Working for Wye - past, present and future

Wye Neighbourhood Plan Review

The Wye Neighbourhood Development Plan 2015-2030 (WNP) provides the adopted planning policy guidance for the parish of Wye. Ashford Borough Council adopted the WNP as part of its Local Plan in October 2016.

Subsequently the Ashford Local Plan has replaced the Core Strategy, and numerous policies have changed in the National Planning Policy Framework and Guidance. In 2021 the Government published a new draft National Model Design Code and revised the National Planning Policy Framework. Therefore the Wye Neighbourhood Plan needs to be updated to accord with these current policies, and in particular with the forthcoming Planning Bill.

The Wye Neighbourhood Plan review process

Wye base map for Neighbourhood Plan workshops

The Government passed the Climate Change Act in 2008. This set legallly binding greenhouse gas emissions targets (net zero by 2050) and created a legal duty to act. The Environment Act followed in 2021. The Planning Bill announced in the Queen's Speech in 2021 added to the context for the Wye Neighbourhood Plan Review, but the Government has not yet provided details. The main elements of the first iteration of the Planning Bill were:

  • Changing local plans so that they provide more certainty over the type, scale and design of development permitted on different categories of land.
  • Significantly decreasing the time it takes for developments to go through the planning system.
  • Replacing the existing systems for funding affordable housing and infrastructure from development with a new more predictable and more transparent levy.
  • Reforming the framework for locally led development corporations to ensure local areas have access to appropriate delivery vehicles to support growth and regeneration.

However, the first draft of the Planning Bill proved highly controversial. In particular, its proposals for arbitrary zoning, and the removal of local democratic control at the application stage. Since July 2021 the Government has indicated that these proposals are now under major review, but the outcome of this remains unclear a year later in July 2022.

While waiting for the government to clarify its intentions for planning legislation, the Parish Council is reviewing its policies and updating the evidence base in readiness. The Parish Council benefits from the support for this work from experienced planning policy professionals, grant funding from Locality and professional design support from AECOM.

Subject to the timing of the forthcoming Planning Bill, and any necessary changes, the first draft of the WNP review document and draft design guide will emerge from public engagement events and consultations in autumn 2022.

Reference documents

Last updated: Mon, 29 Aug 2022 15:09