The Parish Council discusses new planning applications in Appledore at our monthly meetings and votes on whether or not to support them before they are considered by Ashford Borough Council.
Members of the public may comment on applications during the open session of the meeting.
Comments on individual applications can also be made directly to Ashford Borough Council planning department.
Infrastructure Payments (Section 106) Paid by Developers
Builders of open market developments of over 10 dwellings and over approximately 2 hectares of land, have to pay money to the Local Planning Authority to make amends for the loss of environment and increased services cost. The money is paid to the local planning authority and is spent on improvements to the town or village where the development is taking place and to improve facilities that those residents would make use of in their district or borough. The amount that a developer pays is calculated by the Planning Authority who will allocate it to different areas. Each planning authority will have its own calculations so the amounts paid will vary between boroughs in Kent and across county boundaries. No parish council can instruct what fees the planning authority should charge nor how much should be spent on each area.
When a planning application is reviewed and decided by the planning authority, infrastructure charges are set. The applicants can discuss with planning officers reducing the charges if it can be proven that the charges will prevent development. Recently Ashford Planning Authority trialled charging £15,000 per natural pond within a half mile radius of dwellings, but this proved to be too onerous on all developments and this charging policy was dropped.
The mechanism for releasing these funds also depends on the Planning Authority. It can be achieved in very different ways. Some Planning Authorities contract builders themselves to carry out the improvement works which range from; parks and play areas, one-way systems, car parks, cinemas, colleges, wildlife nature reserves to enlarging libraries. Other Planning Authorities also ask community groups to apply for funds for projects for their local area that they manage themselves. The application will have to demonstrate the value of the scheme to the community and larger area.
The council field may be the first development to have these charges in Appledore. The larger housing developments in Appledore Heath are affordable housing schemes built under the ‘exception site rules’ which are exempt from infrastructure charges.