Transport and Infrastructure

Ensuring that the right infrastructure is provided in the right place, at the right time, in order to support the scale of growth identified in the Plan, will be integral to its successful delivery. The Local Plan will therefore be supported by an Infrastructure Delivery Plan which will identify specific infrastructure needs.

As part of drafting the Plan early engagement has taken place with infrastructure providers. However, work is still ongoing to identify the specific infrastructure requirements needed to support the development as proposed in the Plan. This will take place through this current consultation and will continue to inform the next version the Plan. It is proposed that specific requirements will be set out in site policies, where these are known.

Draft Transport and Infrastructure Policies Map

What are the key issues to consider?

The policy options for addressing the key issues identified are set out below:

Infrastructure

Ensuring that the right infrastructure, is provided in the right place, at the right time, to support the scale of growth identified in the Plan will be integral to its successful delivery. This will require the plan to provide for the needs of young people in the District, in relation to access to education, services and facilities and the need for the Council to to work with our partners to address existing deficiencies in infrastructure provision, to ensure the needs of the growing population are met. 

Transport and Highways

As the District grows, we need to find more sustainable transport solutions, to cut the amount of private car use, traffic and resultant pollution. We need to help people be more active (to walk and to cycle more) as part of their daily travel routine. We need to facilitate this through the provision of high quality public realm and landscape design, to create streets where people can enjoy walking, cycling or just spending time. Delivering on this ambition will lead to improved health through an increase in physical activity; reduced congestion on the highway network by providing better travel choices; and safer active travel.

In view of the climate change emergency that the Council has declared there needs to be a major shift in how people view car ownership and use the private car, particularly for short journeys, to tackle climate change, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. New developments need to provide a range of 'smarter' sustainable transport options to give people the choice to not use their car for every journey, which will enable people to live healthier and more sustainable lives. This needs to be balanced with the need to address car parking for new developments on-site to ensure that it does not lead to parking overspill and have an adverse impact on neighbouring streets.

There is a need to ensure any necessary highway improvements on the local and strategic road network can be delivered. Further, there is a need to work with our partners to improve strategic traffic management to, and through Dover Town whilst minimising the negative impact of cross-channel traffic.

Open Space and Community Facilities

There is a need to improve the provision of good quality sports facilities, to meet the District’s needs and increase participation in sports and physical activity, particularly among children and young people, to tackle obesity and improve health and well-being.  There is also a need to develop a Green Infrastructure network of public open space provision throughout the District, to increase accessibility, ensuring public open spaces are adaptable and capable of accommodating multiple uses. Further, it is recognised that valued Open Spaces within the District need to be retained and protected, particularly where they contribute to the unique cultural and historic significance of the district. 

Digital Infrastructure

There is a need to respond to the requirements of the digital economy for superfast broadband connections and good coverage across the District, together with the implications for living and working patterns.

View our Evidence Base

How could these be addressed through planning policy and what is our preferred approach?

Policy options include:

Infrastructure

For infrastructure, within the existing Core strategy strategic policy CP6 places an overarching requirement for necessary infrastructure to be considered on a case by case basis. The land value uplift is primarily captured using Section 106 agreements. The Council's preferred approach would be to broadly continue this approach though refine this through the identification of site specific needs informed by the Infrastructure Delivery Plan and identified within the site allocation policy. It is not proposed to apply a minimum threshold in recognition that even the smaller sites may have an impact upon existing infrastructure which it could viably mitigate.

A policy alternative would be to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which would allow a set financial amount to be captured from all development. The rate would be informed by the whole viability study and would likely include areas where no financial contribution could be sought. A further policy option would be to set a threshold below which developer contributions would not be sought.

Strategic Transport Infrastructure

It is the Council's preferred option to provide local plan policy support for upgrades to the A2 as identified as a pipeline project in the Department for Transport Road Investment Strategy 3. A policy alternative would be to not include such a policy. A further policy option would be to include reference to those allocations which will be expected to contribute funding to the scheme.

The Highway Network and Highway Safety

The existing Core Strategy does not currently set defined parameters for when Transport Assessments and Travel Plans may be required. Its is the Council preferred option to retain this flexibility as it is the sites location as well as the extent of development that will dictate the need for further assessment. An alternative policy option would however be to set firm thresholds for when Transport Assessment and Travel Plans are required.

Similarly, the Council's preferred policy option would be to continue to allow the assessment of what constitutes a severe residual cumulative impact on the local highway as subjective to be considered on a case by case basis. A policy alternative would be to set out distinct parameters to inform this assessment.

The Kent Local Transport Plan 4 currently identifies the potential for a North Deal A258 Eastern Connecting Road. The proposal is not currently required to mitigate the impact of development set out in this Plan, and significant environmental constraints have been identified. However this does not preclude the proposal from being considered as a future possibility.

Parking Provision

The Council will be reviewing all parking standards as part of a wider parking strategy review. It is anticipated that this will define maximum car parking standards (maximum number of parking spaces permitted) for both new residential and, where appropriate, non-residential developments across the district. This may include geographically tapered maximums for residential developments reflecting their location. Ahead of this, it is the Council's preferred option to continue to rely upon KCC derived standards which included maximum parking standards. Residential development with nil parking provision will be encouraged in appropriate locations though not mandated.

Community Facilities and Open Space

The NPPF requires policies governing the provision of open space to be underpinned by up-to-date evidence. The Council's preferred option is therefore based upon new standards produced by specialist open space consultants. An alternative would be to not have a policy governing provision of open space and instead leave it to negotiation on a case-by-case basis using the provisions of the NPPF. A further reasonable alternative would be to continue to rely upon the standards established within the existing Local Plan under Local Plan Policy DM27.

The Council's preferred policy option also sets out recommended thresholds for the different Open Space typologies to either be provided on or off-site. An alternative option could be either higher or lower thresholds for each.

Playing Pitches

The Council's preferred policy option is for residential developments of ten or more dwellings to make financial contributions to off-site outdoor sports facilities as set out within the Council's Playing Pitch Strategy, developed in line with Sports England guidance. A reasonable alternative option would be an alternative threshold or to rely on a case-by-case negotiation.

Loss of Open Space

The Council's preferred option will only allow the loss of open space either following a robust assessment which demonstrates it is surplus to requirements or is replaced with an alternative use or facility which demonstrably provides a net benefit to the community. In all circumstances the amenity significances of the existing Open Space is to be considered.

A reasonable policy alternative would be to not define the conditions by which a surplus may exist, allowing assessment to be undertaken on a case-by-case basis. A further reasonable policy alternative would be to designate such land that may be identified by the community through this regulation 18 consultation, and is shown to meet the Criteria of NPPF paragraph 100. Whilst no such sites are currently known to the Council, it is reasonable to anticipate sites meeting the criteria for Local Green Space designation may be put forward through this regulation 18 consultation. The extent to which they are will inform the final policy position.

Community Facilities

The Council's preferred policy option is to put communities at the heart of decision making around those facilities most important to them. This will include support for proposals which seek to retain or provide new community facilities and a requirement to consult with the community before applying to change community facilities. A reasonable policy alternative would be to specifically identify those community facilities that should be protected and the specific criteria that would need to be met before they could be lost i.e. a minimum period of marketing.

Digital Technology

It is the Council's preferred policy option to require all new residential and employment development to have a gigabit capable internet connections. As this is a technology neutral requirement, a reasonable policy alternative would be to specify the technology to be used, such as fibre-to-the premises (FTTP). A further alternative would be to not have this policy at all as it is the Governments intention to make this a building regulation requirement.    

View the Draft Local Plan on our Consultation Portal