4. Strategic Allocations

4.1.

There are four development opportunities identified in the evidence base that individually and collectively are of such scale and significance that they are central to the success of the Core Strategy.  In recognition of this, and to enable progress as quickly as possible, their development is promoted direct through policies, explanatory text and illustrative diagrams in the Core Strategy rather than the Site Allocations Document.  The sites, all of which are located at Dover, are:

  • Dover Waterfront
  • Mid Town, Dover
  • Former Connaught Barracks complex, Dover
  • The managed expansion of Whitfield, Dover
4.2.

Dover Waterfront and Mid Town have the potential to greatly improve shopping, leisure, community and educational provision and to generate substantial new employment opportunities.  Dover Waterfront, the former Connaught Barracks and Whitfield have the ability to create a new housing offer for Dover.  The Waterfront is the highest profile site and has the potential to lead in the creation of a powerful modern image and visitor destination for Dover. 

4.3.

While the sites will be allocated for development in the Core Strategy, in view of their importance and complexity and to enable local communities to help further shape the proposals, there is a need for the subsequent preparation of masterplans or development briefs.  These will develop the proposals to the next level of detail and will provide a clear platform for the preparation of planning applications.  They must be prepared with the full involvement of landowners, local communities and all other interested parties and be consistent with CABE's 'Creating Successful Masterplans' guidance.  They should comprise: 

4.4.

A Baseline study - to analyse existing information, research and community views in order to identify issues and options, known infrastructure requirements and the need for any further research. 

4.5.

The Masterplan itself - to take forward the baseline study and develop the Core Strategy policy through to development concept stage.  It will illustrate the form and disposition of the development and establish the strategy towards matters such as access, sustainable construction standards, open space and design.  It will consider infrastructure requirements in greater detail and any necessary matters of avoiding, mitigating or compensating for environmental impacts.  It will be fully informed by the views of the local community and interested parties. 

4.6.

A Delivery strategy - to identify how the development will be implemented, the programme, any matters to be resolved such as land assembly and preparation, infrastructure requirements and delivery, development phasing and likely need for development contributions.  It will also identify the likely need for public sector intervention, by which agency and when. 

The policies for the strategic allocations focus on the principles of development and are not intended to provide policy guidance on every aspect.  They must therefore be read in conjunction with other general development plan policies, including the development management policies in the Core Strategy.  The policies are accompanied by an illustrative diagram which is to be used as a basis for masterplanning and will also help inform decisions on planning applications. 

Expansion of Port Facilities

4.7.

Dover Waterfront is centred on Wellington Dock in Dover's Western Docks.  The Docks are owned by Dover Harbour Board which has developed a Port Masterplan to guide future development.  The Masterplan seeks to develop a second ferry terminal (known as Terminal 2) in the Western Docks and to redevelop an area around Wellington Dock that would not be needed for operational purposes.  The proposals for the new terminal are considered first as they help form the context for Wellington Dock and are, in themselves, an important element of the Core Strategy. 

Terminal 2

4.8.

The Masterplan's proposals respond to traffic forecasts that estimate freight traffic is set to double over the next 30 years.  The Masterplan has identified that the Eastern Docks, which currently handles ferry traffic, is close to capacity and that increased ferry demand could only be met through developing a second terminal at the Western Docks.  The Board is developing a scheme for this terminal.  Consent for the scheme will be sought through a Harbour Revision Order, programmed for submission in 2009, rather than a planning application. 

4.9.

The concept of the second terminal is supported as an important element of the Core Strategy which would enable the Port to retain its pre-eminent position and would bring substantial benefits to the local economy.  The development is not the subject of a strategic allocation in the Core Strategy though because consent will not be sought through the planning system.  The area that is likely to form the basis of the Harbour Revision Order is shown in the plan below.  This indicates that a substantial area based around Wellington Dock is not required for Port use and has potential for regenerative development. 

4.10.

The redevelopment potential of Dover Waterfront could be constrained by the development of Terminal 2, in particular by access arrangements and by operational impacts such as noise, vibration, air quality and light pollution.  The design and appearance of Terminal 2, if it were purely functional, could also constrain the quality of regenerative development that could be achieved at the Waterfront.  It is therefore of great importance that Terminal 2 is designed in a way to avoid these impacts or, where not possible, to build in appropriate mitigation measures.  The Waterfront is considered in the following section while the statement below sets out the Council's position on the proposed Terminal 2. 

 

Figure 4.1 The Harbour Revision Order and Dover Waterfront

The District Council supports the development of a new freight and passenger ferry terminal at Dover Western Docks provided:
  1. The access, environmental and design conditions for realising the redevelopment of the Waterfront are not prejudiced
  2. It includes the implementation of an access strategy that, at the least, does not worsen environmental conditions on the A20 Dover urban sections and enables a rail freight connection in accordance with saved Local Plan policy LE15
  3. The opportunity is taken for innovative rather than solely functional design that helps to create a dramatic entrance to Dover from the west while not harming the setting of ancient monuments or other historic environment interests
  4. Pollution issues (including air quality, noise and light) are fully addressed
  5. Any potential harmful impacts on biodiversity can be avoided through design, mitigated or failing this compensated
  6. The water flow and quality of the River Dour are not harmed
  7. It safeguards the aggregates wharf facility identified in the Kent Minerals Local Plan
  8. The Wellington Dock Marina is relocated to a comparable facility and a sea connection to the Dock is maintained

Dover Waterfront

The Site

 

4.11.

Dover Waterfront occupies a key location in Dover, forming part of the western and seaward gateways to the town and extending into the town centre. It straddles the A20 and on the south side consists of Wellington Dock, the De Bradelei Wharf shopping centre, seafront including existing buildings which are listed and within a conservation area, car park and public garden, promenade and beach.  On the north side it includes vacant sites and a mixture of retail, office and residential buildings leading up to the east side of Market Square and abutting the proposed St. James's redevelopment.  It has a total area of 12.2 hectares.

4.12.

The site's location offers a unique opportunity to create a mixed waterfront development at Dover of sufficient scale, quality and substance to become a major attraction and modern day symbol for Dover.  It would make a major contribution to strengthening the town centre and create a continuous commercial area to the seafront, where it can take advantage of the setting that will be provided by the relocation of the marina.  While the site's location creates this opportunity it also brings with it the challenges of achieving such a development adjacent to the proposed new ferry terminal in the Western Docks and devising an access strategy that is consistent with trunk road objectives, yet enables the site to operate in conjunction with the town centre. 

4.13.

The majority of the site is owned by Dover Harbour Board and Dover District Council although the remaining parts are in other ownerships.  The Harbour Board and District Council are working together to enable redevelopment.  Some areas, such as that including listed buildings at New Bridge are included within the overall site for context reasons; this should not be taken to imply an intention for their redevelopment. 

The Proposal

4.14.

The site is suitable for a mixed use development comprising

  • Residential - minimum of 300 new units with potential for up to 800
  • Hotel with conference and other supporting facilities
  • Restaurants and Bars - up to 7,000 m2
  • Offices
  • Retail - up to 20,000 m2
  • Commercial Leisure - up to 15,000 m2
  • Tourism and Cultural uses

 

4.15.

The commercial uses, allied to the marina and waterfront setting, have the potential to make the Waterfront a strong visitor destination of regional significance of the type envisaged under Regional Spatial Strategy Policy TSR4.  In this respect at least it is important that the development operates in a way that helps strengthen both the town centre (by providing facilities and attractions that it currently lacks and cannot accommodate) and other major visitor attractions at Dover through marketing and visitor management measures.  The site also offers the opportunity to provide residential waterfront apartments which would extend the currently limited upper market sector of the town's housing market.  

4.16.

In accordance with Policy DM5 30% of the allocated housing (a minimum of 90 homes) will be sought as affordable homes of a type and tenure that will help to meet prioritised need. 

4.17.

In terms of quality and design the purpose is to create a new commercial and residential market.  This, combined with the prominent location, makes it appropriate and necessary to incorporate a landmark building at the Wellington Dock area.  Other buildings in the development must be arranged carefully to complement the landmark building and the whole composition must pay close attention to the multiplicity of viewpoints from which it will be seen.  These include from the sea, landward from the west, the town centre, A20 trunk road, and from the elevated scheduled ancient monuments of Dover Castle and the Western Heights.  It may also be appropriate to include a foreground building on the northern side of the A20.  The development will be open to view from most directions at both short and longer range and this will pose a considerable design challenge.  Added to this the appearance of the buildings must be reflective of Dover, in order to reinforce local distinctiveness, yet produce a powerful and contemporary image of the town.  In order to accommodate the degree of development proposed, it is likely that some infilling of Wellington Dock will be necessary.  This should be kept to the minimum in order to ensure that the historic maritime character of the site is not eroded.

4.18.

Development will also need to address the following matters:

  • Air quality, noise, vibration and light pollution arising from the A20 and port operations - successful avoidance and/or mitigation of these matters will be of great importance in order to create environmental conditions that enable the development to realise its maximum potential

  • Flood risk and assessment of the impact of development on water quality in the River Dour, which terminates in Wellington Dock

  • Impact of development on the historic environment including Waterloo Crescent Conservation Area, listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments (Dover Castle, Western Heights and an on-site crane), and archaeological remains will need to be assessed and avoidance and mitigation measures built into the design

  • Improvements to the public realm to improve the intrinsic interest of the site and to increase connectivity with other parts of the town

  • Making a contribution to the advancement of sustainable construction through the inclusion of a district heating system, ensuring that non-residential buildings meet BREEAM excellent standard and that residential buildings achieve at least 75% of the sound insulation credits under the Code for Sustainable Homes

  • Protect and improve biodiversity

 

4.19.

Planning applications that are consistent with the Core Strategy's proposals will not be required to demonstrate need for the development. 

4.20.

With regard to access, the site may not be able to accommodate full provision for on-site parking and, in any event, this may not be desirable as it could encourage the development to operate independently from other parts of the town.  Proposals will need to develop an access strategy (through a traffic assessment and travel plan) that maximises the use of public transport, walking and cycling to reduce private car usage and to provide parking for the residual car use in a way that encourages visitors to use the town centre and other visitor destinations.  Vehicular access to the site will involve the use of junction(s) on the A20 trunk road and will have to be compatible with the function of that road and access arrangements for the proposed adjacent new ferry terminal.

4.21.

The A20 runs through the site which creates difficulty in harmonising the southern (seaward) part with the north and the town centre.  Pedestrian and cycle access is possible via an underpass but this will not be capable of providing the seamless link that is needed.  An alternative over-ground solution will be required. 

4.22.

Figure 4.2 illustrates the principal issues with the proposed redevelopment of the area and should be used to inform masterplanning and the determination of planning applications.


Figure 4.2 Dover Waterfront Constraints and Opportunities

POLICY CP8 View Map of this site ?

Dover Waterfront

The Dover Waterfront site is allocated for a mixed use scheme including retail (A1 uses up to 20,000 square metres floorspace), restaurants, cafés and drinking establishments (A3 and A4 uses up to 7,000 square metres), assembly and leisure (D2 uses up to 15,000 square metres), residential (C3 use of at least 300 homes), offices (B1) and hotel (C1) uses.  Planning permission  will be granted provided:

  1. Any application for redevelopment is preceded by, and is consistent with, a masterplan for the whole site which has been agreed by the Council;

  2. The proposals relate to the whole allocated development or if less do not in any way prejudice the implementation of the whole development;

  3. The opportunity is taken for exhilarating, dramatic and locally distinctive design which is capable of becoming a modern day symbol of Dover and includes a landmark building at Wellington Dock, a foreground building on the north side of the A20 and responds to the multiplicity of viewpoints from which it will be seen;

  4. Access proposals, including an over-ground connection between the northern and southern parts of the site, maximise the use of public transport, walking and cycling and enable the development to operate in conjunction with the town centre and other visitor attractions;

  5. The proposals incorporate avoidance and mitigation measures to address flood risk, impact on the historic environment, and air quality, noise, vibration and light pollution issues associated with the A20 trunk road and the Port operations;

  6. The proposals include improvements to public realm areas to enhance their intrinsic quality and to strengthen pedestrian and cycle access to the town centre and the seafront; and

  7. The development includes a district heating system, non-residential buildings meet BREEAM excellent standard and residential buildings achieve at least 75% of the sound insulation credits under the Code for Sustainable Homes.

 

 

Mid Town, Dover

The Site

 

4.23.

The Mid Town area is the most northerly block of Dover town centre located between the High Street, Maison Dieu Road, Park Street and Pencester Road, which houses the town's bus interchange.  It has a total area of 5.9 hectares and includes South Kent College, shops fronting onto Biggin Street and Pencester Road, the Town Hall (a scheduled monument), Dover Town Council Offices, Visitor Centre, Police Station, Citizens Advice Bureau, two Health Centres, BT Telephone Exchange, EDF Depot, Bowling Green and car parks.  There are also a number of residential properties some of which are listed. The majority of the land in the Mid Town area is in public ownership.  The site is defined in a broad way to enable a comprehensive view of its future to be taken.  This does not imply that all buildings within it are proposed for redevelopment.  For example, the Town Hall and residential buildings are included only for their contextual role.

4.24.

The River Dour flows through the centre of the Mid Town area but development has tended to turn its back on the river.  Part of the site is subject to a high degree of flood risk associated with the functional floodplain of the river, which is exacerbated by drainage issues on Maison Dieu Road.

4.25.

The BT buildings are largely redundant, the surface car parks are not an efficient use of town centre space and the College is of poor configuration for modern teaching purposes, which has led the College authorities to consider providing replacement facilities. The architectural quality of modern buildings in the area is generally low and contrasts poorly with other buildings such as the Town Hall. 

4.26.

Overall, the site is an important but poorly designed and  under-utilised part of the town centre which offers the potential to re-shape, expand and revitalise it into a more compact and less linear form which opens up and makes positive use of the river.  

The Proposal

4.27.

The site is suitable for a mixed development of public sector uses, retail and residential.  While the area should be planned for redevelopment as a whole, multiple land ownership and differing programmes and priorities make it likely that development will occur in stages over the plan period.  The key factor is to ensure that no individual stage would prejudice further stages of the redevelopment.   In this respect the completion of a comprehensive masterplan, prepared in conjunction with landowners and others and agreed by the Council, will be particularly important.  Each development should then demonstrate how it will contribute to the completion of the masterplan.  It is likely that the public sector will need to lead on the production of the masterplan.

4.28.

It is likely that early stages of development will be public sector led, in particular the health and further education sectors.  The requirements of these sectors are for around 7,000 square metres and 5,000 square metres of gross floorspace, respectively.  The momentum of these developments could be used to generate commitment to the remainder of the development which comprises up to 15,000 square metres of gross retail floorspace and at least 100 residential units and parking.  The retail would be provided on two levels and could accommodate a large anchor store. 

4.29.

In accordance with Policy DM5 30% of the allocated housing (a minimum of 30 residential units) will be sought as affordable homes of a type and tenure that will help to meet prioritised need. 

4.30.

In terms of sustainable construction, the form of proposed development lends itself to the inclusion of a district heating system and non-residential buildings should meet BREEAM excellent standards.  Residential buildings should achieve 75% of sound insulation credits under the Code for Sustainable Homes. 

4.31.

Integral to the development is the enlargement and improvement of public areas centred on the river frontages (including extension of riverside walking and cycling routes) and potential to incorporate a new public square and public art.  The dominant design purpose is to restore the area and this will require careful consideration of the need for, and disposition of, foreground buildings, vistas, public space and focal points, bearing in mind the scheduled monument and listed buildings within the area and views to and from the Castle.  The selection of appropriate architectural style and materials will also be of great importance. 

4.32.

The cause of flood risk at the site is a combination of river flooding and capacity issues in the adjacent combined surface water and foul sewerage system. Careful consideration will also need to be given to the disposition of development and open areas in relation to flood risk, in accordance with the sequential provisions of national policy  (PPS25) on the degree of flood risk in relation to the vulnerability of uses. The approach to public realm provision and enhancement will be heavily shaped by this factor. It will be determined through a detailed flood risk assessment and informed by the results of the 'Flood Risk and Assessment and Appraisal of Flood Alleviation Scheme for the Dover Mid Town Area' that is being overseen by the Project Steering Group. Both of these studies are likely to be key drivers in the physical masterplanning of the site. 

4.33.

Figure 4.3 illustrates the principal issues with the proposed redevelopment of the area and should be used to inform masterplanning and the determination of planning applications. 


Figure 4.3 Mid Town Constraints and Opportunities

POLICY CP9 View Map of this site ?

Dover Mid Town

The Dover Mid Town area is allocated for mixed use development of C2 uses (residential institutions), C3 uses (residential of at least 100 homes), A1 shop uses, A3 restaurants and cafés uses and A4 Drinking establishments uses (of up to 15,000 square metres), D1 (non-residential institutions),  the redevelopment of South Kent College (around 5,000 square metres),  and parking to serve the development and the town centre. Planning permission will be granted provided that:

  1. Any application for development is preceded by, and is consistent with, a masterplan for the whole site which has been agreed by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document, or it otherwise would not jeopardise the masterplanning of the whole site;

  2. The proposals relate to the whole allocated development or if less do not in any way prejudice the implementation of the whole development;

  3. All development is located within the site in accordance with national policy on the degree of flood risk and compatibility of specific use and, where necessary, include design measures to mitigate residual risk;

  4. The design incorporates foreground buildings and creates vistas, focal points and public spaces (incorporating public art) having particular regard to relationships with the River Dour, Town Hall, proximate listed buildings and views to and from Dover Castle;

  5. A district heating system is incorporated into the development, non-residential buildings meet BREEAM excellent standards and residential buildings should achieve 75% of sound insulation credits under the Code for Sustainable Homes;

  6. Ground floor uses create activity that takes full advantage of the riverside setting; and

  7. The development is designed to complement and enhance the appearance of the River Dour and encourage walking and cycling.

 

 

Connaught Barracks, Dover

The Site

 

4.34.

The former Connaught Barracks complex is surplus to military requirements and was acquired for redevelopment by English Partnerships (now part of the Homes and Communities Agency) in 2007.  It is located on high ground opposite Dover Castle overlooking the town, port and the Channel, with views of France possible from parts of the site.  The coastal area to the east is part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and also contains the Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs Special Area of Conservation.  A residential development (and primary school) lies to the immediate north.  This was built in the 1970s and 1980s as further accommodation for military personnel and their families but is now largely in more general residential use.

4.35.

The overall site comprises Connaught Barracks (approximately 12.5 hectares), the scheduled monument of Fort Burgoyne (approximately 10 hectares), playing fields (around 9.0 hectares) and former training area (around 24.5 hectares) which has been designated as a Local Wildlife site.  The Fort has lacked a proper maintenance regime for many years and much of the ditch works have become overgrown.  Ordnance has been removed from the training area which now has potential for improvement to its ecological interest.  The playing fields remain in use and their open nature also has an important function in the setting of Fort Burgoyne. 

4.36.

The site is currently accessed from three points on Dover Road via the A258 and an emergency access direct from the A258.  The A258 leads southwards to the town centre and northwards to Deal via a junction with the A2.  There is also a separate pedestrian route to the town centre but this involves several flights of steps. Whilst the site is close to central Dover its hilltop location means that it is not readily accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.  A coach parking area for Dover Castle is located at the junction of the Deal/Dover Road immediately outside the site.  There is a need to upgrade the electricity supply, foul drainage and water supply systems to support redevelopment.

4.37.

None of the buildings on the Connaught Barracks part of the site are considered to be of listable quality but they should be comprehensively recorded prior to their demolition for their contribution to the evolution of barrack design.  The site also contains archaeological remains which must be safeguarded and parts are likely to be contaminated.  There are a number of trees within the site, and an important tree-lined avenue with a grass verge along Dover Road and Fort Burgoyne Road that runs through the middle of the site towards Fort Burgoyne and trees fronting the A258.  A tree survey and a Landscape Character Assessment will be required to identify trees that should be retained and incorporated into the redevelopment. 

4.38.

The Connaught Barracks part of the site offers a highly unusual opportunity to provide a primarily residential development in a prominent and sensitive setting providing outstanding views to Dover Castle and across the Channel.  This setting, however, also produces constraints in that redevelopment must not harm the setting of Dover Castle, Fort Burgoyne or the AONB, nor be likely to cause a significant adverse effect on the Dover to Kingsdown SAC. 

4.39.

Fort Burgoyne has potential to accommodate new uses, provided that they are compatible with its historic interest.  The former training area does not have development potential owing to its wildlife value and to landscape considerations.  Similarly development potential of the playing fields is very limited due to a combination of their recreational value, role in providing an appropriate setting for Fort Burgoyne, access and landscape considerations.  The redevelopment of Connaught Barracks will need to include measures to secure the future use and maintenance of Fort Burgoyne, the former training area and of the playing fields.

The Proposal

4.40.

The Connaught Barracks part of the site is suitable for residential development with a capacity of about 500 homes.  The scale and location of the development provide the potential to make an important contribution to re-balancing Dover's housing offer and improving its market appeal and image.  It has, in particular, a role in extending the upper-mid market range of family accommodation.  Its dominant purpose is therefore to help create an improved housing market, and design will have a leading role to play in this.  Bearing in mind the sensitive historic and landscape setting it is not appropriate for the development to include a landmark building but it should include foreground buildings and create vistas and focal points taking particular account of retained features (such as trees), important views into and out of the site and the relationship with Fort Burgoyne.  The disposition, height and appearance of buildings will also require very careful consideration in order to successfully create an appropriate sense of local distinctiveness and identity. 

4.41.

In accordance with Policy DM5, 30% of the residential homes (about 150 homes) will be sought as affordable homes of a type and tenure that will help to meet prioritised need. 

4.42.

Further important aspects to the creation of a community are the way in which it is socially integrated with the adjacent residential area of Burgoyne Heights to the north and its accessibility to the town centre.  In preparing the Access Strategy for the site, options should be evaluated with the objective of identifying an access solution that maximises the potential for walking, cycling and use of public transport. 

4.43.

The Habitat Regulations Assessment of the Core Strategy has identified that the proposed development in combination with the wider growth plans for Dover may cause  a significant effect on the Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs SAC through increased recreational pressure.  The potential impact of the proposed development should be assessed and a mitigation strategy developed, which is aimed at deflecting recreational pressure away from the SAC.  The strategy should consider a range of measures and initiatives including provision of open space within the development, improved access and management of the playing fields and management of the former training ground. 

4.44.

Development proposals should include re-use of Fort Burgoyne for uses that are compatible with preserving the historic interest and integrity of the scheduled monument and would make a positive contribution to its future maintenance in terms of generating income and also of maintaining its fabric and providing security.  Proposals will also need to establish the strategy towards public access to the Fort and future management arrangements. 

4.45.

The scale and type of development proposed lends itself to the promotion of standards of sustainable construction that are higher than national requirements.  This approach is also compatible with the Homes and Communities Agency corporate commitments.  The development should achieve at least 80% of the ecology credits using the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM assessments, as appropriate.  It will be particularly important through masterplanning to establish the strategy towards meeting energy and water requirements because of the implications for physical layout and appearance, which will also need to be considered from the historic environment and landscape perspectives. 

4.46.

Figure 4.4 illustrates the principal issues with the proposed redevelopment of the area and should be used to inform masterplanning and the determination of planning applications. 

 

Figure 4.4 Connaught Barracks Constraints and Opportunities

POLICY CP10 View Map of this site ?

Former Connaught Barracks Complex

The former Connaught Barracks complex is allocated for residential development (C3 use).  Planning permission will be granted provided:

  1. Any application for development is preceded by, and is consistent with, a masterplan for the whole site which has been agreed by the Council;

  2. The proposals relate to the whole allocated development or if less do not in any way prejudice the implementation of the whole development;

  3. The development comprises about 500 dwellings which are confined to the Connaught Barracks part of the site and make a particular contribution to the enhancement of Dover's upper-mid market range of housing

  4. A comprehensive record is made of all buildings prior to their demolition;

  5. The design incorporates foreground buildings and creates vistas and focal points using retained trees and having particular regard to relationships with Fort Burgoyne, Dover Castle and the Western Heights, and impact on the adjacent landscape especially the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;

  6. A mitigation strategy to address any impact on the Dover to Kingsdown Special Area of Conservation is developed.  The strategy should consider a range of measures and initiatives including for example provision of open space within the development, improved access and management of the playing fields, management of the former training ground or improved access to other open spaces in the vicinity of the development.  In any event the biodiversity of the former training area should be enhanced;

  7. The condition of Fort Burgoyne is stabilised, if possible new uses are accommodated, a public access strategy is agreed and a management arrangement is incorporated that secures a sustainable future for the Fort;

  8. An energy and water strategy is developed that will be capable of enabling the development throughout its lifetime to meet proposed national stepped requirements for sustainable construction under the Code for Sustainable Homes and the development achieves at least 80% of the ecology credits using the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM assessments, as appropriate; and

  9. An access strategy is developed that maximises the potential for walking, cycling and use of public transport, especially to the town centre and to Burgoyne Heights.  Should a new access onto the A258 be proposed as part of this strategy it would have to comply with the requirements of Policies DM12 and DM16, with particular reference to the landscape character and setting of the Kent Downs AONB, and avoid harm to the setting of the Fort Burgoyne and Dover Castle Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

 

 

The Managed Expansion of Whitfield

The Site

 

4.47.

The Key Diagram has identified a location for a major urban expansion at Whitfield.  The indicated area lies around the west, north and east of Whitfield.  On the east of Whitfield it is bounded by the A256.  More detailed work in the evidence base, in particular masterplanning for the east side and environmental and access appraisal work for the west, has led to the identification of a site of 309 hectares.  The site is in multiple private ownership. 

4.48.

The site comprises mainly agricultural land used for arable farming but encompasses country lanes and other rights of way and a small number of residential properties, of which Temple Farm is listed.  The national classification of agricultural land indicates that the site comprises best and most versatile land.  While the loss of high quality agricultural land is not desirable from an agricultural perspective, site search work has shown that there are no other viable alternatives.  The inclusion of some residential properties within the site boundaries does not imply any intention for their redevelopment. 

4.49.

To the south west of the site, beyond the A2, lies the Lydden and Temple Ewell Downs Special Area of Conservation.  This is designated for its dry grasslands and scrublands lying on chalk.  The Core Strategy's Habitat Regulations Assessment has indicated that the proposed expansion of Whitfield could result in significant adverse effects on the SAC unless avoidance and mitigation measures are built in.  Particular areas of concern are additional recreational and urbanisation pressures, and increased air pollution (the SAC already suffers from poor air quality). 

4.50.

The western boundary of the site is close to residential properties that are listed and to an ancient woodland while the eastern boundary is close to the hamlet of Church Whitfield, which contains a listed building.  The inner boundary of the site abuts residential properties on the existing outer edge of Whitfield.  There is a need to ensure that existing residential amenities and the setting of listed buildings are not harmed. 

4.51.

The site contains, and is set within, an undulating landscape associated with the northern slopes of the Kent Downs.  The site's boundaries have been selected to minimise the possibility of development causing visual intrusion into the wider landscape, although there are parts of the site that do not lend themselves to development for that reason.  In addition, there is a need to include open areas for recreational purposes, as buffers and as a means of deflecting pressures away from the SAC. 

4.52.

The site is not of special biodiversity interest and it functions mainly as a corridor for wildlife via hedgerows and tree lines.  Biodiversity interest could, however, be increased through strengthening the corridors and connecting them more effectively to the wider network of green infrastructure. 

4.53.

Access to Whitfield is currently primarily via junctions with the A2 at Whitfield and with the A256 north of Whitfield near Eastling Down Farm.  These arrangements are not capable of supporting significant development and, in particular, the A2 Whitfield roundabout has capacity and traffic management issues.  In addition, the local roads serving the west of Whitfield are country lanes in character, often without footways, and not suitable for serving an expanded community.  A new road network will be required to support development. The form of this is yet to be decided.  Notwithstanding the need for new road infrastructure, development of the site must include measures to maximise use of public transport (especially bus links to the town centre), walking and cycling.

4.54.

With regards to other forms of infrastructure, development will need to be supported by improvements to water supply, foul drainage, electricity and gas systems as set out in the infrastructure table in Chapter 3.  Development will also need to be supported by additional health and social care, education and other infrastructure as set out in the infrastructure table.  Although the site is within flood zone 1 and not at particular risk of flooding, the scale of development requires a flood risk assessment to address surface water issues.  This will need to take into account that the large majority of the site is within a groundwater water source protection zone 1, with the remainder in zone 2. 

4.55.

The site's development to create an expanded community at Whitfield has two important relationships:

  • The site will need to be developed in a way that responds to Whitfield's built form.  It was originally a loose settlement of farmsteads and the land between and around them was developed incrementally over many years to create the modern settlement.  A consequence of this is that it does not have a well defined centre but instead has interspersed local shops and community facilities.  Its residential areas very much reflect the different periods of growth that have taken place and include substantial estates built in the second half of the last century.  The A2 trunk road runs through the settlement and has a five arm roundabout which provides access to the local road network.  Although the junction has a pedestrian and cycle underpass the A2 creates an overall barrier effect between the northern and southern parts of Whitfield and the rest of urban Dover.  The southern part of Whitfield includes the major employment area of the White Cliffs Business Park (which also accommodates major out of centre superstores) and a secondary school.  Development of the site should include measures to reduce the A2's barrier effect and allow easier walking and cycle connections between north and south Whitfield.

  • Development of the site must create an expanded settlement at Whitfield that is complementary to the town centre rather than one in competition.  One of the reasons for seeking population growth at Dover is to help support an improved range of facilities at the town centre.  It is therefore of great importance that the expansion of Whitfield is only supported by social infrastructure, shopping and leisure facilities that are necessary for the local community and not to serve the wider needs of Dover.  In addition, residents at Whitfield must be able to access the town centre easily, especially by public transport, to encourage use of Dover town centre rather than competitor centres outside the District.

 

4.56.

Overall, the site offers the opportunity for a major sustainable expansion at Whitfield which would make the largest single contribution to realising the Strategy. 

The Proposal

 

4.57.

The site is suitable to accommodate an expansion of around 5,750 homes supported by a range of physical, social and green infrastructure, retail, small scale professional offices and other uses such as pubs, cafés and community facilities. 

4.58.

The major purpose in design and quality terms is to create an expanded community at Whitfield that improves the level of local facilities and the way in which the settlement functions while making the major contribution to the creation of a broader and more appealing housing market at Dover.  While a development at this scale must provide a full range of housing in terms of tenure, size, house type and price range it has a particular role in delivering housing that will attract people who wish to move into the District, especially families and those of working age.   This suggests a split of market housing based on the following guidance (as a variant of the general guidance in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment) which will need to be refined through masterplanning and the preparation of planning applications:

  • I bedroom - 25%

  • 2 bedroom - 35%

  • 3 bedroom - 30/35%

  • 4 bedroom - 5/10%

 

4.59.

In accordance with Policy DM5 30% of the allocated housing (a minimum of 1,725 homes)  will be sought as affordable homes of a type and tenure that will help to meet prioritised need. 

4.60.

It would be appropriate to include landmark buildings to provide entrances to the site provided this did not create issues of harmful visual impact on the landscape.  Foreground buildings, vistas and focal points should be included, especially in conjunction with the creation of neighbourhood centres and of open space networks to help create visual interest and a sense of place. 

4.61.

The approach towards the physical layout of buildings must be fully integrated with the development of an access and movement strategy, a network of green infrastructure and a strategy towards sustainable construction, especially relating to energy and water.  With regard to sustainable construction the development is of such a scale that it should seek to achieve a standard in excess of national requirements.  In particular, it should seek to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes level 4, and aspire to level 5, with immediate effect from adoption of the Core Strategy.  Non residential buildings should meet BREEAM excellent standard and schools should meet zero carbon rating. 

4.62.

An access and transport strategy will be required to establish the best route and status of the link road between the A2 and the A256 and the preferred access points to serve the site.  This should develop the findings of the Dover Transport Strategy in respect of measures to maximise walking, cycling and public transport usage - specifically the Dover town centre to Whitfield express bus, Dover to Whitfield cycle route and maintenance of access for residents to the wider countryside.  The access and transport strategy must demonstrate how access can be achieved in relation to a phasing plan for the whole development.  This must also take account of construction access arrangements which must be achieved in a way that is not disruptive to existing residents.  In addition, the development should make land provision for a park and ride facility.

4.63.

The site is of sufficient size to be able to create substantial areas of  open space (in the order of 90 hectares) that, with appropriate management measures, would have the potential to deflect urbanisation and recreational pressures away from the nearby SAC.  The likely impact of the development on the SAC's air quality issues is difficult to assess until the position of the link road is established and further traffic modelling undertaken through the masterplanning stage. 

4.64.

Figure 4.5 illustrates the principal issues with the proposed redevelopment of the area and should be used to inform masterplanning and the determination of planning applications. 


Figure 4.5 Whitfield Constraints and Opportunities

POLICY CP11 View Map of this site ?

The Managed Expansion of Whitfield

The site to the west, north and east of  Whitfield is allocated for an expansion of Whitfield comprising at least 5,750 homes supported by transport, primary education, primary health and social care, utility services and green infrastructure together with retail, financial and professional offices, eating and drinking establishments (Use Classes A1 to A5).  Planning permission will be granted provided:-

  1. Any application for development is preceded by, and is consistent with, a masterplan for the whole site which has been agreed by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document;

  2. The proposals relate to the whole allocated development or if less do not in any way prejudice the implementation of the whole development;

  3. The proposals include a phasing and delivery strategy that is related to the provision of all forms of infrastructure and the creation of neighbourhood centres;

  4. An access and transport strategy is developed that maximises the potential for walking, cycling and use of public transport, especially to the town centre and the White Cliffs Business Park area, includes link/distributor roads to connect the site to the surrounding network, identifies access points to the site and between the site and the existing settlement, safeguards land for a park and ride facility and identifies construction access arrangements that do not disrupt existing residents;

  5. An energy and water strategy is developed that will be capable of enabling the development throughout its lifetime to meet proposed national stepped requirements for sustainable construction under the Code for Sustainable Homes but enables residential buildings to achieve a minimum of Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 with immediate effect from adoption of the Core Strategy, non- residential buildings to achieve BREEAM excellent standard and schools to achieve zero carbon rating;

  6. Existing hedgerows and tree lines are, wherever possible, retained and enhanced to form the basis of a green infrastructure network that connects with the wider network and also incorporates open spaces for recreational and other purposes, including the provision of facilities to deflect likely urbanisation and recreational pressures arising from the development away from the Lydden and Temple Ewell Downs Special Area of Conservation;

  7. The design creates neighbourhood centres and incorporates a landmark building and foreground buildings and creates vistas and focal points using retained trees and having particular regard to relationships with the access and transport, energy, water and green infrastructure strategies;

  8. The mix of market housing is designed to broaden Dover's market offer and appeal and assist in attracting families and people of working age into the District while the provision of affordable housing should address prioritised need; and

  9. The proposals demonstrate how the development would protect the setting of listed buildings and integrate with existing residential areas while not causing any significant adverse effect on the amenities of existing residents.

 

 

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