61. Annex 1 Development Management Policies

What is Meant By Development Management?


The system of spatial planning brought into place through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 seeks to move away from the idea that development plans are concerned with regulating land use and setting out rules. Spatial planning is concerned about the future of an area - place shaping. This goes further than land use; it needs to consider a much broader range of factors and it requires alignment with the Community Strategy and the strategies and programmes of all public service providers together with partnership working with the voluntary and private sectors. 


This concept needs to be extended across the planning system and into what has been known as development control - the part of the planning system that deals with applications and enforcement. This is the part of the system that can ensure individual proposals for development make a contribution to reaching the Core Strategy's objectives. It should be thought of as part of the system for managing the development process rather than one of control and regulation. 


The Core Strategy's objectives need to be translated into a set of policies that can be used to judge the acceptability of individual development proposals. The policies can also be used by those who are thinking of making a planning application to assess whether their proposals are likely to be acceptable. 

Development Management Policies


Proposals for development will be judged against all relevant policies in the Development Plan. The Development Plan consists of the policies in the Regional Spatial Strategy and policies set out in LDF Documents. The LDF documents are those produced by Dover District Council together with Waste and Minerals Documents produced by Kent County Council. In addition, all Development Plan documents must take full account of national policies set out by Government in Planning Policy Statements (PPS) and Planning Policy Guidance (PPG), together with the requirements of planning legislation.


The Government recommends that Development Plan policies should not merely repeat national policy and guidance, or legislation, but add to or vary it when justified by local circumstances. Furthermore, the Development Plan should be read as a whole so that there is no need for a LDF document to repeat a policy in the Regional Spatial Strategy. 

The development management policies set out in this Annex only cover a select range of issues.  In order to aid users, a table is included at the end of the Annex that sets out a wider range of common issues and the source of relevant planning policy. 

Settlement Boundaries


The Core Strategy's Settlement Hierarchy (Policy CP1) has identified settlements where development should be focused and indicated the scale and type of development appropriate to different levels in the hierarchy.  In order to implement this in practice, establish where countryside protection policies apply and bring certainty to decision making on planning applications, it is necessary to define the physical extent of settlements for planning purposes. 


The general principle is that development will not be permitted outside these boundaries. There will be exceptions to this such as rural affordable housing, rural business development, agriculture and forestry, and other development that functionally requires a rural location.  In addition, small-scale development that is ancillary to existing buildings or uses is also an exception to Policy DM1 and will be judged against other relevant general policies.  Any other development would be a departure from this policy and would require unusual and compelling justification for permission to be given.


The urban boundaries and rural settlement confines will be varied to accommodate development allocations made by the Core Strategy and by any other subsequent LDF Documents.

Policy DM1 –

Settlement Boundaries

Development will not be permitted on land outside the urban boundaries and rural settlement confines shown on the proposals map unless specifically justified by other development plan policies, or it functionally requires such a location, or it is ancillary to existing development or uses.


Business Policies

Protection of Employment Land


Land will be allocated to ensure a good supply of new sites for employment uses (the B class uses in the Use Classes Order) through the Site Allocations Document based upon the findings of the Employment Land Review.  These sites, together with those that have extant planning permission, will be appropriate for such use having regard to current market requirements and planning policy considerations (see Table 3.1).  The loss of such land to alternative uses will therefore be resisted to ensure maintenance of supply. 


It is important to complement this with a degree of protection for the District's existing stock of employment land and premises. Otherwise the overall benefits of new development could be undermined by loss of existing stock to other uses and the supply of certain types of premises could be eroded, such as older, cheaper premises that have an important role to play in providing choice.


Policy RE3 in the Regional Spatial Strategy requires that accessible, well located industrial and commercial premises should be retained if there is a good prospect for employment use. The key to determining this is through an assessment of functional viability and appropriateness in relation to current requirements. This would consider matters such as location, compatibility with nearby uses, access, layout and size, combined with overall market appeal. If the premises are found to still be suitable for employment use, alternative uses will not be permitted. If they are found to be unsuitable, alternatives may be permitted, which could include a mixed use approach that retains a lesser amount of employment provision. 

Policy DM2 –

Protection of Employment Land and Buildings

Land allocated for employment uses as shown on the Proposals Map or with extant planning permission for employment uses will not be granted permission for alternative uses unless it has been subsequently allocated for that alternative use in a Development Plan Document.

Permission for changes of use or redevelopment of land and buildings currently or last in use for employment purposes will only be granted if  the land or buildings are no longer viable or appropriate for employment use.


Commercial Buildings in the Rural Area


PPS 7 encourages commercial development in rural areas provided that it is located in the most sustainable way. The Rural Service Centres and the Local Centres identified in the Settlement Hierarchy (see Policy CP1) will therefore be appropriate locations for such development, provided that they are of a suitable scale for the individual settlement. Villages may be suitable for such development provided that the proposed use is essentially local in nature or otherwise be unlikely to generate significant travel demand. 


As a first preference such development should be located within rural settlement confines but if there is no suitable land a location adjacent to the confines will be acceptable provided there are no overriding constraints, such as landscape impact or access.

Policy DM3 –

Commercial Buildings in the Rural Area

Permission for new commercial development or the expansion of an existing business in the rural area will be given provided that:

  1. It is located at a Rural Service Centre or a Local Centre as designated in the Settlement Hierarchy;

  2. It is consistent with the scale and setting of the settlement, or

  3. It is at a Village as designated in the Settlement Hierarchy provided that it would not generate significant travel demand and is in other respects consistent with the scale and setting of the settlement.

In all cases development should be within rural settlement confines unless it can be demonstrated that no suitable site exists, in which event it should be located adjacent to the settlement unless there is a functional requirement for it to be located elsewhere.


Re-use and Conversion of Rural Buildings


The re-use or conversion of permanent buildings in the rural area which are of substantial construction will be encouraged in accordance with the general national policy set out in PPS 7. Commercial uses that generate employment, including tourist accommodation and residential institutional uses, will generally be preferable to other uses. The acceptability of community and private residential purposes will be dependent on their relationship with rural settlement confines.  Community uses will be acceptable in buildings located in or close to rural settlement confines while private residential use will only be acceptable in buildings that are located in or adjacent to those confines and contribute to local character. 


In all cases development proposals must be suitable in terms of the character and scale of the building.  In this respect, there may be occasions when modifications to the building would align it with the proposed use.  The acceptability of this will need to be judged on a case by case basis.  Again, in all cases proposals will have to be acceptable in terms of other relevant matters, for example, flood risk, impact on landscape and wildlife, parking and access arrangements.  


Special considerations apply to listed buildings where the overriding issue will be the type of use that gives the best prospect for preserving the building's special qualities and securing its long term maintenance.

Policy DM4 –

Re-Use or Conversion of Rural Buildings

Permission will be given for the re-use or conversion of structurally sound, permanent buildings within Rural Service Centres, Local Centres and in Villages for commercial, community or private residential uses.

Beyond the confines of Rural Service Centres, Local Centres and Villages permission will be given for re-use or conversion of such buildings as follows:

  1. For commercial uses

  2. For community uses in buildings that are closely related or adjacent to the confines

  3. For private residential use in buildings that are adjacent to the confines

In all cases the building to be re-used or converted must be of suitable character and scale for the use proposed, contribute to local character and be acceptable in other planning respects.


Housing Policies

Affordable Housing


The Strategic Housing Market Assessment shows that need for affordable housing has grown and at 2008 there was a need to provide around an additional 1,450 affordable homes per year for 10 years to remove backlog need (which accounts for around 60% of total need) and newly arising need.  While there is a shortfall in all home types there is a particular lack of three bed houses. 


The scale of the identified shortfall far exceeds the total housing provisions of the Strategy.  In these circumstances the principle objective is to ensure that what provision is made for new affordable homes addresses the priorities of need as best it can.  The Housing Market Assessment indicates that prioritised need in rounded percentages is: 

Home Type
Social Rented
One and two bed flats
Two bed houses
Three bed houses
Four bed houses

Regional Spatial Strategy Policy EKA3 sets out an overall indicative target of 30% of all new housing in East Kent to be affordable. This is made up of affordable housing provided as a proportion of general market schemes and schemes that are entirely affordable such as rural exceptions schemes and other housing provided direct by registered social landlords. A definition of affordable housing is provided with Policy H3 in the Regional Spatial Strategy and it is reproduced in the Core Strategy Glossary. 


To contribute to this indicative target the Council will seek to negotiate for 30% of homes on large housing schemes to be provided as affordable. For these purposes large sites will be defined in accordance with the national threshold in PPS3 of development which would provide 15 or more dwellings.  Owing to the substantial need for affordable housing and to take an equitable approach to all sizes of development, development between 5 and 14 homes should make a financial contribution towards the provision of affordable housing. This is lower than the national indicative threshold of 15 in PPS3 but is justified by the scale of need identified in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment.  In accordance with PPS3 there is a presumption that affordable housing will be provided on the application site  in order to contribute to creating a mix of housing.  There can, however, be practical difficulties associated with developing and managing very small numbers of affordable housing.  For this reason developments of 5 to 14 dwellings may choose whether to provide the affordable housing on the application site or to make a broadly equivalent financial contribution to the Council, or a combination of these.  Such financial contributions would be pooled and, in conjunction with Registered Social Landlords, used to fund affordable housing schemes in the District.  


The value of housing land varies considerably across the District and the cost of developing individual sites will also vary according to site conditions. The Council will therefore take the economic viability of delivering affordable housing on a specific site into account in its negotiations and the ability of the development to make such contributions as indicated in the Affordable Housing Economic Viability Assessment. 


The Council has adopted a Supplementary Planning Document on Affordable Housing to a saved Local Plan policy. This sets out the procedures and mechanisms that the Council will use when negotiating for affordable housing. It also addresses the proportion of affordable housing that should be for rent and for intermediate forms of tenure, together with the Council's approach towards the use of public grant to support affordable housing.  Supplementary Guidance will be provided in relation to how the Policy will operate for developments between 5 and 14 dwellings. 


Affordable housing negotiated under Policy DM5 should be provided on the development site. There may, however, sometimes be unusual circumstances in which an alternative is more appropriate, such as a financial payment, but this would need to be fully justified on a case by case basis.  The Supplementary Planning Document provides the method for calculating financial payments and this would also be used to calculate contributions from sites between 5 and 14 dwellings.


In its negotiations with applicants the Council will expect its requirements for affordable housing to be fully met unless there is conclusive evidence to show that the costs cannot be borne by the development.  In such cases a reduced requirement will be negotiated. 

Policy DM5 –

Provision of Affordable Housing

The Council will seek applications for residential developments of 15 or more dwellings to provide 30% of the total homes proposed as affordable homes, in home types that will address prioritised need, and for developments between 5 and 14 homes to make a contribution towards the provision of affordable housing.  Affordable housing should be provided on the application site except in relation to developments of 5 to 14 dwellings which may provide either on-site affordable housing or a broadly equivalent financial contribution, or a combination of both. The exact amount of affordable housing, or financial contribution, to be delivered from any specific scheme will be determined by economic viability having regard to individual site and market conditions.


Rural Exception Affordable Housing Schemes


The opportunities to provide affordable housing through Policy DM5 will be limited in the rural area.  In order to increase the supply and better address local needs the Council will be prepared to permit affordable housing schemes outside settlement confines as an exception to general policy.  This policy will apply to the rural settlements named in the District Settlement Hierarchy (Policy CP1) ie all settlements except hamlets.


To be acceptable schemes must comprise 100 per cent affordable housing.  The need for the housing, in terms of quantity, house type, tenure and cost, must be researched and justified in a thorough manner based upon a survey of the parish(es) needs and it must be demonstrated that the need cannot be met in another way, for example, through developing a site within the village confines.  Although such schemes will be permitted as an exception they must still be located so as to avoid, or mitigate to acceptable levels, their impacts such as on landscape character, biodiversity, flood risk and the historic environment.  A suitable form of access must also be achievable and the development must be physically well-related to the settlement.  


Rural exception affordable housing schemes must remain available for local people in need of affordable housing.  Schemes will therefore only be permitted if their occupation is controlled through a legal agreement to ensure that this remains the case. 

Policy DM6 –

Rural Exception Affordable Housing

Permission for affordable housing schemes in the rural area beyond a settlement's identified confines will be granted provided:

  1. local needs exist and are documented in a comprehensive appraisal of the parish prepared by the applicant and/or Parish Council, and where appropriate, of adjacent parishes;

  2. these local needs cannot otherwise be met;

  3. the development is of a suitable size and type and will be available at an appropriate cost to meet the identified need - schemes that include cross subsidies between higher priced and affordable housing, or a discounted initial purchase price, will not be permitted;

  4. the site is well related in scale and siting to a village and its services; and

  5. initial and subsequent occupation is controlled through legal agreements to ensure that the accommodation remains available to meet the purposes for which it was permitted.


Provision for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople


Adequate provision should be made to meet the housing needs of gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople. The Regional Spatial Strategy will assess needs across the region and identify the number of pitches required for each local planning authority area. 


Once this need has been established for the District, the Council will produce a Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Document to identify sites for additional pitches. The Core Strategy includes a general criteria based policy to establish the overall policy approach to the issue and to provide a basis for dealing with any planning applications.

Policy DM7 –

Provision for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

The Council will allocate site(s) to meet the accommodation needs of gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople identified in the Regional Spatial Strategy through the production of a Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Document using the following assessment criteria:

The site(s) should be

  1. Accessible to local services and facilities and by public transport;

  2. Compatible with national flood risk policy;

  3. Screened from wider view or capable of this through additional measures, and

  4. Not lead to a reduction of the residential amenities of the occupants of any nearby dwellings.

These criteria will also be used to determine planning applications for such accommodation.


Replacement Dwellings in the Countryside


National policy in PPS 7 is to strictly control housing development in the countryside where it would be away from settlements and land allocated for housing. The urban boundaries and rural settlement confines establish for planning purposes the extent of the District's countryside. 


Proposals for the replacement of dwellings in the countryside will be permitted provided that the existing building is legally a dwelling and the scale and design of the replacement is acceptable.  Replacement dwellings will also be subject to satisfactory flood risk assessment. 


In particular, the existing dwelling must be a permanent structure in lawful residential use and capable of such continued residential use. It should not be of architectural or historic interest. If these matters are satisfied, the size and prominence of the proposed replacement will then be considered. The siting, scale and site coverage of the proposed building should not cause harm to the character of the countryside - the proportions and footprint of the existing dwelling will be taken as a guide. The Council will also take into account the existence of any ancillary buildings, their impact on the character of the countryside, and proposals for their removal or replacement. 

Policy DM8 –

Replacement Dwellings in the Countryside

Proposals for replacement dwellings in the countryside will only be permitted if the existing dwelling is:

  1. A permanent structure in lawful residential use;
  2. Capable of continued residential use; and
  3. Of no architectural or historic value;

and its replacement is:

  1. Acceptable in terms of flood risk;
  2. Appropriate in its siting, scale and site coverage having regard to the existing dwelling;
  3. Appropriate in its style, form and use of materials; and
  4. Would not harm the character of the countryside.


Accommodation for Dependent Relatives


There is often a need for people to live as an extended family, and this may well increase over the plan period due to the ageing of the District's population. The implementation of the national Code for Sustainable Homes, and in particular the provisions for Lifetime Homes, will help to address the issue of flexible design for new homes but a complementary policy is needed to address changes to the existing housing stock. 


It can be the case that a degree of independence is desired by the occupant of the additional accommodation. Apart from design issues which would need to be satisfactorily addressed, this can raise the issue of whether, in effect, a separate dwelling would be created. An additional dwelling would require its own amenity space, access arrangements and car parking and might result in an over-intensive use of the site. These issues become acute when free-standing additional accommodation is proposed.  If the site is subject to flood risk the proposals will also need to be acceptable in terms of flood risk assessment as set out in PPS25. 

Policy DM9 –

Accommodation for Dependent Relatives

Accommodation for dependent relatives will be permitted provided it is:

  1. Designed and located so as to be able to function as ancillary accommodation to the principal (not main) dwelling and revert to single family accommodation as part of the main dwelling once the use has ceased;
  2. Of a size and design appropriate to the needs of the intended occupant; and
  3. Acceptable in terms of flood risk.



A caravan or mobile home can be sited in a dwelling's garden and used as ancillary accommodation to that dwelling without the need to make a planning application. If, however, it is used in a significantly self-contained way, planning permission would be required. The Council will only grant this if the occupation would be short-term as a temporary solution or because it is unlikely that the need would be long-lasting. 

Policy DM10 –

Self-contained Temporary Accommodation for Dependent Relatives

Self-contained temporary accommodation for dependent relatives will be permitted provided:

  1. A need can be established;
  2. It would be of a size appropriate to the needs of the intended occupant;
  3. The temporary accommodation would not adversely affect the character of the area, and
  4. There would be no loss of amenity to local residents.


Transport Policies

Location of Development and Managing Travel Demand


National policies in PPS 1 and PPG 13 seek to create a more sustainable pattern of development which reduces the need to travel and provides increased choice of means of travel and therefore reduced reliance on the use of private vehicles.  This should consequently reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, improve health and reduce social inequalities.  National policy seeks to achieve this through ensuring that development is concentrated at urban areas, where there is also a concentration of services and facilities, and to a much lesser extent at selected rural centres.  This approach is reflected in Regional Spatial Strategy Policy SP3. 


When development proposals are likely to generate a significant demand for travel, in terms of the volume, type and relationship to transport networks, a transport statement (for relatively small implications) or a transport assessment should be prepared.  The need for a statement or assessment should be decided through discussions with the planning and highway authorities. The purpose will be to identify the levels, type and pattern of travel and to consider how this might be managed to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport and to decrease potential private vehicular travel.  Proposals should also consider whether communications technology can be used to reduce the need for physical travel in accordance with Regional Spatial Strategy Policy T6.  The proposed level of provision for on-site parking should be considered as an integral part of this process (see also Policy DM13).  This process will lead to an identification of the need for any management measures, improved or new infrastructure.  Guidance on preparing statements and assessments is available from the Department for Transport and from the County Council. 


It may be desirable or necessary for any proposed management measures to be supported through the development and implementation of a travel plan for the proposed development. Travel Plans should be submitted alongside planning applications which are likely to have significant transport implications. A robust Travel Plan will consist of detailed measures, targets, monitoring and sanctions. These are designed to influence the travel behaviour of individuals and of organisations to help achieve transport objectives. Guidance on travel plans is available from the Department for Transport and Kent County Council and the need for a plan should be discussed with the planning and highway authorities as part of the preparation of a planning application. 


The travel demand implications of smaller scale development should be considered through the design and access statement that is required to support planning applications. 

Policy DM11 –

Location of Development and Managing Travel Demand

Planning applications for development that would increase travel demand should be supported by a systematic assessment to quantify the amount and type of travel likely to be generated and include measures that satisfy demand to maximise walking, cycling and the use of public transport.  Development that would generate travel will not be permitted outside the urban boundaries and rural settlement confines unless justified by development plan policies. Development that would generate high levels of travel will only be permitted within the urban areas in locations that are, or can be made to be, well served by a range of means of transport.


Road Hierarchy and Development


The Local Transport Plan for Kent 2006 to 2011, sets out the highway network within Kent in terms of route types and function.  New development should be accessed by an appropriate road network as set out in that Plan, which will be assessed in relation to the function of a road in the highway network, the scale of development, its likely traffic generation and measures to encourage walking, cycling and public transport.  The principal function of trunk roads and primary routes (shown on the Core Strategy Key Diagram) is to facilitate longer distance traffic and for this reason it is inappropriate to allow new accesses and the increased use of existing accesses if they would interrupt those flows or cause safety issues unless these effects can be mitigated as part of the development proposals. More specifically Government policy (Circular 07/2007) sets out a general presumption that there will be no additional accesses to motorways and other routes of strategic national importance, other than the provision of service areas, facilities for the travelling public, maintenance compounds and, exceptionally, other major transport interchanges. 

Policy DM12 –

Road Hierarchy and Development

The access arrangements of development proposals will be assessed with regard to the Highway Network set out in the Local Transport Plan for Kent.  Planning applications that would involve the construction of a new access or the increased use of an existing access onto a trunk or primary road will not be permitted if there would be a significant increase in the risk of crashes or traffic delays unless the proposals can incorporate measures that provide sufficient mitigation.


Parking Provision


Parking Standards for Kent have been developed and adopted by the County Council in 2006 as supplementary planning guidance.  The Standards are based on maximum parking requirements with the exception of provision for cycle parking which is set out in terms of minimum requirements.  This generally reflects the approach taken in national policy (PPS3). 


Further guidance on residential parking has been developed through a partial review of Kent Design - Interim Guidance Note 3, November 2008.  This has moved some way from the concept of standards to guidance that should be applied to a particular site taking into account factors such as location and the existence of effectively enforced on-street parking controls, tenure and home type (house or flat/apartment), size of home (number of bedrooms), whether parking will be allocated or not, whether parking areas should be designed to accommodate vans rather than cars - to cater for the increasing trend of employees taking home works vehicles.  The Note should be referred to for a full discussion of these issues. 


The approach towards accommodating vehicles in residential developments should be considered as an integral part of the design process and be informed by the Department for Transport's Manual for Streets, 2007, and Kent Design.  The Design and Access Statement that must be submitted with planning applications should be used to consider how the above issues relate to a specific site and, within the overall proposed design approach for the development (see Policy CP4) establish the most appropriate approach towards parking. 


The following table should be used as a starting point for establishing parking provision having regard to the matters discussed above.  


On-street controls preventing all (or all long stay) parking
On-street controls, residents' scheme and/or existing saturation 3
No, or very limited, on-street controls
No on-street controls, but possibly a tight street layout


1 space per unit
1 space per unit
1 space per unit
1 space per unit
Controlled 2
Not allocated
Not allocated
Not allocated
1 space per unit
1 space per unit
1 space per unit
1.5 space per unit
Controlled 2
Allocation possible
Allocation possible
Allocation of one space per unit possible
1 space per unit
1 space per unit
1.5 spaces per unit
2 independently accessible spaces per unit
Controlled 2
Allocation possible
Allocation of one space per unit possible
Allocation of one or both spaces possible
1 space per unit
1.5 spaces per unit
2 independently accessible spaces per unit
2 independently accessible spaces per unit
Controlled 2

Allocation of one space per unit possible

Allocation of both spaces possible 7
Allocation of both spaces possible 7
Yes, but with areas of communal space for washing etc.
Yes, but not as a significant proportion of overall provision
Additional to amount given above only
Additional to amount given above only
Public car parks
Communal areas, 0.2 per unit maximum
On-street areas, 0.2 per unit
On-street areas, 0.2 per unit


  1. Reduced, or even nil provision is encouraged in support of demand management and the most efficient use of land.
  2. Parking/garage courts, probably with controlled entry.
  3. Reduced, or even nil provision acceptable for rented properties, subject to effective tenancy controls.
  4. Open car ports or car barns acceptable at all locations, subject to good design.
  5. May be reduced where main provision is not allocated. Not always needed for flats.
  6. Lower provision may be considered if vehicular trip rate constraints are to be applied in connection with a binding and enforceable Travel Plan.
  7. Best provided side by side, or in another independently accessible form. Tandem parking arrangements are often under-utilised.

Generally, the Council will always seek to provide the minimum amount of vehicle parking provision that is consistent with design objectives and would not impair the functioning of a proposed development or of the highway network.  The ability of a development to incorporate measures to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport will be important factors in determining the level of parking provision and these will be informed by transport statements and assessments and, where appropriate, backed up through travel plans - see Policy DM11.

Policy DM13 –

Parking Provision

Provision for parking should be a design led process based upon the characteristics of the site, the locality, the nature of the proposed development and its design objectives.  Provision for non-residential development, and for residential cycle provision, should be informed by Kent County Council Guidance SPG4, or any successor.  Provision for residential development should be informed by the guidance in the Table for Residential Parking.


Roadside Services


Roadside service facilities are designed and sited to serve the needs of road users, although they may also provide a secondary service to local people. The degree to which any proposal caters for road users as opposed to others will determine whether it should be considered under this policy.


It is desirable to provide for a level of services that allows road users adequate opportunities for re-fuelling, rest and refreshment. Guidance on this is provided by Circular 01/2008 in relation to trunk roads, which applies to the A20 and A2 in Dover District, and recommends that facilities should be available at intervals of between 12 to 25 miles. The Council considers that this advice should also apply to the remainder of the primary road network, although intervals should be at the upper end of the range. The Council has surveyed roadside service provision and found there to be no deficiencies that warrant new sites. Additions and extensions to existing facilities may be permitted if it can be shown that there is an identifiable need and no other irresolvable issues.


Roadside services will not be permitted on the secondary or local road networks as this could attract traffic away from primary routes. More informal facilities such as a picnic area may be appropriate on these networks. 

Policy DM14 –

Roadside Services

Permission will not be given for new roadside services sites. Proposals for additions and extensions to existing sites on the primary road network will be permitted provided that they would serve an identifiable need of road users.


Natural Environment Policies

Protection of the Countryside


The countryside is a natural non-renewable resource. In common with all natural resources it should be used prudently, whether for agricultural purposes, leisure and recreation or for building. Countryside is defined in this document as undeveloped land beyond settlement boundaries but excluding any land allocated for development in the Core Strategy or other LDF Documents, formal open space, and land within the curtilage of buildings.


This Strategy’s proposals require a scale of development that cannot be accommodated on brownfield land only. There is a need to use countryside but this has been kept to the minimum necessary through making best use of  brownfield land and ensuring that countryside is used efficiently – by encouraging the highest density that is consistent with design objectives.  The Core Strategy also proposes to strengthen the network of green infrastructure.


The Strategy seeks to protect countryside from development beyond that needed to implement its proposals and to sustain the rural area’s communities or economy.  This protection relates to the erosion of the countryside as a physical resource and also to its inherent tranquility which can be reduced or spoilt through impacts such as noise and light pollution.  These impacts can often be created by developments that are located outside the countryside.

Policy DM15 –

Protection of the Countryside

Development which would result in the loss of, or adversely affect the character or appearance, of the countryside will only be permitted if it is:

  1. In accordance with allocations made in Development Plan Documents, or

  2. justified by the needs of agriculture; or

  3. justified by a need to sustain the rural economy or a rural community;

  4. it cannot be accommodated elsewhere; and

  5. it does not result in the loss of ecological habitats.

Provided that measures are incorporated to reduce, as far as practicable, any harmful effects on countryside character.


Landscape Character


The District Portrait recognises the highly diverse nature of the landscape. It ranges from low-lying flat land in the north, including marshland, through a transitory central area of undulating land leading to downland in the south-east and south-west. Where the downland meets the sea, chalk is exposed to form dramatic cliffs – known as the White Cliffs of Dover. The Downs are designated as part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Cliffs are designated Heritage Coast. Specific policy regarding these areas is included in the Regional Spatial Strategy and national policy is set out in PPS7.


The character of the landscape should be protected. This does not, however, preclude the possibility of development but requires that its location should be carefully selected and the scale and design of buildings crafted to fit the circumstances. Conversely, development will be unacceptable if its location and/or design is inappropriate and would have a harmful effect on the landscape.


Natural England has identified that the District’s landscape comprises the broad character areas of the North Kent Plain, East Kent Coast and the Kent Downs. The County Council has divided these into local landscape areas to provide a framework for more detailed assessment work at the local level. The District Council has subsequently undertaken this work. Landscape character assessment is based upon the following key components:


The selection of the broad locations for development proposed on the Key Diagram has taken impacts on landscape character into account. The following policy affirms the importance of landscape character and will be used in the process of identifying sites for development in other Local Development Documents and to help determine proposals that arise through the development management process. In determining the impact on landscape character regard should be had to the District Landscape Character Assessment 2006 and the character elements identified above as well as the Kent Historic Landscape Assessment 2001 and a systematic approach should be taken using a recognised methodology - Natural England provides guidance on carrying out such assessments.


The way in which the countryside is managed (for example for agriculture, forestry, wildlife or recreation purposes) has a major impact on landscape character but very often is outside the scope of the planning system. The Council will therefore generally promote sensitive and appropriate management of the countryside and, where it can, support individual initiatives.


The parts of the District that are designated as Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty enjoy special protection from national policy in PPS7 and Regional Spatial Strategy C3.  In addition, the Kent Downs AoNB Management Plan promotes appropriate management to help meet national policy objectives.

Policy DM16 –

Landscape Character

Development that would harm the character of the landscape, as identified through the process of landscape character assessment will only be permitted if:

i. It is in accordance with allocations made in Development Plan Documents and incorporates any necessary avoidance and mitigation measures; or

ii. It can be sited to avoid or reduce the harm and/or incorporate design measures to mitigate the impacts to an acceptable level.


Groundwater Source Protection Zones


Groundwater provides a third of drinking water in England and Wales, and it also maintains the flow in many rivers. In some areas of Southern England, such as Dover District, groundwater supplies up to 80% of drinking water. It is therefore crucial that groundwater sources are properly looked after.  Further detailed information on groundwater issues can be found in the Dover District Water Cycle Study 2008.


The Environment Agency has defined Source Protection Zones (SPZs) for groundwater sources such as wells, boreholes and springs used for public drinking water supply. These zones show the risk of contamination from any activities that might cause pollution in the area. The closer the activity, the greater the risk. The zones are shown on the proposals map and consist of three main zones; inner, outer and total catchment.


In order to ensure that as much rainfall as possible returns to the ground to re-charge groundwater sources, to control rainwater runoff at source and alleviate pressures on sewer systems and treatment plants it is desirable to promote sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) which aim to mimic natural drainage as far as possible.  These will, however, only be acceptable in source protection zones when it can be demonstrated that there will be no environmental risks to water quality.


The following policy develops the regional approach towards groundwater protection set out in Regional Spatial Strategy Policy NRM1. 

Policy DM17 –

Groundwater Source Protection

Within Groundwater Source Protection Zones, shown on the Proposals Map, the following will not be permitted in Zones 1 and 2 unless adequate safeguards against possible contamination are provided:

  1. Septic tanks, storage tanks containing hydrocarbons or any chemicals, or underground storage tanks;
  2. Proposals for development which may include activities which would pose a high risk of contamination unless surface water, foul or treated sewage effluent, or trade effluent can be directed out of the source protection zone;
  3. Proposals for the manufacture and use of organic chemicals, particu­larly chlorinated solvents;
  4. Oil pipelines;
  5. Storm water overflows;
  6. Activities which involve the disposal of liquid waste to land; and
  7. Sustainable urban drainage systems.

New graveyards will not be permitted in Zone 1.  Farm waste, storage areas, new foul or combined sewerage systems will also not be permitted in Zone 1 unless adequate safeguards are provided.


River Dour


Masterplanning work on Dover has confirmed the importance of the River Dour as a central but underplayed structural feature of the town.  Public access to the river is fragmented and many existing developments have turned their frontages away from it, rather than making it an integral feature.  The river also poses flood risk issues which will have an influence on development proposals.  Water quality is also an issue.  Some past developments have involved culverting over the river which has harmed water quality and wildlife.  In combination, these issues result in both a need and desire to give more prominence to the river and allow it to fulfil its potential to help make Dover a distinctive place.


There are two related broad means of achieving this.  The first is to take opportunities to link up fragmented sections of the existing riverside walk for walking and cycling and to promote increased usage.  There is a possibility, in the long-term, of creating a publicly accessible spinal route through the town which follows the river.  This would greatly improve pedestrian and cycle access around the town centre.  The second is to ensure that any development proposals that physically relate to the river are designed to help create an active river frontage, including the creation of public spaces and the improvement of existing ones.  This principle has been used to help shape the proposals for the two strategic allocations that connect with the river - Wellington Dock and Mid Town.

Policy DM18 –

River Dour

Development proposals that affect the setting of the River Dour should, wherever possible, ensure that they create a connected active river frontage, improve public access and enhance wildlife interest.


Built Environment Policies

Historic Parks and Gardens


Historic parks and gardens are a valuable part of the District's heritage, and can be important for wildlife, tourism, recreation and education. They frequently contain listed buildings and structures such as fountains and gazebos. While they are referred to in PPG15 they are not protected like conservation areas.


English Heritage has produced a register of Parks and Gardens of Specific Historic Interest. In Dover District it includes Goodnestone Park, Northbourne Court, The Salutation at Sandwich, Waldershare Park, Kearsney Court at Dover and Walmer Castle Park.  In addition, Kent County Council has identified Betteshanger House, Fredville Park at Nonington, and Knowlton Court at Nonington in its Kent Gardens Compendium. The extent of these Parks and Gardens is shown on the District Local Plan proposals map.  The Council will provide a measure of protection to historic parks and gardens through the following policy. 

Policy DM19 –

Historic Parks and Gardens

Permission will not be given for development proposals that would adversely affect the character, fabric, features, setting, or views to and from the District's Historic Parks and Gardens.




Shopfronts contribute greatly to the character of shopping streets and the identity of individual buildings. Their design should respect the proportions, composition and detailing of the building into which they are inserted and follow these principles:


Particular care needs to be taken in conservation areas and with listed buildings. The Council has produced a leaflet to provide more detailed guidance on this.

Policy DM20 –


Permission for new shopfronts and alterations to existing shopfronts will only be given if the proposals respect the composition, materials and detailed design of the building and the context provided by the street in which they are located.


Security Shutters and Grilles


The Council recognises the concerns of shopkeepers and other commercial operators to improve the security of their premises. The installation of external shutters and grilles on shopfronts can, however, be an eyesore and undermine the attractiveness of the wider shopping area.


"Solid" externally mounted roller shutters, including those that are perforated, are highly likely to be unacceptable on shops and listed buildings and in conservation areas. Solutions such as laminated glass, avoiding large expanses of plate glass, or fitting internal lattice grilles will be preferred. The Council has produced a guidance note (Security Measures for Retail and Commercial Premises) which provides further details.

Policy DM21 –

Security Shutters and Grilles

Permission for external security shutters and grilles on shopfronts and other commercial buildings will not be granted if they would detract from the character and appearance of the building or the area in which they would be located.


Town Centres and Shopping Frontages


In order that the sequential test can be put into operation it is necessary to define the extent of the town centres at Dover and Deal. The boundaries are determined by the concentration of uses that are appropriate to a town centre and are shown on the proposals map.


The centres contain a concentration of retail uses characterised by a combination of the highest rental values and representation by multiple retailers. This area is the primary shopping area and it consists of primary and secondary retail frontages where the Council, in accordance with the guidance in PPS4, wishes to take a measure of control over changes of use to ensure that the retail vibrancy of the areas is not diluted.


The Use Classes Order defines shops as A1 use, financial and professional services as A2, restaurants and cafés as A3, drinking establishments as A4 and hot food take-aways as A5. The Council considers that the primary shopping frontages, which relate only to ground floor premises, should be the focus for shopping and refreshment while the secondary frontages can accommodate a wider range of uses including financial and professional services and hot food take-aways.


The Core Strategy has recognised that Sandwich town centre is showing signs of stress and decreasing vibrancy. Shopping provision is essentially secondary in nature and the approach of defining primary and secondary frontages is not appropriate. The Council considers that there is a need to provide a measure of control over changes of use to the ground floor of premises in the centre's core on par with the secondary frontages at Dover and Deal. This, allied to the community initiative to enhance Sandwich, should help to strengthen Sandwich's centre.

Policy DM22 –

Shopping Frontages

Within the ground floor of premises in the Dover and Deal primary shopping frontages planning permission will only be given for A1, A3 and A4 uses.

Within the ground floor of premises in the Dover, Deal and Sandwich secondary shopping frontages planning permission will only be given for A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 uses.


Local Shops


Shops in suburban locations and the rural area provide a valuable service and have an important function in securing a sustainable pattern of development. They can reduce the need for people to travel to town centres for small amounts of everyday shopping and have a social function. Local shops are defined by the extent of the catchment that they intend to serve and for the purposes of this plan will have a gross floor area not exceeding 500 square metres. Such proposals will not be subject to the sequential test in PPS4.


The Council will also be prepared to permit local shops on areas allocated for employment development, should there be such demand, as this would provide facilities for workers close to hand and reduce the need to travel. 

Policy DM23 –

Local Shops

Proposals for local shops or extensions to local shops will be permitted:

  1. within the urban areas and in rural settlements where consistent with the Settlement Hierarchy; and
  2. on development sites for employment uses.


Retention of Rural Shops and Pubs


Rural shops and pubs are of great importance to the economic and social well-being of rural communities and are factors in determining the position of a settlement in the Settlement Hierarchy. The loss of these facilities can be a severe blow to the local community.


When applications are submitted for the change of use of a rural shop or pub account will be taken of its importance to the community that it serves and the range of other facilities and services that would remain. Permission for alternative uses will not be given if the community would be left without any local shops or facilities, or the range would be seriously diminished, unless the applicant has established that a shop or pub use is no longer commercially viable.


The Council will have regard to the way in which the shop or pub has been managed. The Council's study into rural shops found that viability issues were often closely related to management techniques and a failure to keep up with competitors. The Council will also wish to see that adequate and genuine attempts have been made to market the premises for shop or pub use, as appropriate, but have failed to produce a viable offer. Marketing should be through an appropriate agent and for a period of time that fully tests demand having regard to the buoyancy of prevailing market conditions.

Policy DM24 –

Retention of Rural Shops and Pubs

Planning permission will only be granted for the change of use of a rural shop or pub if its loss would not harm the economic and social viability of the community that it serves or, if such harm would occur, it has been adequately demonstrated that the use is no longer commercially viable and genuine and adequate attempts to market the premises for retail purposes or as a pub (as appropriate) have failed.


Open Space and Outdoor Recreation Policies


The Council has undertaken extensive research into the District's open spaces using the policies and guidance in PPG17. This has covered outdoor sports, children's play and informal open space and has been used to develop local standards of provision that are set out in the Development Contributions Supplementary Planning Document. This Document also sets out the Council's approach towards meeting the increased needs for open space that arise from new development through either additional provision or improvements to existing provision.


The District does contain a good range of open spaces but there are issues of localised deficiencies in quantity and quality with many sites. Maintenance of the quality of many publicly owned sites is an increasing issue. In respect of children's play the Council's general approach is to move towards a smaller network of higher quality spaces which are located to still ensure reasonable access. This will be allied to seeking street design in new development that allows for safe play at the very local level.  Open space and outdoor recreation sites make an important contribution to the District's network of green infrastructure and changes to their quantity and quality should be considered within that overall context.


The basis for the Council's approach towards open space is to protect from alternative uses the spaces that have been identified through its research. Alternative uses will only be permitted if it can be demonstrated that there would be no quantitative or qualitative loss to the open spaces network or that the use is ancillary to the open space. The sites making up the open spaces network are shown on the proposals map to the Adopted Local Plan and protected by the following policy. The policy is phrased to apply to other open spaces in order to allow protection to extend to any new spaces that may be created and to those that were too small to be considered in the research.


Research on open space has identified a number of amendments that need to be made to the network.  These amendments will be brought forward through the Site Allocations Document. 

Policy DM25 –

Open Space

Proposals for development that would result in the loss of open space will not be permitted unless:

  1. there is no identified qualitative or quantitative deficiency in public open space in terms of outdoor sports sites, children's play space or informal open space; or
  2. where there is such a deficiency the site is incapable of contributing to making it good; or
  3. where there is such a deficiency the site is capable of contributing to making it good, a replacement area with at least the same qualities and equivalent community benefit, including ease of access, can be made available; or
  4. in the case of a school site the development is for educational purposes; or
  5. in the case of small-scale development it is ancillary to the enjoyment of the open space; and
  6. in all cases except point 2, the site has no overriding visual amenity interest, environmental role, cultural importance or nature conservation value.


Schedule of Policies


The Table below sets out by issue the source of planning policy that the Council will use to help make planning decisions.  The Table relates to District Local Plan policies that have been saved and indicates if these are to be replaced by policies in the Core Strategy (either Core Policies or Development Management Policies), by policies in the Regional Spatial Strategy or by national policies in Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) or Planning Policy Statements (PPS).


This should not be taken as a comprehensive guide to all planning policy issues.  There are other policy issues addressed by national policy, the Regional Spatial Strategy and other Development Plan Documents that are not referred to in the Table.  When dealing with a particular planning matter it will therefore be necessary to check other sources of planning policy to ensure that all relevant policies have been identified.

Policy Issue

Core Strategy or Development Management Policy
Regional Spatial Strategy or National Policy
Saved Local Plan Policy Replaced
Settlement Hierarchy
  HS3, HS8
Provision for Jobs and Homes
H1, EKA3
Distribution of Housing Allocations
Housing Quality, Mix, Density and Design
Kent Design SPD, PPS1
DD11,DD4, HS11
Green Infrastructure Network
OS4, CO10, OS1
Dover Waterfront
AS7, LE23, LE29
Settlement Boundaries
Protection of Employment Land and Buildings
Commercial Buildings in The Rural Area
LE18, LE19, LE23, LE29
Commercial Re-use or Conversion of Rural Buildings
LE20, LE29, HS12
Provision of Affordable Housing
H3, EKA3 HS8, HS92
Rural Exception Affordable Housing
Accommodation for Dependent Relatives
Self-contained Temporary Accommodation for Dependent Relatives
Location of Development & Managing Travel Demand
SP3, T6
Road Hierarchy and Development
Roadside Services
Protection of The Countryside
Landscape Character
  CO4, HE8
Groundwater Source Protection
Historic Parks and Gardens
Security Shutters & Grilles
Shopping Frontages
  SP1, SP2, SP5, SP6
Local Shops
Rural Shops and Pubs
Open Space


1 - The Kent Design Guide has been adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) against saved Policy DD1 of the Adopted Local Plan.  The deletion of Policy DD1 and its replacement by Policy CP4 in the Core Strategy does not take the Kent Design SPD out of conformity and the contents of this SPD should still be fully taken into account for the purposes of Development Control.   The same applies to the Buckland Paper Mill Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) which also remains in force.

2 - The Affordable Housing SPD has been adopted against saved Policy HS9 of the Adopted Local Plan.  The deletion of Policy HS9 and its replacement by Policy DM5 in the Core Strategy does not take the Affordable Housing out of conformity and the contents of this SPD should still be taken into account for the purposes of Development Control.

3 - The Affordable Housing Rural Exception Schemes SPG has been adopted against saved Policy HS10 of the Adopted Local Plan.  The deletion of Policy HS10 and its replacement by Policy DM6 in the Core Strategy does not take the Rural Exception Scheme SPG out of conforminity and the contents of this SPG should still be taken fully into account for the purposes of Development Control.

4 - The Security Measures for Retail and Commercial Premises SPG has been adopted aganist saved Policy DD18 of the Adopted Local Plan.  The deletion of Policy DD18 and its replacement by Policy DM21 does not take the Retail and Commercial Premises SPG out of conforminity and the contents of this SPG should still be taken fully into account for the purposes of Development Control.


The following issues are dealt with by national and regional policy: 

Policy Issue

Core Strategy or Development Management Policy
Regional Spatial Strategy or National Policy Saved Local Plan Replaced
Telecommunications equipment
Agricultural land quality
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  C3, PPS7
Biodiversity and Geology
  NRM5, PPS9
  NRM9, NRM10, W14, PPS23, PPG24
Water quality
Flood risk
  NRM4, PPS25
Ponds and lakes
  NRM1, NRM2
  Advertisement Regulations
Conservation areas
  BE6, PPG15
Listed buildings
  BE6, PPG15
Archaeological remains
  BE6, PPG16
Dwellings for rural workers
  PPS7 (Annex A)
Shopping and town centre uses
  TC1, TC2, PPS4