Transport and Infrastructure Policies

Our preferred policy approach to transport and infrastructure in the District over the Plan period, and the justification for this, is set out below:

Strategic Policy 13: Infrastructure and Developer Contributions

Infrastructure and Developer Contributions

It is clear from the engagement undertaken so far that the need for ongoing investment in infrastructure, particularly transport related, is an understandably high priority for local communities. Maintenance of adequate infrastructure and expansion to meet growing needs is generally the responsibility of the relevant infrastructure provider. Most infrastructure providers work to statutory requirements and have set, short-term planning cycles and asset management plans. As part of the plan-making process, the Council is therefore engaged with a range of infrastructure providers to understand the essential infrastructure needed to support the development strategy.

This information will be brought together in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan which is to support and inform the plan. An Infrastructure Delivery Plan is an iterative document that sets out the infrastructure that is required to be delivered to support the planned development set out within this Plan. The Council also intends to publish a developer contributions SPD to provide further guidance and clarity on the Council's approach to collecting developer contributions.

Once site specific requirements are known, they will be identified through the site allocation policies. It will not however always be possible to foresee all potential needs arising from development proposals (particularly windfall development). The Council preferred policy wording therefore ensures all development will need to be assessed at the time of planning application against relevant policies.

The Council will wish to be assured that new development can be supported by existing levels of infrastructure or, if not, that the necessary additional infrastructure will be provided at the right time. The Council currently primarily use Section 106 legal agreements to achieve this, supported by Section 278 highway agreements led by the highway authority or planning conditions as appropriate.

It is not the Council's current intention to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy as Section 106 legal agreements are considered to provide a greater level of certainty for delivery of specific infrastructure. Further, changes to the CIL Regulations in 2019 now allow for more than five contributions to be pooled together, removing what was a significant impediment to securing Section 106 funding from smaller sites.

Strategic Policy 13: Infrastructure and Developer Contributions

The Council will continue to work with relevant service providers to ensure that infrastructure is delivered, in the right place, at the right time, to meet the needs of the District and support the levels of development identified in the Local Plan.

Where development would create a need to provide additional or improved infrastructure and amenities, would have an impact on the existing standard of infrastructure provided, or would exacerbate an existing deficiency in their provision, the developer will be expected to make up that provision. This shall be through the direct provision of the infrastructure or by a proportionate contribution towards the overall cost of such.

Supporting infrastructure should be provided in advance of, or alongside, the development, unless there is sufficient existing capacity. The appropriate phasing for the provision of infrastructure will be determined on a case by case basis.

The Council will use various mechanisms to achieve this, including Section 106 legal agreements, Section 278 legal agreements and planning conditions.

In determining the nature and scale of any provision, the Council will have regard to viability considerations and site-specific circumstances.

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Strategic Policy 14: Strategic Highway Infrastructure

Strategic Transport Infrastructure

Ensuring that an effective and sustainable transport network is delivered and maintained in the District is vital for overall sustainable growth.

With the anticipated construction of a new Lower Thames Crossing, a second strategic route will be available between Dover and the Midlands and North. Coupled with the ongoing Western Docks revival plus expansion of the existing Port, it is a Kent wide strategic priority to encourage bifurcation of port traffic between the A2 and the M20. It is considered that such bifurcation will facilitate growth at Whitfield, reduce pressure on the A20 through Dover, whilst also bringing benefits outside the district at Folkestone, Ashford and Maidstone by releasing capacity on the M20. To achieve this, traffic for the eastern docks will need to be encouraged to use the M2/A2 corridor.

It is now therefore of critical importance that the long-term aspiration of upgrades to the A2 within the district are realised. This includes duelling sections of single carriageway on the A2 north of Dover along Jubilee Way to Whitfield and near Lydden, upgrades to the Whitfield Roundabout and upgrades to the Duke of York Roundabout.

The national significance of this is recognised with the inclusion of the A2 Dover Access projects in the Department for Transport Road Investment Strategy (RIS) for 2020- 2025 published March 2020, as a RIS3 pipeline project to be developed into schemes for construction in Road Period 3 (2025/26 to 2029/30). The Council will therefore continue to work closely with key partners including Highways England, Kent Highways and developers to ensure that this scheme is realised.

With respect to Rail, the High Speed rail services from Dover to St Pancras have significantly reduced journey times to London, making the journey more attractive to commuters. However, further investment is required on the whole network to increase service capacity. The Council is therefore pressing for a journey time of less than 1 hour between Dover and St Pancras, along with additional capacity on the High Speed route and associated station improvements.

Strategic Policy 14: Strategic Highway Infrastructure

The Council is committed to working with Highways England to facilitate major, long-term improvements to the A2 through the Dover Access project identified by the Department for Transport’s “Road Investment Strategy”.

As such, promoters of sites close to the A2 will need to take account of any emerging proposals by Highways England or any other licensed strategic highway authority appointed by the Secretary of State under the Infrastructure Act 2015. Proportionate developer contributions will be sought from new development for which this mitigation is necessary.

Proposals which undermine the delivery of the Dover Access project will not be supported.

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DM Policy 29: The Highway Network and Highway Safety

The Highway Network and Highway Safety

Traffic generated by development should normally be targeted towards the primary and secondary route network in the District. Other routes should not be subject to inappropriate levels of traffic generation or unsuitable traffic movements.

The development set out in this Plan has been tested through the Dover and Deal Strategic Transport model. This work has identified parts of the road network that will need to be upgraded in order to accommodate the development. Further work is required to identify the specific mitigation required, and this will be developed through the next stages of the local plan process in advance of the regulation 19 stage. Site specific requirements and considerations that are currently known are set out in the relevant site allocation policies.

When development proposals are likely to generate a significant demand for travel, in terms of the volume, type and relationship to transport networks, a transport statement (for relatively small implications) or a transport assessment should be prepared. The need for a statement or assessment should be decided through discussions with the planning and highway authorities. The purpose will be to identify the levels, type and pattern of travel and to consider how this might be managed to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport and to decrease potential private vehicular travel.

It may be desirable or necessary for any proposed management measures to be supported through the development and implementation of a travel plan for the proposed development. Travel Plans should be submitted alongside planning applications which are likely to have significant transport implications. A robust Travel Plan will consist of detailed measures, targets, monitoring and sanctions.

These are designed to influence the travel behaviour of individuals and of organisations to help achieve transport objectives.

DM Policy 29: The Highway Network and Highway Safety

Developments that would generate significant traffic movements must be well related to the primary and secondary road network. Proposals which would generate levels and types of traffic movements resulting in severe cumulative residual impacts in terms of capacity and road safety will not be permitted.

New accesses and intensified use of existing accesses onto the road network will not be permitted if it would result in a clear risk of crashes or traffic delays unless the proposals can incorporate measures that provide sufficient mitigation.

Applicants must demonstrate that traffic movements to and from the development can be accommodated, resolved, or mitigated to avoid severe cumulative residual impacts. A Travel Plan, or a Transport Assessment may be required depending on the nature and scale of the proposal and the level of significant transport movements generated, the requirements of which will be secured by planning condition or Section 106 legal agreement.

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DM Policy 30: Parking Provision on new Development

Parking provision

In managing the availability of car parking, there is a need to balance the impact of car use with the need to provide access to services and opportunities. The availability, cost and location of parking all influence whether someone uses the car. There is therefore a need to balance the need for parking with the need to manage the use of the private car.

Currently, for residential and commercial parking standards, the Council applies the Parking Standards for Kent developed and adopted by Kent County Council in 2006 as supplementary planning guidance and further refined within the Kent Design Guide Review: Interim Guidance Note 3. It should however be noted that these contain maximum parking standards and the NPPF states maximum parking standards for residential and non-residential development should only be set where there is a clear and compelling justification that they are necessary for managing the local road network. The Council is therefore currently in the process of updating its car parking strategy which will consider local standards further.

The need to respond to the challenges of climate change coupled with the need to optimise the density of development in locations that are well served by public transport is likely to mean maximum standards remain appropriate for the Districts urban areas and nil provision will be encouraged where appropriate. Even in the more suburban and rural areas it is recognised that overā€provision can give rise to developments which are visually dominated by parked cars without appropriate design consideration. This must however be balanced against the risk of under-provision of car parking which could cause overspill and congestion on surrounding streets. Whilst the Parking Standards for Kent does contain maximum standards, these have generally proved appropriate for Dover District. It is therefore considered these should continue to be used as a starting point for establishing parking provision ahead of the emerging parking strategy.

DM Policy 30: Parking Provision on new Development

The standards set out in the Parking Standards for Kent SPD and Kent Design Guide Review: Interim Guidance Note 3 shall be the starting point for decision-taking on acceptable parking provision in developments.

The parking provision on residential development shall take account of local circumstances including the layout of the development, the mix of dwellings, the character of the local area and the proximity of public transport.

Residential development proposed with no parking provision will be supported where it is located in easy walking distance of a range of services and facilities, there is suitable access to non car based modes of transport, and it is demonstrated that the lack of provision will not be to the detriment of the surrounding area.

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DM Policy 31: Providing Open Space

Community Facilities and Open Space

Access to high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation provides a vital contribution to community health and well-being. Growth expected in the District will increase the pressure on existing open space resources; therefore it is important to plan positively to meet the additional demand by enhancing existing facilities or creating new open spaces and securing their maintenance in the long term. The NPPF states that local planning authorities should base their policies for open spaces on robust and up-to-date assessments of local needs. Furthermore, these assessments should identify specific needs and quantitative or qualitative deficits or surpluses of open space, sports and recreational facilities in the local area.

Consultants Knight Kavanagh & Page (KKP) have undertaken an Open Space Assessment of all accessible open spaces across the District. The study identifies the quality, quantity and accessibility of current provision, produces local provision standard recommendations in accordance with relevant guidance and local needs, and identifies opportunities to protect and enhance the existing provision. By ensuring that new residential development delivers open space that meets these standards, the plan can ensure that the supply of open space keeps up with population growth.

The following typologies were assessed:

Typology Primary Purpose
Accessible greenspace Parks & gardens Accessible, high quality opportunities for informal recreation and community events.
Amenity greenspace Opportunities for informal activities close to home or work or enhancement of the appearance of residential or other areas
Natural & semi-natural greenspace Wildlife conservation, biodiversity and environmental education and awareness.
Provision for children & young people Areas designed primarily for play and social interaction involving children and young people, such as equipped play areas, MUGAs, skateboard areas and teenage shelters.
Allotment Opportunities for those people who wish to do so to grow their own produce as part of the long-term promotion of sustainability, health and social inclusion.

 

A development should make appropriate provision of open space to meet its own needs. Where sufficient capacity does not exist, the development should contribute what is necessary either on-site or by making a financial contribution towards provision elsewhere.

It is recognised that open spaces of a small size hold less recreational use and value. The presence of additional smaller sites will also add to the existing pressures of maintenance regimes and safety inspections. It is therefore considered not all developments should provide new open space on-site and that this is largely dictated by the size of the development.

KKP have recommended a minimum area threshold for each typology is used to determine if provision should be provided on or off site. This means that when a development alone generates sufficient new residents to require the need for entirely new provision, this provision will be provided on that site. These suggested residential unit thresholds have been refined to reflect local occupancy data and rounded to the nearest 5 units. For new parks and gardens and allotments any on-site provision will be reflected within the site allocation policy. For natural and semi-natural green spaces this is considered within the Green Infrastructure Policy. For all other typologies, the refined thresholds are set out in the following policy.

DM Policy 31: Providing Open Space

Residential development of ten or more dwellings will be required to provide or contribute towards the provision of open space that meets the needs of that development. The following criteria shall apply:

a) Where new open space is provided, it should meet the following quantity and access standards:


Open Space Type

Quantity standards (per1,000 population) 
Access standard (maximum distance from the new homes)
Accessible greenspace Parks & gardens 1.91 0.45 1,200 metres or 15-minute walk time
Amenity greenspace 1.46 800 metres or 10-minute walk time
Allotment 0.21 1,200 metres or 15-minute walk time
Provision for children & young people

0.06

Strategic sites: 1,200 metres or 15-minute walk time

Non-strategic sites: 600 metres or 7.5-minute walk time

 

b) Developments that reach the thresholds in the table below will generally be expected to provide new open space of the following typologies on-site. This on-site open space provision will be of the minimum size prescribed within the table.

Open Space type Number of dwellings Minimum area to be provided on site
Amenity greenspace 40 0.4 ha
Play areas[1] Local Area for Play (LAP) 25 0.01 ha
Locally Equipped Area for Play (LEAP) 100 0.04 ha
Neighbourhood Equipped Play Area (NEAP) 260 0.10ha

 

c) Where open space is to be provided on-site, this should supported by a governance strategy which will need to be agreed with the Council. This strategy will need to set out what facilities are to be delivered and by when, and how and when they will be managed over time to an acceptable standard. The open space could be offered to the local Town or Parish Council, the District Council or appropriate community group or charity, subject to payment of a commuted sum. Should a private management company model be promoted, then it will need to be established and run in a way that is affordable, gives the residents a key governance role and is focused towards the management of the facilities to be delivered by the development.

d) Where open space is to be provided off-site a commuted payment will be sought for the purpose of funding quantitative or qualitative improvement to an existing publicly accessible open space. Commuted sums will cover the cost of providing and maintaining the improvements.

e) New provision will be delivered via a combination of on-site measures and/or through off-site financial contributions, secured via Section 106 Agreements.

Proposals for new open space shall respond to any existing deficiencies in specific types of open space in the locality of the development. The Council will work with applicants to identify open space needs and will support proposals that deviate from the mix of typologies set out in this policy where deficiencies are corrected, and the full provision of open space is made.


[1] Minimum recommended size for play areas by Fields In Trust

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DM Policy 32: Playing Pitch Strategy

Playing Pitches

One of the core planning principles of the NPPF is to improve health, social and cultural wellbeing for all, and deliver sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs. Paragraph 96 discusses the importance of access to high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation that can make an important contribution to the health and well-being of communities.

Alongside the Open Space Assessment, KKP have also undertaken a Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS). The primary purpose of the PPS is to provide a strategic framework which ensures that the provision of outdoor playing pitches meet local and community needs of existing and future residents and visitors to the Dover District Area. The PPS was developed in accordance with Sport England guidance and under the direction of a steering group led by the Council and including National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) and provides a strategic framework for the provision and management of playing pitches. It is a ‘live’ document which should be updated on an annual basis.

The existing position for all pitch sports is either; demand is currently being met, or there is a small shortfall. There are current shortfalls on grass pitches for football (minimal and only on mini and youth pitches) and rugby union. Further, the KKP assessment has shown through housing growth, demand will be generated for each pitch sport (with the exception of rugby league) to a lesser or greater extent.

The PPS provides an estimate of demand for pitch sport based on population forecasts and club consultation. This future demand is translated into teams likely to be generated, rather than actual pitch provision required. The Sport England Playing Pitch New Development Calculator (NDC) adds to this, updating the likely demand generated for pitch sports based on housing increases and converts the demand into match equivalent sessions and the number of pitches required. This is achieved via team generation rates (TGRs) in the Assessment Report to determine how many new teams would be generated from an increase in population derived from housing growth and gives the associated costs of supplying the increased pitch provision. This informs the Playing Pitch Calculator which may be accessed via the Active Places Power website.

DM Policy 32: Playing Pitch Strategy

Residential development of ten or more dwellings will be required to contribute to the provision of outdoor playing pitch sports facilities, to meet the needs of the development.

For the provision of outdoor playing pitches, proposals will be expected to use the Playing Pitch Calculator to ascertain the level and type of provision needed. A more detailed assessment will then be required in order to take account of the outcomes of the Playing Pitch Strategy so that provision can be appropriately altered or refined to take account of local circumstances and the need to complement the Council’s preferred delivery strategy.

New provision will be delivered through off-site financial contributions, secured via Section 106 Agreements.

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DM Policy 33: Protection of Open Space

Loss of Open Space

The NPPF defines Open Space as “all open spaces of public value which offer important opportunities for sport and recreation and can act as visual amenity”. The basis for the Council's approach towards open space is to protect from alternative uses the spaces that have been identified through its research. Alternative uses will only be permitted if it can be demonstrated that there would be no quantitative or qualitative loss to the open spaces network or that the use is ancillary to the open space. The sites making up the open spaces network are shown on the proposals map to the Adopted Local Plan and protected by the following policy. It should however be noted that this list is not definitive and simply reflects open spaces known to the Council at this time. All proposals which result in the loss of existing open space that meet the NPPF definition should therefore have regard to the following policy.

DM Policy 33: Protection of Open Space

Development proposals that involve the whole or partial loss of open space within settlements, outdoor recreation facilities, playing fields or allotments within or relating to settlements, or of built and indoor sports facilities, will not be supported unless either;

a. A robust assessment of open space and sports provision, using the quantity and access standards for open space and sports facilities set out in this Local Plan, has identified a surplus in the catchment area to meet both current and future needs, and full consideration has been given to all functions that open space and indoor built sports facilities can perform, having regard to the existing deficiencies within the local area; or

b. Any replacement facility (or enhancement of the remainder of the existing site) provides a net benefit to the community in terms of the quantity, quality, availability and accessibility of open space or sport and recreational opportunities.

In all circumstances, the loss of open space will not be permitted if that open space;

1. Contributes to the distinctive form, character and setting of a settlement;

2. Creates focal points within the built up area; or

3. Provides the setting for important buildings or scheduled ancient monuments, or are themselves of historic or cultural value

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DM Policy 34: Community Facilities

Community Facilities

The Council recognise that local communities are often best placed to identify buildings or land that furthers their social well being or social interests as well as neighbourhood infrastructure needs. It is also recognised that there may be challenges relating to ensuring sufficient funding for ongoing operational costs associated with a community facility. It is therefore important to ensure that existing land and facilities for community purpose is not lost to other uses without careful consideration of local needs and options for retaining the opportunity in community use.

DM Policy 34: Community Facilities

Development proposals will be supported which seek to retain, enhance and maintain community facilities that make a positive contribution to the social or cultural life of a community. The particular benefits of any proposal that secures the long term retention of a community facility will be given positive weight in determining planning applications.

Any community facility that makes a positive contribution to the social or cultural life of a community should be retained unless suitable alternative provision is made. The involvement of the local community should be sought in identifying what that suitable alternative provision should be and provided in evidence to support any such application.

Proposals for new community facilities will be supported where they are in accordance with policies in the development plan.

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DM Policy 35: Digital Technology

Digital Technology

Technology plays a multi-layered role in how we live, work and play, the importance of which has been highlighted by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Getting the right technological infrastructure in place at the right time is fundamental to well-planned and successful communities.

Paragraph 112 of the NPPF states “Advanced, high quality and reliable communications infrastructure is essential for economic growth and social well-being. Planning policies and decisions should support the expansion of electronic communications networks, including next generation mobile technology (such as 5G) and full fibre broadband connections.

Provision and take-up of reliable and high-speed broadband has been a major issue reported by rural households and businesses in certain parts of the District. Slow broadband and inadequate and slow mobile phone coverage are constraints to economic development. Extending the reach of fibre broadband is key for the viability of rural businesses and will also benefit rural residents.

Dissatisfaction with broadband speed have been reported in parts of Deal, Whitfield, Capel and Alkham. Currently, 95.14% of the districts premises has access to broadband speeds of 30 Mbps or above, which is just below the national average of 96.4%. The situation is far worse for Gigabit per Second capable broadband typically delivered by Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Here only 4.02% of the district has such access compare to a national picture of 15.5%. In 2020, BT Openreach announced plans for the roll-out of full fibre connections to rural and urban communities in 251 market towns and villages across the UK by the mid 2020's. This includes the settlements of Deal, Kingsdown, Ripple, Ringwould, Sandwich, Eastry and Worth. This will significantly increase access to Full Fibre Technology across the District.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) “New Build Developments: Delivering gigabit-capable connections ” consultation document makes clear the government’s intention to ensure that new build developments receive gigabit broadband by 2025. This is delivered by gigabit-capable connections that can provide speeds of over 1000 megabits per second (Mbps). In due course, it is intended to legislate and to amend the Building Regulations 2010 to achieve this for residential development.

Gigabit-capable connections are often, but not always, delivered by full fibre connections and can also be delivered via technologies such as cable and fixed wireless access. The policy below is therefore technology neutral and does not prescribe the type of technology that must be used, provided that it can provide speeds of over 1000 Mbps.

DM Policy 35: Digital Technology

All new residential and employment development will have gigabit-capable connections.

This will be through the installation by the developer, within the curtilage of the property (or the development), of both:

a. The physical infrastructure necessary for gigabit-capable connections; and

b. A gigabit-capable connection which may be achieved by an optical fibre or other cabling or wiring that will provide gigabit broadband if such a service is provided by an Internet Service Provider.

Planning applications for development must be supported by a statement that sets how this is proposed to be delivered.

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