1. Preferred Options Revisions

Section 9 - New Implementation Policy

9.1 The provision of infrastructure to support development is vitally important. The Council is working with the relevant agencies to ensure that it is fully informed about future infrastructure requirements and the timing of those requirements, and to make sure that this important social and physical infrastructure is provided in a timely manner alongside new development.

9.2 The Council has also prepared a draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) in conjunction with those agencies, setting out the infrastructure requirements and the known costs; the phasing of the requirements and the body responsible for ensuring delivery. Some infrastructure would need to be provided directly by a developer on a given site; some would be off-site infrastructure funded by a developer and some would be funded by other mechanisms.  The Council will also seek other forms of funding, as appropriate, to support the provision of key infrastructure identified in the working draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

9.3 The IDP addresses the full range of infrastructure required to support development and is the subject of ongoing independent viability assessment.

9.4 The Council is keen to ensure that the Local Plan is fully implemented, not just the housing and employment sites, but the full range of policies, so that the Plan is successful in supporting long-term economic growth and regeneration for the area, and meeting the strategic objectives of the Plan.

To this end, the Council has:

  • Prepared a draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan, engaging with the relevant service providers and others to ensure that new housing development in particular, is supported by the requisite social and physical infrastructure;
  • Carried out viability assessments to ensure that key infrastructure can be delivered at the appropriate time;
  • Undertaken various discussions with neighbouring authorities, to ensure that wider infrastructure is considered as part of the Plan process;
  • Sought to develop initiatives, outside the planning process, to encourage and attract inward investment, and in particular development investment, to the area; such as maintaining and developing partnerships with various agencies (such as the Homes & Communities Agency) and private developers groups (such as the Kent Developers Group); and
  • Committed to the preparation of a robust monitoring framework.

9.5 The Council does not consider that the use of CPO powers will normally be required to implement the Plan, but it will give consideration to their use (subject to securing the appropriate indemnity arrangements with developers) if critical sites or infrastructure are delayed, to the detriment of implementing the provisions of the Plan.

9.6 The Council intends to monitor key elements of the Local Plan strategy, using the Annual Monitoring Report framework, to ensure that the overall strategy is delivered. The Council will present a more detailed monitoring framework to the independent Examination in due course, but it is anticipated that such monitoring would focus on development implementation and economic indicators.

9.7 If monitoring through the AMR demonstrates that the implementation of the Plan is not proceeding as expected, the Council will review the implementation process and consider what measures need to be taken to progress implementation.

9.8 The Council will give due consideration to the viability of individual developments, in circumstances where independent viability appraisals indicate that a particular development cannot fully meet the infrastructure requirements set out in this Plan.

Strategic Policy - Implementation

All new development will be expected to fully meet its infrastructure requirements, whether directly on site or by contribution to that provision elsewhere, and to comply with the provisions of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, in terms of provision of physical and social infrastructure. This provision should be made within the phasing programme set out in the draft Local Plan and draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan.  Any such requirements will be secured by means of conditions, legal agreements, Community Infrastructure Levy or other appropriate mechanisms.

The Council will also, with partner organisations as appropriate, seek to obtain additional funding from other sources to support infrastructure provision, and to influence the strategic provision of services, facilities and other infrastructure by other organisations.

If necessary, the Council will give consideration to the full range of other available mechanisms (such as compulsory purchase*, Article 4 Directions and so on) to ensure the effective implementation of the overall planning strategy for the district.

[*Footnote: subject to appropriate indemnity arrangements being in place]