsy and Traveller Windfall development

The provision of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation is a specific community need that the Council has a duty to provide for. The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA 2018) analysed the latest available evidence to identify the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers, Travelling Showpeople and houseboat dwellers from across the District.

The GTAA 2018 established two types of pitch need within the District. The first is defined by the Planning policy for traveller sites (PPTS), which was published by the Government in August 2015. The document sets out the definition of ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ and Travelling Showpeople and defines that Gypsies and Travellers live on pitches on sites, and that Travelling Showpeople live on plots on yards. The second considered was a ‘cultural’ definition of Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople which is based on households identifying as a Gypsy and Traveller /Travelling Showperson but do not meet the travelling clarification of the PPTS. In effect, this second approach accords with the Housing and Planning Act 2016 section 124 which considers the needs of households living in caravans.

The GTAA 2018 established a 'cultural' need for 30 pitches and a PPTS need for 18 pitches. This results is an annualised cultural need of 1.3 pitches and PPTS need of 0.8 pitches.

In January 2020, the Gypsy and Traveller accommodation need was updated to the plan period 2020 to 2040 . By applying the annualised needs figures this resulted in a revised cultural need for 26 pitches and a PPTS need for 16 pitches. The overall reduction in need took account of new pitch supply since the GTAA 2018. The update concludes that after known pitch turnovers and intensification of permitted sites (including the proposed intensification of the Alkham site - Site Allocation Policy 2) there will be a residual need to provide an additional 13 pitches. This residual need that will be met through the allocation of a new site as part of the strategic allocation in south Aylesham and from a potential new site or sites identified through the next Call for Sites exercise.

The need for pitches over the plan period will be met through identified sites for turnover, intensification and allocation. Vacancies on permitted and tolerated sites known as turnover, are identified in the GTAA, and have been confirmed to make a contribution of 10 pitches to the need. The occupations and remaining vacancies on the turnover sites, will be published annually as part of updating the Councils Gypsy and Traveller land supply. However, there will be circumstances where planning applications will be submitted on sites not identified through the Local Plan. In those types of situation, criteria will need to be set out to inform appropriate development to meet the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community.

DM Policy 14 Gypsy and Traveller Windfall Accommodation

Proposals for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation on windfall sites will be supported where all of the following apply:

a. It can be demonstrated that the proposal cannot be accommodated at a site allocated or identified for intensification within this plan or on an identified turnover site;

b. The site is accessible to schools, health and local services;

c. The site has good access to the road network;

d. Development would not result in significant harm to the landscape and character of the area,

e. It can be demonstrated that infrastructure requirements can be adequately met on site and not affect the amenities of nearby properties; and,

f. The site can be adequately screened.

Only criteria (d),(e) and (f) are required to be met for the expansion of existing permitted gypsy and traveller sites.

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DM Policy 15: Self Build and Custom House Building

Self Build and Custom House Building

Self build and custom house building is a specific community housing need that goes beyond the considerations of type and tenure set out within the SHMA. The specific need is supported through the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016) . The act provides a legal definition of Self and Custom build housing, and sets out how the need is prescribed by the use of a register, and the duty that is placed on a Local Authority to grant enough planning permissions to meet the identified need.

The self build and custom house building need as identified from the Council's register is reported annually through the Authority Monitoring Report. In early 2020, the Council relaunched the register to try and gain a more accurate identification of those with a local need for self build and custom house building and who were also financially capable of carrying out a build. A more accurate understanding of this need and the ability to build had become apparent due to a considerable discrepancy between those registering an interest and the number planning applications submitted for self build and custom house building. Between the commencement of the legislation and the relaunch of the Council's register only one planning application had been identified for self build, and that was through an appeal process.

In accordance with legislation, the current version of the Council's register requires applicants and associations wishing to register an interest in Self and Custom Build in the district to provide evidence of local connectivity and of being financially solvent to carryout a build. Those who met the evidenced tests and were on the previous version of the register had their interest dated to the previous register. At July 2020 there were 7 individuals and no associations on the Council's Self and Custom Build register.

At present, the self build and custom house building need in the District is relatively small compared to other identified housing needs. However, the Council acknowledge that this type of development can offer diversity to the housing market and provide individuals and associations the opportunity to build their own homes, to meet their specific needs and requirements. To those ends the Council will be looking to facilitate self build and custom house building through the granting of planning consents on windfall and allocated sites.

DM Policy 15: Self Build and Custom House Building

Self build and custom house building is encouraged within allocated sites, designated settlement areas and on other windfall sites which accord with the relevant windfall policies.

Self and Custom Build housing development is to be highly sustainable, of good design, scale and massing and in keeping with the character and appearance of the adjacent built and natural environment.

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DM Policy 16: Residential Extensions and Annexes

Residential Extensions and Annexes

The provision of residential extensions and annexes can allow for homes to be adaptive to changing lifestyle and societal needs. These types of residential development can also reduce the need to move home and lower the demand for larger homes. The need for annexes and extensions can include increases in family size; changes in personal mobility and access requirements; changing working patterns towards an increase in home working; and, the pursuit of home based leisure and fitness activities.

Extensions and annexes also offer the opportunity to support the living needs of mobile older persons whilst reducing the premature need to enter into care facilities. The latest SHMA acknowledges that the population is ageing and states that those aged 60 and over will account for 38.7% of the population by 2040 an increase of 7.1% from 2020. The level of housing support and care can change over time for an elderly person and annexes can offer a solution to the those seeking a level of independence whilst also being part of a wider family and extensions can go further providing the opportunity for more close support.

DM Policy 16: Residential Extensions and Annexes

Residential extensions and annexes will be supported where:

a. The scale, massing and appearance would be in keeping or improve the existing building and the character and appearance of the surrounding area;

b. The residential amenity of privacy and daylight of any adjoining properties would be safeguarded;

c. Any additional parking requirement is provided within the curtilage of the dwelling and that the traffic impact of development could be accommodated within the road network.

d. It would not cause harm to the setting of a heritage asset; and would preserve or enhance the special architectural or historic character and appearance of a conservation area and its setting; and,

e. It does not conflict with any other relevant policies within the plan.

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DM Policy 17: Houses in Multiple Occupation

Houses in Multiple Occupation

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are properties which are occupied by unrelated households that share one or more facilities such as a bathroom or kitchen. HMOs can provide useful accommodation, but in many cases the property was not originally designed for such intensive residential use.

In 2010 the government introduced a new use class (C4), which covers small shared houses or flats occupied by between 3 and 6 unrelated individuals who share basic amenities. Planning permission is generally not required for a change of use from a dwelling house (C3) to C4, as it is permitted under the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO). Large houses in multiple occupation (those with more than 6 people sharing) are unclassified by the Use Classes Order, and planning permission is required for a change use of from a C3 or C4 to a large house in multiple occupation. The Council will consider whether there is justification in certain locations to serve Article 4 directions so that changes of use from C3 to C4 would require planning permission and therefore be subject to this policy.

An increase in concentrations of HMOs in an area alters the population mix, impacting on the facilities and services that can be supported, as well as affecting residential amenity and social cohesion. It can give rise to noise, nuisance, more callers, a higher parking requirement and visual deterioration of buildings and gardens. The Housing Topic Paper sets out the evidence in relation to the locations of known HMO's across the District. 

The following policy sets out the criteria which will be considered when determining applications for new HMOs or when deciding whether to take enforcement action. The Housing Topic Paper sets out the evidence in relation to the locations of known HMO’s across the District.

DM Policy 17: Houses in Multiple Occupation

Proposals for Houses in Multiple Occupation (small or large) will be supported provided that the development:

a. Contributes to creating a mixed, inclusive and sustainable community;

b. Does not create a harmful concentration of such a use in the local area or cause harm to nearby residential amenity;

c. Does not have a significant adverse impact on highway safety, caused by insufficient onsite parking provision, thereby resulting in an unacceptable increase in on street parking; or

d. Does not have a significant adverse impact on visual amenity, including that from inappropriate or insufficient arrangements for dustbin storage.

Permission granted will normally be subject to a condition that restricts the number of occupants allowed to reside at the property as their main residence.

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