Ashford Borough Council prepares new Local Plan

Ashford Borough Council is preparing a new Local Plan for the borough and is inviting local communities to get involved in the process.

The council is holding a series of events throughout the summer to provide residents with the opportunity to find out more about how the new Ashford Local Plan will be prepared, what it will cover, what stage it is at, and when it will go out to formal public consultation. 

Attendees will be able to share their aspirations for the borough, as well as frustrations, on matters such as the environment, future needs for local housing, jobs, green spaces, and both existing and new infrastructure, as well as a whole range of other topics that fall with the remit of planning.

A Local Plan provides the opportunity to shape the places that we live, work and socialise. It addresses the needs for housing and employment and provides a series of planning policies covering many other topics, such as community facilities and infrastructure, the natural and historic environment, adapting to climate change and achieving well-designed places.

Although the general principle of the plan is to encourage growth within the economy of Ashford, Ashford Borough Council’s Local Plan will also seek to protect Ashford’s valued assets, including landscapes, heritage and open spaces for leisure and nature. 

Once adopted, the policies within a Local Plan are used as the starting point to decide planning applications for future development.

Simon Cole, assistant director for planning and development at Ashford Borough Council, said: “Everyone is affected by planning so it’s important to get involved and have your say. These events are intended to explain the process and provide an opportunity to meet the planning team. You can find out where sites have been put forward by landowners, ask questions and leave feedback. 

“By working together with residents and other stakeholders at this early stage, as well as throughout the later formal consultations, we can ensure that appropriate development delivers the affordable homes and infrastructure that our borough needs.”

The council is holding a total of eight ‘in person’ community events across the borough throughout July and August. These events will be followed by two virtual events in late August/early September for those who are unable or prefer not to attend in person.

The events are intended to be ‘drop in’ sessions open to all members of the community and residents may attend any of the events in any of the locations.

The council will review and collate all the feedback received during the community events, which will be used to gain a better understanding of key local issues and, where appropriate, inform the content of the draft version of the new Local Plan.

Feedback forms will be available at all in-person events. Alternatively, you can provide feedback online using the link: https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/lp-explained-events   

All feedback must be provided by 5pm on Monday 16 September.

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