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Chapter 2 -Town Centre strategy

MM/013

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Paragraph 2.4

Amend last sentence

The Council is required to set out a network and hierarchy of centres. Identifying the existing hierarchy provides an understanding of the role and function of the town centres and their inter-relationship. A major factor in determining the role of the centres is the catchment which they serve. Canterbury is the pre-dominant centre in the wider sub region of East Kent. Thanet's hierarchy of centres is set out in Policy SP06 below:

For clarity and effectiveness

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Paragraphs 2.5 to 2.8

2.5 Westwood - this centre sits at the top of the hierarchy as it caters for high order need, attracts the major national retailers and has a catchment that covers the whole of Thanet as well extending to areas outside of the district.

2.6 Coastal Town Centres - Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. The catchments of these town centres are their individual town populations and tourist trade with a wide range of shops to cater for everyday need, special interest and tourism. These towns have traditionally attracted national retailers and services as well as local businesses.

2.7 District Centres - Cliftonville, Westgate, Birchington and Minster. These centres cater for local needs and services. They serve large residential and semi-rural locations but catchments are limited and these locations are not appropriate for large scale retail development.

2.8 Local Centres - Several across the district such as Westbrook and St Peter's. These cater for a more restricted local need and tend to have a small catchment. These centres provide services such as takeaways, hairdressers and small convenience stores. Business is often local rather than the national multiples. These centres are not appropriate for large scale retail development.

For clarity and effectiveness

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Paragraph 2.12

Amend floorspace figure

2.12 In addition to this, an assessment has been made of other uses that are traditionally found in high street locations and support the retail function of centres - these include uses such as banks, building societies, restaurants, take aways, and drinking establishments and are known in planning terms as the A2-A5 use classes. The assessment concluded that a total of 9,560 3,499 square metres of such floorspace is needed in the district to support the retail function of town centres. Much of this is shown to be needed at Westwood although uses such as restaurants would support the tourism appeal of the coastal town centres.

Factual correction

MM/016

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Table 1* title

Indicative Rretail need for Thanet's town centres to 2031 (gross)

*This gives an indication of the quantitative level of retail need and shouldn't be applied rigidly. It should be regarded as a guide rather than a target.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/017

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Policy SP06

Policy SP06 - Thanet's Town Centres

Provision is made for maina range of town centre uses reflecting the individual role, character and heritage of the town centres (as identified on the Policies Map), including provision for retail development as referred in Table 1 above. (Ssee policies SP07 to SP10 respectively).

Thanet's retail centre hierarchy is as follows:

Westwood - this centre sits at the top of the hierarchy as it caters for high order need, attracts the major national retailers and has a catchment that covers the whole of Thanet as well extending to areas outside of the district.

Coastal Town Centres - Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. The catchments of these town centres are their individual town populations and tourist trade with a wide range of shops to cater for everyday need, special interest and tourism. These towns have traditionally attracted national retailers and services as well as local businesses.

District Centres - Cliftonville, Westgate, Birchington and Minster. These centres cater for local needs and services. They serve large residential and semi-rural locations but catchments are limited and these locations are not appropriate for large scale retail development.

Local Centres - Several across the district such as Westbrook and St Peter's (defined in Policy E06). These cater for a more restricted local need and tend to have a small catchment. These centres provide services such as takeaways, hairdressers and small convenience stores. Business is often local rather than the national multiples. These centres are not appropriate for large scale retail development.

*This gives an indication of the quantitative level of retail need and shouldn't be applied rigidly. It should be regarded as a guide rather than a target.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/018

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MM/018

Paragraphs 2.20 &

2.21

2.20 A relief scheme strategy is in development to address this issue, which the Council is implementing. This requires developer-led solutions. A fundamental objective of this scheme strategy is to realign traffic routes to enable free movement by pedestrians between town centre facilities. The final element of the relief scheme strategy that still needs to be delivered is a link between Millennium Way and Margate Road and Westwood Road. The Council will continue to explore options which are available to delivering this link.

2.21 The piecemeal nature of the way Westwood has grown over the years means that it does not form a cohesive town centre as many of the individual component sites face inwards on each other leading to problematic pedestrian connectivity between sites. The Council now seeks to ensure that any new development at Westwood addresses this problem and seeks to encourage active frontages on the intersections between the different retail parks and better pedestrian flows between sites. Ultimately the vision is for the whole area to look and feel more like a single town centre. A supplementary planning document will be drafted to seek to establish this aim following the adoption of the Local Plan. The SPD will consider short, medium and long term solutions and will be presented in three phases as follows:

  • Phase 1 - Completion of Westwood Relief Strategy/Improved signage
  • Phase 2 - General Pedestrian Improvements/ Pedestrianisation/Stopping up traffic
  • Phase 3 - Remodelling the various component sites following redevelopment

In the interim period any new development will be expected to secure the implementation of be consistent with these aims.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/019

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Policy SP07

Policy SP07 - Westwood

The Council will seek to support the evolution and development of Westwood as a mixed use business and residential community in line with the following area based policies, indicated on the Policies Map.

Development in the vicinity of Westwood will be required to secure implementation of the Westwood Area SPD and Westwood Relief Scheme. Development that would prejudice implementation of these will not be permitted.

Development proposals in the Westwood Area should have regard to the provisions of the Westwood Area SPD once adopted and also the Westwood Relief Strategy.

1) Westwood Town Centre

Main town centre usesRetail development will be directed to the core town centre area at Westwood in accordance with policies E04 and E05and complementary town centre uses will be accommodated within the wider town centreboundary, as defined by the primary and secondary frontages. Any development proposals should ensure there is no net loss in overall commercial floorspace.

2) Eurokent Mixed UseArea

Development of Eurokent will be for a mix of residential and business purposes, in accordance with a comprehensive masterplan linking and integrating the development into the wider Westwood community.

Land at Eurokentwill provideis allocated for:

  • up to 550 new dwellingshouses,and
  • the development of up to 5.45ha of land for flexible business uses*.as identified in Policy SP03.Town centre uses that cannot be accommodated within the designated town centres due to format and scale can be located here

Proposals will be judged and permitted only in accordance with a masterplan as required below:The masterplan shall incorporate, be informed by and/or address the following:

  • A minimum of 3.4 ha of publicly accessible natural/semi natural open space in accordance with the requirements of Policy SP31
  • Contribute to new, or improvements to existing community facilities at Newington
  • Small scale convenience retail provision required to accessibly serve the day to day needs of the community
  • A range of community facilities in accordance with Policy SP12, including small scale convenience retail provision to serve the day to day needs of the community
  • Development will be expected to provide proportionate contribution to necessary offsite highway improvements in the form respect of the Westwood Relief Strategy, improvements to the A256 from Lord of the Manor and any other improvements identified in the Transport Assessment.

All development proposals must include a phasing and implementation plan to include the phasing of development, infrastructure and landscaping.

Masterplanning will be informed by and address:

  • Liaison with service providers to investigate the need to upgrade the capacity of any utility services and infrastructure
  • Archaeological assessment and the need to preserve and enhance the setting of heritage assets adjoining thesite.

Proposals will be accompanied by a Transport Assessment which shall:

  • Assess the impact of the development on the local road network
  • Identify measures to promote multi modal access including footway and cycleway connections, and an extended bus service accessible to the development, and rail linkages

Proposals will be accompanied by a Transport Assessment informing the masterplan and including assessment of impact of development on the local road network and demonstrating measures to promote multi-modal access, including footway and cycleway connections and an extended bus service accessible to the development. Development will be expected to provide an appropriate contribution to offsite highway improvements in respect of Westwood Relief Scheme, improvements to the A256 from Lord of the Manor and any other improvements identified in the Transport Assessment.

All development must comply with the General Housing Policy (SP12)

3) Thanet Reach

In accordance with Policy SP03, part of Thanet Reach is allocated for employment and education uses. The southern part of the site is allocated for residential development (80 dwellings) in accordance with Policy HO1.

* these are flexible employment sites, where wider employment generating uses will be allowed in addition to B1, B2 and B8 uses. Development must be compatible with neighbouring uses. Proposals for main town centre uses should also comply with Policy E05 - the sequential test. These uses will be expected to contribute towards the Local Employment and Training Fund.

2.22 Flexible uses include leisure, tourism and other town centre uses which, due to scale and format cannot be accommodated within town centres. They also include uses known as sui generis which do not fall into a category in the Use Classes Order. These include uses such as car showrooms and crèches.

For clarity and effectiveness

MM/020

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MM/020

New paragraph following paragraph 2.33

2.33A The District Council recognises the need for a new Lifeboat station in the Margate area, capable of accommodating the latest class of lifeboat. It is recognised that there are limited opportunities for such a facility, and the Council will work with the RNLI to identify a suitable location to meet their operational requirements. Key issues that need to be considered as part of that process would be the potential impact on heritage assets (Policies SP34 and HE01 - HE03 apply) and national and international wildlife sites (Policies SP25 and GI01 apply).

To reflect current need

MM/021

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Policy SP08

Policy SP08 - Margate

The Council will seek to support the continued regeneration and development of Margate as a contemporary seaside resort in line with the following area based proposals, indicated on the Policies Map.

1) Margate Town Centre*

The focus for retail development will be in and around the High Street as defined by the Primary and Secondary Frontages.

Main town centre uses will be directed to the town centre area at Margate in accordance with policies E04 and E05.

2) Margate Old Town

Margate's Old Town area will continue in its complementary role, contributing to the vitality and viability of Margate's town centre, increasing footfall and enhancing quality and choice of facilities in the town centre. It will be a focal location for creative and cultural industries.

Residential development will be permitted above ground floor level only and the Council will resist the loss of existing commercial premises in the area unless it can be demonstrated that there has been a consistent and genuine but unsuccessful attempt to market the premises for a period of 12 months prior to an application being made at an open market value that reflects its existing commercial use and condition.

3) Margate Seafront and Harbour Arm

Within the seafront area of Margate and the Harbour Arm as indicated on the Policies Map, leisure and tourism uses will be permitted, including retail, where they enhance the visual appeal of these areas and protect the seafront character and heritage. Residential development above ground floor will be permitted.

4) Dreamland

Dreamland will be developed as an amusement and/or theme park and will be a significant attraction supporting the regeneration of the town. Proposals that seek to extend, upgrade or improve the attractiveness of Dreamland as an amusement and/or theme park will be permitted. Development on site that would lead to the reduction in its attractiveness as a leisure or tourist destination, leisure or tourist potential will be resisted, including the loss of the scenic railway. Proposals would be required to be compatible with the context and proposals of the strategic urban design framework, and integration with appropriate proposals for redevelopment/refurbishment of neighbouring sites.

5) Opportunity SitesAreas

There are Opportunity SitesAreas identified on the Policies Map at Arlington, the Rendezvous site, The Centre, the Cottage car park and Bilton Square,which are considered suitable for mixed use town centre development. The ultimate goal of redevelopment of these sites is regeneration. Residential development will be considered acceptable where this does not conflict with the area based criteria above.

6) The Lido

Proposals for leisure and tourism related uses will be supported at the Lido. Any development must respect and restore the site's status as a significant heritage asset.

7) Lifeboat Station

The development of a new lifeboat station in the Margate area will be supported, subject to relevant Local Plan policies.

Any development permitted by this policy must not adversely affect any designated nature conservation sites either directly or as a result of increased visitor pressure.

All development must comply with policies relating to the Protection of International and European Designated Sites and associated Mitigation Strategy.

Development will only be permitted under this policy where it can be demonstrated that it will not adversely affect any designated nature conservation sites through any pathway of impact, including increased visitor pressure. Development proposals must comply with the requirements of SP25, SP26 and GI01.

*as defined by the Primary and Secondary frontages

For clarity and effectiveness

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Paragraphs 2.42 and 2.43

2.42 The growth of the Port of Ramsgate is supported as a source of employment and as an attractor of inward investment. The Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-2030 proposes to safeguards the port for the importation of minerals into Kent (Policies CSM6 and CSM7 apply). In addition to the potential growth of port trade including passenger ferry operations, there is additional employment associated with marine engineering, including the use of the port as a base to assemble and maintain offshore wind turbines, and other businesses benefiting from a port location.

2.43 Further development will be permitted at Ramsgate Port that supports the aims of the Ramsgate Maritime Plan or any future plan which the Council as Port Authority adopts. The Maritime Plan is a non-statutory operational plan that seeks to set out the strategy for the Port and is updated from time to time. Any business plans and supplementary guidance will have regard to the need to make optimum use of the existing port land to protect and support diversification of its function.

For clarity and effectiveness

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Policy SP09

Policy SP09 - Ramsgate

The Council will seek to support the continued regeneration and development of Ramsgate focusing on its maritime heritage and developing leisure role, in line with the following area based proposals, indicated on the Policies Map.

1) Ramsgate Town Centre*

The main focus for retail shall be the central High Street/Queen Street/King Street/Harbour Street area of the town, and complementary town centres uses will be permitted in the wider town centre area, as defined by the primary and secondary frontages.

Main town centre uses will be directed to the town centre area at Ramsgate in accordance with policies E04 and E05.

2) Ramsgate Waterfront and Royal Harbour

Land at and adjacent to Ramsgate Royal Harbour, as indicated on the Policies Map, is identified for development for a mixture of leisure, tourism, retail and residential purposes.

Any such proposals should have regard to the emerging Ramsgate Maritime Plan or any subsequent plan adopted by the Council. The following activities and development will be supported:

  • Eastern Undercliff - mixed leisure, tourism and residential uses; and
  • Ramsgate Royal Harbour - continued development of mixed leisure and marina facilities, in particular at the Military Road arches.

All proposals must:

  • Take particular care in the design, location, use of materials and relationship of land based facilities with open water, such as to protect important views and preserve or enhance the historical character of the Royal Harbour and seafront.
  • Ensure that the integrity of nature conservation interests within the adjacent SSSI,SPA, SAC, Ramsar, Thanet MCZ site is maintained.

3) Opportunity Sites Areas

There are Opportunity Sites Areas identified on the Policies Map at Staffordshire Street car park and Eastern Undercliff, which are considered suitable for mixed use town centre development. The ultimate goal of redevelopment is regeneration. Residential development will be considered acceptable where this does not conflict with the area based criteria above.

4) Ramsgate Port

The Council supports further development at Ramsgate Port which would facilitate its improvement as a port for shipping, increase traffic through the port, and introduce new routes and complementary land based facilities including marine engineering, subject to:-

  • a demonstrable port-related need for any proposed land based facilities to be located in the area of the port, and a demonstrable lack of suitable alternative inland locations; and compatibility with the character and function of Ramsgate waterfront and the Royal Harbour as a commercial leisure facility; and
  • an acceptable environmental assessment of the impact of the proposed development upon the harbour, its setting and surrounding property, and the impact of any proposed land reclamation upon nature conservation, conservation of the built environment, the coast and archaeological heritage, together with any proposals to mitigate the impact.

Land reclamation will not be permitted beyond the western extremity of the existing limit of reclaimed land.

Any development permitted by this policy must not adversely affect any designated nature conservation sites either directly or as a result of increased visitor pressure. All development must comply with policies relating to the Protection of International and European Designated Sites and associated Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Plan.

Development will only be permitted under this policy where it can be demonstrated that it will not adversely affect any designated nature conservation sites through any pathway of impact, including increased visitor pressure. Development proposals must comply with the requirements of SP25, SP26 and GI01.

*As defined by the Primary and Secondary frontages

For clarity and effectiveness

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Policy SP10

Policy SP10 - Broadstairs

The Council will seek to support proposals that maintain and enhance the role and character of Broadstairs as a popular attractive small seaside town in line with the following area based proposals, indicated on the Policies Map.

1) Broadstairs Town Centre*

The focus for retail will be the lower High Street and Albion Street with complementary town centre uses in the wider area, in accordance with the Primary and Secondary Frontages.

Main town centre uses will be directed to the town centre area at Broadstairs in accordance with policies E04 and E05.

New retail development will be acceptable on the edge of Broadstairs town centre, subject to Policy E05. Proposals will be required to provide direct pedestrian links to the High Street, be well related to the retail core, centres of population and be accessible by a range of means of transport.

2) Broadstairs Promenade and Beach Front

Opportunities to enhance the use and attractiveness of the promenade, seafront and beach are welcomed, particularly where they achieve improved connectivity between the town centre and beach front. Within this area, small scale leisure and tourism uses will be permitted, including retail, where they do not harm the character and heritage interest of the surrounding area. Within Victoria Gardens, open space policies will prevail. Change of use of existing commercial premises in this area will be resisted.The Council will resist the loss of existing commercial premises in the area unless it can be demonstrated that there has been a consistent and genuine but unsuccessful attempt to market the premises for a period of 12 months prior to an application being made at an open market value that reflects its existing commercial use and condition.

Any development permitted by this policy must not adversely affect any designated nature conservation sites either directly or as a result of increased visitor pressure. All development must comply with policies relating to the Protection of International and European Designated Sites and associated Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Plan.

Development will only be permitted under this policy where it can be demonstrated that it will not adversely affect any designated nature conservation sites through any pathway of impact, including increased visitor pressure. Development proposals must comply with the requirements of SP25, SP26 and GI01.

*As defined by the Primary and Secondary frontages.

For clarity and effectiveness