The Folkestone & Hythe District Council Core Strategy is the key planning policy document within the Council’s Local Plan. It sets the overall vision and objectives for development in the district up to 2037, and includes policies relating to the scale and distribution of development across the towns and rural areas of the district. It also contains ‘core policies’ that address key issues facing the district, in relation to sustainable resource management, community development, housing, the economy, the environment and transport.
The Core Strategy does not allocate specific sites for development.
Regardless of what one might think of the Council’s core strategy, the Planning Inspectorate has found it ‘sound’. This definition set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF); this states that a plan is ‘sound’ if it is:
a) Positively prepared – seeking to meet the area’s housing and other development needs, and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with
achieving sustainable development;
b) Justified – an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence;
c) Effective – deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters as evidenced by statements of common ground; and
d) Consistent with national policy – enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the NPPF and other statements of national planning policy.
It is a major piece of work and has taken more than two years to get it to the position whereby it can come to full council on Wednesday 30 March, 2022.
Therefore, on that note we congratulate the team involved in putting it together and getting it over the finishing line. They have done remarkably well considering much of this was done throughout Covid. We especially congratulate, Adrian – I’ve got a train to catch – Tofts, David Whittington and James Hammond among many others, for all their hard work.
No other Council has completed two major district-wide development plans within 18 months. This just goes to show that some departments within our council can achieve great things, even under trying circumstances. The Planning Inspectorate’s record shows that no other local authority in England has adopted two local plans of this type within such a short time period, or has come close to this achievement. And again we applaud all those involved in making this happen.
The Shepway Vox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent