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Enc. 1 for Maidstone Borough Local Plan - mixed use allocations


Schedule of issues and responses for Policy RMX1

Policy Number RMX1

General objections and representations

Summary of issues

Officer  Response

Proposed change

Character Area Assessments should be prepared prior to accepting  planning applications for large developments (parish council)

The council cannot refuse to accept and consider a valid planning application. Policy DM4 provides clear guidance on design matters including the need to respond to local character. A development’s response to the local character should be explained in the Design & Access Statement submitted with the application.

No change.

Support (resident)

Support welcomed

No change

The policy should distinguish between in and out of centre retail sites. For out of centre sites the policy should require no impact on town centre sites’ viability and deliverability and restrictions on overall floorspace, goods, uses, size/number of units (landowner) .

Policy RMX1(1) for Newnham Court , which is an out of centre site, already sets out the type of criteria which are sought by the  respondent.

No change



Policy Number RMX1

Site omissions

Summary of issues

Officer Response

Proposed change

RMX1 and H1(12) The allocations in Policy RMX1 do not identify sufficient land to accommodate Maidstone’s identified need for retail floorspace. A further site should be identified for convenience needs and the Haynes site could contribute to 5000sqm retail needs in the short to medium term plus up to 150 dwellings.  100% residential development under policy H1(12) is not deliverable on the grounds of viability. (landowner).

The Haynes site can deliver a significant amount of housing on an urban brownfield site to contribute towards the challenging objectively assessed need for new homes (Policy H1).  The landowners have not submitted evidence which can be tested, to evidence the assertion that 100% residential redevelopment of the site is unviable.

Maidstone East/Sorting Office site (RMX1(2)) is allocated as the priority location to meet retail needs, be it convenience and/or comparison needs, in the short-medium term.  Redevelopment of The Mall (Policy SP1) provides for longer term retail needs. Both these locations are sequentially preferable to the Haynes site which is an ‘out of centre’ site in retail planning terms. In addition, since the Regulation 18 Local Plan was prepared, the supply of consented retail floorspace has been boosted by the consent for between 3,500 and 4,180sqm (net) at Baltic Wharf. 

No change.

The Mall redevelopment should be included in the policy (landowner)

Redevelopment of The Mall is included in the Local Plan as a longer term redevelopment proposal as the site is more complex to deliver and the exact form and nature of development in this location will be the subject of further assessment and refinement in conjunction with the landowners. It is considered appropriate to identify this area as a broad location ahead of this more detailed work being done but this does not prevent redevelopment being delivered earlier in the plan period should the landowners decide to expedite it. The council is very willing to work constructively with the landowners to bring the site forward sooner.

No change.

Eclipse Business Park should be included in Policy RMX1 (and excluded from DM18) to enable a flexible approach towards development (landowner)

This is an established, modern employment location which provides good quality office space with good levels of car parking close to the motorway junction.  There are further extant consents for additional office development on the site. It is an important element on the borough’s employment land portfolio. The site is recommended for retention as an employment site in the Qualitative Employment Sites Assessment (2014).   Inclusion in Policy DM18 is considered appropriate to secure the future use of this site and this was agreed by Cabinet on 14th January 2015.

No change.

Springfield should be identified as a mixed use site rather than for 100% housing.  It can deliver a mix of residential retail and office uses and would be more appropriately allocated for such. (landowner)

The long term business occupants of both the Sorting Office and the Whatman site (at Springfield) are vacating their sites. This prompts the opportunity to consider the future use of these sites by the inclusion of specific site allocations in the draft plan. On balance Springfield can deliver a significant amount of housing on an urban brownfield site to contribute towards the challenging ‘objectively assessed need’ for new homes (Policy H1). 

No change.

Baltic Wharf, St Peters Street in Maidstone, should be allocated for a large food store as part of a mixed use development. (landowners)

Since the Reg 18 Local Plan consultation closed, an appeal on this site has been allowed, granting consent for a foodstore, A2, A3, B1 and D2 uses.  The Inspector concluded that a foodstore use was the only primary use which would secure the future of the Grade II listed building, provided a retailer could be secured.

The inspector highlighted what he regarded as an imbalance between the draft Plan’s inclusion of a specific allocation for the Maidstone East/Sorting office site and the lack of a policy for the Baltic Wharf building, a substantial listed building in the town centre.   He stated this was not necessarily an incorrect approach, but the net result was that he gave little weight to the draft Local Plan at the point he was considering the appeal. 

Clearly the site now has planning consent; there is no need to allocate the site for the uses for which it has permission. Further, whilst other uses such as residential would be appropriate for the building, an allocation policy citing it as an alternative main use would not be deliverable based on the viability information so recently tested at the appeal. 

That said, there is merit in making reference to the site in the Local Plan as a substantial and underused listed building in the town centre, should the position on viability change over the lifetime of the Plan. It is recommended that the supporting text to Policy SP1 be amended accordingly.

Proposed change: add the following to the supporting  text for Policy SP1 – Maidstone Town Centre:


The Baltic Wharf building in St Peters Street is a prominent and substantial Grade II listed building fronting the west bank of the River Medway. Whilst the more modern warehouses adjoining the building are occupied, the main building is currently underused and the future of this listed building would be best secured by putting it into active use.  To this end, an appeal was allowed for a large foodstore and other ancillary uses (offices , restaurant & cafe and assembly & leisure uses) in July 2014.  Should the consented scheme not come forward, the Council will consider positively alternative schemes that achieve the retention and restoration of the listed building.  Appropriate uses would include housing, offices, leisure uses, cafes and restaurants.  “


Policy Number RMX1(1)

Site Name: Newnham Park

Summary of issues

Officer Response

Proposed change

Visual/landscape impact and design:

        Object to any buildings over 2 storeys (resident)

        Object to over development of the site (residents)

        Site forms part of the foreground to the AONB which should be protected. Development will damage Horish Wood (Member)

        Object to loss of countryside (resident)

        Amend criterion 5(ii) to read “Where possible, the retention and enhancement of existing planting. Where existing planting cannot be retained, appropriate mitigation should be provided.” (landowner)

        Replace the last sentence of criterion 7 with “ the design of development should take account of and be sensitive to the local landscape” (landowner)

Regarding building heights, the policy states that two storeys is a maximum across the site with the clear exception of two specified locations where taller buildings could be delivered without undue landscape impact as assessed through the approved outline planning application for the Maidstone Medical Campus (13/1163)

Regarding the concern about potential over-development of the site, the policy specifically seeks to limit the amount of additional development across the site and in respect of the medical campus this has been achieved through the granting of an outline consent (13/1163) which specifies the total additional floorspace which will be delivered (98,000sqm). The policy also clearly requires extensive structural and internal landscaping and landscape buffers to help mitigate the visual impact of development.  The redevelopment of Newnham Court shopping village is limited to only a marginal increase on the existing development footprint.

Regarding the concern about protection of the AONB foreground, there is already significant existing development in the vicinity of Junction 7, and further development permitted at both Eclipse Park and Maidstone Medical Campus, which impacts to some extent on views towards the AONB. In this context of existing and permitted development, Policy RMX1(1) seeks to mitigate impacts on the setting of the AONB through, for example, explicit landscaping requirements and the control of building heights and siting and lighting. The policy specifically requires a landscape buffer to Horish Wood Local Nature Reserve.

Regarding the loss of the countryside, some greenfield loss will be required to accommodate growth needs over the timescale of the Local Plan. Junction 7 is a location where there is already significant, existing development and where the principle of further development is already established through planning consents.

Regarding criterion 5(ii), it is accepted that this criterion could be improved by confirming what measures would be required if the loss of existing planting is demonstrably unavoidable.

Regarding criterion 7, as drafted the criterion gives clear direction to developers that conventional retail warehouse-style development would be inappropriate in this location.  The respondent’s proposed criterion does not give this specificity.

Proposed change:

Amend criterion 5(ii) through the addition of a second sentence to read; “the retention and enhancement of existing planting. Where the loss of selected existing planting is unavoidable, appropriate compensatory planting must be provided


        If development is combined with others in the locality, it should be able to support sustainable transport (infrastructure provider)

        Concern about highway impacts (congestion) including on A249 and strategic highway junctions, and impact on car parking (Member; residents; Swale BC)

        List of transport requirements in the policy may not be appropriate for the scale of retail redevelopment proposed in the policy. The detailed requirements listed were not all applied to the approved medical campus scheme. The policy should state that a TA will be required and mitigation shown necessary carried out. (landowner)

Regarding sustainable transport measures, comment noted.

Regarding highway impacts, the transport measures in the policy have been agreed with KCC Highways as highway authority.  Further, the highway measures associated with the medical campus have been confirmed through the determination of the outline application (MA/13/1163).  There was no highway objection to the Land Securities proposal for the redevelopment of Newnham Court shopping village for which permission was refused (MA/13/1931), notwithstanding that the floorspace of  that scheme was significantly greater than Policy RMX1(1) permits.    In view of the demand for car parking that the site will generate, the requirement for a car parking management plan should be added as a development requirement. 

For clarity, the policy specifies the list of highways improvements expected to be required .  The policy is also clear that a Transport Assessment will be required which will be used to confirm the detailed extent of measures to be delivered . 

Amend criterion 14 to read “submission of a Travel Plan, to include a car park management plan, to be approved by the Borough Council “

Newnham Court:

        Increased retail capacity, in conjunction with Next, will be to the detriment of the town centre (Member; residents).  There has been no retail impact analysis on Sittingbourne town centre (Swale BC).  Site does not pass the sequential test (Member). This out of town retail site should not be allocated in the Local Plan (landowner). Development will result in the creation of a free standing out of centre retail park which will compete with the town centre.  Other sites such as Baltic Wharf are sequentially preferable (developer). Capacity for additional retail floorspace should be allocated at Newnham Court to help accommodate predicted retail capacity and resist leakage in the shorter term (developer). The Land Securities scheme will not cause significant harm to the town centre (developer).  There are no other sequentially preferable sites (developer).

        The extent of existing retail floorspace on the site has not been justified (developer) The existing extent of A1 floorspace is 22,388sqm not 14,300sqm (developer)

        Redevelopment is not feasible on the existing footprint whilst maintaining continuity of trade without which the development will not happen.  The allocation boundaries should reflect that submitted in Land Securities application.  (landowner)

        Redevelopment will not be viable or deliverable with the restriction of additional floorspace to 700sqm.  The figure is not justified by evidence (landowner).

        The exclusion of all non-A1 uses is unnecessarily restrictive. The test should be demonstration of no harm to the town centre (landowner)

        The blanket restriction on goods in the policy should be removed (landowner)

        The policy should not allow for food retail as there are sequentially preferable sites (Haynes). This restriction should be explicit in the wording of the policy. (landowner)

Regarding town centre impacts, Newnham Court is an existing, established retail destination.  The Policy provides for the re-provision of the existing floorspace with a modest amount of additional floorspace.  The policy specifies that a retail impact assessment will be required to provide evidence of the development’s impact on town centre trade.  In terms of the analysis of the policy’s impact on Sittingbourne town centre, it is of note that Swale BC did not raise an objection to the much larger, Land Securities retail proposal on this site (MA/13/1931). For clarity however, criterion 8 of the policy could be amended to refer to impacts on town and local centres in the plural.

The Local Plan also identifies sequentially preferable locations for new and improved retail in and at the edge of the town centre (The Mall; Maidstone East & the Sorting Office). The Baltic Wharf site now has permission for a foodstore (up to 4,180sqm). In refusing the Land Securities’ application, the Council concluded that the proposal would have significant adverse impacts on town centre trade.

Regarding the existing extent of A1 retail floorspace, the Council considers that some 14,300sqm on the Newnham Court site is in established retail use.  This includes covered and uncovered permanent sales and display areas and excludes areas used for the temporary display of goods.

The Council would aim to enable continuity of trade through its consideration of applications for temporary buildings to be used during construction.

Regarding the additional floorspace, a modest amount of additional floorspace is provided for in the policy to help enable redevelopment.  In addition a redevelopment scheme would enable the existing permitted retail floorspace to be set out in a more efficient way, in footplates better suited to modern retailers’ needs. 

Regarding the restriction of non A1 uses, the town centre must be protected as the key shopping destination and this role is significantly enhanced by its variety of supporting uses such as cafes and restaurants.  It is important that the role of Nenwham Court does not expand to directly compete with the town centre necessitating control over the nature of supporting uses on the site.

Regarding the goods restriction, fashion and clothing are key drivers of trade in the town centre. The goods restriction as proposed helps to secure the future of the town centre as the key retail destination in the borough. An element of convenience (food) retailing may be appropriate subject to the sequential and impact tests being met.

Amend criterion 8 to read “ submission of a retail impact assessment which clearly demonstrates that the retail development has no significant adverse impact on the town and local centres

Support (business representative; resident; developer)

Support welcomed.

No change.

Medical hub:

        Question labour supply implications of the Maidstone Medical hub and the consequent economic and transport implications for Swale BC (SBC).

        Concern that the delivery of highly paid jobs is not guaranteed (resident) 

Regarding the labour supply and transport implications of medical hub for Swale BC, this development now has outline consent (13/1163).  SBC did not object to the outline application for the medical campus. KCC Highways did and  do not object to the proposals.

Regarding the delivery of high quality jobs, the allocation of the site, and the granting of outline consent, demonstrably increases the prospect of the proposal, and the associated jobs, being delivered. 

No change.

Additional development criterion to be met: ‘Utility infrastructure: Existing underground sewers on site are protected, or appropriate arrangements are made for their diversion’ (Southern Water).

This is a detailed matter which, whilst supported, will be addressed through the detailed design of a scheme at planning application stage

No change.

Requirement for a development brief is unreasonable as the majority of the site has consent. (landowner)

Regarding the need for a development brief, this is still considered beneficial, particularly in the absence of an approved consent at Newham Court and detailed approval of the medical campus development.

No change.


Policy Number RMX1(2)

Site Name: Maidstone East & Sorting Office

Summary of issues

Officer Response

Proposed change


        Concern about the visual impact of high density residential blocks  (Member; residents). Views across the site should be protected in full rather than as stated in criterion (2) (resident)

        Concern about loss of trees on Sandling Road  (Member; residents)

        Development should retain semi-natural habitat of the quarry slopes (Member; residents)

Regarding the visual impact of development, the policy includes safeguards to help retain views of Sessions House from the west.  This is a site of significant size, close to the heart of the town, occupied and surrounded by buildings of significant scale and height (Brenchley House, Sessions House, Invicta House, Sorting Office building). With this strong urban context, it is considered that the site is appropriate for development of the significant scale and density proposed, provided the design and layout considerations in the policy are adhered to.

Regarding the potential loss of trees, the policy requires the retention of landscape features where possible.  It is considered that the integration of the development with the street scene will be best achieved by the creation of an ‘active frontage’ to Sandling Road.  This could comprise features such as entrances and shop windows.  To achieve this key benefit, some trees will be lost. In response it is recommended that the policy is amended to include a requirement for compensatory planting.

Regarding habitat retention, it is recommended that a further criterion is added requiring an ecological survey of the site.

Amend criterion 9 to read “the incorporation of landscaped elements within the overall scheme design including the retention of existing landscape features where possible. Where the loss of existing landscape features is unavoidable, appropriate compensatory planting must be provided”


Add a new criterion to read “development will be subject to the results and recommendations of a phase 1 ecological survey”

Concern about traffic generation and local air pollution levels    (Members; residents)

Regarding traffic generation, this is a town centre site which by virtue of its existing/most recent use is an established traffic generator. KCC Highways has been party to the drafting of the policy for the site and has not raised any objection to the allocation of the site and the uses proposed. As a town centre site, the site has good levels of accessibility by public transport, most notably by train, and good direct pedestrian connections from the town centre.  With these accessibility characteristics the potential to access the site by sustainable modes is significant  with consequent benefits for traffic generation and air quality impacts.

No change.

Concern about impact on school and medical facilities (Member; residents)

Regarding the impact on school and medical facilities, the cumulative impact of the totality of the development proposed in the draft Local Plan on services and infrastructure is assessed as part of the refinement of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan. The relevant infrastructure providers have not objected to the allocation of this site in the Local Plan.

No change


        Should be 100% housing  or housing-led (resident)

        Site should be used for employment and transport purposes (Members)

        Housing should be substituted with a multi storey car park for which there is a greater need (resident) .

        Question that there is no clear evidence of the deliverability of retail on this site. Site is unlikely to be attractive for prime retail development.  Site has been undeliverable for 10 years which casts doubt on the viable delivery of the site in the short-medium term. A residential led scheme with some office component, transport interchange and ancillary retail would be more deliverable.  (agent; landowner)

        Site should be prioritised for comparison goods retailing in the light of the retail capacity study findings (developer). 

        Query whether the development proposed is deliverable when planning, parking and railway operational requirements are taken into account. Also query whether the site is available (developer).

        Site not large enough to accommodate the entire identified need for convenience goods. The likely format would meet half the identified need which would compromise the ability to meet comparison needs and lead to pressure for out of town development (landowner).

Additionally, the Inspector for the Baltic Wharf Inquiry was critical that the draft Local Plan is not explicit that the Maidstone East/Sorting Office site should include a large foodstore.


The site is the best, most significant opportunity to provide for the evidenced demand for additional retail floorspace on a site which is close to and accessible from  the heart of the town centre. Redevelopment of the site as proposed will help to sustain the town centre as an important shopping destination.  The current application for a mixed retail development, commuter car parking and railway station improvements (MA/14/500483/OUT) provides evidence of the site’s availability and deliverability.  The policy as drafted does not require specific proportions of comparison and/or convenience retail floorspace to offer a degree of flexibility to meet market demands. Recognising that retail is the priority use, the site can accommodate some housing either in a separate block or on upper floors.  It may be that the site could also accommodate an element of office floorspace as a supporting use, provided  that this does not undermine the achievement of retail floorspace on the site, and it is suggested that the supporting text be amended accordingly. Subject to detailed agreement, the commuter car parking which is provided as part of the redevelopment may also be available for public use.

The current planning application provides for a significant scale foodstore (8,296sqm GIA) and comparison retail (4,364sqm GIA).  In addition, since the Reg 18 Local Plan was prepared, the supply of consented floorspace has been boosted by the consent for between 3,500 and 4,180sqm (net) at Baltic Wharf.  Regarding the Baltic Wharf Inquiry Inspector‘s comments, the draft policy RMX1(2) states that the site is allocated for up to 10,000sqm of comparison and convenience retailing. This was drafted in this way to allow for some flexibility in the exact balance of uses on the site in response to market changes. This is still considered a reasonable approach.  The nature of retail needs is changing, evidenced recently by the main supermarket operators’ focus on smaller convenience stores and away from the largest scale superstores.  To respond to the Inspector’s concern and to clarify that the site would be suitable for a foodstore, it is recommended that paragraph 7.11 of the supporting text be amended accordingly. 

Add the following text to paragraph 7.11 “This edge of centre site is considered suitable for a combination of comparison and convenience retailing.  This could include a large foodstore.  


Add the following text to the end of paragraph 7.12: “Additionally a subsidiary element of office development would be acceptable provided this does not compromise the retail requirements for the site expressed in Policy RMX1(2).”

Support redevelopment  (resident; landowner)

Support welcomed.

No change.

Poor train service needs to be addressed prior to any development (resident)

The Council will continue to use its influence to secure improved services for the borough.   A pre-requisite for further improved services before the development of this site would not comply with the tests in the NPPF (paragraph 204).

No change.

Policy should allow for a phased approach to development to allow for the residential redevelopment of land south of the station after the commuter car parking has been re-provided as part of the redevelopment of the land north of the railway (developer)

The policy as drafted does not preclude this approach.

No change

Criterion 18: improvements to Sessions Square to be delivered through contributions (developer)

The mechanism to deliver public realm improvements to Sessions Square is a matter which is being resolved through the current planning application

No change

Policy should allow for noise assessment and sustainable drainage strategy information to be submitted with subsequent detailed applications.(developer)

The policy does not preclude these being prepared at the detailed application stage

No change.

Additional development criterion to be met: ‘Utility infrastructure: Existing underground sewers on site are protected, or appropriate arrangements are made for their diversion’ (Southern Water).

This is a detailed matter which, whilst supported, will be addressed through the detailed design of a scheme at planning application stage

No change


Policy Number RMX1(3)

Site Name: King Street, Maidstone

Summary of issues

Officer Response

Proposed change


        Question whether the site can accommodate the scale of development proposed when car parking requirements are taken into account.  It is an unviable location for a foodstore . The combined existing values of the site exceeds residential and retail uses (developer)

        Site should be allocated for a medical centre (Member)

The current approved application on the eastern part of the site for a sheltered housing scheme (MA/14/505005) provides evidence of the site viability for residential redevelopment. The remaining part of the site is in the Council’s control to bring forward for mixed or retail redevelopment. Car parking requirements should take account of the site’s town centre location, with good levels of accessibility to public transport. The NHS Property team is not advocating additional medical facilities in the town centre.

No change. 


Policy Number RMX1(4)

Site Name: Clockhouse Farm, Heath Road, Coxheath

Summary of issues

Officer Response

Proposed change

General concern about the lack of infrastructure in Coxheath (residents)

Regarding infrastructure in Coxheath, the cumulative impact of the totality of the development proposed in the draft Local Plan on services and infrastructure is being assessed as part of the refinement of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan. The relevant infrastructure providers have not objected to the allocation of this site.   

No change to RMX1(4)

Concern about the highway impacts of the development (residents) 

KCC Highways has raised no objections to the allocation of this site as proposed.

No change.

Object to commercial element. Industrial units are not needed/available elsewhere.  Proposals do not comply with Policy DM7. Development should be 100% housing (residents). Coxheath is a Larger Village, not an RSC, so the employment floorspace in this allocation should be removed.  Access to the strategic road network is limited (Parish Council).

This site is allocated for 40 homes and 7,700sqm of office/light industrial floorspace (B1) in the draft Local Plan (Regulation 18). 

Subsequently, a planning application for 72 dwellings, up to 43 extra care apartments and land for open space/community use (14/0566) was approved by Planning Committee on 5th February 2015 subject to the completion of a legal agreement.

In view of this updated position, it is recommended that Clockhouse Farm be omitted as a mixed use allocation from Policy RMX1.

Amend Policy RMX1 to omit site (4) Clockhouse Farm, heath Road, Coxheath.  

Clock House is of historical and architectural interest (Parish Council)

Criterion 6 of the policy requires the strengthening of the southern hedgerow to separate development from the farm complex.  Further, in view of the decision to grant planning permission for the application 14/0566, it is recommended that  this site be omitted from Policy RMX1.

No change

Object to loss of agricultural land (residents; Parish Council)

This land has been assessed as of Grade 3a quality. The loss of this land from agricultural production is not considered to outweigh the overall benefits of the proposed development. Further, in view of the decision to grant planning permission for the application 14/0566, it is recommended that  this site be omitted from Policy RMX1.

No change.

Concern that two storey accommodation is impractical for the elderly (resident)

Development will be designed to be fit for purpose for example through the installation of lifts. Further, in view of the decision to grant planning permission for the application 14/0566, it is recommended that  this site be omitted from Policy RMX1.

No change.

Question deliverability of a medical centre (resident)

Coxheath Parish Council has stated that it is in direct discussions with the existing health centre about this site. Further, in view of the decision to grant planning permission for the application 14/0566, it is recommended that this site be omitted from Policy RMX1.

No change.

Site falls within the Special Landscape Area (resident)

This site immediately adjoins the built up area of Coxheath. The policy requires the strengthening of existing hedgerow boundaries to help mitigate the landscape impact of development.  The emerging Landscape Capacity Study (2015) identifies that this site has moderate capacity for development. Further, in view of the decision to grant planning permission for the application 14/0566, it is recommended that this site be omitted from Policy RMX1.

No change

Additional development criterion to be met: ‘Utility infrastructure: A connection is provided to the local sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity, as advised by Southern Water’ (Southern Water)

 This is a detailed matter which, whilst supported, will be addressed through the detailed design of a scheme at planning application stage. Further, in view of the decision to grant planning permission for the application 14/0566, it is recommended that  this site be omitted from Policy RMX1.

No change.


Policy Number RMX1(5)

Site Name: Former Syngenta Works, Yalding

Summary of issues

Officer Response

Proposed change


        Site is unsuitable for commercial use because of restricted highway access for HGVs (level crossing and narrow bridge) (residents)

        consider for employment related uses only (agent; resident; member)

This is a brownfield site which was last in industrial/employment use. The site is less than a mile from A228 which itself links directly to M20 at J4. KCC Highways has not objected to the commercial use of the site.

Subject to the resolution of flooding issues, this site is considered suitable for a mix of residential and commercial uses.  Outline consent has previously been granted for 19 houses on the adjoining site, adjacent to Yalding Station. Including residential development as part of the mix of uses will benefit the development viability of this brownfield site.

No change


        Concerns about flooding and scope for mitigation (resident; agent; parish council). Concern that measures may have adverse implications for other parts of the village (residents).

        Object to 200 dwellings at The Syngenta site at Yalding.  The site is mostly within an area at high risk to flooding (Flood Zone 3), with a very small part at medium flood risk (Flood Zone 2). We were not completely satisfied with the conclusions of a previous Flood Risk Assessment and it has been subject to flooding on several occasions in the past including October 2000 and December 2013, when practically the entire site was inundated with floodwater. It is difficult to envisage how the site can be made safe against flooding without significantly increasing the risk elsewhere and so doubt whether a proposed allocation for residential development could pass either the Sequential or the Exception Test. Given the recent flood history we would object to any form of residential development at this site. Reference is made to a “sustainable drainage approach to flood mitigation”. While we would welcome the use of sustainable drainage from the site, it should not be confused as a technique for reducing flood risk to the site, but should be viewed as a technique to reduce flood risk downstream, improve water quality of the receiving watercourse and possibly enhance the local environment (Environment Agency) .

Following the floods of December 2013, the Environment Agency will publish its revised flood modelling maps by October 2015. The site’s developers can be expected to want to agree a flood mitigation approach in response to the EA’s concerns and the latest published information.  Pending this further work, it is proposed that the site remain as a mixed use allocation in the Local Plan.

No change at this stage.  The position on this site will be monitored as new information from the EA and the site’s developers becomes available.

Unsuitable location in terms of public transport (infrastructure provider)

The site is very well related to Yalding station. The policy requires additional improvements to public transport serving the site.

No change

Concern about increased congestion in Yalding (resident)

KCC Highways has not objected to the proposed allocation of this site.

No change.

Site has poor walking connections with the village  (resident)

The policy requires improved pedestrian connections to Yalding.

No change.

Concern about the capacity of local services and facilities for a development of this scale. (residents)

Infrastructure providers have been consulted as part of the development of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.  This has not revealed any ‘showstoppers’ to the development proposed at Yalding.

No change.

Additional development criteria to be met: ‘Utility infrastructure: A connection is provided to the local sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity, as advised by Southern Water’ and  ‘Existing underground sewers on site are protected, or appropriate arrangements are made for their diversion’ (Southern Water)

This is a detailed matter which, whilst supported, will be addressed through the detailed design of a scheme at planning application stage

No change.