ANNEX 3

1 – What level of growth should be planned for up to 2031?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was no overall clear consensus but the higher economic growth scenario was the most frequently selected answer

Tourism and the green economy alone will not deliver the growth. We need a wide economic base including manufacturing

Agree. It is a requirement of the NPPF to identify and plan for new and emerging sectors of the economy and evidence shows that tourism and the green sector fall in to this category. Thanet has traditionally been strong in the public sector administration, education and health as well as retail and growth within these sectors will also form part of the plan’s economic strategy. 8% of Thanet’s employees work in manufacturing equating to over 3000 jobs and so it is important to protect and support those businesses and maintain an adequate supply and choice of employment land.

Allocate and provide the policy framework to support all economic growth anticipated within the plan period. Protect and safeguard existing employment uses and apply a flexible policy approach in order to accommodate employment generating growth that has not been anticipated.

 

The airport has not delivered growth in the past

Agree, there is continuing uncertainty at the airport. Some growth is anticipated over the plan period but the strategy for economic growth should not rely on this.

Positively plan for growth at the airport by safeguarding land for airport related use.

 

Economic growth should not be at the expense of the natural environment

Agree, Thanet has a rich bio diverse environment. A quality attractive environment is key to economic growth and it is a strategic priority to safeguard this.

The plan as a whole will make provision for protecting the environment and seeks to strike a balance between economic growth and protecting the environment by having policies that protect local, national and international nature conservation designations and protecting the open countryside.

In addition, all draft policies will be subject to Habitats Regulations screening to ensure there is no likely significant impact on nature conservation designations.

 

Transport infrastructure is vital due to the peripheral geography of the district

Agree, good transport connections are vital for economic growth. This includes both connectivity within the district and transport links to further afield.

Provide pro active support in the Transport sections of the plan for transport and improvements to connectivity including new rail infrastructure and ensuring sufficient capacity on the strategic road network

 

Discovery Park will have an effect on employment growth in Thanet

Agree, this may have an effect on the level of employment land take up in Thanet. However, having an enterprise zone so close to the District boundary could have a positive effect on business start ups and enterprise and expanding businesses may be interested in Thanet’s nearby employment land.

Acknowledge Discovery Park’s role in the employment land allocation strategy and ensure there is sufficient land and flexible policies to take advantage of knock on effects.

 

The airport may compromise investment in the tourism and green economy

There is no evidence to suggest this. Tourism and the green economy are currently strong and their continued growth is supported by the Council and is a  strategic objective of the plan.

Support the tourism and green economies by being flexible and not just supporting tourism uses in town centres and allocating adequate land to support the green economy. Airport policies will also contain criteria to protect the environment.

 

Quality of jobs need to improve to bring up wage levels. Need to improve skills and training

Agree and consider that improving education and skills is a key part of the economic strategy in order to attract and provide for a range of good quality employers.

Support the expansion and upgrade of education and skills facilities including new and expanding schools and  give support for the University.

 

Thanet is a retirement area but this creates jobs for others

Agree. The health and social care sectors of the economy are currently strong and the Council is supportive of further job growth in these areas.

Local Plan to acknowledge this in the economic strategy

Most people agreed or strongly agreed that there should be additional employment growth at the airport although a fair amount disagreed

Airport is unviable and in a peripheral location. A wait and see approach is advised.

Partially agree. The economic growth strategy of the Local Plan should not rely on the airport given the uncertainty over its future, however, as some growth is feasible over the plan period according to The Economic and Employment Assessment 2012 then it should be planned for in order to meet the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework.

An element of growth at the airport should be planned between low growth and high growth. A review of the plan should be triggered if the airport grows substantially.

 

Infrastructure needs to be improved including road infrastructure

Agree that supporting infrastructure is important to the economic growth strategy in the Local Plan

Support development of a new station that serves commuters and the airport, continue policy support for the airport subject to criteria and ensure sufficient capacity on the strategic road network. Provide support for improved communications infrastructure. These projects will be considered through the infrastructure delivery plan.

 

Impact on wildlife such as farmland birds

Agree that this is an important consideration

Local Plan will state that any development at the airport should not be detrimental to wildlife and particularly the European designated sites and that any effects will be adequately mitigated.

 

Noise and night flights

Agree that this is an important consideration

A section 106 agreement with the airport dealing with this issue is in place and will be replaced if necessary.

 

Manston airport is an underutilised resource

Agree. Predicting how the airport will develop is difficult but as it is a significant piece of infrastructure with potential, an element of growth should be planned for in the Local Plan timeframe.

An element of growth will be planned for at the airport over the airport above the low growth scenario.

 

Airport growth would be a stimulus to the local economy with positive knock on effects for other business

Agree, that there is potential for growth and knock on benefits within the Local Plan timeframe.

An element of growth will be planned for at the airport over the airport above the low growth scenario.

 

Climate change issues may lead to less air travel in the future

There is no evidence to suggest this. There is demand for increased capacity at the main UK airports

 

The majority of people opted for the airport low growth option which plans to deliver 240 jobs over the plan period.  The remaining responses were evenly spread between high growth and no growth

Based on past performance at the airport a cautious approach should be taken

Agree, the future of Manston airport is uncertain and therefore predicting growth is difficult.

An element of growth should be planned for over the plan period but high growth is not assumed

 


 

 

2 – How much employment land is needed and where?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Most either agreed or had a neutral opinion about whether we should provide the amount of employment land that evidence suggests.

Allocations should reflect the evidence that only 30% of future employment growth is expected to be within the B use classes

Agree. Adequate allocations should reflect the Council’s aspiration for high economic growth. As much of the growth is in sectors outside the traditional industrial a flexible approach is needed.

Employment land allocation strategy will be flexible and accommodate growth that is not necessarily from the industrial sectors. Town centres secondary frontages will also accommodate a wide range of employment uses

There was no consensus on  whether we should include an additional amount of employment land as a buffer

We should use the employment land we currently have allocated before we allocate any more and that there is little demand for more floorspace within the plan period

Agree, the NPPF states that the long term protection of employment land should be avoided where there is no reasonable prospect of the land being used for that purpose. Therefore a review of existing employment land has been carried out.

 

Sites should be selected from our current supply and no further employment land should be allocated

When asked if we should consider using some existing allocated land for alternative purposes most people either agreed or had a neutral opinion.

 

 

Agree, the NPPF states we need to provide for all types of employment and evidence suggests that 70% of growth to the end of the plan period will be in the non B use classes

Some employment land should be allocated for flexible uses given the evidence that suggests only 30% of employment growth will be in the B use classes

No clear consensus was recorded when considering whether we should maintain the existing supply of allocated employment land

There were concerns regarding over development and increased road use if we allocate more employment land

Agree. Evidence suggest that our existing employment land supply can accommodate employment growth to 2031

Sites will be selected from our current supply and no further employment land should be allocated for employment use

 

We should consider other employment generating uses such as home working, arts, leisure, tourism and education uses

Agree. Evidence suggests 70% of employment growth will be in the non B use classes

Support home working through a policy. Support arts leisure and tourism uses in town centres, on specific sites and through criteria based policy. Support education development in the plan

When asked whether we should provide a variety of sites in a range of locations across the District most people agreed. Most people disagreed with the statement that suggested we should provide all employment land in a single location or cluster.

 

It should be recognised that some employment land will need to be located outside the built settlements

Agree, evidence suggests that we require a range of employment sites in different locations and indeed some uses are incompatible in the built confines. In addition the NPPF requires us to support the rural economy and therefore some employment land will need to be allocated in appropriate locations outside the built settlements.

Employment sites will be allocated in a variety of locations with different functions responding to need arising over the plan period and in accordance with the employment land allocation strategy.

 

Sites should be provided within the town centres and villages.

Agree, evidence suggests that we require a range of employment sites.

Employment sites will be allocated in a variety of locations with different functions from the existing supply. There will be policies to facilitate economic development in the rural area. Town centre policies will also facilitate economic development. Some additional sites were submitted – see Employment land review Update appendices

Most people agreed when asked if Thanet’s need for employment land can be accommodated by a selection of sites from the existing supply

The current oversupply of employment land could be used for housing land, green open space or reverted back to farmland

Agree. An assessment has been made of the existing employment land supply based on current evidence and those considered surplus to requirements may be released for alternative uses.

Land that does not positively contribute to the employment land allocation strategy is being released and considered for alternative uses.

Most people agreed we should be flexible and allow other employment creating development on our business parks.

 

Local economies are likely to change over the next 15 years so we need to be flexible and reactive. Uses that are allowed on employment sites should be relaxed to help local businesses

Agree, the NPPF says we should plan for all types of employment growth over the plan period.

Some employment land will be allocated for flexible uses given the evidence that suggests only 30% of employment growth will be in the B use classes

The majority of people agreed that we should protect the existing developed employment sites which are currently protected in the Thanet Local Plan 2006

Protecting employment sites is important to sustain high employment growth and so that Greenfield land is not required.

Agree, it is important to safeguard existing employment stock and protect land that contributes positively to the economic strategy, for future employment use based on up to date assessments of need.

A generous amount of employment land will be retained to accommodate need in the plan period based on evidence and building in an element of contingency. Given the amount of land available compared to the employment need there is no need to protect all sites and some that do not contribute positively to the employment strategy should be considered for other uses.

 

Given new change of use flexibilities for B1 uses de-allocating sites could leave them open for inappropriate development

Protecting sites will not stop this permitted development occurring. Therefore, adequate land should be provided to accommodate losses to other uses and to facilitate flexible uses on some of our employment sites.

An adequate amount of employment land will be retained/protected and allocated to allow for a wide range of uses and to allow for an element of contingency.

 


 

 

3 – How can we promote our Economic Infrastructure Assets?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Most people agreed that we should continue to support the development, expansion and diversification of the airport subject to environmental criteria. As well as protecting particular land for airport related development

This would make Thanet a hub rather than a peripheral area and would benefit the whole economy

Agree, although the future of the airport is uncertain there could be potential for some growth.

A positive policy generally supporting the continued use and development at the airport will be included in the plan.

 

If we don’t exploit the potential then we are missing an opportunity as it is an underutilised resources and a convenient alternative to the London airports

Agree, that the airport has some potential although its future is uncertain.

A positive policy generally supporting development at the airport will be included in the plan.

 

Projections in the airport masterplan have been overambitious and the airport has not been successful at attracting growth in the past.

Agree, the Council is not basing its economic growth strategy on the airport masterplan as growth predictions have not been realised.

The Local Plan is cautiously planning for an element of growth around the airport but not the high growth scenario. High growth at the airport would trigger a review of the plan

 

The airport is not viable due to its limited catchment

No evidence has been submitted to suggest this

 

 

Concerns over the effects of noise and disturbance particularly night flights

Agree this is an important consideration

There is a section 106 agreement with the airport concerning night flights.

 

Concerns over air pollution, groundwater quality and wildlife impacts of airport expansion

Agree this is an important consideration and intensification of airport uses could have a negative effect on air and groundwater quality and Thanet’s nature conservation

Local Plan will state that any development at the airport should not be detrimental to wildlife and particularly the European designated sites and that any negative effects should be sufficiently mitigated against. The plan will also contain an environment and quality of life section with policies to protect wildlife and deal with pollution issues.

 

Designations should be relaxed to allow for other employment generating uses.

Disagree, the Council generally supports an airport and other employment generating uses in the central island area.

Positive policies supporting such uses will be included in the plan compatible with the airport.

There was no clear consensus when asked whether we should provide a new station designed to serve commuters and/or the airport. Generally people agreed that we should increase the use of existing stations, including providing increased capacity at Ramsgate Station.

A parkway station would make Manston airport more viable

Agree, decreasing journey times to and from Thanet and generally improving the area’s rail infrastructure would be of benefit to the whole economy.

General support will be given through the Local Plan for a new railway station decreasing journey times, improving Thanet’s rail infrastructure and increasing the potential catchment of the airport.

 

The parkway station would be expensive and would be of detriment to other existing stations in Thanet.

Commitment to the funding for Parkway station will be determined outside the Local Plan process. There is still a need for existing stations and it must be ensured that the parkway is complementary to existing stations

 

Include transport policies supporting public transport and connectivity

 

 

 

 

 

Concern that it will draw people away from town centres and a shuttle bus for this was suggested

There is no evidence to suggest this. The Council is supportive of the vitality and viability of the town centres and linkages between them.

Generous primary and secondary frontages along with seafront areas of tourism and leisure will be allocated to support vitality and viability of the town centres and attract people to these hubs. In addition the plan supports connectivity by public transport as well as promoting walking and cycling. Include transport policies supporting public transport and connectivity

 

 

The parkway is not needed until the airport is successful otherwise it may become a car park

Given the uncertainty over the future of the airport it is important not to base the plan’s economic strategy on its growth. Evidence suggests that the station is needed to address current capacity issues on the rail network. A new station would have wider benefits for Thanet’s economy and not just growth at the airport.

 

 

Concern about the effects of land take with a parkway station and the environmental impacts of this in a countryside location

A balance needs to be struck between the economic and social benefits of the station and its impact on the immediate environment.

Add criteria to protect landscape character and best and most versatile agricultural land.

 

Better links are needed between stations and between the stations and the town centres

The Council is supportive of the vitality and viability of the town centres and linkages between them.

Generous primary and secondary frontages along with seafront areas of tourism and leisure will be allocated to support vitality and viability of the town centres and attract people to these hubs. In addition the plan should support public transport and connectivity as well as promoting walking and cycling

 

 


 

 

4 – How should Thanet’s town centre’s develop?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Most agreed that the coastal towns should adopt a stronger role in providing convenience shopping as this is beneficial for communities and reduces the need to travel

Concern that convenience at the coastal town centres should not be in the form of large supermarkets and that they should be at the appropriate scale

People should not have to travel far to access everyday convenience needs

Adequate space in the town centres will be provided to accommodate convenience shops and provide opportunities to better balance convenience provision across the District

 

Large supermarkets should be “within” the town centres to increase footfall in the towns

Agree, it is important that we protect and enhance the vitality and viability of the town centres in accordance with the NPPF.

Convenience uses will be permitted both in the primary and secondary frontages of the town centres and elsewhere only in accordance with the sequential test policy.

When asked if we should plan for a level of development at Westwood which would maintain its existing market share most people either agreed or had a neutral opinion

 

Agree, Westwood is a successful and thriving town centre serving the catchment of the whole of Thanet and it is a strategic priority of the Council to support this role. There is no justification for further growth other than to maintain its position in the retail hierarchy.

An element of development will need to occur if market share is to be maintained. This will be accommodated largely within existing town centre boundary.

No clear consensus for the option of planning for additional growth at Westwood to increase its market share

Concern about the effect on the coastal town centres of increasing the market share at Westwood

Agree, consultation with retailers suggests that there is no need to increase the market share and therefore development at Westwood will not affect the coastal town centres

Plan for a constant market share which will involve an element of development. Plan positively for development and urban renewal in the coastal town centres by designating existing vacant frontages in order to support their vitality and viability.

 

Problems of traffic congestion may be exacerbated if there is more development at Westwood

Agree, however there are mitigation measures in place to address this. Development in the vicinity of Westwood should contribute to a Westwood relief scheme. Future committed development at Westwood has contributed to improved traffic solutions and there is no need to plan for major additional growth.

The plan will seek to ensure that development in the vicinity of Westwood should contribute to a Westwood relief scheme.

 

Support for further expansion at Westwood

Agree, growth needs to happen in order to maintain the current retail hierarchy and Westwood’s role in the wider sub region.

An element of development will need to occur if market share is to be maintained. This will be accommodated largely within existing town centre boundary

A range of views were recorded when asked what uses should be planned for in Westwood, Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Most thought there should be a range of facilities in all towns

Westwood Cross lacks financial and professional services such as banks

Agree. Adequate vacant floorspace exists at Westwood to accommodate such uses

Allocate town centre boundaries to accommodate wider town centre uses

 

Cafes and restaurants should be encouraged in the coastal town centres along with financial and professional services to a lesser extent

Agree. Adequate vacant floorspace exists to accommodate such uses except in Broadstairs where some flexibility will be required.

Allocate town centre boundaries to accommodate wider town centre uses.

 

The coastal town centres should contain a greater range of facilities to remain competitive and attract tourism

Agree, it is important for the town centres vitality to contain a wide range of uses. It is appropriate to maintain a retail core to the town centres with a much broader range of uses within the wider town centre.

Adequate primary and secondary frontages will be identified to accommodate a range of uses

 

No A2, A3, A4 or A5 facilities should be provided at Westwood

This is not realistic as the uses described are town centre uses as allowed by the National Planning Policy Framework. It is a strategic priority to consolidate the role and function of Westwood as Thanet’s primary town centre and therefore a range of uses is needed to support the commercial and residential communities in the vicinity.

 

 

Some thought there was an adequate mix of uses in all town centres

 

 

There was strong agreement that we should be flexible in our towns to enable leisure development

Leisure development could re-energise the town centres making them more viable, encourage tourism and increase footfall

Agree, leisure development is a town centre use and is important to Thanet’s economy.

Adequate primary and secondary frontages will be identified to accommodate a range of uses

 

Flexibility should not be afforded to gambling establishments

Amusement centres and betting shops are town centre uses and cannot be restricted under current legislation

 

 

The most appropriate locations for leisure development is the seafront areas and specific sites leaving the town centres for retail use

Agree that seafront areas and non town centre sites can be appropriate for leisure development in some cases. It is important to maintain a retail core in the town centres

Key sites should be identified for leisure development and the sequential test for town centre uses should look at edge of centres and business parks where development cannot be accommodated within town centres. The primary frontages should be restrict to retail use only.

In Margate and Ramsgate the existing vacant floorspace should be used to accommodate the need for town centre uses.

 

Agree, both Margate and Ramsgate have substantial town centre vacancies

The primary and secondary frontage designations will mostly cover the vacant frontages in order to direct town centre development to these areas.

There was general agreement that at Westwood the existing retail areas could be used to accommodate the need through redevelopment and reconfiguration

 

Agree, there are large areas of parking that could be redeveloped and there is the potential for mezzanine floorspace in some buildings. There are also significant existing commitments at Westwood.

An element of town centre retail development will need to occur if market share is to be maintained. This will be accommodated largely within existing town centre boundary

There was general disagreement or neutral opinions for the option of accommodating the need for Broadstairs on the edge of the town centre or at Westwood Cross due to insufficient space

 

Town centre need for Broadstairs has to be accommodated over the plan period. If it is located in an area outside Broadstairs town it may harm the vitality and viability of Broadstairs Town centre.

The primary and secondary frontages of Broadstairs will need to be sufficient to accommodate this need. The plan will also contain a policy that allows for development on the edge of the town centre of Broadstairs where it cannot be accommodated with the primary and secondary frontages.

 

Existing facilities should be maximised before any new development is proposed

Agree, vacant frontages and allocations will be the first choice for town centre allocations where possible

Primary and secondary frontages will predominantly cover vacant areas of the town centres in order to focus town centre development in these areas.

Proposals for town centre uses outside of town centres will be subject to an impact test. Most respondents either agreed with or had neutral opinions on the size thresholds for the impact test

 

The Council wishes to reflect the National Planning Policy Framework and guidance with regard to impact tests. Size thresholds were suggested in the Town Centre Assessment 2012.

The Impact test policy wording will reflect the National Planning Policy Framework. It will also largely reflect the suggested thresholds from Town Centre Assessment carried out by Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners in 2012.

 


 

 

5 – How can we support the rural economy?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Most people agreed that we should support farm diversification projects

There should be as much diversification as possible providing that rural identity is retained and that the focus is on making farms viable. Quex is a good example of a diverse employer

Agree, the National Planning Policy Framework supports farm diversification and particularly ways of supporting the rural economy.

Include a policy supporting farm diversification subject to certain criteria that protects rural identity. Include a policy supporting farm diversification projects at Quex in order to support the tourism industry.

Most people agreed that  we should protect existing and support the development of new village shops and services

Some thought that village shops provide villages with a sense of community

Agree, the National Planning Policy Framework promotes the retention and development of local services and community facilities in rural areas

Include policies in the

Local Plan that protect vital rural shops and services and provide for new ones.

Most people agreed that we should protect best and most versatile agricultural land

Protecting farmland is of great importance

Agree, the National Planning Policy Framework states that Local Plan strategies should protect best and most versatile land

Include a policy in the Local Plan that protects best and most versatile agricultural land. This

Most people agreed that we should support agricultural related development including farm retail units

Farm shops can bring vibrancy to rural areas

Agree, the National Planning Policy Framework requires LPA’s to support the needs of the food production industry and the rural economy as a whole

Include policies that support agricultural related development and diversification of agricultural and other land based rural business (that in turn would support the development of farm retail units) in the Local Plan including criteria that protects the character of the rural area

Most people agree that we should support the conversion of existing rural buildings for economic development purposes

 

Agree, the NPPF states that we should support this, however there is also the need to protect the countryside.

Include a policy in the Local Plan that supports conversion of rural buildings for economic development purposes subject to criteria that protects the character and appearance of the area

Most people agreed that we should support the need for agricultural related dwellings

 

Agree, the NPPF recognises that there may be exceptional circumstances where it is essential for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside. In addition new permitted development flexibilities will facilitate this

Include a policy for new agricultural dwellings including strict criteria to ensure it is justified.

There was no clear consensus about supporting new build development for economic purposes within the existing villages

Additional development in rural areas such as conversion from farm buildings to commercial and residential can make them more sustainable and should be encouraged.

New build development in the rural area for economic development is supported in the NPPF , but the Council is mindful that it must not be of a scale and form that is harmful to the character and function of the rural area

Include a policy in the Local Plan supporting new build development in the villages for economic development purposes subject to criteria that protects the character and function of the rural area. Outside the confines new build development may be unsustainable.

 

Some thought that new build development should be supported but only where it is not harmful to the unique local character

Agree, see above

Include a policy in the Local Plan supporting new build development in the villages for economic development purposes subject to criteria that protects the character and function of the rural area

 

The rural economy in Thanet should be protected and specifically targeted at strengthening rural communities

Agree that the rural economy is an important part of the overall economy

Include a suite of policies supporting the rural economy rather than protecting certain enterprise as this is not feasible

The availability of water was considered to be a barrier to the food production industry.

 

Agree, according to the Environment Agency Thanet is a water stressed area

The Local Plan will deal with this issue overall and require code level 5 for water (code for sustainable homes) in all new development.

The threat from development (particularly housing) was considered a barrier to the food production industry

 

Some greenfield land will have to be used to accommodate housing needs in the District however, sustainability criteria is used when selecting sites for housing development including consideration of best and most versatile agricultural land which protects top grade agricultural land.

The plan will contain a suite of policies to support the food production industry such as supporting farm diversification and agricultural related development and protecting best and most versatile agricultural land. 

The prevalence of solar farms and anaerobic digesters were considered a barrier to the food production industry

 

No evidence has been submitted to suggest this, Solar farms are a temporary use and do not have a long term effect on the quality of agricultural land. Market forces should dictate whether land is needed for agricultural use. It is considered that these uses have positive effect on farm viability. Policies in the plan will address the issue of the loss of agricultural land.

Include a solar farm policy in the plan which states that they should be temporary, capable of removal and cause minimal disturbance to agricultural land.

 


 

 

6 – How can we support the visitor economy?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was no clear consensus when asked if we should support hotel developments in areas outside of town centres

Some thought that town centres were the most sustainable locations for hotels and that hotel development outside the town centres could lead to harmful development in the countryside

Agree that town centres are suitable locations for hotel development but other areas may also be appropriate. Most countryside locations would probably not be appropriate.

Include a criteria based policy for the location of new serviced tourist accommodation that requires development to be well related to existing built development and seeks to protect the landscape character and nature conservation value of areas outside of the built confines.

 

we should not be placing unnecessary restrictions on hotel development

Agree that we should be more flexible with hotel development but it could be harmful to allow them everywhere without suitable criteria

Include a criteria based policy for the location of new serviced tourist accommodation.

 

Seafront areas could be appropriate for hotel development

Agree that some seafront locations that are well related to the urban area may be appropriate.

Include a criteria based policy for the location of new serviced tourist accommodation.

When asked if we should continue to support touring and static caravans parks in rural locations most people either agreed or had a neutral opinion

 

Agree that touring and static caravans are an important part of the tourist accommodation mix in Thanet and should continue to be supported where appropriate.

Include a policy supporting new, upgraded and improved self catering tourist accommodation

When asked if we should continue to restrict touring and static caravan parks at the coast most people agreed

Some thought that caravan parks are detrimental to the landscape and should not be supported at all especially at the coast and particularly static caravan parks.

 

Agree that static caravans can cause visual intrusion and because of their permanency they are not appropriate in open coastal locations. There is a case for allowing static caravans to provide necessary accommodation to support the aim of increasing overnight staying visits to the District.

Include a policy that supports new, upgraded and improved self catering accommodation subject to appropriate siting, design, scale and access. Development will be required to be extensively landscaped if necessary.

When asked whether we should continue to restrict the redevelopment of existing self-catered accommodation where necessary, to maintain a reasonable choice of tourist accommodation in Thanet most people agreed or had a neutral opinion

 

Agree, that all tourist accommodation in Thanet is vital to the industry and is an important way of increasing income from tourism. As such the loss of such facilities should be resisted

Include a policy that resists the loss of existing tourist accommodation with 10 or more bedrooms.

 

There was general agreement that there should be a range of good quality accommodation available in order to support the visitor economy

Agree, a mix of accommodation is appropriate to boost the tourism economy

Include policies that support a range of tourist accommodation

There was strong agreement that we should continue to support new tourist facilities where this would extend or upgrade the range of tourist facilities, increase the attraction of tourists to the area or extend the season

 

Agree, the tourism economy is very important to Thanet and the aims of upgrading facilities, increasing the attraction of visitors and extending the season further improves this area of Thanet’s economy

Include a strategic tourism policy that supports these aims

There was no consensus when asked whether we should identify particular sites outside town centres that would be suitable for tourism

There was a concern that tourist facilities may be in remote locations

Agree that tourist facilities are generally inappropriate in remote locations

Some key sites have been selected for tourism and leisure uses. These are all within town centres or related to town centres with the exception of Quex Estate which encourages tourism and leisure uses but will include criteria to protect the parkland setting of the Estate.

Most thought that we should only allow the loss of an existing tourist facility where it has been demonstrated that it is no longer viable. Some thought that we should protect all facilities and restrict their loss. And some thought that we should only protect identified sites that are of particular importance to Thanet’s visitor economy

There was general concern about the loss of facilities but there was uncertainty over the definition of viable and the fact that this could be down to poor management

Agree. The loss of tourist facilities is a concern but it is difficult to resist the closure of an unviable business. Blanket protection could lead to vacant premises and dereliction. It is however, considered important to protect tourism accommodation in the District as evidence suggests we currently have a deficit and the encouragement of the staying visitor is of importance to Thanet’s economy and in line with the Council’s Economic and Regeneration strategy.

Include a policy that resists the loss of existing tourist accommodation with 10 or more bedrooms subject to viability criteria.

 

Some thought that applications for the loss of a facility should be dealt with on a case by case basis.

 

Agree, this is a sensible approach for tourist facilities in general but it is considered that tourism accommodation is so important to our tourism economy that change of use should be resisted

Include a policy that resists the loss of existing tourist accommodation with 10 or more bedrooms subject to viability criteria.

There was strong agreement that we should continue to zone Thanet’s beaches as “major holiday, “intermediate” and “undeveloped” depending on their character and level of facilities available.

Beaches are Thanet’s greatest asset

Agree, Thanet’s beaches are one of the major tourist attractions in Thanet and their character and diversity should be protected.

Include policies to protect the beaches and allow certain development according to their character following an audit of beach facilities.

 

There was general agreement that we should continue to support language schools subject to their local impact.

A few people mentioned that they can lead to anti social behaviour and confrontation with local youths

Agree, language schools are a major source of income for Thanet but their potential impact needs to be carefully managed

Include a policy on language school which contains criteria related to impact

 

The positive benefit on the local economy from Language Schools was generally welcomed.

 

 

There was also general agreement that we should continue to only support amusement arcades in certain seafront locations in Margate and Ramsgate

 

Agree, amusement arcades are not appropriate in all areas due to their open fronted and noisy nature

Define areas within the coastal town centres that can accommodate amusement arcades

There was some disagreement with the suggestion that we should continue to allow amusement centres in the town centres

Many thought that town centres were inappropriate locations for gaming

 

Amusement centres are considered a town centre use according to the NPPF and as such should be allowed in the town centres

Include amusement centres as acceptable uses within the secondary frontage areas and do not allow them within primary shopping frontages

 

Amusement uses contribute to the tourist economy.

Agree, amusement uses are part of a mix of tourist uses in the area and are considered attractive to some people.

 

Include amusement centres as acceptable uses within the secondary frontage areas and do not allow them within primary shopping frontages

 

Amusement uses are outdated and have negative associations

 

Include amusement centres as acceptable uses within the secondary frontage areas and do not allow them within primary shopping frontages

 


 

 

Issue 7 – How we support communications infrastructure and home working

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was strong agreement that we should support home working subject to local impacts and expect all new development to be provided with the infrastructure to support high speed broadband and other communications

This is increasingly an expectation for business

Agree, home working already contributes to Thanet’s economy and therefore should be supported.

Include a policy that supports home working subject to local impacts

 

Effective communications infrastructure can mitigate against Thanet’s relative distance from business markets.

Agree. Advance high quality communications infrastructure is essential for sustainable economic growth.

Include a policy requiring new development to deliver adequate communications infrastructure.

 

 

Contact should be made with internet service providers to ensure that speed of services is further improved.

Kent County Council are working on improving broadband and communications infrastructure across Kent.

 

 

8 : How many homes do we need to provide?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Consensus about the importance of factors to inform housing numbers was variable and included that housing numbers should be strategy (not trend) led.

 

Capacity of infrastructure and services attracted complete consensus.

 

Strong consensus regarding impact on traffic and travel, on amenity/ character of existing neighbourhoods and on the environment.

 

There was some consensus regarding providing homes to support economic growth including people who live in but may work outside the district and to meet need for more affordable homes and the capacity of the market to deliver.

Housing numbers should be strategy not trend led

Agree that the strategy (including economic growth aspiration) should inform and be supported by the level of housing provided for. However, government advises that its household projections represent a starting point in objectively assessing the level of need to be provided for.  Unless there is compelling and specific evidence to show that projections would overstate future need providing below such levels would likely lead to the Local Plan being found unsound.

 

 

Take account both of strategy and household projections in assessing appropriate level of housing to provide for.

 

Account should be taken of the factors below:

 

 

 

As below

-capacity of infrastructure and services

Agree.  Fundamental to deliverable Local Plan.

Establish level of housing provision and phasing of land release taking account of infrastructure requirements identified in Infrastructure Delivery Plan and in light of development viability assessment

- traffic and travel,

Agree. Fundamental to strategic objective of delivering transport infrastructure required to support existing communities and new development.

Establish level of housing provision and site locations taking account of Transport Strategy founded on sustainable transport principles

-the amenity and character of existing neighbourhoods and protecting the environment.

 

Agree.  Fundamental to the strategic objective of protecting and enhancing the environment.

Level of housing provision and suitable locations to be informed by the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, Sustainability Appraisal and a Habitat  Regulations Assessment.

the need for more affordable housing

 

Agree. Fundamental to strategic objective of providing homes accessible to and suited to the needs of a settled and balanced community.

Aim to provide for the level of housing need indicated in latest evidence, but balanced with need to ensure housing provision overall is viable and deliverable.

the capacity of the market to deliver

 

Agree.  Capacity of the market will impact deliverability of Local Plan.

Housing numbers will be informed by assessment of viability and of the capacity of the market to deliver various quantities in consultation with development industry representatives.

providing homes to support economic growth

Agree. Fundamental to objective of meeting housing needs and demands to support economic growth.

Housing provisions (and types of homes) to be considered taking account of a range of economic growth forecast scenarios.

The needs of people who live in but may work outside Thanet

Agree.  Such homes will contribute to the objective of meeting the needs and demands of a balanced and mixed community.

 

 

 

Housing provisions (and types of homes) to be considered taking account of this factor

- the need to avoid attracting additional benefit-dependent incomers or mopping up unmet requirements of other districts (e.g. through over-provision against realisable employment growth)

Agree. Fundamental to objective of  providing homes for a settled and balanced community. However, difficult to evidence link between this risk and simple housing numbers. Precautionary approach might hinder economic growth aspirations or result in risk of un sound plan.

Clarify the economic aspirations behind housing numbers, and place emphasis on delivering the type of homes associated with meeting local need and economic aspirations. 

 

8 : How many homes do we need to provide?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was no clear consensus regarding the most appropriate economic or demographic scenario to apply as a starting point in forecasting housing numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 Setting housing provisions below those implied by the economic higher growth or trends based projections could be inconsistent with the Council’s and Government’s economic growth aspirations and might be less than objectively based (for example because migration cannot be discounted).

 

Setting housing provisions above levels implied by the baseline or lower economic scenarios might be overambitious in view of lack of evidence of an economic upturn and could attract further benefit dependent people into the district if level of economic growth aspired to is not realised.

 

Should the approach be ambitious or “wait and see”?

 

Government is looking generally to boost the supply of housing and requires Local Plans to meet full, objectively assessed needs (taking account of migration and demographic change).

 

The key risk associated with providing for the higher level housing options is that economic performance over the plan period falls below aspirations.  Although difficult to prove this could result in importation of further benefit dependent incomers, and poorer quality homes.

 

However it is considered that the greater risk is that if provisions are based on the economic baseline or lower growth scenarios the Plan may be contrary to the NPPF, found  “unsound” at examination and/or serve to undermine economic growth potential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In establishing the level of housing provision to be made, apply the housing forecasts associated with the economic growth and migration trends scenarios as a starting point. 

8 : How many homes do we need to provide?

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The need to make use as priority of the substantial supply of derelict and empty property to provide new homes.

Agree.  Re use of vacant and derelict property may contribute to objectives of regenerating coastal town centres, protecting/enhancing townscape heritage and improving areas of poor quality housing and  empty property.  The aspiration to successively reduce the amount of vacant property has been built into the forecasting model which will inform the total level of additional homes to provide for. However, refurbishment of existing housing stock may not contribute to overall housing requirement.  Use/re-use of such property should provide quality accommodation in line with social and economic regeneration objectives.

State general support for refurbishment/reconfiguration of the existing stock of empty/underused property to provide quality accommodation supporting area renewal and increasing the supply of family or other homes suited to social and economic regeneration objectives.

 

What should be done regarding the impacts on areas designated for their national and international habitat significance of additional recreation pressures associated with more homes?

Agree this impact needs to be addressed and mitigated as appropriate

Level of housing provision and location of housing sites and appropriate mitigation to be tested and informed through Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment) and through Habitat Regulations Assessment.  It is proposed to include a specific policy to protect European sites and sites of Special Scientific Interest and national nature reserve from harmful development including through appropriate mitigation in line with a strategy to be incorporated in a supplementary planning document

 

Whether more affordable homes are needed if Thanet already has a supply of cheap housing

House prices in Thanet are generally cheaper than elsewhere in Kent. However, incomes are also generally lower, meaning that some local people are still unlikely to be able to meet their housing needs through the private market.  The level of need for affordable housing will be assessed by reviewing the information contained in the Strategic Market Housing Assessment.

Aim to provide for the level of housing need indicated in latest evidence, but balanced with need to ensure housing provision overall is viable and deliverable.

 

 

9:Where should our new homes be provided?

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was strong consensus that the approach should be to maximise or focus development within the existing built up areas of the towns and villages.

 

Within this a slightly higher proportion favoured the “focus approach” signifying restrictive criteria be applied (for example to safeguard gardens, family homes and/or sites that are not previously developed).

 

A relatively small percentage  supported the alternative approach of focusing on greenfield sites and aiming to restrict housing sites in built up areas to those important for regeneration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In assessing and allocating housing sites in the urban area, what safeguarding criteria should be applied?

 

 

 

As generally sustainable locations the existing built up areas represent a logical location for new development and present opportunities to re-use previously developed land.   However criteria are needed to ensure that quality homes of the required type are achieved without compromising the quality of life of existing and new residents.

In identifying  future housing sites, focus on opportunities within existing built up areas of the towns and villages.

 

Scale and location of housing allocations to be established in light of their potential impact on a range of environmental factors informed by Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal.,

 

Criteria based policies (for example safeguarding important open space and compatibility with townscape) to be applied to inform consideration of planning applications.

 

Site allocations to reflect viability assessment.

Infrastructure Implications (including transport links and schools)

 

Agree - Supporting infrastructure is critical to delivering housing required over the plan period.  Alongside consultation with the infrastructure  delivery agencies and organisations, the Council is preparing an infrastructure delivery Plan and Transport Strategy to identify and cost the infrastructure requirements

Site allocations to be established in light of need for timely provision of  the social, community and transport infrastructure needed to support them.

Need to safeguarding the function of the Green Wedges

 

Agree the important local function of the Green Wedges should continue.  However, they are vulnerable to development pressures being in otherwise generally sustainable locations adjoining the urban area.  Focusing on the housing capacity of the existing built up areas will serve to reduce pressure to consider allocating sites in the Green Wedge.

Aim to accommodate housing provisions on sustainable sites without compromising the function of the Green Wedges.

 

Retain policy strongly protecting the Green Wedges from development harmful to their established function.

How much emphasis/ priority  should be placed on the potential of vacant/derelict land (including employment land)and property. Should there be an element of housing in the retail areas of the coastal towns?

 

Making positive use of such opportunities can assist social economic and environmental regeneration including town centres and optimise use of previously developed land.

 

However, the degree of emphasis on such opportunities will need to be balanced with a versatile land portfolio to accommodate a variety of types of housing in line with strategic objectives.

  

Policy to provide general support for re-use of empty underused or vacant sites and premises to provide future homes of appropriate type (reflecting plan’s strategic objectives).

 

In town centres permit residential use in locations compatible with maintaining their  commercial function and core retail area.

 

Specific policy support for new build/conversion/refurbishment proposals associated with Intervention programmes supporting area renewal.

 

 

 

Need to protect finite countryside and quality grade agricultural land

 

Agree. This is important to the objective of protecting and enhancing Thanet’s environment.  However, anticipate some greenfield land will be needed to deliver overall housing provisions in line with strategic objectives.  In identifying housing sites priority should be given to the urban areas in order to help reduce the greenfield land requirement. Alongside this however the need to protect the countryside has to be balanced with meeting total housing requirements.

 

Site allocations to be informed by considering their individual impacts on a range of factors including landscape and agricultural value.

 

Need to protect green/open space for community benefit.

 

Agree.  These assets are highly important for human health and wildlife.

Quantity and location of homes to take account of the need to safeguard existing green infrastructure including open space

 

Policy signifying that where feasible development schemes on allocated or other sites will be expected to serve to augment, accessible provision.

Should approach be a mix of urban regeneration, urban extensions and village extensions, should it be  informed by individual sites’ location, characteristics, and sustainability, their ability to provide deliverable quality homes and by the settlement hierarchy?

 

Agree, the attributes of individual sites are important for achieving a deliverable plan reflecting a balanced settlement hierarchy.  However, as a general principal the approach should be first to look to the urban areas for deliverable site options taking account of their individual attributes and sustainability.

Assessment of the suitability of potential housing sites to include consideration of their sustainability, ability to deliver quality homes of the type required, and their distribution in light of a balanced settlement hierarchy.

Need to avoid cramming people in at high density

 

Agree.  This is consistent with the option to “focus” as opposed to “maximise”  housing in the built up areas.

Site allocations to be considered in relation to capacity of community, utility and transport infrastructure.

 

Policies to require relevant infrastructure to be available in time to serve future housing development.

 

Include policy expectations regarding design, living conditions and density considerations.

 

 

How much priority should be given to previously developed land?

In line with the NPPF the preferred approach is to make effective use of previously developed land provided it is not of high environmental value.

 

This is consistent with the preferred approach of “focusing” on, as opposed to “maximising” use of, sites in the built up areas (which signifies that criteria will be applied to safeguard sites having high environmental value irrespective of whether they are previously developed or otherwise).

 

 

Housing allocations to be considered in relation to the need to protect/enhance factors of environmental value such as important open space, heritage  and townscape.

 

Criteria based policies to signify that similar considerations will be applied in deciding planning applications.

Villages may need some housing within or adjoining them  to help them thrive/avoid stagnation/degeneration.

 

Agree. Some new homes at the rural settlements would serve to increase locational choices and meet need for affordable homes associated with those settlements. However this should be at a scale compatible with their character  and sustainability in terms of accessibility of services and other infrastructure

Plan to include provision for an element of rural village housing at a scale compatible with the individual form and character of the individual settlements, and having regard to sustainability in terms of accessibility of services.

 

 

 

 

 

9:Where should our new homes be provided?

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

In relation to the location of any greenfield housing land required, more than half of respondents  supported that this be by way of dispersed sites.

 

A slightly smaller number supported provision at a small number of locations.

 

A small percentage supported such provision by way of a single location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main concerns raised in advocating particular options were:

 

-environmental impact

 

-visual impact

 

-community cohesion

 

-capacity of infrastructure and access to community facilities.

 

-the need to avoid jeopardising a deliverable land supply

 

-ability to deliver quality homes

 

-need for some village housing

 

-need to safeguard Green Wedges and prevent coalescence

 

Agree with the importance of the main factors mentioned in representors’ concerns, and that most appropriate approach would be to allocate a number of sites as opposed to a single site.  The majority of the concerns mentioned were mentioned in the context of not supporting a single site allocation.

 

However, the number and size of site opportunities will need to be considered in relation to the potentially deliverable  site options identified and their sustainability. 

 

 

Greenfield land component to be by way of a number of sites. 

 

The number, location and size of specific allocations to be informed by considering identified site opportunities and their sustainability credentials, their ability to provide for supporting infrastructure and deliver elements of affordable housing  alongside the other key concerns referred to in responses. 

 

9:Where should our new homes be provided?

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

The majority  of responses supported locating greenfield land requirements adjoining the Urban Area. A number supported locations adjoining the villages.  A smaller number supported freestanding countryside sites and a lower number supported a new settlement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responses reveal the following as key issues

 

Accessibility and viability of services and infrastructure

 

Environmental impact

 

Safeguarding the Green Wedge, prevent urban sprawl, protect remaining green space between villages and countryside.

 

Natural/organic growth not large estates

 

Scale and deliverability

 

Integration with existing communities.

 

Need good Transport connections

 

Westwood to be the only new town.

Agree that greenfield housing element should be focused adjoining the built up areas of the Thanet towns and with housing of appropriate scale adjoining the built up areas of sustainable villages.

 

Agree with significance  of the issues raised .  However, these need to be considered alongside the scale and location of viable site opportunities identified.

Greenfield housing allocations to be at sustainable locations adjoining the urban area. 

 

Individual allocations to be considered in light of factors raised in responses and balanced against other sustainability criteria and plan objectives.

 

Balance of any housing  provision attributed to rural settlements and not deliverable within their confines to be by way of allocation adjoining their built up confines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:Where should our new homes be provided?

 

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

 

Further comments about where new home should be provided were wide ranging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Degree of priority to  use of empty /derelict property including surplus business parks) and brownfield sites (before greenfield)

 

Agree priority should be attributed but this needs to be balanced with the need to ensure a viable portfolio of deliverable housing sites capable of accommodating the type and quantity of homes required to meet the Plan’s objectives.

 

 

 

 

 

Policies and allocations to support use of previously developed sites and empty/derelict  property to provide housing.  However, such allocations to be subject to criteria associated with the urban “focus” approach and be part of balanced wider portfolio of sustainable sites enabling timely delivery of the type of homes and infrastructure required to deliver plan objectives.

 

Protect/enhance recreational and natural green space and biodiversity  to reduce pressures on coastal European sites.  If possible provide new links between existing and open spaces.

 

Take account of need to preserve/restore/and re-create priority habitats, ecology network and recovery of species populations.

 

Need to assess and address potential loss of significant farmland bird habitat and SPA & SSSI foraging and roosting habitat

 

Need to assess value of development sites  for SPA and SSSI bird species

 

Recreation pressures associated with high housing numbers cause concern regarding SPA species and need mitigation

 

Strike balance between quality of life and protecting designated sites and farmland bird populations.

 

A strategic Sustainable Access Management and Monitoring Strategy for the coastal and Natura Network.

 

Agree these issues reflect strategic objectives and should be addressed in delivering a sustainable Plan

Quantity and location of homes to take account of the need to safeguard and where possible enhance existing green space/ infrastructure and biodiversity.  (Informed by SHLAA, Strategy for Planned Location of Housing,  SA and HRA)

 

Policies to be included to apply similar considerations in deciding planning applications.

 

Include a policy requirement, where appropriate, for housing applications to be informed by a wintering and breeding bird survey to assess impact on bird populations and address how any impacts can be minimised/compensated.

 

Include a policy requirement that development should provide appropriate mitigation to protect designated nature conservation sites in relation to recreational pressure.

Protect the natural beauty of the Wantsum Channel and Lower Stour wetland

 

Agree. Fundamental to objectives of protection of Thanet’s environment, and the scenic value of the coast and countryside.

Site allocations to be informed by sustainability criteria including landscape impact. Include policy to ensure development protects and enhance Thanet’s historic landscapes..

Need to minimise effect of housing and infrastructure growth (in Thanet and Dover districts ) on local habitats and natural sites

Agree this is fundamental to the  objective of maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity and natural environment . 

 

Site allocations to be informed by sustainability criteria factors including habitat and subsequently by SA & HRA. 

Take account of NOx emissions on the urban population and habitat.

 

Agree this is a significant factor for the objective of promoting physical well-being and protecting, maintaining biodiversity.

Allocation of sites to be based on criteria including their ability to reduce need to travel by cars and be informed by Transport Strategy SA, and HRA

Need for and scale of any new village homes (including in relation to capacity of services).  (Comments include reference to rural extensions to Birchington)

 

 

Agree. Some new homes at the rural settlements would serve to increase locational choices and meet need for affordable homes associated with those settlements However, this should be at a scale compatible with their character  and sustainability in terms of accessibility of services and other infrastructure.

 

Plan to include provision for an element of rural village housing at a scale compatible with their individual form and character, and reflecting and enabling accessible, sufficient and viable services.

Consider merits of allocating sites mentioned in responses

Agree it is important to consider the relative suitability of all potential sites in meeting planned housing provisions.

Site allocations identified and allocated following assessment of relative sustainability criteria, and of ability to deliver the types of homes needed to deliver plan’s objectives.

 

Site allocations to be informed by impact on historic heritage including criteria applied in Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

Take account of relevance of historic environment (factors such as scheduled ancient monuments and registered parks and garden)

 

Agree.  This is important for the objective of preserving and enhancing the built historic environment, and ancient monuments and their settings

Should anymore homes be allowed near Westwood?

Sites covered in Strategic Housing Land Availability assessments include land in the vicinity.

Site allocations to be informed by a range of criteria including availability of deliverable sites, community and transport infrastructure .

Should housing land be released only at such time as employment increases?

Accept desirability of gearing provision of new homes in line with predicted job growth.  However, policies also need to address the community requirements irrespective of economic status. 

Cannot envisage plan would be found “sound” if housing land was released only when new jobs are realised.

 

Policy to phase release of allocated housing land to prevent premature release and as far as reasonably possible gear it alongside predicted job growth.

Port and Airport meet a housing need.

Disagree. These are regarded as infrastructure assets for the economic strategy.

No housing allocation at Port and Airport.

Consider accessibility of locations in light of existing and proposed main walking and cycling routes

Agree this is a significant aspect of sustainability

Site allocations to be identified on the basis of sustainability assessment including proximity of or potential to create routes supporting sustainable travel.

Development may require increases in  capacity of sewerage system and water mains. 

Agree that infrastructure capacity is significant for achieving a deliverable and sustainable plan.

Level of housing provision and site allocations to be considered in light of infrastructure capacity as informed through liaison with service providers.

 

Policy permitting development only at such time as it is demonstrated that sufficient infrastructure capacity will be available.

 

 

 

 

What type of new homes do we need to provide?   (10.1)

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

The importance attributed to specific factors to inform the type of homes needed (i.e. who we want to house) was variable. This is illustrated below  in descending order of % supporting/strongly supporting

 

Impact of particular types of homes on character of existing neighbourhoods

 

Needs & aspirations of the existing community

 

Achieving balanced/mixed communities

 

Need for more affordable homes

 

Need and demand from people moving in to Thanet to work

 

Need and demand from all people moving in to Thanet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting the character of the area, neighbourhoods and communities

Agree.  Accords with strategic objectives

 

 

 

Policy influencing type of homes to be sensitive to character of neighbourhood and need to promote balanced community structure.

the need to build attractive, quality,  well designed homes in attractive environments 

 

Agree.  Accords with strategic objectives

 

 

Include high quality inclusive design and need for development to conserve/enhance local character of the area as expectations in policy.

the need to attract professional people but not economically dependent incomers

 

Agree. Strategic objectives of improving earning power, employability and attracting skilled people mean high emphasis is needed on attracting incomers who are  economically independent.

 

Policy influencing type and location of homes to accommodate a degree of locational choice (including some village homes) and promote homes suitable to and affordable by young aspiring households.

Need more quality homes including family homes

 

Agree. It is a strategic objective that everyone has access to quality homes. Evidence indicates more family homes are needed.

Policy influencing type of homes to place emphasis on safeguarding and promoting more family homes.

Include high quality inclusive design and need for development to conserve/enhance local character of the area as expectations in policy.

Whether affordable homes are needed in light of supply of cheap housing. Whether affordable homes  should be targeted at local people. The need to keep affordable housing element thresholds at a level that won’t disincentivise development.

While housing in Thanet is comparatively  inexpensive, evidence shows that outstanding unmet need for affordable homes remains substantial.

 

Policy to optimise the quantity of affordable housing that can be delivered as part of new housing development schemes having regard to the level of need for affordable homes and development viability.

the need to provide specialised and good quality housing for older people (including need for extra/end of life care, and homes suitable to facilitate movement including downsizing to get the market moving and the need to balance needs of elderly people with a balanced community structure).

 

Agree in light of forecast ageing population and shortage of larger homes.

 

 

Policy supporting provision of specialised housing needed by older people and other groups in light of evidence of need and locational considerations.

 

Whether newcomers will place unsustainable pressure on infrastructure

Agree – ability to deliver sufficient supporting infrastructure will be an important consideration in finalising level (and location) of development to provide for. 

Establish the level, location and type of housing in light of the requirement to deliver sufficient supporting infrastructure.

The need to focus on using empty homes (including to use them as family homes/affordable homes)

 

Agree.  Re use of vacant and derelict property may contribute to objectives of regenerating coastal town centres, protecting/ enhancing townscape heritage and improving areas of poor quality housing and  empty property  However, refurbishment of existing housing stock may not contribute to overall housing requirement.  Use/re-use of such property should provide quality accommodation in line with social and economic regeneration objectives

State general support for refurbishment/ reconfiguration of the existing stock of empty/ underused property to provide quality accommodation supporting area renewal and increasing the supply of family or other homes suited to social and economic regeneration objectives.

 

What type of new homes do we need to provide?   (10.2)

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was a diversity of opinion regarding the guideline proportions for market housing included in consultation.

Whether there is a (market) need for more family homes and fewer 1 bedroom flats

The Strategic housing market assessment suggests that this is the case and this is reflected in the benchmark scenario presented in consultation.

Policy regulating types of homes to be informed by balances recommended in SHMA (subject to any refresh to ensure robustness). 

What mix of market homes would best help achieve social cohesion?

Consultation reveals that this is seen as a complex issue. At district level the SHMA suggests a specific mix to help address requirements for both market and affordable homes.  

 

 

As above with mix applicable on specific sites to be informed in light of area specific housing objectives (to be set out in the Plan) and site specific circumstances. .

 

.

Should more (market) flats be encouraged as making more efficient use of land?

The SHMA suggests that there is an oversupply of small and flatted accommodation and that the future mix should aim to increase the supply of larger and family homes. Nonetheless it is expected that some flatted accommodation will be required.  In such cases flatted accommodation may make efficient use of land, but this should not be at the expense of providing quality accommodation, nor a determining factor implying that the rebalancing suggested in the SHMA should be reversed.

Policy regulating types of homes to be informed by balances recommended in SHMA (subject to any refresh to ensure robustness).  Where flats are appropriate any advantage in making efficient use of land should not be at the expense of providing quality accommodation.

 

What type of new homes do we need to provide?   (10.3)

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was a diversity of opinion regarding the guideline proportions for affordable housing included in consultation.

Should the proportion of 1 bed/smaller flats be reduced, with possible corresponding increase in 2 bed flats/ 2/3 bed houses?

Aware of concerns about attracting more economically dependent small households. However, SHMA and any subsequent refreshed assessment of housing need is/will be informed by assessment of economic aspirations.

Policy regulating types of homes to be informed by balances recommended in SHMA (subject to any refresh to ensure robustness). 

Need for affordable homes greater than 3 beds queried.

Policy should be driven by objective of meeting need rather than aiming to influence size of households. 

Policy regulating types of homes to be informed by balances recommended in SHMA (subject to any refresh to ensure robustness).

 

What mix of homes would best help achieve social cohesion?

Consultation reveals that this is seen as a complex issue. At district level the SHMA suggests a specific mix to help address requirements for both market and affordable homes.  

 

 

Broad mix to be informed by SHMA, but Plan to include area specific housing objectives to inform how sites may deliver  appropriate mix within particular areas of the District.

 

 

Should more (market) flats be encouraged as making more efficient use of land?

The SHMA suggests that there is an oversupply of small and flatted accommodation and that the future mix should aim to increase the supply of larger and family homes. Nonetheless it is expected that some flatted accommodation will be required.  In such cases flatted accommodation may make efficient use of land, but this should not be at the expense of providing quality accommodation, nor a determining factor implying that the rebalancing suggested in the SHMA should be reversed.

Policy regulating types of homes to be informed by balances recommended in SHMA (subject to any refresh to ensure robustness).  Where flats are appropriate any advantage in making efficient use of land should not be at the expense of providing quality accommodation.

 

What type of new homes do we need to provide?   (10.4)

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Just over half of responses agreed that future housing development should include 30% as affordable housing.  A small number were neutral on the issue.

What percentage of affordable housing should policy seek to negotiate?

Unmet need for affordable housing is substantial. Economic viability assessment suggests that 30% would be a viable target. 

Policy for negotiating affordable homes to be based on 30% element unless bona fide information on need and viability suggest that an alternative percentage would be appropriate.

A slightly higher percentage of those with a view thought all new housing developments should be expected to provide affordable housing irrespective of the total number of dwellings proposed.

Should negotiation of an element of affordable housing apply to all housing sites or only to sites above a certain size?

Economic viability assessment suggests that policy could aim to apply negotiations on sites of any size (subject to off-site/financial contribution in lieu where appropriate). 

In view of the high level of unmet need it is appropriate to seek negotiations on sites of all sizes.

 

Policy for negotiating affordable housing to be applied to housing sites of any size.

Of those having a view more than double the number of responses agreed (than disagreed) that that affordable housing could in some cases be provided off-site or through a financial contribution.

In some cases should affordable housing be provided off-site or through a financial contribution?

Off-site provision or a financial contribution may serve to deliver affordable homes to help address the high level of outstanding need.  The NPPF recognises that this approach can be applied where justified

Policy negotiating affordable homes to indicate that where justified, provision may be by way of off-site contribution or financial contribution in lieu of on-site provision.

A significant proportion of responses were neutral as to whether the provision of affordable housing should be on the basis of 70% social rent and 30% intermediate. Of those having a view slightly more agreed than disagreed

What proportion of affordable homes should be for social rent and for intermediate?

The 2009 SHMA recommends a target split that of 30% affordable homes be intermediate housing and 70% affordable rent. Subsequent evidence suggests this appears to remain a balanced approach.

Policy for affordable housing to indicate that the Council will apply a target to affordable homes that 30% should be intermediate housing and 70% social rented.

The proportion of responses agreeing that it is appropriate to continue to allow release of land adjoining the built up parts of our rural villages where this would deliver affordable housing to meet the needs of the village was greater than those disagreeing.

Should policy continue to allow “exception sites” to deliver affordable housing to meet the needs of villages? 

The NPPF acknowledges rural exception sites as a mechanism for securing affordable housing to meet local need.  Recent surveys indicate presence of unmet local need for affordable housing in most of Thanet’s villages.  It is therefore considered appropriate to retain a policy allowing exceptional release for cases where need cannot be met on sites which would not otherwise conflict with policy.

 

 

Rural exceptions site policy to be included..

The need to ensure that affordable housing policy requirements are flexible/applied on a case by case basis and do not jeopardise viability of development was raised by a number of respondents.

Ensuring that policy is applied flexibly so as to not jeopardise viability taking account other development costs such as infrastructure

Agree. Policy needs to be applied flexibly on a case by case basis to optimise affordable housing yield without undermining wider housing delivery.

Wording of policy to signify that expected affordable elements will be through negotiations  taking account of site specific considerations.

 

What type of new homes do we need to provide?   (10.5)

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Responses are characterised by concerns that Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) especially where clustered can be a cause of social problems and disturbance for local communities, can change the character of neighbourhoods and affect perception of the district

As below

As below

As below

A higher percentage of responses agreed with continuing the approach of allowing HMO’s subject to consideration of their effects on the local character and living environment of an area than disagreed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should we retain/amend augment existing policy concerning proposals to establish/regularise HMO’s?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While HMO’s particularly where clustered can cause local problems, they can, if provided at decent standards and well managed, provide a useful source of inexpensive accommodation. 

 

Alongside the current policy imposing a general presumption against further HMO’s in the Cliftonville DPD, the existing criteria based general HMO policy has usefully served to judge and determine applications to establish/ regulate HMO’s so that they are not harmful to amenity.

 

Retain district wide criteria based policy addressing proposals to provide/

regularise HMO’s.

 

Policy regarding HMO’s in area covered by Cliftonville Development Plan Document to remain unchanged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The highest proportion of responses agreed that a restriction should be applied to HMO’s in certain areas.   However, a significant proportion were neutral on the issue and a small proportion disagreed.

 

 

Are there particular areas where HMO’s should be restricted?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through consultation and other channels concerns have been expressed about the number of family homes changing to HMO’s for student occupation in the vicinity of Broadstairs University campus.

 

While concerns about concentration and clustering have been identified as a result of student HMO accommodation in the vicinity of the campus, it is considered appropriate to augment the policy to apply on a district wide basis for consistency and to pre-empt any issue of displacement

 

The evidence base prepared for the adopted Cliftonville DPD showed that this area warranted a restriction on HMO’s.

 

 

Augment district wide criteria based policy to state a level of concentration/clustering which, if exceeded, would be considered likely to be harmful in terms of those criteria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Policy regarding HMO’s in area covered by Cliftonville Development Plan Document to remain unchanged.

 

 

The highest proportion of responses agreed that the number of HMO’s should be restricted beyond a specific level.     However, a significant proportion were neutral on the issue and a small proportion disagreed.

 

Should quantitative restrictions be applied to HMO’s and if so at what level and geographical area?

Investigation of this issue suggests that it would be helpful to augment the existing criteria based policy by indicating a level of concentration/clustering which, if exceeded, would be regarded as harmful and contrary to policy for that reason. 

Apply restriction on the number of HMO’s (expressed as maximum percentage of properties) within a specific radius.  As noted above it is proposed to apply this district wide but retaining the more restrictive approach applied in the Cliftonville DPD.

 

What type of new homes do we need to provide?   (10.6)

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Considerable agreement that impact on surrounding uses, and access to certain facilities are important factors for considering the location of any accommodation site requirements for gypsies and travellers.

 

Responses indicate concern that providing such accommodation may serve to add to problems arising from existing level of social need including increasing burden on already overstretched social infrastructure.

 

 

Need to ensure these factors are taken into account in considering location of such sites.

 

 

In light of the conclusions of the Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessment it is not considered necessary for the Local Plan to identify sites for such accommodation.  In any event however, it will need to set out criteria to inform assessment of any planning applications that may come forward.

Criteria based policy (including impact on surrounding uses, and access to local facilities and services) to apply to any relevant proposals.

 

What type of new homes do we need to provide?   (10.7) 

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

In relation to other housing requirements relating to particular groups, responses frequently mentioned the need for homes for older people including specific types of accommodation (such as sheltered) and the potential for such provision to facilitate downsizing  

 

Also mentioned were

 

Need for student housing in bespoke and affordable accommodation.

 

Homes for disabled people

 

Service families

 

Children leaving care

 

People wishing to build their own homes.

 

 

 

 

Agree all issues are important including objective of facilitating independent living as far as possible.

 

 

Agree. The proportion of older people is forecast to increase, and the Plan will need to support provision of accommodation suitable to meet needs arising.

 

Recognise the importance of addressing demand for student accommodation.  There are currently no known proposals to provide bespoke accommodation, but use is made of private accommodation often on a multiple occupancy basis.  Such use can serve a valuable function in this respect but clustering of HMO’s can impact on local communities.

 

 

 

Not aware of specific requirements that need to be anticipated and addressed in a specific policy for service families, children leaving care or people wishing to build their own homes.

 

 

Include a policy to facilitate provision of types of housing such as sheltered/adaptable/extra care reflecting information drawing on evidence of need from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, Housing Strategy, adult social services accommodation strategy and other research in respect of specific needs. 

 

As indicated in respect of issue 10.6 Include policy to regulate HMO’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Policy to support housing to meet needs of particular groups including disabled people. 

 

 

 

More start up and accommodation for people on low incomes.

Agree such provision is required to support retention of young people and meet local need for affordable homes.

Policy to state expectation of a range of sizes and affordability of new homes reflecting evidence in Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

 

Any further comments in relation to the type of homes we need to provide? (10.8)

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Comments included suggestions of the need for the following

As below

As below

As below

well-designed homes in keeping with area and with good space standards.

 

Agree

Include policy expectation regarding high quality and inclusive design and featuring appropriate criteria relating to living conditions.

 

More family and executive housing

 

Agree

Policy to state expectation of a range of new housing types and locations (including types and locations suited to this section of market) in line with findings of Strategic Housing Market Assessment. 

Policy to support retention of existing dwellings suited to requirements of modern family occupation.

Environmentally sustainable homes

 

Agree

Include policy promoting sustainable design (including energy efficiency and sustainable use of resources).

Fewer 1 bedroom flats

 

Agree.  SHMA indicates the stock is already over represented by such accommodation and makes recommendations to address this

Include policy guiding mix of new homes to be provided reflecting SHMA recommendations.

A reduction in some types of residential care and provision of extra care housing

 

Agree. This appears consistent with the conclusions of the County Council’s emerging accommodation strategy to help deliver choice and access to high quality accommodation to vulnerable adults eligible for care and support.

Include policy supporting provision of care and supported housing in line with evidence of need.

 

11 - Maintaining physical separation between Thanet’s towns and villages

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was consensus in support of maintaining a physical separation between Thanet’s towns and villages

Provide clear separate identities between the towns, provide wildlife habitats and contribute to well being

Agree

Include new local plan policy to protect the Green Wedges

 

Concern that alternative/ multifunctional use of the green wedges could have a detrimental impact on birds, and could end up urbanising the area by attracting too many people to them

Agree

Include criteria in local plan policy to ensure any proposals for recreational uses of the green wedges are appropriate and will not conflict with the aims of the green wedges.

 

Some land may need to be released for development

Sites will be allocated for housing in order to meet the identified need.  These will include some greenfield sites, however draft allocations suggest that there is sufficient land available without allocating sites within the green wedges.

No action

 

Merging development sites including natural and amenity space could form a larger block of amenity space (could be a country park).

Agree that this could be a way of creating new open space.  To be considered when deciding housing allocation sites

No action

 

Land use should be based on character and history of the landscape

Agree. Appropriate policies will be included in the plan.

No action in this section – landscape policy to be included elsewhere.

 

12 – How can we respect Thanet’s important views and landscapes?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was consensus in support of the continued protection of Thanet’s landscapes

Strong support was given in terms of their heritage value, biodiversity value, contribution to the uniqueness of the district and making the district attractive for residents, businesses and tourists

Agree

Include new local plan policy to protect Thanet’s landscapes

 

Thanet’s landscapes should be promoted as a tourist feature

Agree

Include in text in relevant sections of the plan

 

To minimise the effect on open landscapes, development should be located in close proximity to the urban areas, on brownfield sites and the reuse of vacant buildings

These issues are considered in more detail in the section relating to the location of housing and the strategy for the planned location of homes.

No action in this section of the plan

 

Concern about the impact of wind farms and solar farms on the landscape

Evidence suggests that there are few areas in Thanet that would be suitable for wind farms.  The climate change section will include a policy relating to solar parks and will address landscape impact.

No action in this section of the plan

 

Essential utility development should be allowed if the benefit outweighs the harm an no alternative sites are available

There may be instances where a development proposal has benefits or a necessity

that outweighs the landscape impact

Include criteria in local plan policy

 

Independent design panel should advise on the design quality and location of all major development proposals

Agree that independent design review is desirable.  This will be addressed in the quality development section.

No action in this section of the plan

 

13 - How can we protect, maintain and enhance Thanet’s green infrastructure?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

Consensus in support of protecting and enhancing existing areas of open space

Other potential areas of green space identified as:

·         Cliff tops

·         Old putting green, Westgate

·         Open area between Shottendane Lane and Hartsdown Road should be wooded

·         Dane Park extension – transport depot

·         Land at top of Effingham Street

·         Culmers land allotments

·         Taddys allotments

·         Kittys Green

·         Former Hoverport site

·         Land rear of former power station

·         Weatherlees Hill – in between garage and stream

·         Wildlife corridor next to Pfizers social club

·         Cliff tops – development unlikely due to proximity to European sites and other policy protection eg landscape, coastal erosion

·         Old putting Green – already protected as open space which will be carried forward into the new local plan

·         Open area between Shottendane Lane and Hartsdown Road should be wooded – land is privately owned so Council cannot impose this

·         Dane Park extension into transport depot –site surrounding depot already protected open space which will be carried forward

·         Land at top of Effingham Street – plan needed to confirm location

·         Culmers land allotments - allotments considered as part of Green Infrastructure network

·         Taddys allotments - allotments considered as part of Green Infrastructure network

·         Kittys Green – plan needed to confirm location

·         Former Hoverport site -allocate as natural open space?

·         Land rear of former power station- plan needed to confirm location

·         Weatherlees Hill – plan needed to confirm location

·         Wildlife corridor next to Pfizers social club – falls within Dover District

Include policy protection for existing, and new areas of open space and existing green infrastructure as set out in the Natural Environment Topic Paper

The options for providing new green infrastructure in new developments were strongly supported

Enhancement of the green wedges gained the most support, whilst mitigation against farmland birds gained the least support.  Stepping stones of natural habitat should be provided in urban areas

None of the options in this question received any degree of disagreement.  No comments were made with regards to the suitability of any of the individual options.  All options therefore could be included in a criteria based policy

Include criteria based policy for new green infrastructure in new developments

 

The integration of SUDS should be included as a method of introducing new GI in new developments

Agree.  SUDs are addressed climate change section.

Policy relating to SUDS to be included in Climate Change section

Some support was given to the options for achieving a net gain in biodiversity

Planting of hedgerows gained the most support, provision of green roofs gained the least support.

Upon consideration, these options would be difficult to incorporate and deliver through planning policy. However, they will be included in the Topic Paper as possible methods of creating new wildlife and biodiversity habitats

Include as general GI criteria requirement for new development to create new wildlife and biodiversity habitats and enhancements of Biodiversity Opportunity Areas.

 

No mention of proposed Marine Conservation Zone

Noted.  MCZ is mentioned in the Natural Environment Topic Paper, however it would be appropriate to make reference to it in the supporting text of the plan.

Refer to proposed Marine Conservation Zone in Local Plan text.

 

Should contain policies relating to the protection of priority habitats and species

Agree. It is considered important to include the protection of priority habitats and species.

Include policy to protect priority habitats and species

 

People need to be educated and informed, information sharing and greater general awareness about the relationship between dogs/dog walkers and birds and wildlife habitats

 

Agree. Signage and wardening are mitigation measures intended to be included in the Mitigation Strategy that will accompany the local plan.

Refer to Mitigation Strategy in relevant Local Plan policy

 

14 - Adapting to, and mitigating against, the effects of climate change

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was agreement for all of the options for adapting to the effects of climate change

There was no clear consensus regarding the conversion of old buildings to include retrofitting measures.  Concerns were raised regarding viability, difficulties in converting some properties due to the nature of their construction and any negative impact on the structure or setting of retrofitting to a historic building.

Agree that it may not always be practical or appropriate to retrofit to all buildings.  However there is scope for the inclusion of works to Heritage Assets to address climate change through local plan policy

Include policy in Heritage section relating to works to a heritage asset to address climate change

 

There was no clear consensus for applying a local policy in relation to flood risk to expand on the requirements of the NPPF.  Comments were made that additional policies may disadvantage existing home owners and restrict further development, and that development within flood risk areas would be in the wrong place anyway.

Agree that too many policies could be onerous.  As well as development in flood risk areas, issues such as surface water flooding will also need to be considered.

Strategic policy relating to development in flood risk areas.  Include flooding in policies relating to site allocations where relevant.

 

There was consensus in support of the use of SUDS, however concern was raised as to their impact on archaeological remains where, for example, improving an areas drainage can change the moisture level in the local environment.

Noted point about archaeological remains. There is also an issue relating to groundwater with SUDs so a criteria based policy will be needed.

Include policy supporting the use of SUDs. Ensure issue of potential Groundwater contamination is addressed

 

Should also consider desalination plants, solar/tidal power, active travel, landscaping

Agree. 

Strategic policy to support applications for renewable energy developments

There was agreement for all of the options in relation to mitigating against the effects of climate change

There was no clear consensus regarding district heating systems, with concern expressed that they have to run all the time whereas local sources only run when they need to

Noted.  An Energy Statement submitted with a planning application would provide the opportunity for the suitability of district heating schemes to be discussed.

Include policy relating to District Heating in the Climate Change section.

 

There was no clear consensus for requiring new developments to incorporate measures to reduce the use of the private car, with a diversity of opinion.  A suggestion was made that cycling and walking facilities should be planned for in the initial stages of new developments to encourage them as normal methods of transport rather than recreational pastimes.

 

Agree

Include policies to facilitate, enable and encourage cycling and walking – potentially in climate change, design and transport sections

 

There was no clear consensus relating to solar farms.  The following suggestions were made  to avoid their development on Grade 1 agricultural land:

·         Locate them on factory roofs

·         Locate them over car parks – will also provide shade for cars

·         Locate them on the green wedges

Concern was also raised about their impact on the landscape.

The location of solar farms is dependent on the proximity of a connection to the National Grid.  However there should be a relevant local plan policy against which any proposals for solar farms should be assessed.

Include policy with criteria relating to landscape issues and impact on agricultural land

 

There was no clear consensus for encouraging other forms of renewable energy developments.  Concerns were raised over loss of agricultural land, detriment to wildlife and negative visual impacts

Agree that these are considerations that need to be taken into account

Include policy supporting the development of renewable energy developments subject to any visual or environmental impact

 

There was support for allocating Richborough for renewable energy technologies as it is a brownfield site with existing connections to the national grid. 

Agree.

Allocate land at Richborough for renewable energy technologies

 

Anaerobic digesters, combined heat and power systems and tidal power may be appropriate.  Could the tunnel networks be developed for ground source heating?

Agree that these are all good ideas.  The policy for the development of renewable energy developments will be supportive of any such proposals submitted.

Include policy supporting the development of renewable energy developments

 

Old hoverport site could be used for a renewable project – maybe a solar farm

Former hoverport site is not located close to a connection to the national grid which is necessary for the development of a solar park.  The site has been proposed as open space.

No action

 

Bird sensitivity maps should be used for defining areas for renewable energy and in planning control

The bird sensitivity maps appear to refer to sites for onshore windfarms.  Windfarms have been identified in evidence as the least suitable form of renewable energy for Thanet, however, should a proposal be received, the sensitivity maps will be referred to.

No action

 

15 – To what extent do you agree or disagree that we should have policies in place to address the following issues?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was consensus in support of all of the policy options relating to the environment

Comments generally raised concerns that support the need for policies relating to these issues.

Discussions with the Environmental Health team also supported the need for environmental policies

Include policies relating to:

Pollution

Contaminated Land

Unstable and Derelict Land

Air Quality

Noise

Light pollution

Groundwater Quality

 

Concerns were raised regarding air pollution caused by Manston Airport, and air quality in general

Agree that these are important points.  Thanet has an Urban Air Quality Management Area and associated action plan.

Air quality policy to require submission of an air quality assessment for proposals likely to cause detriment to Thanet’s air quality.

 

16 – Providing high quality homes, development and neighbourhoods

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was consensus for support for most of the options for providing high quality homes, developments and neighbourhoods

There was a difference of opinion regarding the integration of public art.  It was supported in contributing to the character and identity of a place or development, but concern was raised about the potential for vandalism which would then have a negative effect, and that it was a lower priority than factors such as good design and green spaces.

All of the options that were consulted on were issues the Council considered important in terms of design.  None of the options received significant objections in the consultation, therefore all will be included in design policies within the local plan. However it is not considered necessary to make specific policy reference to public art as this is considered to be more site specific and can be included in development proposals without specific policy reference.

Inclusion of a number of Design policies in the new Local Plan

There was consensus in support of protecting areas that are of High Townscape Value

Reasons included attracting inward migration of higher income households.  However concern was raised that with planning controls existing for listed buildings and conservation areas further designations would make more hurdles to jump.  Low townscape value designations were suggested as suitable areas for redevelopment and regeneration.

The existing AHTVs that were designated in the last local plan have been used to justify planning applications, and the corresponding policy had been successful in appeals.  However, there is little evidence to support the designation of these areas, and there are other areas with attractive characteristics that could warrant such a designation. There are no set criteria for the designation of existing AHTVs or designating new ones – the justifications for the existing AHTVs are characteristics that should be enhanced throughout the district.  It is considered that a more detailed character analysis of parts of the district be carried out and more detailed design policies for those areas be included in the Quality Development SPD.

Include a policy that will be applicable to the whole district that echoes the sentiments of the current AHTV designations to enable high quality and sensitive developments throughout the district, not just in specified areas.

There was no clear consensus as to how the density of new housing development should be set.

Comments were mixed, but related to suggestions of areas where a certain density might be appropriate, rather than specifying a density level to be applied district wide.  The option to ensure that new developments reflect the density of the surrounding area was the most strongly supported.

It is considered more appropriate for density to be considered at the planning application stage so that it is relevant and appropriate for the site and its surroundings rather than being set through planning policy.

Include in policy that density should relate to surroundings of the site/location of the development

 

Paving over front gardens lowers the environmental quality of the neighbourhood, and encourages cars travelling at higher speeds on clear roads, use space standards to ensure no unpleasantly small homes

Noted.  These issues are more appropriate for inclusion in the Quality Development SPD.

No action

 

Independent Design panel should advise on the design quality and location of all major proposals

Agree that independent assessment by the Design Panel would be beneficial in some cases, however this would need to be assessed depending on the site and location.

Policy recommendation for independent review by Design Panel for proposals of national or public significance

 

Should refer to Sport Englands Active Design, Design for Crime Prevention and Commissioners Police and Crime Plan

Noted. There are many relevant documents produced by other organisations that support the local plan and its policies.  However the Council cannot the certain that these documents will remain throughout the plan period, so reference to them within the plan is not considered appropriate as the plan would become out of date if the documents are withdrawn or superseded.  However it is considered appropriate to refer to them in the relevant Topic Papers that support the plan.

No action.  Refer to documents in relevant topic papers.

 

17 – How can we protect and enhance Thanet’s heritage assets?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was consensus in support of most of the options for protecting Thanet’s heritage assets and their settings

 

 

 

 

There was no clear consensus regarding the designation of new conservation areas – concerns were raised regarding enforcement if inappropriate development in conservation areas.

The Council considers conservation to be important, given the districts rich and diverse history.  New conservation areas should be designated where there is sufficient evidence and community support.

Plan to include a strategic policy to facilitate the review of conservation areas and the designation of new ones, and also agreeing Article 4 Directions where appropriate.

 

There was consensus in support of a local list.  A comment was made that resources need to be in place to enable a proactive improvement.

Agree

Plan to include in Strategic Policy the recognition of local heritage assets through a local list

 

There was consensus in support of a policy relating to renewable energy and the historic environment, and also for site specific policies for significant heritage assets with development potential

It is important that Heritage Assets can contribute towards reducing the impacts of climate change, therefore a policy setting out how this can achieved is considered appropriate.

Plan to include policy to enhance the environmental performance of heritage assets

 

Essential utility development should be permitted if the development outweighs the harm

Paragraph 133 of the National Planning Policy Framework sets out criteria which must be applied if a proposed development necessary to achieve substantial public benefits would cause detriment to a heritage asset

No action

 

St Lawrence should be protected and established as a Heritage Area

A Heritage Strategy for Thanet is being prepared which will include the identification of specific areas/sites with heritage value.

No action.

 

There are conflicts between buildings of historical importance and adapting buildings for people with mobility problems

It is considered important for buildings of historic significance to be flexible in their use, and brought back into use. Adapting them for accessibility will be incorporated where necessary and appropriate and where possible to do so without compromising the integrity of the building.

Support for new uses for historic buildings and bringing them back into use in strategic policy in the plan.

 

18 – How should we plan for community facilities?

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

There was support for all of the options for ensuring  there are sufficient and appropriate community facilities.

 

Concern that unused, inadequate or poor standard facilities should not be retained.

Agree. It would be detrimental to a community to insist on the retention of poor, inadequate facilities. However it is also important to safeguard them to prevent their redevelopment leaving a community lacking in facilities.

Include criteria based policy for the retention of community facilities.

 

S106 agreements could be used to provide community facilities for large scale developments

This is an issue that may be addressed through CIL.  The Council is currently preparing a CIL schedule.

No action.

 

Design and scale of community facilities should attract use by not only the local community but appeal to the wider visitor economy

Agree. Community facilities should be accessible to the local community but also provide parking facilities for visitors from further afield.

Include a requirement for local accessibility and space for car parking in policy.

 

It is the service that should be assessed – not the land and buildings they are provided on – service may be provided in other accommodation if a building closes

Disagree.  It is considered appropriate to consider the last lawful use of a building or site in order that it can be retained of there are no other suitable sites within the community for the provision of a community facility.

Include criteria based policy for the retention of community facilities allowing an alternative site to accommodate provision if appropriate.

 

Public Rights of Way should be protected or enhanced

Agree.  This will be included in the Natural Environment section.

No action

 

Plan should provide sufficient protection to ensure continued theatre use

Agree. Theatre, arts and entertainment are important features to be retained.

Acknowledge in supporting text

 

Need to ensure planned approach to the provision of facilities and opportunities for sport and recreation

Agree.

Addressed in section relating to the provision of open space.

 

Warre Rec, Nethercourt and Ellington parks should be retained for community use

Agree – these are currently areas of open space which will continue to be protected in planning policy

No action – policy protecting open space elsewhere in local plan.

 

Ensure Thanets community has access to good quality social and health services

Agree. The council is liaising with relevant authorities in order to achieve this

Include policy to promote, protect and improve the health of Thanet’s residents.

 

Broaden and improve the range of active leisure facilities to encourage greater participation within the local community

This plan places more emphasis on a healthy community and addresses this issue in various parts of the plan.

No action.

 

Redevelopment of the Jentex site would provide a care home and additional local facilities including potentially a doctors surgery/pharmacy and small convenience store, which are currently lacking in Cliffsend.

This will be considered as part of the housing site allocations process

No action

 

(19)

 

Headline views

Issues Raised

Council Response

Action in Local Plan

 

Considerable consensus that all factors identified in consultation are important to an efficient and effective transport system. Transport infrastructure is key to increasing job growth. Plan should improve public transport including for new development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to increase safety and use of cycling and walking, (including capitalising on heritage and green tourism), need to improve public transport and reduce dependency on car use.

 

Need to reduce pollution/emissions, vehicle speeds, noise and pressure on infrastructure, improve health and road safety, and protect habitat and green image.

 

Need to facilitate safe cycling ) e.g. between secondary schools and settlements) and walking as normal activity.

 

Need for bigger buses/cheaper fares and for more frequent bus services to certain destinations. Need for additional services and improvements including need to widen the coverage of the Loop service and update/ provide services in rural areas including Cliffsend. Need for Park and ride facility.

 

Development should be located where well linked to services but need to accept that some people will always need to use cars.

Agree issues raised are important for the transport and infrastructure objectives.

 

Responses suggest a variety of relevant concerns and initiatives including for example providing footpaths and cycle routes, signposting,  locating development where services can be accessed without the need to travel by car, providing  bigger buses, additional ticketing systems and alternative charging regimes.  Some of these can be influenced directly through planning policy. Some cannot but may for instance be addressed through ongoing liaison between the council and the county council as transport authority, providers and users groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headline policy expressing Council’s intention to work with developers and transport providers to manage travel demand and the need for development schemes to address safe and sustainable travel.

 

Policy expecting development proposals to take into account need to facilitate use of public transport (including provision of relevant facilities such as improved waiting facilities) in accordance with the Thanet Transport Strategy in preparation.

 

Policy requiring development with significant transport implications to be supported by a Transport Assessment / Travel Plan showing multi-modal access  travel options and how transport infrastructure will be achieved.

 

Policies requiring design of new development to incorporate safe convenient movement by pedestrians, cyclist safety, supporting provision and enhancement of walking routes, supporting extension of the cycle network and provision of cycle parking and storage.

 

Policy signifying that trip generating development proposals should be located  where a range of services will be accessible without the need to rely on private cars.

 

 

Capacity of the Strategic Road Network

 

The Highways Agency has identified potential capacity issues at junction 7 of the M2  and at the junction of the A2/A256. While these junctions are located at some distance from Thanet consideration needs to be given to the potential impact upon them of traffic movement that may be generated by development and growth at the Airport proposed in the Local Plan.

In liaison with neighbouring districts and Highways Agency a joint overview of development and associated traffic movement in East Kent will be prepared to inform assessment of impact upon these junctions and the need for any mitigation measures.

 

Address how any material impact of planned development upon the Strategic Road network will be addressed/mitigated

 

Need, and measures appropriate, to address traffic issues and potential/existing congestion at Westwood including for example signing of alternative routes for traffic heading to alternative destinations.

Agree there is scope to achieve significant improvement to the transport system and circulation at Westwood.   However, this will require significant rationalisation of its land use configuration and road layout in line with a conceptual layout. 

 

To this end a Westwood Relief Scheme is in preparation, including the concept of realigning traffic routes to enable free movement by pedestrians between town centre facilities.  The Local Plan will be fundamental to its implementation.

 

Policy requiring development to have regard to and where appropriate contribute to successive implementation of a Westwood relief Scheme.

 

 

Need to improve rail speeds

 

Agree further improvements to rail speeds will further improve perceptions of District as a credible location for investment and commuting.

 

 

Include statement that Council will continue to lobby for investments to secure further improvements to rail journey times for CRL domestic services between Ashford and Ramsgate.

 

Including policy supporting proposal to provide new Parkway Station

 

 

Is the Parkway Station project justified? Better to improve efficiency of/parking at the existing stations?

 

With a location agreed by the County Council and significant funding secured it is anticipated that this project will be delivered early in the Plan period. 

Land to be allocated/safeguarded as appropriate in light of the business case for providing a Parkway Station.

 

Sufficiency and attractiveness of car parking, including demand that will arise from developments such as Dreamland and Tesco at Margate.

 

Agree that existing provision may not be adequate to accommodate demand arising when such developments are operating.

 

Acknowledge the issue and support solutions such as identifying land for additional car parking, better signage of existing provision.

 

 

 

Address disparity of charges between coastal town centres and Westwood. Should car parking be free to some /all users? Should street parking charges be retained/introduced?

 

Agree parking charges will influence attractiveness of individual centres and places to residents and visitors. As car parking at Westwood is essentially on private land the Council cannot directly control parking charges there.  Moreover the Local Plan cannot address parking charges in general but preparation of the Plan is being informed through liaison with the Parking Operation unit.

 

Concerns suggest it is appropriate that policy should aim to retain/provide adequate and suitable coastal town centre car parks to meet demand and to limit additional provision at Westwood.

 

Retain policies safeguarding off-street public car parking in the coastal town centres, and restricting additional car parking provision at Westwood which is considered adequately served as a multi-purpose destination. .

 

 

Representations include suggestions for various transport improvement schemes such as a St Peter’s by-pass, a Clearway route (to be implemented successively) from St Peters to the A28 at St Nicholas,  widening of Nash Lane, closure to traffic/ pedestrianisation of certain town centre streets and the suggestion that development at “Manston Green” be permitted including housing, a school, a Parkway station, a multi-modal interchange, Park and Ride and strategic highway improvements to the A256 corridor, and strengthening of links through Richborough corridor to Discovery Park.

 

Consider the merits of particular schemes and development projects prospectively delivering substantial transport infrastructure improvements.

 

Transport infrastructure improvements need to be deliverable and considered in the context of wider growth proposals over the plan period.  A transport strategy, informed by traffic modelling has been prepared as a component to inform assessment of options regarding future development site allocations and to identify the strategic transport infrastructure required to support them.

 

Development strategy to be informed by transport strategy and to identify transport infrastructure improvements and schemes as are required and deliverable to support it.

 

Include policies to enable delivery of such improvements and schemes.