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Call for Sites Information Pack incorporating the ‘New Garden Communities Prospectus’ and Call for Sites Submission forms and guidance

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This Information Pack has 3 components;

A – Essential background information - comprising context and key information on the types of candidate sites and locations and which follows the council’s preparations for this early stage of the Local Plan Review process.

B – New Garden Communities Prospectus – the council wishes to provide as much guidance as possible to those considering submissions for urban extensions and new settlements to enable the council to give full consideration to these forms of new development, given their potential scale and implications. The council’s guidance aligns with the Government’s approach to these forms of development.

C – Call for Sites submission form and guidance on making a submission – in order for submissions to be considered fully, they should be submitted on the Call for Sites submission form, having regard to the associated guidance.

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Section A – Background Information

1 – Brief background on the Local Plan Review.

[This section will cover why the MBLP is being reviewed, it will explain the key stages for the Local Plan Review and outline the overall timetable.]

2 – Purpose and scope of the Call for Sites

This Call for Sites exercise is the starting point for a piece of key evidence for the Local Plan Review, the Strategic Land Availability Assessment. The purpose of the Call for Sites is to gain information about potential sites for inclusion (allocation) in the Local Plan Review.

The council is inviting submissions for sites which could be suitable for;

·         Housing (including specialist housing e.g. housing for the elderly)

·         Offices (use class B1a)

·         Research & development (B1b)

·         Light industry (B1c)

·         General industry (B2)

·         Storage & distribution (B8)

·         Retail

·         Commercial leisure uses (e.g. hotels, gyms, cinemas)

·         Gypsy & Traveller/Travelling Showpople accommodation

·         Nursing and care homes

A submission could be relate to an individual site or it could cover a more expansive area suitable for a new garden community with a mix of uses and a diversity of housing types and tenures to deliver a substantial, sustainable new community.

The submission of a site, or even a favourable assessment of a site, does not mean that the site will automatically go forward for inclusion in the Local Plan Review and/or that it will be granted planning permission in the future.  The planning merits of the sites submitted will be assessed using a consistent methodology and criteria. The site assessments will be compiled into the Strategic Land Availability Assessment as an evidential study to inform the content of the Local Plan Review.

3 – What do we know currently about the amount and type of development that will be needed?

Number and types of new housing: The Government’s standardised method for calculating the number of new homes results in a minimum ‘working’ figure of approximately 1,200 homes/year for the borough.  This figure, which will apply from 2022 when the Local Plan Review is adopted, is a significant uplift compared with the current Local Plan requirement of 883 homes/year. This inflated rate would need to be sustained for the council to maintain its 5 year housing land supply and to continue to pass the government’s Housing Delivery Test. 

The time horizon for the Local Plan Review will be to at least 2037 to give the plan a 15 year time period at adoption. It is possible it will extend beyond 2037, particularly if this fits with accommodating large-scale development with long lead-in times.  The exact requirement figure is also likely to change as a result of data updates and, more fundamentally, because the Government intends to revise its standardised approach.

As part of the Local Plan Review, the council will also undertake a Strategic Housing Market Assessment. This will address specific and specialist housing needs, such as;

·         Affordable housing

·         Plots of land suitable for custom and self-build housing - there are currently 293 people on the Self-build Register who have expressed an interest in self-build in the borough.  41 of these have selected Maidstone borough as their first choice location. 3 associations, representing groups of potential self-builders, are also on the register.

·         Housing for the elderly.  This would include sheltered and extra-care housing but could also include housing which is designed, or can be easily adapted, so that older people can live in their own homes for longer.

·         Build to Rent

·         Care and nursing homes

If you consider that your site is particularly suited towards a specialist type of housing, please explain this in your submission.


Land and premises for business:  As part of the Local Plan Review, the council will undertake work to help understand the nature and scale of future demand for new business land and premises.

Whilst information on exact requirements is yet to come, at this stage we can say that the Local Plan Review is likely to be particularly concerned with planning for offices (use classes B1a & b), industry (B1c and B2) and storage & distribution uses (B8), and also retail and commercial leisure uses (e.g. cinemas, gyms, hotels). The 2018 NPPF also highlights the potential for clusters or networks to be created of knowledge and data-driven, creative and high technology industries.

Land for Gypsy & Travellers’ accommodation: The Call for Sites also encompasses land which could be suitable for Gypsy and Traveller and/or Travelling Showpeople accommodation.  We will be undertaking a new Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment which will confirm how many additional pitches will be needed over the plan period.

Those promoting housing sites and locations, including new garden communities, should positively consider how Traveller pitches could be incorporated within their proposals.



4 - Types of candidate sites

Initial work undertaken by the council indicates that there are a number of site and broad location types which could be submitted through the Call for Sites exercise. It is possible, or even likely, that a blend of these types of sites and broad locations will feature in the Local Plan Review.


To provide context for submissions, the types of sites and broad locations are set out below;

Maidstone Town centre – sustaining the town centre as a focus for commercial activity – offices, shopping, entertainment and leisure – is likely to be instrumental to its future. The 2018 NPPF re-affirms a ‘town centre first’ approach to planning for ‘main town centre uses’[1].

At the same time, increased levels of housing could help to revitalise the town centre – new residents would have easy access to the mix of attractions and facilities on their doorstep, whether they work in the town or use the good public transport links to work elsewhere. 

The 2018 NPPF now incorporates a specific section about making the best use of land which, amongst other things, expects Local Plans to achieve significantly higher housing densities in town centres. A balance needs to be struck, however, between achieving increased densities and creating good quality places to live.  Poor quality, high density development can lead to unacceptable issues in terms of internal space, access to outside communal green space and an unrealistic approach to parking demand for example.

The current town centre boundary can be found at page 32 of the adopted Local Plan and can also be found on the Policies Map using the following link;

Those submitting town centre sites should actively consider how to address such concerns and also consider whether the site has particular potential for mixed use development.



……………[photos of MBLP town centre schemes to be inserted]…………….

Rest of Maidstone urban area – The ‘rest of the urban area’ comprises those parts of Maidstone beyond the town centre. The adopted Local Plan allocates a number of sites in this part of town, generally former institutional or commercial sites. There may be further such opportunities to be submitted through this Call for Sites exercise, including sites which are no longer suitable for their current use which could be re-purposed through the Local Plan Review, or ones which could be used more intensively.

We would also be interested to hear of housing estate renewal and regeneration schemes, likely to be led by Registered Providers, which could add to the number of new homes as well as upgrade the quality of existing housing stock.

……………[photos of MBLP MUA schemes to be inserted]…………….

Edge of Maidstone – sites at the edge of Maidstone could contribute to modest outwards extension of the town.  Such sites are most likely to be greenfield in nature. If your submission includes development that would be classed as an urban extension, please refer to the New Garden Communities heading below and the Garden Communities Prospectus in Section B of this document.

Possible issues that such sites could raise – and which those submitting sites should consider -   include the ease of access to services and facilities and impact on the landscape setting of the town and countryside.




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In and at the edge of the most sustainable villages – As part of the Local Plan Review, we will confirm the hierarchy of settlements by looking at available services and facilities. In the adopted Local Plan, the hierarchy is as follows;

1 - Maidstone

2- Rural Service Centres

Marden, Staplehurst, Headcorn, Harrietsham, Lenham.

3 - Larger Villages

Sutton Valence, Boughton Monchelsea, Yalding, Coxheath, Hollingbourne




Those submitting sites in or adjacent to one these villages, or elsewhere, should actively consider how accessible the site is to key services and facilities (schools, healthcare, shops, public transport etc) and how, if needed, this can be improved. The 2018 NPPF confirms that housing in rural areas “should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities. Planning policies should identify opportunities for villages to grow and thrive, especially where this will support local services” . 






…………… [photos of MBLP village schemes to be inserted]…………….

Countryside sites – new housing sites in the countryside, away from the identified villages and removed from services and public transport connections generally score more poorly in sustainability terms.

Those submitting such sites are recommended to clearly demonstrate how the sustainability shortcomings of their site will be addressed. 



…………… [photos of MBLP countryside schemes to be inserted]…………….

New Garden Communities – new settlements and major urban extensions are a potential way to help meet the housing challenge the borough faces. This is an approach which has not been followed in Maidstone borough previously and so the council has produced a New Garden Communities Prospectus to provide as much guidance as possible to those considering submissions for urban extensions and new settlements.

New garden communities need to be of a sufficient scale to deliver meaningful supporting infrastructure.  The Government defines ‘garden villages’ as being of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes and ‘garden towns’ as being of 10,000+ homes[2].

The benefits of new garden communities could include:

·         new settlements or neighbourhoods which can be comprehensively planned and co-ordinated from the outset; 

·         a single location where the houses will be built out over a number of years,  resulting in a significant number of new homes overall;

·         an integrated approach to the supporting infrastructure, facilities and mix of uses is achieved as part of the overall masterplanning for the  new settlement or neighbourhood; and,

·         the prospect of achieving mixed, balanced communities through the supply of a range of types and tenures of housing.

The council is keen to receive submissions for new garden communities, recognising that the 2018 NPPF specifically highlights the role that such an approach can play in areas of high housing demand like Maidstone.

Small sites - the 2018 NPPF includes a new requirement for Local Plans to identify sites for at least 10% of the housing requirement on small sites of 1ha or less. We would welcome the submissions for such small sites (noting that the lower site size threshold for submissions is 5 dwellings/0.25ha).

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Brownfield sites – we would also welcome brownfield site submissions. The 2018 NPPF includes the expectation that best use will be made of brownfield sites.

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5 – Local Plan Review Spatial Strategy

The current, adopted Local Plan follows a ‘dispersed’ approach to the distribution of new development in the borough.  Housing allocations are primarily focused in and at the edge of Maidstone town (67%) with lesser amounts at the borough’s main villages (24%) and very limited numbers on sites in the countryside (8%).  The plan identifies larger scale ‘broad locations’ at Lenham (1,000 homes) and Invicta Barracks (1,300 homes) and in the town centre (940 homes).

This dispersed approach has, and continues to be, a highly deliverable one; the Council is currently meeting and exceeding its requirements for both the housing delivery test and the 5-year housing land supply. The diversity of sites and locations means that a number of different housebuilders can be building on different sites at the same time, serving differing segments of the local housing market. Supply is not dependent on a limited number of housebuilders. The dispersed approach has also meant that best use can be made of the capacity within existing facilities and infrastructure.

The table below shows how many homes have and will be built in the borough between 2011 and 2031 as a result of the adopted Local Plan compared with the ‘baseline’ at 2011. When the growth is ‘annualised’ it reveals the relative, average scale of growth year on year.





2011 baseline number of homes[3]

Estimated additional homes at 2031 (excl. future windfall)

Equivalent to x%/year


% share of additional homes

Maidstone Town Centre[4]





Maidstone Urban Area





Rural Service Centres





Larger Villages













Lenham Broad Location is an example where detailed plan-making is being progressed through a neighbourhood plan, led by Lenham Parish Council. The parish council has appointed its own expert support and is working positively to advance a neighbourhood plan which will provide for 1,000 new homes and associated infrastructure.  Consultation on the ‘pre-submission’ neighbourhood plan finished in October 2018 and the parish council is on track to produce its draft plan early in 2019.

Further information is awaited from the Ministry of Defence in order that further planning around Maidstone Barracks can be undertaken and the council is continuing to work with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation in that regard. We are also now experiencing development coming forward at the Springfield sites at the edge of Maidstone Town Centre.

A key aspect of the Local Plan Review will be to identify and test alternative ways that the new development requirements can be met (i.e. the different spatial options).  Work on potential strategies is ongoing and options will iterate and evolve as more information and evidence comes forward as the LPR progresses.  Knowledge of the availability of sites revealed by the Call for Sites will be an important input to the decisions around what are reasonable and realistic spatial options.

It is also important to note that windfall (non-allocated) development makes an important contribution to Maidstone’s housing land supply. The dispersal of windfall development generally matches the dispersed strategy contained in the adopted Local Plan and is illustrated in the below map.

‘Business as usual’ i.e. the dispersed approach is, on the face of it, a potential option.  It is possible, or maybe even likely, that a continuation of this current approach would not secure the uplift in supply needed as a result of the Government’s new housing requirements. A different or adapted approach may be needed and this could include a new garden community or communities and indeed a ‘blended’ approach may be the way forwardwhereby a diversity of smaller sites in combination with a new community or communities ensures that the inflated annual rate supply of new homes can be sustained. 

…………… [Photos of Maidstone schemes to be inserted]…………….

6 – Environmental constraints information

The council has undertaken work illustrating key national and local constraints that apply to the borough. The map provided further on in this document illustrates the location of nationally significant environmental designations in the borough;

·           Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

·           Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

·           Green Belt

·           Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

·           Conservation Areas

·           Flood risk zones (FZ)

·           Ancient woodland


You may also wish to refer to the Local Plan Policies Map, via the link below, which sets out the precise boundaries of these designations;

The location and details of listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments and historic parks and gardens can be searched for on Historic England’s website using link below;

Information on archaeological sites and buildings can be found here;

The 2018 NPPF confirms that veteran trees are an ‘irreplaceable habitat’. It also signals, in respect of development on agricultural land, that areas of poorer agricultural land quality should be preferred to those of a higher quality (Grades 1,2,3a).  The boundaries of the post 1988 agricultural land classifications and the agricultural land classification (provisional) can be accessed from the Department for Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs interactive map, via the link below;

The map provided further on in this document shows the location of designations which have a particular local significance;

·           Landscapes of Local Value (LLV) designated in the current Maidstone Borough Local Plan.

·           Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)

·           Local Nature Reserves (LNR) and Local Wildlife Sites (LWS)

The precise locations of the Landscapes of Local Value, Local Nature Reserves and Local Wildlife Sites can be interrogated on the council’s interactive Policies Map, via the link below;

The Maidstone AQMA boundaries can be viewed on the Department for Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs interactive map, via the link below;

Parts of the borough are identified as Minerals Safeguarding Areas in the Kent Minerals & Waste Local Plan prepared by Kent County Council.  The plan setting out the implications of this designation and a map showing the extent of the safeguarding areas are available here;

Alternatively, the minerals safeguarding areas can be view via the Local Plan interactive map, via the link below;


Nationally significant environmental designations in the borough

Locally significant environmental designations in the borough



7 – Other sources of supply

There are also several other forms of development supply that the Council will consider as part of the Local Plan Review and will feed into the Strategic Land Availability Assessment. This includes planning applications that have been refused or withdrawn, land in the local authority’s ownership and surplus and likely to become surplus public sector land. The full list is set out in the government’s National Planning Policy Guidance:


8 - Next steps

[This will explain that proposals will be objectively assessed by MBC, and include general timelines for the Local Plan Review]




TITLE PAGE Section B – New Garden Communities Prospectus

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The council wishes to provide as much guidance as possible to those considering submissions for urban extensions and new settlements. This will allow the council to give full consideration to these forms of new development, given their potential scale and implications. The council’s guidance aligns with the government’s approach to these forms of development.

We are keen to receive submissions for new garden communities, recognising that the 2018 NPPF specifically highlights the role that such an approach can play in areas of high housing demand like Maidstone.

In order for submissions to be considered fully, they should be submitted on the Call for Sites submission form, having regard to the associated guidance as well as the matters set out in this Prospectus.

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Maidstone at a glance

[Short description of the borough, main attributes, travelling distances/times to London/ports etc,]

************ Map showing the borough in its wider context, including proximity to London, proximity to key links and direction arrow to ports etc. **********************


New Garden Communities – A Potential Role in Maidstone Borough?

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New Garden Communities – Description and Principles

New garden communities need to be of a sufficient scale to deliver meaningful supporting infrastructure.  The Government defines ‘garden villages’ as being of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes and ‘garden towns’ as being of 10,000+ homes[5].  They can be new, freestanding settlements or a new neighbourhood created through a major extension to an existing urban area. In either case, they are areas which are comprehensively planned and co-ordinated from the outset where the new homes and other forms of development will be built over an extended number of years.

New garden communities also offer the prospect of achieving mixed, balanced communities through the supply of a range of types and tenures of housing and a highly integrated approach to the provision of supporting infrastructure, facilities and mix of uses.  This integration, co-ordination and delivery-focus are likely to be best achieved by taking a masterplanning approach to the delivery of the new garden community.

Within its Garden Communities Prospectus, the Government has an inspirational view of what garden communities can be[6];

“We want to see vibrant, mixed use communities where people can live, work and play for generations to come – communities which view themselves as the conservation areas of the future. Each will be holistically planned, self-sustaining and characterful.” 



The council wishes to draw attention in particular to the Garden Community qualities that are contained in the Government’s prospectus. These are provided in the following extract:

“Garden community qualities


High quality place-making is what makes garden communities exemplars of large new developments, and all proposals must set out a clear vision for the quality of the community and how this can be maintained in the long-term, for instance by following Garden City principles. Although we are not imposing a particular set of development principles on local areas, we do expect proposals to demonstrate how they will meet and embed the key qualities below.


a. Clear identity – a distinctive local identity as a new garden community, including at its heart an attractive and functioning centre and public realm.

b. Sustainable scale – built at a scale which supports the necessary infrastructure to allow the community to function self-sufficiently on a day to day basis, with the capacity for future growth to meet the evolving housing and economic needs of the local area.

c. Well-designed places – with vibrant mixed use communities that support a range of local employment types and premises, retail opportunities, recreational and community facilities.


d. Great homes – offer a wide range of high quality, distinctive homes. This includes affordable housing and a mix of tenures for all stages of life.


e. Strong local vision and engagement – designed and executed with the engagement and involvement of the existing local community, and future residents and businesses. This should include consideration of how the natural and historic environment of the local area is reflected and respected.

f. Transport –integrated, forward looking and accessible transport options that support economic prosperity and wellbeing for residents. This should include promotion of public transport, walking, and cycling so that settlements are easy to navigate, and facilitate simple and sustainable access to jobs, education, and services.

g. Healthy places – designed to provide the choices and chances for all to live a healthy life, through taking a whole systems approach to key local health & wellbeing priorities and strategies.

h. Green space – generous, accessible, and good quality green and blue infrastructure that promotes health, wellbeing, and quality of life, and considers opportunities to deliver environmental gains such as biodiversity net gain and enhancements to natural capital.

i. Legacy and stewardship arrangements – should be in place for the care of community assets, infrastructure and public realm, for the benefit of the whole community.

j. Future proofed – designed to be resilient places that allow for changing demographics, future growth, and the impacts of climate change including flood risk and water availability, with durable landscape and building design planned for generations to come. This should include anticipation of the opportunities presented by technological change such as driverless cars and renewable energy measures. “[7]



**************** Image of good garden community **********************

The Council also wishes to draw attention to the Town & Country Planning Association ‘Garden city principles’[8];

The Garden City Principles are a distillation of the key elements that have made the Garden City model of development so successful, articulated for a 21st century context. Taken together, the principles form an indivisible and interlocking framework for the delivery of high-quality places.

A Garden City is a holistically planned new settlement which enhances the natural environment and offers high-quality affordable housing and locally accessible work in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities. The Garden City Principles are an indivisible and interlocking framework for their delivery, and include:

·         Land value capture for the benefit of the community.

·         Strong vision, leadership and community engagement.

·         Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets.

·         Mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are genuinely affordable.

·         A wide range of local jobs in the Garden City within easy commuting distance of homes.

·         Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the best of town and country to create healthy communities, and including opportunities to grow food.

·         Development that enhances the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains, and that uses zero-carbon and energy-positive technology to ensure climate resilience.

·         Strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable, vibrant, sociable neighbourhoods.

·         Integrated and accessible transport systems, with walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms of local transport.”

The council believes that the above mentioned qualities and principles should act as a key point of reference for those considering proposals for urban extensions or new settlements.

New Garden Communities – Further Considerations

The council is keen to ensure that submissions are genuinely deliverable and will expect the land value uplift to be used to fund essential infrastructure. An important dimension will be how developers/landowners will work with the council in this regard – will the homes will be delivered through clear partnership arrangements to capture land value to secure all necessary infrastructure?

Local community engagement, involvement and support is also likely to be instrumental to delivering a successful proposal.  Those people who are most closely impacted by the new garden community proposal will need an understanding of the benefits that the development will bring and will likely welcome opportunities for meaningful influence on the specific details of the proposal.  Arrangements for the stewardship of community assets could be important in sustaining their benefits for the whole community in the longer term.

In addition to its regulatory role as planning authority, the council would also want and need to take a role as community leader, potentially taking on the role of advocate for the new garden community (or communities) both locally and more widely, in particular with funding bodies.

***************** Image of community engagement ************************

An important aspect to achieving a mixed and balanced community will be ensuring that the new homes match the diversity of local needs and offer variety and choice, including in terms of affordability and tenure. This will likely include specialist provision in response to evidenced needs, such as housing for the elderly, serviced plots for custom and self-build and Gypsy & Traveller pitches.

A successful garden community is likely to contain a genuine mix of uses.  Making realistic provision for additional employment floorspace will mean that some residents will be able to work locally. A local centre can contain a range of local shops, services and facilities; leisure and community uses; open space; formal recreation space and sports facilities. Supporting facilities and services that the residents will also need should be considered within the development as a whole, including schools, health centres, sports and leisure facilities, community buildings.

***************** Image/photo of community hub ***************

A new garden community is a particular opportunity to set an exceptional standard of building and urban design.  Some underpinning themes which a new garden community should have particular regard to are;

·         Creating a distinctive place to live at a sustainable scale which responds to local character in the heart of Kent

·         Providing a clear, holistic masterplan that places the new development in an integrated way within it surrounding area

·         Giving residents the best opportunities to follow healthy lifestyles, allowing activity to be built into their daily lives and providing opportunities to buy and grow healthy food along with ensuring that health services are close at hand

·         That generous amounts of green space, landscaping , trees and hedgerows are integrated into the design of the development  - with the purposes of achieving biodiversity net gain, an attractive setting for development, informal recreational space, and attractive walking and cycling links

·         Integrated and accessible transport choices, with a particular emphasis on active modes (walking and cycling), public transport and low emission technologies

·         Buildings and places designed with a strong focus on energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and climate change mitigation. 

·         Exceptional connectivity through superfast broadband

New Garden Communities – The Role of MBC

As noted earlier in the prospectus, an important dimension will be how developers/landowners will work with the council. The council echoes the Government’s proposition that “strong local leadership is crucial to developing and delivering a long-term vision for these new communities”[9].

If a new garden community or communities are to be part of the preferred way forward in this borough, roles for the council could include the following;

·         Local planning authority  - establishing the planning policy framework for the new community, directing its detailed masterplanning and delivering consents through the development management process

·         Partner (possibly a lead partner) to secure funding from Governmental agencies

·         Advocate for the new garden community, including with other public sector bodies and neighbouring authorities

·         Active role in land assembly

·         Investor, including as a possible landowner

·         Role as an overarching ‘master-developer’

Your submissions should set out how you will work with the council to bring forward your new garden community.

Deliverability & viability

This prospectus has already touched on the importance of deliverability. The Government identifies “the delivery of a new garden community is a complex, long term project which will deliver homes over a number of decades.”[10] This means that interested parties must have a concerted approach to deliverability from the outset.

Promoters of new garden communities should give particular consideration to how barriers can be overcome and delivery can be accelerated, as well as sustained, over longer time periods. Measures which may be utilised are;

·         A clear role for a master developer

·         Opportunities for multiple suppliers including SME builders to accelerate and sustain delivery rates.

·         Setting out roles, responsibilities, timeframes and commitments of key parties through, for example, a Memorandum of Understanding with the council and/or other key parties.  This should progress  to a Planning Performance Agreement in due course

·         Collaboration between landowners/developers and the council on bids for funding (including forward funding)

Submission requirements

Those submitting proposals for new garden communities to provide between 1,500 and 10,000+ new homes as part of a mixed use development should elaborate on their proposal by providing supporting information covering the matters set out in this prospectus with a particular focus on the following aspects;

·         a plan showing the area covered by the submission, detailing the extent of different landownerships and interests

·         the proposal – numbers/amount of different types of housing and how the site will deliver a diversity of housing types and tenures

·         details of proposed layout of uses across the development and how the development integrates with the adjoining area

·         the details of supporting uses, such as employment, local shopping and community facilities, which will be needed as part of the new community, and how these will be delivered in conjunction with the new homes;

·         details of the supporting infrastructure – schools, healthcare, transport improvements, formal and informal green space – that will be required to make the new community a sustainable and highly desirable place to live, and how this will be funded and delivered in conjunction with the new homes;

·         how best use will be made of the existing physical and social infrastructure in the locality;

·         the scope for environmental benefits to be achieved in conjunction with the development, for example gains in biodiversity through the creation of new habitats;

·         a development trajectory for the site, specifying the measures that will be employed to accelerate housing delivery rates;

·         any significant constraints to development  and how these will be overcome;

·         Programme of technical studies to evidence the proposal – likely to include

§  Transport & highways

§  Ecology and protected habitats and species

§  Arboricultural and hedge surveys

§  Heritage – including archaeology

§  Flood risk assessment and hydrology

§  Ground conditions and contamination

§  Air quality

§  Utilities and services

§  Topography

§  Landscape and visual impact

§  Minerals

·         Your expectations of the council and how you will work collaboratively with the council in the delivery of the proposal; and

·         What delivery vehicle and governance arrangements you envisage using.

Responses to these points should be provided as part of the ‘additional information’ section of the Call for Sites submission form.



SECTION C – Submission guidance notes and submission form

In order for submissions to be considered fully, they should be submitted on the Call for Sites submission form, having regard to the associated guidance contained in this and previous sections of the Call for Sites Information Pack.

Guidance Notes on making a submission

For your site to be considered, please complete the dedicated Call for Sites form for each site you wish to submit.  The form is available to download here; (weblink to be added).

Please ensure you include a map (preferably on an OS base and at 1:1250 scale) outlining the exact boundaries of the whole site and distinguishing the part(s) that you consider suitable for development. 





Site size threshold: This Call for Sites, is for sites capable of delivering 5 or more dwellings or economic development on sites of 0.25 hectares (or 500 square metres of floor space) and above in line with the thresholds in the NPPG.

Supporting Studies: You are strongly encouraged to submit relevant technical reports, akin to what might be required at outline planning application stage, in support of your submission.  The studies should focus on the high level impacts of the site’s development (based on an indicative scheme) and identify what measures will be put in place to address those impacts. The following are likely to be particularly relevant;

  • Transport AssessmentPrevious experience has shown that the impact of proposed developments on the existing highways network can often be the critical consideration.


For larger schemes where a Transport Assessment (TA) is required it is important to show that the cumulative impact of developments is transparently considered in the submission. This will normally involve, at least, localised modelling of impacts (particularly junctions) on a cumulative basis and the commensurate mitigation should the cumulative impact be above the design capacity of the network. Mitigation may well be a combination of capacity improvements (capable of passing the safety audits) and delivering robust sustainable transport”.

For smaller sites of up to 100 dwellings a Transport Statement (TS) would provide the appropriate level of detail. 


All TS/TA reports should be prepared in accordance with the planning practice guidance on 'Travel Plans, Transport Assessments and Statements' (March 2014, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government). Consideration must be given to whether a suitable and safe access can be created with the public highway (including additional emergency/secondary access points for larger sites in accordance with Manual for Streets and Kent Design Guide) in addition to investigation of road safety implications, accessibility to sustainable transport infrastructure and services and, particularly importantly, network capacity impacts. 


Site promoters are encouraged to seek advice from the Highway Authority.  A pre-application charge will apply for a formal written response (see link below).



Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment –  A landscape and visual appraisal should be submitted in all cases where sites are in, or adjacent to, sensitive landscapes (land with an international, national, regional or local designation). In other cases, submissions should include an assessment of viewpoints.


The reports should focus on a baseline study and identification of constraints and opportunities with an appraisal of direct and indirect landscape and visual effects and consider the potential for mitigation and enhancement.  Visual assessments should establish where the site is visible from, who the receptors are, and the nature of those views and visual amenity.

The scope and content will vary on a case by case basis but should broadly comply with the principles of the Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, third edition (GLVIA 3).

Other assessments which may be relevant according to the specific characteristics of the site and/or the use proposed are;

  • Flood Risk Assessment
  • Phase 1 habitat survey
  • Tree survey
  • Minerals Assessment – a site within a minerals safeguarding area which has the potential to sterilise the mineral shall be accompanied by a Minerals Assessment (unless it is covered by one of the exceptions in Policy DM 7 (as amended) of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30. Further information on the scope and content can be found in the Minerals and Waste Safeguarding Supplementary Planning Document which is available here: .  Proposals which would adversely affect the continued lawful operation of minerals management, transportation and production facilities and waste management facilities are also covered (see Policy DM8 of the KMWLP).
  • Town centre uses – sequential and impact assessments in accordance with the NPPF
  • Air Quality Impact Assessment


Note on availability: It is important that the submission includes confirmation from the landowner (or the person in legal control of the site) that the site will be available for the development being proposed.  This is key to demonstrating that the site is genuinely available.

Addressing barriers to development: those submitting sites should take a pro-active approach to identifying possible barriers to the successful development of their site and how these can and will be addressed in conjunction with their proposal.

Please submit your site form, plan and supporting information by xx date to;

Strategic Planning – Call for Sites

Maidstone Borough Council

Maidstone House

King Street


ME15 6JQ



Internal use only:


Site reference:

Respondent id:


Section 1:  Contact details



Please tick

1.   Name



2.   Organisation



3.   Address



4.   Telephone no.



5.   Email address



6.   Your status (please tick all that apply)

Land Owner


Planning consultant


Land agent


Registered Social Landlord




Other (please specify below)






If you are representing another person, please provide their name, address and contact details:



Please tick

7.   Name



8.   Organisation



9.   Address



10.       Telephone no.



11.       Email address



12.       Their status (please tick all that apply)

Land Owner


Planning consultant


Land agent


Registered Social Landlord




Other (please specify below)






13.       Do you have the landowners permission to submit this site?



14.       If you are not the landowner, or are not working on behalf of the landowner, or the site is in multiple ownerships then please provide the name, address and contact details of the landowner(s):












Section 2:  Site details


Please tick

15.       Site name



16.       Site address


17.       Grid reference (Easting/Northing)


18.       Site area (ha)


19.       Description of site characteristics

(e.g existing buildings, points of access, boundaries)


20.       Current land use


21.       Is the site brownfield / greenfield



22.       Relevant planning history (please quote planning application references)





23.       What uses is the site being promoted for:

     (Please tick all   

      that apply and for 

      mixed use sites

      the percentage for

      each use)




Specialist housing                                  

(e.g. extra care, students, sheltered housing,

self-build custom house build, please specify)





Research and Development (B1b)


Light industry (B1c)                                  


General Industry(B2)


Specialist Industrial (B3 to B7)


Storage and Distribution (B8)                    



(Please specify)



(e.g. hotels, gym, night clubs, please specify)


Gypsy and Traveller / Travelling Showpeople pitches 


Community uses

(e.g day nurseries, schools, colleges, libraries, public halls, medical or health services, please specify)         



(please specify)






Please attach a map (preferably on an ordnance survey base and at 1:1250 scale) outlining the exact boundaries of the whole site and the part(s) that may be suitable for development.














Section 3:  Suitability


Please tick

24.       Accessibility

(please tick all that apply and provide known details)

Access                                                                (e.g. where does the site have access to the highway and what is the access)   




Public Transport

(type and proximity)





(e.g. education, health, shops)





(e.g. gas, electric, water, sewage, broadband)




Other (please specify below)              






25.       Policy constraints

     (Please tick all that

      apply and provide


Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty




Ancient Woodland                                          




Sites of Special Scientific Interest                   




Green Belt                                                    




MBLP Landscapes of Local Value (Policy SP17)                             




Local Nature Reserves                                  




Local Wildlife Sites                                        




Special Area of Conservation      




Heritage                                                        (e.g. Conservation Area, Listed buildings)








Tree Preservation Order(s) / Veteran Trees




Air Quality Management Area




Other (please specify below)  






26.        Tangible and infrastructure constraints

(please tick all that apply and provide details)

Flood risk                                         








Contamination /pollution                                 




Land stability




Public Rights of Way   















                                                        Ecology (including ponds)




Neighbour/residential amenity




Other (please specify below)





27.       Please provide details on how identified constraints will be overcome

(e.g. through mitigation)

Please attach studies as separate documents to this form

















Section 4:  Availability

28.        Is the site available for development now?





29.       If not, when will the site be available?

(please specify year)





30.       What do you estimate the amount of development on the site to be?

(please specify)



31.       When do you anticipate commencement on the site and completions?

If completions are spread over a number of years please state the yield per year.










32.       Is there a developer interested in the site?

(please state name of the developer and the nature of interest)



33.        Are there any legal constraints on the site that may impede development?

(please specify

e.g. restrictive covenants, ransom strips)





Section 5: Achievability

34.       Would the development be new build, involve a conversion or both?



35.       On housing sites would the development provide affordable housing?

(Please state types)



36.       Are you aware of any exceptional issues that may affect site viability?

(please specify)



37.       What, if any measures may be required to make the site viable for the development proposed?










Section 6: Additional Information

This section of the submission form should be used to provide any other information in support of your site.

For those making submissions for new garden communities, please use this section to explain how you meet the requirements set out in the Prospectus in Section B of this Information Pack. In particular, please remember to explain how you will work with the council to deliver your new garden communities proposal.




W:\LOCAL PLAN REVIEW\Evidence Base\Strategic Land Availability Assessment\Call for Sites\Call for Sites Information Pack incorporating a New Garden Communities Prospectus v5.docx

[1] Retail development (including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres); leisure, entertainment and more intensive sport and recreation uses (including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars and pubs, nightclubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres and bingo halls); offices; and arts, culture and tourism development (including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, hotels and conference facilities).

[2] Garden Communities Prospectus, August 2018

[3] Estimated figure using  Local Land & Property Gazetteer records

[4] Boundaries are as defined in the adopted Local Plan

[5] Paragraph 5, Garden Communities Prospectus 2018 MHCLG

[6] Paragraph 3, Garden Communities Prospectus 2018 MHCLG

[7] Paragraph 13, Garden Communities Prospectus 2018 MHCLG

[9] Paragraph 11, Garden Communities Prospectus 2018 MHCLG

[10] Paragraph 14, Garden Communities Prospectus 2018 MHCLG