3. The Strategy

Aim and Objectives

Aim

3.1.

To achieve a better balance in the social, environmental and economic issues identified in the previous chapter, enable the District to reach its full potential, and meet its Growth Point and Regional Spatial Strategy objectives, the Core Strategy has the following aim:

Aim

To transform Dover into a leading town in the region and regenerate the District so that economically and socially it equals or out-performs the region.

Commentary

Drawing on its international profile and using the catalyst of new high speed train services to London from 2009, the expansion of Dover Docks and other planned developments together with the exceptional quality of its natural and historic assets the District will re-position and project itself as a desirable place to live, work and relax.

Economic growth will be supported by an improved range, flexibility and quality of housing which will also better accommodate local needs.  Growth will be used to promote higher quality design that reinforces local distinctiveness and sense of place, a more efficient use of natural resources, more healthy lifestyles and a reduction in social inequalities.  Improved education and training facilities will ensure that local people are better equipped to join the active workforce.

The Strategy will focus on Dover town where there is most need for action but also where there is most potential.  A comprehensive range of action will be followed across wide social, economic and environmental fronts.  A strong programme of urban regeneration will be supported by planned urban expansion and a step-change in public transport provision.  The scale of growth presents the opportunity for the town to create a more sustainable pattern of living.  Improvements to town centre appearance and facilities and to transport systems need to accompany the uplift in housing, population and jobs growth.  People will want to come to Dover because it offers easy public transport access to London and continental Europe, employment opportunities, distinctive, competitively priced housing, waterfront lifestyle, and a strong town centre in an unrivalled natural and historic setting.

At Deal, Sandwich and the large rural area the Strategy will be selective responding to more localised needs although some of these, especially at Deal and Aylesham are more significant.  Deal may have a larger role to play in contributing to the growth strategy if the constraints of the north and middle Deal areas can be overcome and the potentials realised.  At Sandwich the strategy will seek to maintain and strengthen the nearby employment centre and support the Town's service centre, tourism and leisure functions. Elsewhere development will be focused on the larger and more sustainable rural settlements and within this there will be a general priority on protecting the qualities of the built and natural environments, particularly those that have a special designation.

The Strategy will be realised through a coordinated programme based upon a close relationship between infrastructure provision and the creation of new jobs and homes.  The Council will continue to develop joint working with all relevant partners and take the lead role in overseeing the Strategy.  Major growth will take place in the second half of the Strategy period and beyond; this is when most transformational change will take place.

Objectives

3.2.

In order to focus action, measure progress and fulfil the aim a set of District objectives has been developed. These objectives have undergone sustainability appraisal and are consistent, or not in conflict with, the sustainability objectives (see the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal). There are, however, two exceptions to this; the potential impacts of Objective 1 on air pollution and biodiversity and of Objectives 1 and 2 on reducing the need to travel, encouraging alternatives to the car and making best use of existing transport infrastructure. Much depends on the means by which these objectives are attained and it is therefore necessary for the Strategy to include mitigating and/or compensatory measures - see objectives 8 to 12. It is important to note that the District objectives are not the same as the sustainability objectives because they derive from the specific circumstances of the District, whereas the sustainability objectives are more generalised.

The District objectives, not in any order of priority, are to:

  1. Foster population growth particularly in working age families to support forecast growth in the local economy - focused at Dover
  2. Transform Dover to become a location of choice to live, work, visit, shop and spend leisure time and be a beacon for the District
  3. Deliver sufficient additional housing to broaden the range and improve the quality and market perception of the District's, and especially Dover's, housing offer and meet the changing needs of the population
  4. Address more localised needs for employment, housing and community facilities at Deal, Sandwich and the rural area promote the employment area to the north of Sandwich and investigate whether constraints in the Middle/North Deal area can be overcome and additional potential realised
  5. Ensure that the local economy performs to or exceeds the County and regional averages
  6. Have no areas falling within the 20% of those most deprived in England
  7. Improve residents’ skills levels closer to the County averages
  8. Improve ease of travel to, from and within the District for both people and freight; concentrate development where it can best align with facilities and reduce the need for travel, especially at the Regional Hub of Dover; encourage walking, cycling and public transport through the provision of new facilities
  9. Maintain and enhance the District's biodiversity, natural environment inheritance, open spaces and outdoor sport and recreational areas to create a coherent network of green infrastructure that can better support wildlife and human health
  10. Ensure the intrinsic quality of the historic environment is protected and enhanced and that these assets are used positively to support regeneration, especially at Dover
  11. Use natural resources more efficiently especially, land for housebuilding, water and energy, produce less waste and increase recycling
  12. Mitigate and adapt to the forecast impacts of climate change, in particular on the water environment and biodiversity
  13. Ensure that the Strategy's infrastructure needs are identified and that required infrastructure is provided at the right time
  14. Ensure the delivery of the Strategy through active intervention by the Council and through continuous partnership working with public, private and voluntary sectors
3.3.

These objectives are a comprehensive package of measures that must be achieved as a whole.  Whilst progress is likely, in practice, to be faster on some at any one time, mechanisms will be put in place through the delivery plan to ensure overall sufficiently rounded progress. The effectiveness of these measures will be monitored.  Some of the District objectives are cast in a way that allows direct monitoring, while others set a direction of travel – monitoring of these will rely more on assessing progress on meeting targets derived from the objectives (see the monitoring section in Chapter 5).

3.4.

Through the process of preparing the Core Strategy the Council has tested four broad growth Options for their ability to fulfil the aim and objectives. These were characterised by differing levels of housing provision but had wider implications for matters such as, the structure of the population, the ability of the potential local labour force to support economic growth, the amount of additional retail growth that could be supported, re-balancing the housing market, transport system and stress on the natural environment. The options tested were:

  • Low Growth - 6,100 homes, based on a continuation of trends and the original provision in the draft Regional Spatial Strategy
  • Medium Low Growth - 8,100 homes which became a level recommended in the Panel Report to Government
  • Medium High Growth - 10,000 homes which is reflected in the minimum requirement set out in the Government's proposed changes to the RSS
  • High Growth - 14,000 homes based around the recommendations of the Dover Regeneration Strategy
3.5.

The options and an assessment of their merits are set out in the Preferred Option version of
the Core Strategy and its accompanying Sustainability Appraisal and further detail can be found in
the evidence base research. The conclusion of this options work is that the highest option has the
best overall alignment with the aim and objectives, the ambitions of Growth Point and the minimum
requirements of the Regional Spatial Strategy.

The housing provision at up to 14,000 new homes is above the minimum 10,100 requirement to 2026 in the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy. The Council has taken this course for the following reasons:

  • National policy in PPS12 encourages a long-term view to be taken in Core Strategies that provides a clear indication of direction beyond the stated plan period
  • A longer-term view can provide greater certainty for communities and for investors, particularly in relation to infrastructure issues
  • The higher amount of housing has a greater capability to address the issues facing the District, in particular, supporting labour supply and forecast economic growth
  • It provides greater flexibility - while land for up to 14,000 homes will be allocated the target is to complete a minimum of 10,100 by the end of 2026, consistent with the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy. Should the market wish to take these up at a faster rate, or the Regional Spatial Strategy requirements be reviewed upwards, the local planning framework is in place without the need for an immediate review of the Strategy.
3.6.

The evidence base and the Sustainability Appraisal indicates that the high growth Strategy will need to be supported by a considerable level of infrastructure (although many elements of this would be needed to support the other growth options) and, not surprisingly, it would have the highest impacts on the natural environment which will need to be avoided wherever possible, mitigated or, if not possible, compensated. Impacts on the historic environment are less clear-cut but the same stepped process of avoidance, mitigation and compensation will need to be employed. These matters are developed in Chapter 5.

The Strategy's Key Features are to:

  • Realise forecast growth in the local economy including up to 6,500 more jobs
  • Support a forecast population increase of around 15,500 which will increase the potential workforce by some 4,300 people. Combined with other measures to increase the proportion of people in work, this would provide a workforce to support the forecast jobs growth of around 6,500 without the likelihood of a significant increase in in-commuting
  • Reduce the ageing trend of the population structure (child age group to reduce by only around 1,200) while planning to meet the needs of older people (over 65s likely to increase by around 12,500)
  • Allocate land for around 14,000 new homes with the aim of providing at least 10,100 by 2026
  • Provide homes that meet the changing needs of the home population but that also attract working age people and families to the District
  • To realise around 54,000 square metres gross of additional shopping floorspace and reduce the need for residents to make shopping trips outside the District
  • Concentrate these actions at Dover to enable its transformation
  • Support these actions with the necessary range of infrastructure, including green infrastructure
  • Make better use of historic assets at Dover
  • Ensure that where possible new development plays its part in addressing climate change issues by reaching higher than national minimum standards regarding use of natural resources and renewable energy

Settlement Hierarchy and Development Distribution

3.7.

The District contains two urban areas, a market town and great variety of villages.  A clear planning approach towards them is necessary based upon an understanding of their current characteristics and function and any aspirations for the future.  A settlement hierarchy has therefore been developed to set out the general role of individual settlements and to provide a basis for the distribution of development across the District.  The hierarchy also seeks to ensure that the District's residents can access a range of services and facilities with the minimum need to travel, and that when travel is necessary there is a choice which includes public transport.

3.8.

The Government's general strategy is to focus new development at urban areas, to take advantage of existing services and facilities and to underpin urban revival, and at rural centres where it can help the settlement to function more sustainably.  This approach has been developed at the regional level in the Regional Spatial Strategy, which identifies Primary and Secondary Regional Centres, but leaves the identification of other centres for Local Development Frameworks.  Dover is identified as a Secondary Regional Centre and is also an International Gateway and Regional Hub.  This is consistent with the Core Strategy's focus on Dover.

3.9.

The Council has carried out a review of its towns and villages (see Dover District Settlement Review and Hierarchy) in order to develop the settlement hierarchy.  A strong feature of the District's make-up is the large rural area which contains a wide range of settlements.  This varies from two relatively large centres with a concentration of services and facilities to hamlets, which often have no, or minimal, community facilities.  In between, there is a range of villages which have markedly different characteristics.  The largest of these play a role in providing services that support other communities and, subject to suitable opportunities, could support a greater degree of new development.  It is therefore considered that these should be separated in the Hierarchy.

3.10.

The Settlement Hierarchy is:

  • Secondary Regional Centre - major focus for development and concentration of higher order public services and facilities in the District; suitable for the largest scale developments and transport improvements 
  • District Centre - secondary focus for development in the District; suitable for urban scale development and should provide a good range of public services and facilities
  • Rural Service Centre - main focus for development in the rural area; suitable for a scale of development that would reinforce its role as a provider of services to a wide rural area.  It should provide primary health and social care, education facilities (at least primary school), emergency services, organised sport and recreational facilities, food and other shopping facilities, including a Post Office, and be accessible by frequent (hourly) bus and train services 
  • Local Centre - secondary focus for development in the rural area; suitable for a scale of development that would reinforce its role as a provider of services to its home and adjacent communities.  It should provide primary health and social care, education facilities, outdoor sports facilities, retail facilities including a Post Office and be accessible by a frequent (hourly) bus or train service 
  • Village -  tertiary focus for development in the rural area; suitable for a scale of development that would reinforce its role as a provider of services to essentially its home community.  It should provide primary education facilities, community recreation area, at least one shop and be accessible by a bus or train service 
  • Hamlet - all other settlements in the rural area; not suitable for further development unless it functionally requires a rural location
3.11.

The Council's work on settlement review has assessed the facilities, functions and accessibility of the District's towns and villages and as a result it is proposed that the settlement hierarchy is applied as follows.

POLICY CP1 View Map of this site ?

Settlement Hierarchy

The location and scale of development in the District must comply with the Settlement Hierarchy.  The Hierarchy should also be used by  infrastructure providers to inform decisions about the provision of their services. 

Settlement Type
Function
Town/Village
Secondary Regional Centre Major focus for development in the District; suitable for the largest scale developments
Dover (including the built-up parts of the parishes of River, Temple Ewell and Whitfield)
District Centre
Secondary focus for development in the District; suitable for urban scale development
Deal (including the built-up parts of the parishes of Sholden, Walmer and Great Mongeham)
Rural Service Centre
Main focus for development in the rural area; suitable for a scale of development that would reinforce its role as a provider of services to a wide rural area 
Sandwich - established
Aylesham - proposed* 
Local Centre
Secondary focus for development in the rural area; suitable for a scale of development that would reinforce its role as a provider of services to its home and adjacent communities 
Ash
Capel-le-Ferne
Eastry
Shepherdswell
Wingham 
Village
Tertiary focus for development in the rural area; suitable for a scale of development that would reinforce its role as a provider of services to essentially its home community
Alkham, East Langdon, East Studdal, Elvington,Eythorne, Goodnestone, Kingsdown, Great Mongeham, Lydden
Nonington, Preston
Ringwould, Ripple
St. Margaret's, Staple
West Hougham, Woodnesborough, Worth 
Hamlet
All other settlements in the rural area; not suitable for further development unless it functionally requires a rural location
All other settlements
* The Structure Plan and saved District Local Plan policies propose village expansion and enhancement at Aylesham which would enable it to function as a Rural Service Centre.
3.12.

The settlement hierarchy informs the distribution of development in the Core Strategy (see Policy CP3), and will be used to inform decisions on other LDF documents, particularly the Site Allocations Document, and decisions on planning applications. The majority of development within the District will take place at Dover with levels of development also taking place at Deal along with the Rural, Local Service Centres and Villages dependent on their role as employment, retail and service centres, their level of accessibility and environmental and infrastructure constraints.  In order to help operate the Hierarchy through the development management process Policy DM1 in the Development Management section of the Core Strategy proposes settlement boundaries for planning purposes and sets out how these will be used to help judge the acceptability of individual development proposals.  The maintenance of the Hierarchy is also reliant on the decisions of infrastructure providers, in particular health, education, Post Office and transport.  A reduction in services could mean that a settlement no longer performs its role in the Hierarchy, with resultant implications for planning policy, while any increases in services should be appropriate to the position of a settlement in the Hierarchy.

Settlements need to maintain their range of facilities together with public transport links in order to maintain their position in the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy should therefore help inform both planning decisions and the decisions of service providers in prioritising investment. Full regard should be given to the implications of such decisions for the maintenance of the Hierarchy.

3.13.

Figure 3.1 shows the spatial pattern of the hierarchy together with public transport links and the location of nearby centres outside the District.  The hierarchy is robust enough to ensure that all residents have reasonable access to a range of facilities taking account of the urban and rural characteristics of the District and the proposed Rural Service Centre at Aylesham. 


Figure 3.1 Map Illustrating District Settlement Hierarchy

Provision for Jobs and Homes

3.14.

The Strategy requires land to be allocated for job creating development and for housing.  The allocations will be made through the Site Allocations Document, except where land is allocated in the Strategy through strategic allocations. 

3.15.

For the purposes of  allocating land job creating development consists of employment (B class) uses and retail and associated (A class) uses.  The requirement is expressed in the amount of gross floorspace to be provided.  Housing allocations are expressed in terms of the number of new homes to be provided.  The Strategy seeks to allocate land for up to 14,000 homes and to deliver a minimum of 10,100 of these by 2026 as required by the South East Plan.  Of the 14,000 homes, land for 7,750 is allocated through the strategic allocations and the saved Local Plan provisions for Aylesham.  Land to accommodate the balance will be allocated through the Site Allocations Document. 

POLICY CP2 View Map of this site ?

Provision for Jobs and Homes between 2006 - 2026

Land will be identified for:

Floorspace (m2

Total Additional Housing2

 

Housing Allocation Through Strategic Allocations and saved provisions for Aylesham

Balance of Housing to be Allocated Through the Site Allocations Document

Employment

(see Table 3.1)

 

Retail Allocation Through Strategic Allocations

Balance of retail floorspace  to be Allocated Through the Site Allocations Document1

Around 200,000
35,000
19,000
14,000
7,750
6,2503

1 The majority of this floorspace is in the Deal/Sandwich trade area (see Table 3.2).  If it could be accommodated it would improve the functioning of these centres and could improve retention of spending power.  Both centres are, however, constrained by a tight urban grain and historic environment and it may not be possible to accommodate this level of new floorspace.

2Regional Spatial Strategy (policy EKA7) includes an indicative 30% target for the proportion of total housing that should be provided as affordable, as defined by the terms of policy H3 of that Strategy.  The provision of affordable housing is considered in greater detail in Development Management policy DM5. 

3 This is a gross figure. The actual amount of housing to be allocated through the Site Allocations Document will be 6,250 less the number of commitments (unimplemented planning permissions and saved Local Plan allocations) and completions achieved between 2006 and the time of preparing the Document.

Job Creating Development

3.16.

The Strategy is based upon supporting the local economy to reach its full potential and in particular to realise the potential for 6,500 jobs growth by 2026.  Jobs growth will occur across various sectors of the economy (see Chapter 2, Table 2.2).  For planning purposes these are grouped into "employment" uses (meaning office, research, industrial, storage and distribution - the B category uses in the Use Classes Order) , retail and related uses (shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, financial services - the A category uses), hotels (C category) and leisure (D category).  Growth will also occur in public services such as education and health which do not necessarily fall into any of these categories but will contribute to total jobs growth. 

Employment

3.17.

With regard to employment development, the Business Development Strategy indicated potential for some growth to be accommodated in existing premises but the remainder will require additional development on existing business premises and development on new sites.  The District already has a large supply of sites with planning permission and committed through saved Local Plan policies together with spare capacity in the Richborough area, that is sufficient to support the Strategy.  The supply and its distribution throughout the District are shown in Table 3.1. 

Area
Capacity (gross floorspace m2
Area Sub-Total
Saved Local Plan AllocationsUnimplemented Planning Permissions
Dover50,000
106,000
156,000
Deal 11,500
24,000
35,500
Sandwich
104,000
7,000
111,000
Rural
29,000
16,000
45,000
Total 194,500
155,000
347,500

Table 3.1 Committed Employment Land Supply (derived from the 2007/08 Commercial Information Audit - floorspace rounded to the nearest 500 m2)

3.18.

The Employment Land Review 2009 found that of the 4,990 projected jobs increase around half can be expected to arise in employment (B class)sectors - see also Core Strategy paragraph 2.47 and Table 2.2.  The Review found that around 226,500 m2 of additional employment floorspace is needed to support this growth.  The additional 1,570 forecast jobs, which make up the total jobs growth of around 6,500, arise from planned developments at Dover Western Docks Terminal 2, Dover Waterfront and Dover St James's.  These developments will generate jobs in B class and other sectors (such as retail and leisure) on sites that are additional to employment land. 

3.19.

In order to ensure that there is a sufficient level of employment land supply, the Site Allocations Document should carry forward land allocations at around the level and distribution set out in Policy CP2 and Table 3.1.  The Document should also consider whether, in order to safeguard the supply of employment land, it is necessary to allocate sites that have the benefit of unimplemented planning permission, in addition to the protection offered by Policy DM2.  

3.20.

Finally, the Document should consider the need to prioritise sites for specific types of employment use, drawing on the findings of the Employment Land Review 2009, which indicated that the greatest need, and therefore priority, is for sites that are suitable for B1 uses. 

Retail

3.21.

The Retail Need Assessment Study (2008 Update) identifies that the Strategy will create potential for additional retail development in both convenience and comparison shopping categories.  When, however, existing pipeline developments are taken into account the potential reduces, especially for convenience shopping.  The principal pipeline developments are the conversion of comparison premises to convenience in Bridge Street, Dover and the St. James's redevelopment in Dover.  The potentials are based upon a continuation of 2007 based market share.   Retail growth potential, net of pipeline development, for the 2006 to 2026 period is shown in Table 3.2.  This is based on housing growth of 10,100 homes over the period. 

Period
Dover Trade Area
Deal/Sandwich Trade Area
 ConvenienceComparisonConvenience
Comparison
2011
-10,800
1,000
300
2,300
2016
-9,700
10,600
900
5,800
2021
-8,400
22,000
1,500
10,200
2026
-6,800
35,700
2,300
16,000

Table 3.2 Retail Growth Potential (by trade area, in cumulative square metres of gross floorspace rounded and net of pipeline development)

3.22.

The Table indicates that the majority of demand is in the Dover area.  Within Dover the completion of pipeline developments would result in an oversupply as shown by the negative figures in the table.  Growth in comparison shopping occurs in strength from around 2016 onwards reaching levels capable of supporting substantial development which, with qualitative improvements, could improve market share.  This needs to be harnessed to ensure that it improves the centre. 

Hotels, Leisure, Cafés, Financial Services

3.23.

The evidence base has identified potential for additional hotel accommodation at Dover in various categories.  There is potential for additional budget accommodation (partly catered for in the St. James's pipeline development), a niche hotel and an upper mid range hotel of  around 200 bed-spaces.  The provision of an upper mid range hotel is particularly important in supporting the uplift of Dover as a place to visit and could provide additional leisure facilities that would benefit local people.  Provision of other commercial leisure development (such as a multiplex cinema) is based on wide catchment areas and is more subject to competition from other neighbouring centres which already have such facilities.  Nevertheless, there is potential provided that a high enough quality opportunity can be presented to operators.  In addition, there is considerable need and scope for improved eating, drinking and other related town centre uses that should be incorporated with the proposals to meet the shopping potentials outlined above.  The opportunity must also be taken to improve indoor recreational facilities through dual use of new secondary school facilities provided through the Building Schools for the Future programme.  

3.24.

Elsewhere in the District potential demand for a mid range hotel has been identified at Deal allied to the potential to develop the golfing offer of the three courses that lie between Deal and Sandwich.  This will be taken forward through the investigation of the Middle/North Deal area.  The investigation will also include consideration of the potential and merits of providing for retail development if it proves to be the case that not all the forecast demand can be accommodated in Deal and Sandwich town centres or edge-of-centre locations.  At Sandwich, the combination of its historic importance, and international and national golf, offers the opportunity for an increased contribution to the tourist economy of the District. 

Tourism

3.25.

There is considerable opportunity to improve tourism, especially at the Dover Tourism Gateway, which would generate additional employment.  Much of this revolves around making much better use of historic and natural assets allied to the improvements in shopping, cafés, hotels etc. mentioned above and to the public areas of the town centre.  Many of these assets are spread apart and new ways of connecting them to encourage visits to a network of attractions rather than a single one, as at present, need to be developed.  This would help the town to take better advantage of the cruise ship trade and the two hour domestic travel market, including the new possibilities that will be brought about through the high speed train service to London.  

3.26.

In 2008 Dover was awarded considerable funding under the Sea Change Programme to start to tackle these issues.  Amongst other things, this has enabled English Heritage to commence major improvements at the Castle designed to increase visitor numbers and length of stay and to investigate improving connections with the town centre.  The proposed development of a second ferry terminal at the Dover Western Docks will enable relocation of the marina from Wellington Dock into a new highly visible sea front area.  Wellington Dock will become available for redevelopment and has the potential to create a multi-use waterfront area that would make a great contribution to improving town centre and visitor appeal. 

At Dover the Core Strategy's strategic allocations at Dover Waterfront and Mid Town will accommodate as much of the comparison retail potential as possible and take opportunities to ally this to improvements in the provision of leisure, eating, drinking, hotel and related uses.  The Site Allocations Document will make allocations for any further development, as necessary.  The full potential of public dual use of any new leisure facilities provided through the Building Schools for the Future programme must be realised.

Distribution of Housing Allocations

3.27.

The broad distribution of land to be allocated for housing development to meet the requirements of Policy CP1 is guided by the Strategy objectives and the Settlement Hierarchy.  

3.28.

The Strategy and Hierarchy seek to concentrate development at the urban areas, but especially Dover where there is more strategic need to do so and more potential.  Subject to the outcome of further investigation of the Middle/North Deal area, Deal provision is of a lower order geared around meeting local rather than strategic needs.  Provision at Sandwich is also geared around meeting localised needs.  Within the rural area there is a wide variety of settlements many of which are suitable to accommodate some development.  Of these, Aylesham is the most substantial and the Strategy includes its strategic expansion which accounts for about 7% of total provision.  Account has also been taken of the distribution of land with potential for housing development that has been identified in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment to ensure that there is a reasonable prospect of implementing the proposed distribution of housing requirements. 

POLICY CP3 View Map of this site ?

Distribution of Housing Allocations

Land will be allocated to meet the housing provisions of Policy CP2 in accordance with the following distribution:

Dover
9,700  (70%)
Deal*
1,600  (10%)
Sandwich
500  (5%)
Aylesham
1,000  (7%)
Rural
1,200  (8%)
Total
14,000  (100%)
* Subject to investigation of Middle/North Deal

 

3.29.

These are intended to be broad proportions that can be varied in relation to the disposition of suitable land for development, so long as the basic relationships in the Settlement Hierarchy are not undermined.  The figure for Deal could be varied upwards if justified by the investigation. The  distribution also indicates the locational priorities for employment land provision, retail and leisure, and new infrastructure.  

3.30.

Individual sites to meet these housing provisions will be allocated in the Site Allocations Document and through strategic allocations in the Core Strategy.  The Strategy proposes four strategic allocations at Dover with a minimum housing component as follows:

  • Dover Waterfront - 300 homes
  • Dover Mid Town -  100 homes
  • Former Connaught Barracks - 500 homes
  • Whitfield urban extension - 5,750 homes
  • Total - 6,750
3.31.

In addition, land is allocated at Aylesham for 1,000 homes through saved Local Plan policies.  This gives a total of land for 7,750 homes that is committed outside the Site Allocations Document.  Land to meet the balance of 6,250 homes (less unimplemented commitments and completions since 2006) must therefore be allocated through the Site Allocations Document in accordance with the distribution set out in the box below.  

The Site Allocations Document shall allocate land for housing development to meet the following requirements inclusive of completions since 2006:

  • Dover -          2,950 homes
  • Deal -            1,600 homes
  • Sandwich -      500 homes
  • Rural -          1,200 homes
  • Total -           6,250 homes
3.32.

The housing requirements should be taken as minimum targets, rather than ceilings, so that once land has been allocated they could be exceeded though additional suitable brownfield sites, redevelopments and conversions and through acceptable increases in the density of allocated sites. 

3.33.

The more detailed level of work required for the Site Allocations Document may result in adjustments to the numbers and proportions set out above.  These will be acceptable provided that they do not diminish the overall total of housing to be delivered and are consistent with the Settlement Hierarchy.  This detailed work must ensure that maximum use is made of suitable brownfield land in order to reduce the use of greenfield land wherever possible. 

3.34.

For many years over 90% of housing development has been achieved on previously developed (brownfield) land.  It will not be possible to maintain this very high figure.  The Council has extensively researched the availability of brownfield land that could be suitable for housing redevelopment.  The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment has been used to inform the expected contribution from brownfield land (around 43%) and therefore also the scale of greenfield land (around 57%), that would be needed to meet the overall requirements.  The brownfield land component of the Strategy is below the national target of 60%.  The target is, however, an average and by definition there will be areas above and below.  If the District is to fulfil its Growth Point and local Strategy requirements there will have to be a substantial use of greenfield land.  Figure 3.2 shows the likely sources of land required to meet the Strategy's housing provisions by District sub areas.


Figure 3.2 Housing Land Sources

Housing Quality

3.35.

Housing development takes up more space than any other form of building and is a major determinant of the character of a place.  The quality of the environment created influences lifestyle and behaviour, particularly in terms of physical and mental health, propensity towards crime and anti-social behaviour, and the use of private motor transport.  Quality in the context of this Strategy relates to appearance and standards that deal with these issues together with the ability of buildings to adapt to the changing needs of its occupants over time and to help mitigate and adapt to the likely effects of climate change.  The national Code for Sustainable Homes deals with adaptability issues and this is considered in the Development Management Annex of the Core Strategy.  The policy approach towards the provision of affordable housing is also included in this Annex. 

3.36.

National policy (in particular PPS1 and PPS3) and Regional Spatial Strategy Policy H5 emphasise the need to attain higher quality development especially in terms of designs that are appropriate to their surroundings and are locally distinctive.  This is supplemented by other national guidance such as the Manual for Streets and advice from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.  More localised and detailed guidance is provided in Kent Design, which has been adopted by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document.  The Council will always apply this guidance in its planning decisions but in order to better understand how this guidance should be applied in any one case it is important to have a full appreciation of the purpose and context of the development. 

3.37.

As set out in Policy CP3, the Strategy envisages different levels of housing development in different parts of the District in response to their varying needs and characteristics.  In general terms the Strategy proposes housing development in order to affect a locality's housing market for one or more of the following purposes.  To:

  • Create, substantially extend or re-balance the housing stock, market offer and appeal
  • Reinforce but not change an area's housing offer
  • Restore and improve an area's offer where it is in decline or stress
3.38.

It is important to understand the purpose of housing development in a particular area as this has a substantial bearing on the approach towards appropriate design and house type issues.  In reality there may be elements of all three purposes combining but the dominant purposes of the Strategy's housing provisions are set out in the following table together with the local housing market where they apply and the main issues to be addressed. 

District Area
Dominant Housing Provision Purpose
Main Issues
Dover
Create and restore
Re-balance the stock away from traditional small-scale terrace housing dominance, improve quality of appearance and standards of sustainable construction, provide family housing but also cater for ageing population. Improve environment and housing standard of areas with low quality issues.   Improve overall market appeal and image. 
Deal
Reinforce
Reflect existing character of the area while taking any opportunities to improve design standards.
Sandwich
Reinforce
Reflect existing character of the area while taking any opportunities to improve design standards.
Aylesham
Create
Uplift the village through improved housing choice, standards and improved community services and facilities.  Re-balance the stock to better cater for small and larger households and broaden tenure choice away from social housing. 
Rural
Reinforce
Reflect existing character of the area while taking any opportunities to improve design standards.
3.39.

Where the purpose is to create - Design will have a leading role in shaping the new market that is to be created in a way that addresses the existing deficiencies.  It must introduce a level of quality that is currently missing that enhances the market image and appeal of the area.  The danger to be guarded against is the creation of a place that is not sufficiently related to the existing community.  There will be a need to incorporate landmark features in the largest developments, foreground buildings, vistas and focal points. 

3.40.

Where the purpose is to reinforce - The local housing market will be performing well and the emphasis will be on the maintenance of existing characteristics.  Larger developments should incorporate foreground buildings and create vistas and focal points whereas small scale developments will generally provide background buildings. 

3.41.

Where there is a need to restore - There will be more of a need to create foreground buildings, and possibly a landmark building when there is a suitable site, in order to provide a new community focus.  It will be important to identify and address the reasons for the need to restore the housing market and this could lead to the need, for example, to create new open spaces or carry out environmental improvements and traffic management on a urban renewal basis. 

3.42.

The projections of household types in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2008 indicates that across East Kent there will be growth in couples with no children and single person households and a decline in couples with children.  For those single person and couple no children households who can afford to buy their home it should not be assumed that they will want a small flat or house.  Typically they have the largest disposable incomes and tend to purchase the maximum that can be afforded rather than to only meet their needs.  The Assessment also indicated that residents' aspirations lie more towards semi-detached and detached housing.  Overall, the Assessment indicates that there will need to be emphasis on the provision of semi-detached and detached housing in the mid and upper price ranges.  The provision of such housing is also crucial to broadening Dover's housing base and making it a more attractive offer. 

3.43.

The Housing Market Assessment identified the following broad split of demand for market housing (in rounded percentages) based upon the profile of projected newly forming households in the District:

  • 1 bed homes - 15%

  • 2 bed homes - 35%

  • 3 bed homes - 40%

  • 4 bed homes - 10%

These proportions should be used to inform decisions on the housing mix of development proposals seeking planning permission and in masterplanning work.  They will need to be adjusted by market information on the housing needs and preferences of people moving into the District (which is important in supporting regeneration objectives) and any specific site and design considerations.  Planning applications should provide a clear explanation of how these factors have been brought together to justify the proposed mix - see also policy DM5 regarding the mix of affordable housing. Regard should also be had in determining the housing mix to meet the specific housing needs identified in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment. 

3.44.

With regard to density, national policy in PPS3 sets a national minimum indicative density of 30 dwellings net per hectare (dph) and encourages the development of higher local standards.  Policy H5 in the Regional Spatial Strategy sets an overall regional target of 40 dph net.  The Core Strategy seeks to contribute to the regional target by adopting the 40 dph target as the minimum average to be achieved across the District.  Rather than set blanket density standards the Strategy's approach is to encourage the achievement of higher density (and more efficient use of land) as a function of the design process led by a careful consideration of the purpose and context of the development, as set out above.  The density of development on sites allocated for development in the Core Strategy will be established in masterplans.  The Site Allocations Document will set a minimum density as a benchmark for the preparation of masterplans and planning applications.  

The need for the design process to take full account of the purpose of development, efficient use of land through high densities and the attainment of new standards of sustainable construction (see Policy CP5) are likely to result in design solutions that evolve the form of traditional house types.  This must be achieved in a way that provides market appeal and creates a sense of place and local distinctiveness. 

3.45.

Planning applications for residential development other than small sites (producing 10 or more net new homes) should consider and justify their proposals, through their accompanying design and access statement, in terms of purpose, mix and density as set out in this section and develop an appropriate design which restores, reinforces or creates locally distinctive development.  This process should seek to achieve the highest density that is consistent with the design and acceptable in all other respects.  The Council will use the Building for Life guide (produced by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) to help assess how well proposals have responded to these issues.  The Site Allocations Document will set out requirements and guidance on these matters for its housing allocations.

POLICY CP4 View Map of this site ?

Housing Quality, Mix, Density and Design

Housing allocations in the Site Allocations Document and planning applications for residential development for 10 or more dwellings should identify the purpose of the development in terms of creating, reinforcing or restoring the local housing market in which they are located and develop an appropriate housing mix and design taking account of the guidance in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment and the need to create landmark, foreground and background buildings, vistas and focal points.  Density will be determined through this design process at the maximum level consistent with the design.  Density should wherever possible exceed 40 dwellings net per hectare and will seldom be justified at less than 30 dwellings net per hectare.

 

Sustainable Construction

3.46.

The District's susceptibility to the forecast effects of climate change have been identified in Chapter 2.  The construction methods and standards of buildings can help reduce these effects and ensure better adaptability to changing circumstances.  The Government has identified this issue as a priority (see the Planning and Climate Change Supplement to PPS1).  The Regional Spatial Strategy takes this forward through Policies CC4 and NRM 11 and, amongst other things, encourages local planning authorities to consider whether there are local circumstances that warrant  the introduction of requirements that are higher than prevailing national standards.    

3.47.

The national Code for Sustainable Homes (2006) is the Government's preferred system for measuring the performance of new homes.  The Code has six levels with mandatory requirements at each regarding energy and water usage, materials, surface water run-off and waste.  It also covers the categories of pollution, health and well-being (which incorporates Lifetime Home Standards), management and ecology but with flexibility over which standards to choose to achieve a specific Code rating.  The attainment of higher Code levels requires the incorporation of renewable energy production and implies a move towards higher density development.  The Government intends to bring in the Code's energy and water standards through stepped changes to the Building Regulations (to achieve level 3 from 2010, level 4 from 2013 and level 6, zero carbon, from 2016). 

3.48.

The national Sustainable Construction Strategy, 2008, set out an ambition for all new non-domestic buildings to be zero carbon from 2019.  Currently, there is not a non-domestic equivalent of the Code but the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a voluntary assessment scheme that covers the management, health and well-being, energy, transport, water, materials and waste, land use and ecology, and pollution aspects of non-residential building performance.  This is the most comprehensive assessment tool available to judge non-residential buildings and its standards range from pass to good, very good, excellent and outstanding. 

3.49.

The District's particular sensitivities to the likely impacts of climate change combined with water resource issues, the opportunities for renewable energy production and the scale of development required by the Strategy justify sustainable construction requirements in advance of the proposed national programme.  While Policy CP5 will apply to all new development the scale and character of the Strategic Allocations provide scope for additional requirements which are set out in the Chapter 4.

POLICY CP5 View Map of this site ?

Sustainable Construction Standards

Newresidential development permitted after the adoption of the Strategy should meet Code for Sustainable Homes level 3 (orany future national equivalent), at least Code level 4 from 1 April 2013 and at least Code level 5 from 1 April 2016.      

Newnon-residential development over 1,000 square metres gross floorspace permitted after adoption of the Strategy shouldmeet BREEAM very good standard (or any future national equivalent).

Whereit can be demonstrated that a development is unable to meet these standards, permission will only be granted if theapplicant makes provision for compensatory energy and water savings elsewhere in the District.

TheCouncil will encourage proposals for residential extensions and non-residential developments of 1,000 square metres orless gross floorspace to incorporate energy and water efficiency measures.

 

3.50.

Planning applications for these types of development should demonstrate how they would comply with these standards through the development of energy and water strategies that could form part of their Design and Access Statement and will need to submit the appropriate post-construction certificates. 

3.51.

One way in which developments that are unable to meet the standards of Policy CP5 onsite could achieve commensurate energy and water savings elsewhere in the District would be to make a financial contribution to the Council to enable it to help fund schemes that would make the savings.  The Council will publish updates of energy and water efficiency schemes that will be eligible and the cost per tonne of carbon dioxide and per cubic metre of water saved. 

Spatial Considerations

3.52.

This section sets out and develops the spatial proposals of the Core Strategy in greater detail in relation to the individual parts of the District.  It looks first at how the District's network of green infrastructure can be strengthened to help successfully accommodate development and measures that can be taken to help reduce demands on natural resources.  The amount and location of different types of development and how these can be integrated into the different parts of the District are then considered.  This is summarised on the Key Diagram and the final section sets out main items of infrastructure that are required to support the strategy. 

Dover

3.53.

The Dover area consists of urban wards and the built-up parts of the parishes of River, Temple Ewell and Whitfield which form a continuous built-up area.  They also have a strong functional relationship with the urban wards, for example, commuter trip patterns (Dover Transport Strategy) 

3.54.

The town is primarily situated in the floors of steep sided valleys within the Kent Downs.  This provides a spectacular setting but also a constraint.  Topography dictates that the town is long and rather narrow with “fingers” of development branching off the main valley (which contains the River Dour) in a westerly direction.  This produces an urban pattern of north/south and east/west grains. The centre itself reflects the topography and is long and narrow and consequently suffers from a lack of focus and central point of gravity.  Apart from pedestrianisation works and the Discovery Centre, the town centre has not seen major investment, although edge-of-centre (Charlton Green) and out-of-centre (Whitfield) areas have seen significant retail investment. 

3.55.

The north/south flowing River Dour is a spinal feature of the town but in many stretches is not publicly accessible and in some areas suffers from poor quality urban environment.  The river also poses flood risk.  In some key areas, especially seawards, pedestrian movement is restricted by main roads and discouraged by poor quality public realm. 

3.56.

The Port of Dover intends to create a new ferry terminal at the Western Docks.  This will create many jobs in itself but also enables the relocation of the marina to a more prominent location and frees-up the Wellington Dock area for non-port operational uses.  This area has immense potential for mixed-use redevelopment. 

3.57.

Issues of social disadvantage and poor housing condition are concentrated in the south western part of the town.  One of these areas, Coombe Valley, is a mix of commercial, hospital and residential development.  Some of the commercial and hospital development is falling out of use.  There is a need for comprehensive regeneration which re-balances commercial and housing uses, improves housing quality and choice and environmental quality. 

3.58.

Topographical and landscape constraints preclude the possibility of any further significant urban extensions to the west and south east sectors of the town.  Historically this has led to development in the northern sector in less sensitive landscape centred around Whitfield and to a lesser extent River.  The 1960s, 70s and early 80s saw largely residential developments on greenfield land followed by employment and retail development at Whitfield from the mid 1980s onwards.  Since the mid 1980s residential development has been restricted to brownfield sites.  The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and other related work shows that there is not sufficient capacity in brownfield land to support the Strategy and that the Whitfield area has best potential for urban extension.  The A2 passes through Whitfield and the A256 runs adjacent to the east.  

3.59.

Walking, cycling and public transport need to be made more viable and effective means of transport that better connect key parts of the town.  In particular, the station, town centre, waterfront, river and Castle need to function in a much more integrated way.  Urban extension at Whitfield will also require improved walking and cycling connections with the rest of the town and a new form of fast bus service to the centre.  Longer term provision should be made for the introduction of a park and ride service with a focus on serving commuting trips. 

3.60.

The town's historic environment represents an immense but under-utilised asset.  In particular the Castle and Western Heights need to fully fulfil their potential to attract visitors and enhance understanding, without harming their intrinsic qualities, in a way that also co-ordinates with other attractions in the centre, such as the Museum and Roman Painted House.  In addition Connaught Barracks, which contains the ancient monument of Fort Burgoyne, is no longer required for military purposes.  This provides another significant opportunity for redevelopment which should also be used to secure the future of Fort Burgoyne.  The Town's wildlife and greenspace resource, which is especially rich in chalk grassland, needs to be protected and strengthened through the green infrastructure network. 

3.61.

The facilities for secondary and further education provision are in need of major overhaul.  This is set to be delivered through investment by the Learning and Skills Council and the County Education Authority through the Building Schools for the Future programme.  This will require new facilities on-site but may also lead to the need for some schools to relocate. 

3.62.

The District Portrait identifies the structural issues facing Dover. Figure 3.3 illustrates the way in which these apply spatially, taking account of the above points.  The Dover Regeneration Strategy, Dover Masterplan, Dover Public Realm Strategy and Dover Transport Strategy provide more detailed information and analysis. 


Figure 3.3 Dover Spatial Issues

The Deal Area

3.63.

The Deal urban area consists of urban wards and the built-up parts of the parishes of Walmer, Sholden and Great Mongeham which form a continuous built-up area.  It is a generally tight grained area, especially in the centre and north, and contains several areas of historic importance - the Walmer Green and Middle Street, Deal areas perhaps define the essential character of the town combined with three castles, extensive former military barracks buildings and the pier.  It has a compact town centre that caters well for day-to-day needs and is well liked by residents. 

3.64.

To the south and west Deal is set in undulating countryside which is part of the edge of the Kent Downs.  To the north the landscape flattens into wetlands associated with the River Stour and the Sandwich Bay/Pegwell Bay area.  This area and the northern part of Deal is subject to flood risk from the sea.  The coast and countryside north of Deal to Sandwich is especially important for wildlife and is part of the Natura 2000 network of international sites.  This area also contains three golf courses ranging up to international standard.  There is potential to continue to upgrade the courses and better promote their combined offer to the golfing market.  

3.65.

While the town has two mainline railway stations it is located away from the principal road network and is served by a secondary route (A258) which connects with Dover and Sandwich.  In the urban area this route is constrained by the urban fabric and supported by a tight road network.  The nature of the route entails lengthy journeys through the centre for all north/south movements.  Outside the urban area the road is subject to an ongoing programme of safety and traffic management works. 

3.66.

There is a particular need for improved community facilities in the North and Middle Deal areas which are also areas associated with higher levels of social disadvantage.  Provision is needed in North Deal for health and social care, children's nursery, business, leisure and meeting facilities, while in Middle Deal the need is more for general leisure and social facilities and improved bus service.  Education facilities, particularly primary schools, have seen falling rolls which has led to closure and amalgamation.  Against this background there is an issue with the adequacy of facilities at the primary school in Sholden. 

3.67.

The Housing Land Availability Assessment has shown that there is not a sufficient supply of brownfield land to maintain the current level of population.  The combined constraints of landscape, access, flood risk and wildlife result in only relatively limited opportunities for urban expansion at Walmer, Middle Deal and Sholden.  The Strategy is based upon a twin approach of making most use of these opportunities while committing to the further major investigation to determine whether there is scope to overcome constraints and release further potential, particularly in the Middle and North Deal localities. Should this prove to be the case and the scope and scale of potentials is broadly consistent with the Strategy aim and Settlement Hierarchy, the matter would be taken forward through an Area Action Plan.  The opportunities for urban expansion in the Sholden and Middle Deal areas and brownfield development in North Deal should, wherever possible, be allied to resolving the identified community issues. 

3.68.

In other respects the Strategy aims to retain and develop the town’s popular appeal as a place to live and also the intimate character and scale of the town centre, while promoting the implementation of existing employment commitments (at the former Betteshanger Colliery and Minter's Yard) to provide a greater degree of local job opportunities and help reduce the need to travel.

3.69.

The three broad areas for urban expansion are shown on Figure 3.4. Specific allocations will be made through the Site Allocations Document.  Particular issues that will need to be addressed are:

  • At Walmer - a careful definition of the site boundary to minimise landscape impact, retention of a view corridor to the former windmill at Ripple and management of additional traffic to ensure that the effects are within acceptable limits

  • Between Middle Deal and Sholden - careful definition of the site boundary to minimise landscape impact and avoid areas of unacceptable flood risk, measures to help enable the provision of community facilities for the Middle Deal area, measures to mitigate likely effects on a nearby Ramsar site (see following paragraph), and traffic management arrangements ensure that the effects on the local road network are within acceptable limits

  • At Sholden - the inclusion of traffic mitigation measures, measures to mitigate likely effects on a nearby Ramsar site (see following paragraph), and to consider measures that would enable Sholden Primary School to relocate

3.70.

The Habitat Regulations Assessment of the two areas of urban expansion on land between Middle Deal and Sholden and at Sholden has identified that they are within 500m of part of the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay Ramsar site and have potential to cause significant effects on this site.  The cause of the possible effects are increased recreational pressures, urbanisation pressures and impacts on water quality and abstraction.  Increased recreational and urbanisation pressures will be addressed through the development of the green infrastructure network, in coordination with adjacent Districts, and through the incorporation of on-site open space.  In particular, the site between Middle Deal and Sholden is more accessible to the Ramsar site but also has the potential to provide a substantial new area of open space.  With regard to water issues, the Water Cycle Study has confirmed that there is sewage treatment capacity at Weatherlees Hill, the treatment plant that serves this area, and that it has scope to improve quality standards if necessary.  It will be important to ensure that specific measures are incorporated to ensure that surface water run-off from both sites is controlled to avoid pollution of the water environment.  These matters will all be addressed in the Site Allocations Document and through the planning application process. 


Figure 3.4 Deal Spatial Issues

The Sandwich Area

3.71.

This area includes the town of Sandwich and a major business area immediately to the north, leading up to and including Richborough.  The River Stour is a major feature that winds through both Sandwich town and the business area to its mouth at Richborough.  The business area includes an international pharmaceuticals research and development campus, a variety of other businesses, former commercially developed land with redevelopment potential, a disused power station that straddles the border with Thanet District and a disused wharf at Richborough.  The remains of a Roman fort, Richborough Castle, stand on higher ground to the west - a reminder of times when the Wantsum Channel was navigable and separated the Isle of Thanet from the mainland.  Kent International Airport is close by in Thanet District. 

3.72.

The area is located in a low-lying flat landscape that is at risk from flooding, principally from the sea.  It is served by both mainline railway and the principal A256 route from Dover to Thanet.  This road has been upgraded through the East Kent Access programme and has one remaining section, from Richborough to Thanet, to be completed.  The route by-passes Sandwich.  Sandwich centre has a remarkably intact Medieval street pattern and built form.  Although this poses constraints it is above all a major asset to be protected. 

3.73.

Although Sandwich is generally popular with residents and performs an important function as a rural centre and visitor attraction, there is evidence that the centre is losing its vibrancy.   A local initiative (known as STARR) has been established to help address this and should be supported by policy to maintain premises for a range of appropriate uses.  Organised tourist visits to Sandwich result in a difficulty in accommodating coaches.  There is a need to resolve this through improving coach parking facilities.  There is an international standard golf course to the east of the town, which is important to the local economy and the profile of the District - see the previous section regarding Deal and development of golf. 

3.74.

With regard to housing, the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment has found that the potential for urban brownfield development is limited by constraining factors.  However, this potential will be examined further through the Site Allocations Document.  Opportunities for greenfield urban expansion are limited also, with the exception of one area to the south west of the town.  The Strategy promotes this area in order to help provide sufficient housing to improve choice and meet local needs.  Its capacity is, however, limited by a combination of access and landscape impact issues. 

3.75.

The scale of affordable housing that will be enabled by the Strategy cannot be proportionate to the scale of need identified in the Housing Market Assessment.  Some of the affordable needs will have to be met at Dover and Deal, where there is more opportunity for development. 

3.76.

The business area to the north of the town has considerable potential for further jobs growth through redevelopment of disused sites, provided flood risk and wildlife constraints can be managed.  In addition, a process of consolidation at the pharmaceuticals campus will create potential for additional development and uses in an exceptionally high quality built environment.  The Strategy seeks to enable a wide range of uses here that would support jobs growth and the research and development functions across the business and education sectors.  This would best be taken forward through a specific study of the area to help inform the Site Allocations Document. 


Figure 3.5 Sandwich Spatial Issues

The Rural Area

3.77.

The Core Strategy aims to recognise and retain the diverse nature and character of the District’s rural settlements.  Whilst the majority of new development is to be concentrated at the urban areas, especially Dover, the rural area has an important role to play in providing choice in the housing and business markets.  The potential for additional development is limited by factors such as impact on important landscape, flood risk, highway networks, access to services, and the scale, character and function of individual settlements.  Nevertheless, the Strategy looks to the rural area to accommodate a significant total amount of development consistent with the Settlement Hierarchy and to help widen housing choice and meet local needs, including enabling additional affordable housing.  This includes the saved Local Plan proposals for the strategic expansion of Aylesham in order for it to function as a Rural Service Centre. 

3.78.

While the Site Allocations Document will need to allocate land for development to fulfil the Strategy it must do this in a way that is consistent with the Settlement Hierarchy and improves the functioning of individual settlements.  There will, however, be constraints such as landscape impact, access, nature conservation and built conservation that will limit the opportunities for acceptable development.  The position of a settlement in the hierarchy should not be taken to imply that it overrides these considerations. 

3.79.

The Strategy also promotes rural based jobs, the maintenance and strengthening of services and affordable housing by:

  • The creation of rural based businesses through the reuse of buildings and new build of an appropriate scale and location

  • Resistance to the loss of rural services, where it would harm the local community, and support for the creation of new services and measures to increase accessibility to services

  • Continue to provide for affordable housing schemes as an exception to general policy

3.80.

In addition, the rural area contains landscapes that define the District's character, much of the District's wildlife assets and green infrastructure.  Better management to improve intrinsic quality and manage visitor pressures is needed.  Work on this is established in the Kent Downs and Stour Valley and the Coalfields Programme has enabled a new country park at Betteshanger.  The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is establishing a new wetlands reserve north of Betteshanger and there is further potential at the former Snowdown Colliery.  Further work to address these issues will be taken forward through the Delivery Plan and the Green Infrastructure Network. 

The Key Diagram

How to Read the Diagram

3.81.

The Key Diagram (which can be found in a pocket at the back of this document) provides an illustration of the Core Strategy’s proposals and therefore the future shape of the District at the end of the Plan period in 2026. 

3.82.

The Diagram only indicates broad locations for development rather than define specific sites; this will be done in the Site Allocations Document.  The Core Strategy does, however, propose strategic allocations in Chapter 4.  This Chapter develops some of the broad locations on the Key Diagram into defined sites and makes specific proposals for their development. 

Infrastructure

3.83.

An integral part of the Strategy is to ensure that its development proposals are supported by the timely provision of an appropriate level of infrastructure. 

3.84.

The Regional Spatial Strategy defines infrastructure in terms of the following elements: transport, affordable housing, education, health, social infrastructure, green infrastructure, public services, utility services and flood defences.  More detailed sub definitions are provided in that Plan and the Glossary in this Strategy.  To this the Core Strategy adds management regimes to ensure efficient, effective and long-term arrangements are in place to look after infrastructure. 

3.85.

The Regional Spatial Strategy takes a three stage "Manage and Invest" approach towards infrastructure:

  • Delivering efficiency through better use of existing infrastructure
  • Reducing demand through promoting behavioural change
  • Providing additional capacity by extending or providing new infrastructure
3.86.

This approach will be embedded in the Strategy's delivery planning and masterplanning processes and through the development management planning application stage.  Infrastructure providers already take this approach to ensure value for money but the Council will require demonstration that it has been followed.  Providers are continually improving their infrastructure management techniques and this may in practice vary the amount and type of new infrastructure that is set out in the Strategy. 

3.87.

When dealing with planning applications the Council will wish to be assured that the proposals can be supported by existing levels of infrastructure or, if not, that the necessary additional infrastructure will be provided at the right time.  This could be through direct works or through arrangements with the Council and infrastructure providers.  Such arrangements could include the payment of financial contributions.  The Council will also wish to be assured that there are reliable mechanisms in place to maintain the infrastructure so that it will continue to perform its function.  The implementation of infrastructure proposals will be controlled through the imposition of conditions on planning permissions or the use of legal agreements under Town Planning legislation. 

3.88.

The Council's approach towards such arrangements (commonly referred to as development contributions) will be set out in greater detail through a Supplementary Planning Document, unless this approach is superseded by national proposals for a Community Infrastructure Levy. 

POLICY CP6 View Map of this site ?

Infrastructure

Developmentthat generates a demand for infrastructure will only be permitted if the necessary infrastructure to support itis either already in place, or there is a reliable mechanism to ensure that it will be provided at the time it is needed. In determining infrastructure requirements applicants and infrastructure providers should first consider if existing infrastructurecan be used more efficiently, or whether demand canbe reduced through promoting behavioural change, before proposing increasedcapacity through extending or providing new infrastructure.

 

3.89.

The Regional Spatial Strategy also requires Local Development Documents to identify the necessary infrastructure and services to support their proposals and the means, broad cost and timing of provision in relation to the timing of development.  It endorses the establishment of a Regional Implementation Plan and sets out that infrastructure planning is of particular importance in the Growth Areas and Growth Points. 

3.90.

The main elements of infrastructure required to support the Strategy are set out in the table below. The Delivery Framework chapter provides further information on responsibilities for delivery, funding arrangements etc. More detailed work on infrastructure will be carried out through the Delivery Plan. The requirements set out in the Strategy should be regarded as high level. The very nature of some infrastructure means that they will be subject to refinement, adjustment and even change as providers evolve new ways of meeting needs and additional requirements may be identified. The highlighted text shows the time period when it is expected to take place.

Infrastructure TypeInfrastructure RequiredPurposeBroad Timing

Transport

High Speed 1 train service from Dover to London via Ebbsfleet and Stratford

To provide step change in Dover's public transport accessibility to London

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Terminal 2 - Dover Western Docks Ferry Terminal (Port of Dover Masterplan)

To cater for forecast increase in traffic and maintain Port of Dover's leading role

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Package of sustainable transport measures for Dover (identified in Dover Transport Strategy)

To enhance walking and cycling networks, provide enhanced bus priority and service and improve road junction facility to ensure the town's transport system are working efficiently to support growth

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Dover town centre to Whitfield express bus link (Dover Transport Strategy)

To improve public transport service and reliability between the town centre and major urban extension and reduce trips by private car

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Identification of access arrangements into Whitfield from A2 and A256

To enable road access to Whitfield urban extension and improve local north/south connectivity

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

A2 Lydden to Dover dualling (Regional Spatial Strategy Implementation Plan)

Road standard upgrade to remove last remaining single carriageway sections and help enable better strategic routing of Port traffic

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Dover Park and Ride system

Reduce town centre traffic and release some town centre car parks for development

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Affordable Housing

Provision of forms of non-market housing - the Regional Spatial Strategy seeks 30% of total housing completions to be affordable. This equates to at least 3,030 affordable homes by 2026 and 4,200 in relation to the Strategy's total provision of 14,000 homes.

(see also the Strategic Housing Market Assessment)

To provide for those people whose housing needs are not met by the market

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Education

Provision of new further education facilities at Dover (Learning and Skills Council investment programme)

Replace outdated facilities and offer modern learning environment to help improve local skills and training levels

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

New secondary school facilities in Dover and Deal (Building Schools for the Future Programme)

Modernise and improve the standard of secondary school provision to support enhanced learning and attainment. Capacity improvements at Dover as required to support housing growth.

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Primary School provision

Three new primary schools to support the Whitfield urban extension. Capacity improvements to other schools in the District as required to support housing growth

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Nursery School, Deal (North Deal Regeneration Stage 1 Report 2008)

To address shortfall in provision in the North Deal area

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Health

Replacement facility for Buckland Hospital, Dover (PCT/ Hospital Trust programme)

Replacement of outdated and inefficient facilities to meet modern healthcare needs

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Two/ three new general practitioner based facilities in Dover (PCT advice 2008)

To support the primary healthcare needs of the Strategy

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

One GP based facility to serve North Deal (PCT advice and North Deal Regeneration Study 2008 Stage 1 Report 2008)

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

One GP based facility at Sandwich - subject to further investigation (PCT advice 2008)

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Health Centre, Aylesham

To replace and upgrade existing centre to better meet existing healthcare needs and to serve the village expansion. Under construction at 2008

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Social Infrastructure

Adult social services - Local Hubs, day activities for older people including dementia care, Telecare services, Adult Changing Places and drop in services for people with learning disabilities, short term breaks/ Training for Life flats

This range of services is designed to support the forecast ageing population and meet the needs of those who are vulnerable due to age, disability or illness.

Services would be concentrated at main centres in the District(Dover town centre, Deal and Sandwich)

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

General community facility to serve North Deal (North Deal Regeneration Study Stage 1 Report 2008)

To primarily address current deficiency in provision

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Multi-use community facility to serve Middle Deal (Sholden and Middle Deal Community Facilities Feasibility Study 2008)

To address current deficiencies and help support additional development

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Replacement indoor sport and recreation facility, Dover

To replace inefficient facilities at Dover

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Indoor sports facility at Aylesham (District Sport and Recreation Strategy 2008)

To redress current deficiency of provision and help support the village expansion

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Indoor 3/4 court tennis facility at Deal (District Sport and Recreation Strategy 2008)

To replace an air-hall destroyed by storms in 2007

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Two artificial turf pitches (floodlit, full size) (District Sport and Recreation Strategy 2008)

Replacement of worn out facility at Dover. New facility at Sandwich.

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Dover Sea Sports Centre (District Sport and Recreation Strategy 2008)

Regional facility for all major sea sports previously catered for in uncoordinated way and to lower level. Under construction at 2008

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Concrete skate park for in-line skating, skateboard and BMX, Deal (District Sport and Recreation Strategy 2008)

To address current deficiency in provision for youths. Opened 2008

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Green Infrastructure

Wetland nature reserve - Worth Minnis (Regional Spatial Strategy Policy EKA7)

Improve habitat, especially for wetland birds associated with adjacent Natura 2000 site. At 2008 land assembly underway. Represents part implementation of Policy EKA7

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Improve condition of AONB, especially chalk grassland (Kent Wildlife Habitat Survey 2003 and Kent Downs AONB Management Plan)

Interreg funding secured 2008, subject to match funding. HLF Stage 1 funding bid accepted 2008

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Improve condition of Kingsdown to Walmer Local Wildlife Site (Kent Area Agreement 2008)

Management Plan to be developed and implemented

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Develop Green Infrastructure Framework

A high level Framework is included in the Strategy. This will be developed and used to identify the need for further green infrastructure to support the Strategy

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Public Services

Development of provision at Dover Discovery Centre to be secured through greater sharing of accommodation and better use of information technology. There will also be demand for Red box services and mobile provision where no static library facilities are planned.

 

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Expanded adult education facilities (KCC assessment 2008)

Around 450m2of teaching space at Dover to serve future increased population

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Expanded youth facilities (KCC assessment 2008)

Around 1,540 m2of activity space probably in the form of a town centre hub in the western side of Dover and further facilities to serve the Whitfield urban expansion

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Additional cemetery provision

Additional provision is needed to serve Dover within an estimated 2 years. Research underway in 2008 to quantify this and review provision across the rest of the District

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Utility Services

Water supply (Water Cycle Study 2008)

New trunk main, service reservoir and booster station to serve the Whitfield urban extension. Local upgrades to the water supply network to serve developments across the District.

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Waste water system (Water Cycle Study 2008)

New local system to serve the Whitfield urban extension and upgrade to existing sewer.

Local sewer upgrades required to serve developments across the District. Local upgrades to the water supply network to serve developments across the District.

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Gas mains

New mains and gas reinforcement on a local scale to serve individual sites

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Electricity supply (EDF Energy Assessment 2008)

New electricity sub-station to serve further development at the White Cliffs Business Park and the Whitfield urban extension

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Flood Defences

New flood defence system required from Sandwich to Pegwell Bay (Shoreline Management Plan and Coastal Defence Strategy)

To improve defences against predicted flood risks

2006-2011

2011-2016

2016-2021

2021-2026

Table 3.3The Strategy's High Level Infrastructure Requirements

Green Infrastructure Network

3.91.

The items of green infrastructure included in the above table are derived from the proposals for the Green Infrastructure Network.  Broad analysis of the network (set out in Chapter 2) indicates that it requires improvement in terms of its condition and also strengthening through enhanced connectivity.  Additional visitor management may also be required in certain areas.  These improvements would help the network to accommodate the levels of development required by the Strategy.  There is also a particular issue within the network to ensure that  where the Strategy's proposals are likely to have a significant effect on a Natura 2000 site(s) measures are built in to ensure that the effect is avoided or, if this is not possible, mitigated to a suitable level (see the Strategy's Habitat Regulations Assessment). 

3.92.

Figure 3.6 illustrates the network, the main areas where the Strategy will result in development related pressure and the parts of the network where it is proposed to make improvements.  Where the likely effects arise from the Strategy's strategic allocations measures to avoid or mitigate the likely effects are considered as part of the allocations - see Chapter 4. 

3.93.

The Council will use its planning powers to protect the network from development that would cause harm, unless it is possible to include measures that would ensure harm is avoided or mitigated.  Mitigation could include qualitative and quantitative improvements. Planning applications for development that would create additional pressures on the Green Infrastructure Network should incorporate proposals to improve the network sufficient to address those pressures.Quantitative improvements could be achieved through the incorporation in development proposals of extensions to the network.  Qualitative improvements could include financial contributions to achieve enhanced management.  If this is not possible there may be circumstances in which such development would be acceptable if it included full compensatory measures.  The appropriateness of this will very much depend on the specific circumstances.

3.94.

The Council will develop the green infrastructure network through the Delivery Plan and continue to work with its partnersto implement the proposed improvements and to promote better management. Policy CP7 takes forward at local level the requirementsof Regional Policy CC8 with the aim of protecting and developing the District's network of Green Infrastructure in order tofoster biodiversity and wider quality of life.  For the purposes of Policy CP7 the "existing network" is the network as itexists at the time of application of the policy. 

 

Figure 3.6 Improvements to Green Infrastructure Network

POLICY CP7 View Map of this site ?

Green Infrastructure Network

The integrity of the existing network of green infrastructure will be protected and enhanced through the lifetime of the Core Strategy.   Planning permission for development that would harm the network will only be granted if it can incorporate measures that avoid the harm arising or sufficiently mitigate its effects. Proposals that would introduce additional pressure on the existing and proposed Green Infrastructure Network will only be permitted if they incorporate quantitative and qualitative measures, as appropriate, sufficient to address that pressure. In addition, the Council will work with its partners to develop the Green Infrastructure Framework and implement proposed network improvements.

 

The conceptual Green Infrastructure Framework included in the Core Strategy will be developed into a strategy and action plan by the Council working with a full range of partners, including adjacent local authorities.  This will require more detailed consideration of the likely pressures that the Core Strategy's proposals will create and identification of the most appropriate quantitative and qualitative measures that will be needed.

A specific element of this work will be the further investigation of the likely effects of the Core Strategy's proposals, in combination with other plans, programmes and projects, on European designated wildlife sites (Natura 2000 network).  Particular attention will need to be paid to:

  • Recreational pressures - it will be necessary to gain a more detailed knowledge of how and why visitors use Natura 2000 sites.  This will be used to help inform proposals for access management of these sites and proposals for alternative greenspace.  The Habitat Regulations Assessment of the Core Strategy indicates that the recreational pressure on the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay SPA is particularly complex and the Thanet Coast Project may therefore be a potential vehicle for partnership working to provide and deliver avoidance and/or mitigation measures for this site.  Other forms of partnership working to deliver avoidance and/or mitigation measures will be required for those Natura 2000 sites that have also been identified in the HRA, or in the future as the plans evolve, as suffering potentially significant recreational impacts.

  • Air quality - air quality monitoring will be used to help assess the need for mitigation measures and, if required, establish the nature of those measures.  This will need to take into account the considerable current scientific uncertainties inherent in such work and the novel nature of available mitigation measures.

The development of the Green Infrastructure Framework will need to be undertaken prior to, or in conjunction with, masterplanning for the Strategic Allocations and finalisation of the Site Allocations Document in order to ensure that green infrastructure and Habitat Regulations Assessment issues are appropriately incorporated into those plans, which may themselves require their own Assessment.  Individual planning applications will need to be assessed for their effect on, and possible contributions to, the Green Infrastructure Network and for likely significant effects on Natura 2000 sites.  Should significant effects be likely the Council will need to undertake an Appropriate Assessment in accordance with the Habitat Regulations and where the proposals will result in a likely significant effect which cannot be mitigated, then permission will be refused.

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