5. Transportation

5.1.

Introduction

Transport is a critical factor in the District’s aspirations for sustainable economic regeneration. Thanet’s citizens need to go to work, school, shops and access other services as part of their daily lives. Goods and information need to be moved to support employment and economic growth. Thanet does not at present suffer significant levels of congestion, traffic noise, pollution and delays such as experienced in urban centres elsewhere in Kent. The District has an attractive environment and is a pleasant place to live and work. Its environment is also a potential asset in attracting investment. The intention is to maintain that situation while attracting and accommodating appropriate development in support of regeneration. Accordingly, key actions will be to manage mobility through reducing car-parking provision, improving access to public transport and controlling the location of new development, so as to reduce both the need to travel and reliance on cars for local journeys.

5.2.

Thanet’s long-standing and deep-seated social and economic deprivation has provided access to a range of external funding assistance. This funding together with the efforts of the District Council and its partners have put in place many of the ingredients needed for the District to reverse these misfortunes. In addition proposals for the development of Kent International Airport as an airport of regional significance together with the opportunity for growth in short shipping routes and cross-Channel access associated with the Port of Ramsgate represent very substantial incentives for further economic growth and investment. However, achieving sustainable regeneration and the rate at which it takes place will require further investment to provide fast and reliable transport links from Thanet to London, the M25 corridor and to the region’s arterial transport links in order that Thanet can become a competitive location for investment. In this respect the primary issue is the currently slow and overcrowded rail services between London and Thanet.

5.3.

The Channel Tunnel, whilst benefiting the UK as a whole, has had a major economic impact on East Kent through substantial job losses in the cross-channel ferry industry, a position from which East Kent is still recovering. As mitigation, the Government of the time promised that one of the benefits of the Channel Tunnel, and subsequently of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) would be faster, better quality rail services from the towns of the East Kent Coast to London. Fast rail services between Thanet and London using the CTRL are scheduled to commence in 2009. The Council and its partners are continuing to press the Government to deliver these benefits including upgrading the Thanet-Ashford line in terms of speed, signalling and power availability to enable fast service operation.

5.4.

Thanet was previously regarded as an isolated and unattractive place for new business. This view is beginning to change following recent improvements to the main road network. The A299 linking with London via the M2 has been improved to dual-carriageway standard, providing a direct fast road link with Manston Business Park and Kent International Airport. The Royal Harbour Approach Road links the Port of Ramsgate to the A299. However, road links to the south and the Channel Tunnel are inadequate at present. The Council is pressing for improvements to the A299 (formerly A253) between Mount Pleasant, Minster and Lord of the Manor, and for a programme of improvements along the A256 corridor linking Thanet with Pfizer, the Channel Tunnel and Dover Port.

5.5.

Securing improved and faster rail services from Thanet to London (through Ashford) and through the Channel Tunnel Rail Link are of paramount importance to reversing perception by investors of Thanet and East Kent as isolated, uncompetitive locations and in generating confidence for further investment by existing local employers. Such rail improvements would also assist Thanet in benefiting from new/improved cross-London public transport services such as the Thameslink 2000 and cross rail proposals. A fast rail service to London is the most important strategic transport issue for Thanet and East Kent Councils. The Council is confident of continuing support from its neighbouring Councils in the sub-region and the County Council in pursuing such improvements and lobbying at national and regional level for these to be put in place as priority. The County Council also supports improvements to provide faster rail links for Thanet via Ashford, and this is expressed in Policy DM6 of the Local Transport Plan 2006-2011.

5.6.

The Council considers the potential for expansion and diversification of activities at the Port of Ramsgate is a very important factor for employment generation, tourism and attracting additional investment to the District. Now that a dedicated approach road is in place, and the expanding freight operation supplemented with a car ferry service, the Council is renewing its energies to secure a second operator at the Port.

5.7.

In the Council’s vision for the future, Thanet remains an attractive place, and quality employment, housing and leisure opportunities are accessible to all. Kent International Airport balances economic success with environmental concerns, and has stimulated development of the Business Parks and a successful ferry service from the Port of Ramsgate. Improved road and rail connections have improved Thanet’s accessibility in the region and stimulated new employment opportunities in the Sandwich Corridor. Local journeys are predominantly carried out using reliable, affordable public transport services, walking and cycling.

5.8.

In 1998, Government published a White Paper called “A New Deal for Transport – Better For Everyone” which was subsequently incorporated in the Transport Act 2000. This sets out a vision of improved accessibility for all, with freedom from congestion and pollution. Government wants to reduce reliance on cars and to encourage more environmentally friendly means of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport. It requires County Councils to prepare Local Transport Plans to help promote this through wide-ranging proposals and partnerships to achieve integrated transport systems.

5.9.

Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) which forms the framework for Strategic Policy focuses on sustainable development principles as a key means of encouraging economic success and ensuring a high quality environment and opportunity and equity for the region’s population. It promotes integration of transport and land use, and greater reliance on walking, cycling and public transport. SEERA’s Regional Transport Strategy states that the transport system in the Region will be developed to support delivery of the RPG’s Spatial Strategy. This includes developing a framework of strategic transport corridors to assist movement, reduce the present concentration of movement in the London area and assist the regeneration of sub-regional priority areas. Thanet is identified as a Priority Area for Economic Regeneration in the RPG. The District Council is seeking fullest recognition in the Regional Transport Strategy of the growth potential opportunities arising from Kent International Airport and the Port of Ramsgate. The Strategy recognises the need to connect Thanet with programmed and existing fast links to London, the M25/M4 corridors and beyond, in order to redress perceptions of the District as peripheral to the economic powerhouse of the region and UK. In this respect, securing fast and reliable rail access from Thanet to London is a key priority.

Objectives

  1. TO PROMOTE SAFE AND EFFICIENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC REGENERATION AND ENABLING THANET’S CITIZENS TO CONVENIENTLY ACCESS SERVICES AND FACILITIES
  2. TO INTRODUCE EFFECTIVE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT TO SAFEGUARD THANET’S ENVIRONMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE
  3. TO GUIDE LOCATION OF NEW DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE NEED TO TRAVEL, PROMOTE USE OF ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY MEANS OF TRAVEL AND REDUCE RELIANCE ON PRIVATE CARS ESPECIALLY FOR LOCAL JOURNEYS
  4. TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL
  5. TO SECURE THE PROVISION OF SATISFACTORY TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE TO MEET EXISTING AND FUTURE PATTERNS OF MOVEMENT
  6. TO PROMOTE HIGH STANDARDS OF ROAD SAFETY, ACCIDENT REDUCTION AND SAFE, CONVENIENT MOVEMENT OF PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS
5.10.

The level and range of development envisaged in this Local Plan will impact on travel demand and destinations. As an alternative to the private car, buses have the flexibility to cope with the demands generated by such development, particularly where provision of other public transport infrastructure such as new rail links may not be feasible in the short term. Accordingly the Council wishes to promote greater use of buses and development of appropriate service routes. In liaison with bus operators and the County Council, the Council has formulated a Bus Strategy and entered a Quality Bus Partnership to respond to planned new developments as Thanet’s economy continues to develop and expand.

5.11.

Kent County Council has submitted its second Local Transport Plan (LTP) for the period 2006-2011, setting out a strategy for promoting sustainable patterns of movement and communication in the County. This aims to contribute to improvement of social, economic and environmental considerations in Kent through implementation of effective and sustainable patterns of movement and communication. It recognises, as a priority, the need to provide appropriate transport infrastructure to support the regeneration of East Kent, reflecting regional planning guidance and SEEDA’s emerging regional economic plan.

5.12.

A 2nd District Transport Plan (2005-2011) has also been prepared to inform the LTP. This amplifies the LTP and sets a local strategy for Thanet and specific measures supporting efficient movement to facilitate sustainable economic regeneration, convenient and safe access to services for Thanet’s citizens, reliable, convenient and affordable alternatives to car-based travel, and safeguarding Thanet’s environment.

5.13.

Integrated transport policy is key in reducing the need to travel and in supporting more sustainable travel choices. A key task for this Local Plan is to promote integration of land use with appropriate transport networks. Policies in this Local Plan underpin the land-use issues arising from the Local and District Transport Plan Strategies. They aim to safeguard the environment while promoting efficient travel movement for Thanet’s citizens and in support of sustainable economic regeneration. These policies also have a key role in promoting the Government’s objectives for sustainable development, which include promotion of sustainable economic growth, social progress, effective protection of the environment and prudent use of natural resources.

5.14.

The District Transport Plan (DTP) promotes convenient and safe access to services needed by Thanet’s citizens in going about their daily lives, efficient movement of goods, information and people in support of sustainable economic regeneration, a reduction in the number of car journeys through provision of affordable and convenient alternative means of travel, especially for local journeys, and safeguarding environmental quality. It aims to progressively develop a network of transport routes conveniently located for development generating travel movements. In support of sustainable economic development, a network of strategic routes is proposed, linking the Central Island area with the primary route network outside Thanet. A local network of routes facilitating movement by public transport, cycling and walking is also proposed in order to improve accessibility and safeguard Thanet’s attractive environment. Policies in this Chapter aim to guide location of development and infrastructure investment in order to facilitate implementation and use of these routes.

5.15.

Location of Development

Guiding the location, scale and density of new development is an important way of reducing the need to travel, reducing travel distances, and making it safer for people to use alternatives to the car. Consistent policies directing location of travel generating uses will also guide infrastructure investment, further supporting integration of transport and land use.

5.16.

Thanet is a small District, and about 95% of its population reside within the coastal urban area. The urban population is highly concentrated around the three main town centres, which therefore provide a location accessible to a high population catchment. This Plan promotes Westwood and the established coastal town centres as key locations for development generating significant travel demand and mixed-use development including housing. Public transport routes and interchanges in the urban area also provide suitable locations for development generating major travel demand. Day-to-day facilities should be located in local centres where they can be accessed by walking and cycling.

5.17.

A special case is made in this Local Plan for location of specific kinds of travel intensive development at key allocated sites in the Central Island Area, including Kent International Airport, the Business Parks and Westwood. These allocations will reduce the current levels of commuting outside Thanet for employment and comparison-shopping and underpin sustainable economic regeneration.

5.18.

The following policy applies in all other circumstances and aims to direct development generating significant travel demand to appropriate locations. Other chapters in this plan provide specific guidance on location and density in relation to particular types of development including housing, employment, retail, and development in rural areas. Guidance on working from home, which can reduce the need to travel, is contained in the Economic Development chapter.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR1 - LOCATION OF DEVELOPMENT

UNLESS JUSTIFIED BY OTHER POLICIES,

  • PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT GENERATING TRAVEL DEMAND WILL NOT BE PERMITTED OUTSIDE THANET’S URBAN AREAS AND VILLAGE CONFINES
  • DEVELOPMENT GENERATING HIGH LEVELS OF TRAVEL DEMAND WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY WITHIN THE URBAN AREA IN LOCATIONS WHICH ARE OR WILL BE MADE HIGHLY ACCESSIBLE ON FOOT, BY BICYCLE OR BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT. PRIORITY WILL BE GIVEN TO LOCATIONS AT WESTWOOD AND IN THE ESTABLISHED TOWN CENTRES OF MARGATE, RAMSGATE AND BROADSTAIRS, IN CASES WHERE THE SCALE AND NATURE OF DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE COMPATIBLE WITH THEIR ROLE AS HIGH DENSITY CENTRES OF MIXED-USE ACTIVITY

Operational Note:

Accessibility of locations will be assessed in response to particular proposals and take account of topography and existing and prospective transport route networks. Sites will generally be regarded as highly accessible if:

  1. within 800 metres’ convenient walking distance of the town centres or local centres providing a range of shops and services,

and/or

  1. within both
    • 800 metres’ convenient walking distance of a railway station and
    • 400 metres’ convenient walking distance of bus routes with frequent services or public transport interchanges
5.19.

Explanation: This policy aims to promote development patterns which will reduce the need to travel and increase use of walking, cycling and public transport as an alternative to car use. In some instances certain travel generating uses may not be capable of a Westwood or town-centre location, for example where incompatible with their function or where sites of sufficient size are not available. In such instances development will be directed to alternative locations within the built-up area where conveniently accessible on foot, by bicycle and public transport. Departures from the provisions of the policy will be monitored in order to assess whether additional or amended criteria are appropriate to the policy objective.

5.20.

The Road Network

Roads are classified according to their function. Outside the Thanet towns, transport links are described as primary, secondary or local routes. Within the urban areas, roads are referred to as primary, secondary and local distributors. This classification is shown on the Road Hierarchy Map (see Appendix D). In brief, primary distributors cater for long distance and crosstown traffic. Secondary distributors form the link between the primary road network and residential, industrial and commercial areas. Local distributors cater for traffic within commercial, industrial and residential areas.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR2 - APPROPRIATE USE OF ROAD HIERARCHY

THE DISTRICT COUNCIL, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE HIGHWAY AUTHORITY, WILL INVESTIGATE WAYS IN WHICH TRAFFIC CAN BE CHANNELLED ONTO THE MOST APPROPRIATE ROUTES OF THE ROAD HIERARCHY THROUGH ROAD IMPROVEMENTS, JUNCTION IMPROVEMENTS AND APPROPRIATE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SCHEMES, AND WILL SEEK TO ENSURE THAT SUCH ROUTES ARE MAINTAINED TO AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL.

5.21.

Development and Transportation

Changes in land use usually affect travel patterns and flows. Structure Plan Policy is that development likely to generate significant increases in traffic, especially heavy good vehicle movements should be well related to the major transport networks (primary and secondary routes).

5.22.

This Plan aims to promote walking, cycling and use of public transport. However, some development proposals will only be allowed to proceed if improvements are carried out to the local highways as part of the development (for example at local bottlenecks used both by cars and public transport vehicles). Where the need for such road improvements arises wholly or largely from the proposed development (which is acceptable in all other respects) the Council will ensure that the developer pays for or contributes towards the required improvement.

5.23.

Where the Council considers that development proposals are likely to impact on the adjacent highway network, it will expect the developer to submit a Traffic Assessment to help assess the application and provide a basis for negotiation on scheme details such as level of parking and measures to improve access to the site. Such Assessments will be expected to include consideration of the likely impact of the development on capacity, safety and congestion levels on adjacent highways in terms of traffic generation and public transport facilities. They should illustrate the likely modal split of journeys to and from the site, together with details of measures to improve access by public transport, walking and cycling and reduce the number and impact of motorised journeys.

POLICY TR3 - PROVISION OF TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

THE DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILS WILL ENSURE, BY MEANS OF A LEGAL AGREEMENT, THAT PROPER PROVISION IS MADE FOR TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE THAT IS NECESSARY AND RELEVANT TO THE DEVELOPMENT TO BE PERMITTED. PROPOSALS FOR TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE WILL BE ASSESSED IN TERMS OF THEIR IMPACT ON CAPACITY AND SAFETY OF THE TRANSPORT NETWORK TOGETHER WITH THEIR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS.

5.24.

Highway Improvements in the Plan Period

Major Improvements

The dualling of the A299 up to Mount Pleasant Roundabout has resulted in significant improvements to Thanet’s actual and perceived accessibility. However, Thanet’s growing ability to attract new economic activity, the prospect of significant new employment arising from development of Kent International Airport, the Sandwich Corridor and prospective expansion at Pfizer Ltd, highlight remaining strategic deficiencies in relation to poor road links between Thanet and Dover/Channel Tunnel (A256), and the single carriageway section of the A299 between Mount Pleasant and Lord Of The Manor (former A253). The Council is pressing for development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to address these deficiencies. The County Council has consulted on schemes for infrastructure improvements to the A256 and A299 as Phases 2 & 3 of the overall plan for East Kent Access. It has since resolved that highway improvements to remedy these remaining road link deficiencies in Thanet will be carried out to dual carriageway standard. The route for these improvements has also been approved and is known as “Phase 2”. They will link Mount Pleasant, Lord of the Manor and the A256 near the old
Richborough Power Station site. The route alignment is identified and safeguarded under Policy TR4. The District Council strongly supports the proposed improvements to the A256 and A299, and will seek their implementation at the earliest opportunity. The Strategy and East Kent Access are considered below under the heading “Transport Strategy for Key Business Sites”.

5.25.

The A299 is the main approach road to Ramsgate from the A28 and the motorway network. The section from Mount Pleasant to Lord of the Manor is single carriageway and has forward visibility problems and poor alignment with bends not compatible with its national speed limit (60mph). Following public consultation on alternative route options, an on-line improvement (known as “Section 7b”) south of the runway was chosen. However, this route has formally been abandoned, and alternative route improvements (referred to in the previous paragraph) approved as part of the comprehensive programme of improvements as part of the strategy for East Kent Access.

5.26.

The County Council has approved a programme of improvements (“Phase 1”) to the A256 including dualling between the Pfizer Roundabout and Richborough Power Station. This will include a new roundabout in the vicinity of the Power Station and improvement of the Ebbsfleet Lane junction by introduction of traffic signals. The more recently approved improvements known as Phase 2 extend south of, and effectively bypass, the Ebbsfleet Lane junction, and minor amendments have been approved to Phase 2 to tie in with the approved alignment of Phase 1. Introduction of traffic signals at Ebbsfleet Lane would depend on how soon Phase 2 can be implemented after Phase 1.

5.27.

Planning consent has been granted for realignment of the A256 at Haine to accommodate improvements and to provide access to the adjacent EuroKent Business Park. Further improvements affecting the A256 are expected as part of Westwood housing development (see Policy H6).

POLICY TR4 - NEW ROAD AND HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS

DURING THE PLAN PERIOD TO 2011 THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL SEEK THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FOLLOWING HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS AND WILL, WHERE APPROPRIATE, SAFEGUARD ANY LAND REQUIRED FOR THEIR CONSTRUCTION. EACH IMPROVEMENT SHALL BE SENSITIVELY DESIGNED AND LANDSCAPED SO AS TO MINIMISE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.

  • IMPROVEMENTS TO DUAL CARRIAGEWAY STANDARD TO THE A256 AND A299 BETWEEN RICHBOROUGH, LORD OF THE MANOR AND MOUNT PLEASANT, MINSTER (KNOWN AS PHASES 1 & 2 OF EAST KENT ACCESS) 
  • REALIGNMENT OF THE A256 ADJACENT TO EUROKENT BUSINESS PARK
5.28.

The A28 Corridor

The A28, primary route, runs from Thanet through the centre of Canterbury and on to Ashford and the rail route from Thanet to Ashford also generally follows the line of the road. During 2001 a multi-modal study of the route was carried out by Babtie on behalf of Kent County, Ashford Borough, Canterbury City and Thanet District Councils. In respect of the road links, the study did not recommend any major highway improvements to the A28 within Thanet, and recommended that effort should be concentrated on minor on-line safety improvements and on achieving greater use of public transport to reduce reliance on the car. This approach ties in with this Council’s view that any improvements should be made selectively. In particular, the section between Sarre and Upstreet is important in reinforcing perception of Thanet as an island. It follows an historic route, pleasantly lined by mature trees, and which would be sensitive to intrusion by modern street lighting, crash barriers, and so on. In relation to the rail corridor, the study acknowledges the great need to speed up and upgrade the quality of the rail service on the Stour Valley line. Thanet Council is committed to achieving a significant improvement to journey times between Thanet and Ashford to enable faster links to London by use of the CTRL from Ashford to London. This improvement in journey time is considered one of the keys to the economic regeneration of the area. 

5.29.

Transport Strategy for Key Business Sites

There are still major strategic deficiencies to be addressed in relation to poor road links between Thanet, and Dover/Channel Tunnel (A256) and the missing link in the Thanet Way between Mount Pleasant and Lord of the Manor (A299). These deficiencies are highlighted by the major employment potential arising from development of civilian operations at Kent International Airport, the Sandwich Corridor, prospective expansion at Pfizer and other sources. Improved rail services are essential to support Thanet’s economic regeneration. Line speeds and rolling stock have been improved on the north Kent line. Nevertheless, the Council sees the Thanet/Canterbury and Ashford route (already designated by the EU as a Trans-European route) as having greatest potential for fast links to London, the rest of the UK and Europe. The Council regards upgrading of infrastructure required to reduce journey times along this route as priority. There is currently minimal use of rail for freight traffic in Thanet. The Council would wish to encourage a greater proportion of freight transport by rail. However, it is recognised that specific improvements may need to be implemented to promote this objective alongside the priority attached to improvements to passenger service line speeds. 

5.30.

The Central Island Area, Pfizer, the Sandwich Corridor and business parks in Dover District and their transport connections have been identified as a connected area of major development opportunity for East Kent. This area is known as East Kent Access (EKA). Transport improvements to and between these key locations are recognised as essential to successful and sustainable regeneration in East Kent. The County Council is promoting, as a major scheme, the improvement of transport infrastructure along the EKA’s 3 main corridors. This will provide a strategic plan for investment in transport improvements to support sustainable economic development of EKA. It will address the following:

  • Improved access to Pfizer, the Sandwich Corridor and the Channel Tunnel via the A256
  • Bus priority and cycle facilities on the A256 and from urban Thanet to Kent International Airport and the Central Island Business Parks
  • Improved and faster rail connections from Ramsgate to London via Canterbury and Ashford
  • Medium and long term proposals for rail access to Kent International Airport
  • Other road proposals to facilitate access within and beyond East Kent’s key development area
  • Green Travel Plans
5.31.

The District Council will participate in the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive transport strategy for the East Kent Access area. It will seek to expedite comprehensive transport improvements to support development of the economic potential of the East Kent Access area.

5.32.

Kent International Airport

Thanet Council and adjoining District Councils wish to see Kent International develop as a regional airport. The new owner of this former RAF airport has aspirations to develop both freight and passenger services. In addition, land is earmarked for “airside” development at the airport. The scale of development is considered in the Economic Development chapter of this Local Plan. The airport offers very significant economic and employment benefits for Thanet and East Kent. Its development will also have significant transport implications arising from passengers, freight and employees, which will need to be addressed. These issues are considered in the Economic Development Chapter and Policy EC3.

5.33.

Port of Ramsgate

The Council wishes to support development of new short passenger and freight routes between the Port of Ramsgate and other European Channel ports. The Royal Harbour Approach Road directly links the Port to the strategic road network and Kent International Airport. This and the Ramsgate Renaissance proposal (see Policy EC8) will significantly improve the Port’s potential to develop new freight and passenger ferry services. Provision of a direct rail connection to the Port is unlikely to be feasible within this Plan period due to environmental concerns and cost/benefit considerations. The Council intends to investigate a suitable coach connection route between the Port and Ramsgate Railway Station.

5.34.

Now that Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour Approach Road has been completed, it will be possible to reconsider the future of Military Road. This may become relatively traffic-free, except when occasionally required while Royal Harbour Approach is being repaired, maintained or when exceptional loads are involved. The Ramsgate Renaissance Strategy envisages re use of the Military Road arches for leisure/tourism, which would benefit from pedestrian freedom. The Council will require a specific study against which to assess development options and an appropriate traffic management plan for Military Road. After a period of operation of the Royal Harbour Approach Road, and following a period of assessment of the implications, the Council will consider the need for traffic management measures in relation to any consequential/residual movements of heavy goods vehicles in the Ramsgate Conservation Area.

5.35.

Westwood

This Local Plan promotes development of Westwood as a new town centre, together with provision for 1,000 new homes. Westwood occupies a central location at the intersection of two primary distributor roads and adjoins a quality bus corridor (see section headed “buses” below). A key objective will be to facilitate green travel to and within the centre through provision of a public transport interchange, pedestrian priority routes and other measures to encourage non-car travel to the centre. Such measures are expected to include realignment of the A256 to divert vehicular traffic from the town centre to facilitate non-car movement within the centre and from the allocated housing site.

5.36.

Facilities to provide for public transport and encourage walking and cycling have been provided for as part of the town centre development. Reasonable highway improvements including financial contributions necessary to enable the housing and other development to proceed, without adverse impact on the wider transport network, will be provided for as part of those developments. Policies TR3, 14 and H6 apply to such improvements. Car parking provision in new developments at Westwood will be regulated through policy TR18.

5.37.

A comprehensive Traffic Assessment for Westwood will be required in order to inform a development Master Plan covering the sites subject of Policies H6 and TC4 and indicating logical phasing of their development and infrastructure.

5.38.

Westwood Access Strategy

An overarching access strategy for Westwood will be needed to plan and coordinate the implementation of appropriate travel routes and infrastructure to accommodate its development. The content of this strategy would reflect the conclusions of the Traffic Assessment referred to above. However, it is already clear that a primary consideration for the Westwood Access Strategy will be to facilitate visits to Westwood without the need for vehicles to pass through its centre, thus relieving the volume of traffic using the Westwood Roundabout. Therefore a key principle of the Access Strategy will be to facilitate vehicular access to and egress from Westwood’s four quadrants between the A254, Westwood and Haine Road without the need to enter onto the Westwood Roundabout.

5.39.

Housing and other development at Westwood beyond that already committed on site policy TC2 will cumulatively impact on the capacity of the Westwood Roundabout and the local road network. All such development will be required to make appropriate contributions (financial and/or land) towards improvements to relieve the roundabout and local road network. Negotiations in respect of individual proposals will be based on their location, assessment of the traffic they are likely to generate and the achievement of significant improvements in the future situation (policy TR3 refers). Specifically, the relief road and its key roundabout junctions associated with allocated residential development at Westwood (H6 and TC4) will need to be in place before completion of the 300th dwelling (Policy H6 refers). Individual phases of housing development would be expected to make provision pro rata to enable appropriate highway improvements to be made.

5.40.

Freight and Service Delivery

Effective delivery of goods and services is essential to the health of Thanet’s town centres, local business and economic regeneration. Road freight traffic needs to be directed to routes fit for the purpose. Kent International Airport, Thanet’s business parks, industrial estates and the Port of Ramsgate are directly accessible through the primary road network. However, town centre roads are generally unsuited to accommodate large vehicles, and off-street servicing facilities are limited. Proposals for new development in town centres will therefore be expected to include adequate off-street servicing. The Council intends to facilitate town-centre servicing by identifying on-street loading/unloading facilities in all “high street” locations, encouraging appropriate delivery times, and enforcement of no-parking restrictions. Where feasible, off-street loading areas, enabling goods to be delivered to shops in smaller loads will be encouraged in new development.

POLICY TR5 - OFF-STREET SERVICING IN TOWN CENTRES

NEW DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS IN TOWN CENTRES WILL BE EXPECTED TO DEMONSTRATE ADEQUATE OFF-STREET SERVICING (POLICY TR 16 REFERS)

5.41.

The District Transport Plan identifies strategic road freight routes serving focal points within Thanet and town-centre routes. The Plan proposes that heavy lorries be discouraged from using unsuitable routes through introduction and enforcement of traffic regulation orders. Structure Plan policy supports measures to discourage such use of minor roads. Policy TR7 of this Local Plan promotes provision of overnight lorry parking facilities and driver services.

5.42.

Road user charging for freight is not considered a viable option in view of the need to support regeneration of Thanet’s town centres, and the current absence of attractive alternative means of freight movement. The Council intends to consult freight transport professional bodies in determining how best to serve the area and any future development. In particular the Council will seek to promote the introduction of rail freight facilities serving Kent International Airport and the Central Island Area, support freight movements through the Port of Ramsgate and provision of interchange facilities. There is currently little or no use of rail for freight in Thanet. With recent trends towards use of rail for trunk movements by supermarkets, an opportunity exists to identify a site for a local road/rail freight exchange facility in Thanet. Any proposal would have to be in the light of developments at the Port of Ramsgate and the possible provision of a rail link to Kent International Airport. In the meantime, the Council will resist any development which could affect the remaining goods yard at Ramsgate Station until such time as firm proposals are established.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR6 - RAMSGATE STATION GOODS YARD

UNTIL SUCH TIME AS FIRM PROPOSALS ARE ESTABLISHED FOR ANY RAIL/ROAD INTERCHANGE FACILITY SERVING THANET, LAND AT RAMSGATE STATION GOODS YARD WILL BE SAFEGUARDED FROM DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD RESULT IN ITS SEVERANCE, FRAGMENTATION OR OTHERWISE PRECLUDE ITS POTENTIAL USE FOR GOODS YARD AND/OR RAIL/ PASSENGER RELATED PURPOSES.

5.43.

Roadside Services

Structure Plan policy permits facilities and services for road users on primary routes and motorways where a need is established and where there is no overriding conflict with other planning and environmental considerations. The Council endorses this general approach but considers that this Local Plan is the appropriate place to provide more detailed guidance having regard to the nature of the area.

5.44.

Thanet is one of the smaller districts in Kent in terms of area. The distances by road between the edges of the Thanet towns and the District's boundary with Canterbury are short. From the western edge of Margate (Birchington) the distance is 4.1 miles; from the edge of Ramsgate (Nethercourt) it is 8.2 miles to the boundary along the A299. There are petrol stations along both routes. The nearby Thanet towns provide the full range of services for road users.

5.45.

There has been pressure to establish a comprehensive roadside service area in Thanet. Local authorities are required to take into account the developer’s assessment of demand. This pressure is continuing and brings with it the risk that a proposal may be successful at appeal on a site which may be in a particularly sensitive location.

5.46.

Thanet District Council, the County Council and other District Councils in East Kent have produced a Planning Strategy For Roadside Services. This provides an overview on the need for and adequacy of current roadside service provision along primary routes. It acknowledges the importance of 24-hour facilities for long distance and HGV drivers on the approaches to East Kent’s ports. The Strategy concludes that there is no shortfall in provision of facilities sufficient to cause serious safety concerns or inconvenience to vehicle drivers/passengers. It notes that additional commitments to improve provision exist. This includes the local plan commitment referred to below (Policy TR7) where consent has been granted for a service area including petrol station, restaurant, travel lodge, lorry, coach and car parking and picnic area. Taking these commitments into account, the Strategy concludes that, in relation to Government guidance on spacing, it would be unnecessary to seek previously undeveloped sites to provide new facilities. The District Council has adopted the Strategy as Supplementary Planning Guidance.

5.47.

The District Council accepts justification for a facility with accommodation for lorries along the A299 (former A253) to serve the port, airport and business park. It is appreciated that the provision of such a facility would not be financially viable without those other elements normally found in comprehensive roadside service areas. In order to minimise the impact of any development, and avoid serious conflict with planning policy, the council will refuse any proposals at or near the improved Lord of the Manor junction (A299/A256). In addition, the existing petrol filling station at Mount Pleasant, Minster, could not be satisfactorily expanded.

5.48.

The Council has identified a site on the south-east side of the A299 at Mount Pleasant for the development of a range of facilities for motorists and lorry drivers. A lorry park and service station have now been constructed. The site can serve traffic in both directions along the A299. Access will be from Tothill Street. Because the site is in open countryside, it will be seen to some extent from the west against the Laundry Road development, while from the east it will be seen against other developments at the roundabout. Special attention to landscaping will be needed to minimise the impact of the development.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR7 - ROADSIDE SERVICES

LAND IS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE A299 AT MINSTER FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE RANGE OF ROADSIDE FACILITIES FOR MOTORISTS.

5.49.

Safeguarding Land for Channel Tunnel Rail Link Route Corridor

The Secretary Of State for Transport has issued directions under the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 to safeguard the route corridor of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Project. This includes additional land that may be required for associated works/development. (Such direction and works are not proposals of the District Council, and the routes in question will not be determined through the development plan process but through other statutory procedures which will provide appropriate opportunities for any objections by those directly affected by the project.)

POLICY TR8 - RAIL LINK SAFEGUARDING DIRECTION

SAFEGUARDING DIRECTIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT AFFECTING THE ROUTE CORRIDOR FOR THE CHANNEL TUNNEL RAIL LINK PROJECT APPLY TO LAND AT RICHBOROUGH. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DIRECTION, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL CONSULT UNION RAILWAYS (SOUTH) LIMITED BEFORE GRANTING PLANNING PERMISSION OR RESOLVING TO CARRY OUT/AUTHORISE DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE LIMIT OF LAND SUBJECT TO CONSULTATION, FEATURED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP.

5.50.

Ramsgate Renaissance

Ramsgate Renaissance (Policy EC8) envisages development of Ramsgate Waterfront as a major visitor destination, within a potential two-hour drive time of 15 million people. A comprehensive transportation study and parking strategy will be required to assess the overall impact of such development and achieve comprehensive solutions to balance successful development while minimising the environmental impact of vehicles on the Waterfront and wider town area. Proposals will be expected to incorporate visitor coach parking facilities and consider rail/bus as an acceptable alternative to car use.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR9 - RAMSGATE RENAISSANCE

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF RAMSGATE WATERFRONT AS A MAJOR VISITOR DESTINATION WILL BE ASSESSED THROUGH A COMPREHENSIVE TRANSPORTATION STUDY AND PARKING STRATEGY DEMONSTRATING MEASURES TO MINIMISE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ARISING FROM VEHICLE MOVEMENT. INDIVIDUAL PROPOSALS WILL BE REQUIRED TO INCLUDE GREEN TRAVEL PLANS (POLICY TR15) AND SPECIFIC MEASURES REFLECTING SOLUTIONS PROPOSED IN THE COMPREHENSIVE TRANSPORTATION STUDY AND PARKING STRATEGY.

5.51.

Coach Parking

The tourist trade in Thanet depends to a large extent on coach business. Secure sites to park coaches are, therefore, required. Coach park sites at Palm Bay and The Rendezvous, Margate, and Vere Road in Broadstairs are currently used for such purposes. The Rendezvous site provides a location convenient for day visitors to Margate, but may be affected by future leisure proposals. The Council will consider the provision of coach parking in Ramsgate as part of the District Transport Plan review. In addition, proposals for development at Ramsgate Waterfront as a major visitor destination will be expected to incorporate coach-parking facilities.

5.52.

Coach travel is to be encouraged as an acceptable alternative to car based visitor travel. The Council will seek to identify specific on-street coach “set down/pick up” points near major destinations to promote convenience of coach travel.

POLICY TR10 - COACH PARKING

THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL RETAIN SITES SPECIFICALLY FOR COACH PARKING TO SERVE THE TOURIST TRADE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

  1. VERE ROAD, BROADSTAIRS
  2. PALM BAY CAR PARK

THE RENDEZVOUS CAR PARK, MARGATE WILL ALSO BE RETAINED FOR THIS PURPOSE UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ALTERNATIVE COACH PARKING PROVISION HAS BEEN ADDRESSED THROUGH MARGATE OLD TOWN ACTION PLAN.

5.53.

Promoting Sustainable Travel Choices.

The District Transport Plan and this Local Plan aim to reduce reliance on private cars, especially for local journeys. While the Plans’ approaches are not anti-car they aim to reduce the need to travel and promote walking, cycling and public transport as environmentally-friendly alternatives. Reducing reliance on cars in favour of more environment-friendly modes is fundamentally dependent on improvements to their reliability, convenience, and personal security. The following policies promote such improvements and the establishment of a network of suitable routes. Specific guidance on designing for personal security and disabled people is set out in the Design Chapter. Policy CC7 safeguards the historic and landscape interest of certain rural lanes. The identification and protection of such lanes may help promote the health and recreational benefits of walking and cycling.

5.54.

Walking

Walking is pollution-free and has no age or income barriers. The Council intends to give priority to walking as a healthy and enjoyable means of travel. The locational policies in this Plan will enable more journeys to be undertaken on foot. However, it is also essential that pedestrians are safely and conveniently able to move between destinations. Thanet contains a reasonable network of statutory public footpaths. Policy SR17 seeks to safeguard statutory rights of way and promote their usage. However, non-pedestrianised areas of the town centres and rural roads without footpaths present a hostile and cardominated environment for the pedestrian. Special attention is required in improving the safety and convenience along common desire lines, in particular for Thanet’s vulnerable citizens including school children, women, parents with perambulators, the elderly and other people with limited mobility.

5.55.

The Council will investigate provision and signposting of convenient, attractive pedestrian areas and links along desire lines in and between the town centres, car parks, railway stations, public transport stops, taxi ranks, safe routes to schools and other public buildings. Such improvements will be considered when formulating Conservation Area enhancement schemes referred to in paragraphs 7.38 & 7.39.

5.56.

During the Local Plan period it is anticipated that schemes for pedestrian improvements will be prepared and implemented as follows:

Enhancement of pedestrian links between Margate Station, Seafront and Old Town / Town Centre.

Pedestrianisation of:

  • Lower High Street, Margate
  • Part of Turner Street, Ramsgate to improve link from car park to town centre.

Enhancement of pedestrian facilities and revised traffic management system in Broadstairs town centre. 

Widening of footways and enhancement of pedestrian crossing facilities around Station Road, Birchington.

5.57.

(See also paragraph relating to Military Road, Ramsgate under above heading “Port of Ramsgate”). The Council will seek to promote development of a network of pedestrian links from housing areas to out of town work locations. These areas and links would include pedestrian priority at road crossing points, incorporate seating and other features to assist pedestrians with limited mobility, and be designed to maximise personal security. New development will be expected to promote walking as a prime means of access.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR11 - PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT

NEW DEVELOPMENT WILL BE EXPECTED TO PROVIDE FOR SAFE, CONVENIENT ACCESS AND MOVEMENT BY PEDESTRIANS. PROPOSALS WILL BE EXPECTEDTO DEMONSTRATE REGARD FOR THE NEEDS OF VULNERABLE GROUPS INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY, THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITH YOUNG CHILDREN.

THE DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILS WILL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE NEEDS OF PEDESTRIANS, AND VULNERABLE GROUPS IN THE DESIGN OF NEW ROADS, AND JUNCTIONS, ROAD IMPROVEMENTS AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SCHEMES.

THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO PERMIT PROPOSALS TO PROVIDE NEW PEDESTRIAN ROUTES/NETWORKS OR IMPROVE THE CONVENIENCE, ACCESSIBILITY AND SAFETY OF EXISTING PEDESTRIAN LINKS/DESIRE LINES INCLUDING BETWEEN PUBLIC TRANSPORT STOPS, TOWN CENTRES, RESIDENTIAL AREAS, SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOLS AND OTHER PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

5.58.

Cycling

Cycling can provide an alternative to the car for short trips and form part of longer journeys by public transport. It is the Council’s policy to encourage greater use of cycling as a healthy, enjoyable, efficient, pollution-free and cheap means of transport. Thanet has the highest recorded cycle usage (as a percentage of movements) in the County, and exceeds the national level. Greater use of cycling in Thanet will require safe, continuous, direct and attractive cycleways, together with facilities for secure cycle storage at interchange points and destinations. The Council has published a Thanet Cycling Plan, (developed in association with local cycling groups), and, in conjunction with the County Council, will seek provision of a network of cycleroutes using existing routes and where appropriate extensions to the primary route network. This includes part of the “Sustrans” National Cycle Network, which runs through Thanet, together with priority links between residential areas, places of work, schools, stations and town centres. The Council is taking every opportunity to introduce cycle routes in accordance with Thanet Cycling Plan (now incorporated in the District Transport Plan) as and where possible, as funding permits. This may include by direct provision/contributions associated with development proposals (Policy TR 14 refers).

5.59.

Other measures to improve cyclist safety, including advance stop lines and controlled crossing facilities, will be promoted. Specific improvements which will be pursued in the local plan period include encouraging access improvements and long term cycle parking at Ramsgate and Margate Stations, introduction of advisory cycle lanes along the A254 Ramsgate Road, Margate to Westwood Industrial Estate.

5.60.

Thanet Cycling Plan aims to establish a comprehensive safe network of cycle routes catering for all journey purposes, and features existing and proposed routes. In order to facilitate provision of an appropriate route network, Policy TR12a of this Plan safeguards proposed cycle routes from development that could prejudice their implementation. The Cycling Plan is updated periodically to reflect the evolving network. It is not therefore practical or helpful to feature proposed cycle routes on the Local Plan proposals map, and for the purposes of Policy TR12a, the Thanet Cycling Plan is the appropriate source of reference.

5.61.

New development generating travel demand will be expected to promote cycling by demonstrating that the access needs of cyclists have been taken into account, and through provision of cycle parking and changing facilities. (Secure parking facilities and changing/shower facilities will encourage use of cycling.) The Council will judge cycle parking provision against the standards set out in the Appendices.

POLICY TR12 - CYCLING

IN ORDER TO PROMOTE INCREASED USE OF CYCLING:

  1. THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK THE PROVISION AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY, OF A NETWORK OF CYCLE ROUTES. PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR ANY DEVELOPMENT, WHICH WOULD PREJUDICE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PROPOSED CYCLE ROUTES.
  2. THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK THE INCORPORATION OF FACILITIES FOR CYCLISTS INTO THE DESIGN OF NEW AND IMPROVED ROADS, JUNCTION IMPROVEMENTS AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROPOSALS.
  3. SUBSTANTIAL DEVELOPMENT GENERATING TRAVEL DEMAND WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE CONVENIENT AND SECURE CYCLE-PARKING AND CHANGING FACILITIES. PROPOSALS TO PROVIDE SUCH FACILITIES AS PART OF DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS IN TOWN CENTRES AND AT TRANSPORT INTERCHANGES, SCHOOLS AND PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT WILL BE PERMITTED.

AND

  1. IN NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT FACILITIES FOR THE SECURE PARKING AND STORAGE OF CYCLES SHOULD BE PROVIDED OR, IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NOT PROVIDED, THE DESIGN SHOULD FACILITATE THE PROVISION IN FUTURE.
5.62.

Public Transport

Public transport has a major part to play in the realisation of a sustainable lifestyle by reducing car usage and thus pollution. Thanet has the lowest car ownership in Kent, which means that public transport is vital for personal mobility. A good public transport network is therefore important so that both these issues are addressed.

5.63.

The District Council has no direct control over the provision of bus and rail services. However, in its planning and other functions the Council will support the continuation and improvement of an effective public transport service for both bus and rail. The Council works in partnership with public transport operators and Kent County Council through a Quality Bus Partnership to establish a network of efficient routes with good interchanges well related to the locational policies of this Local Plan. Developer contributions will be used to facilitate implementation of such improvements. (Policy TR14 refers.) In addition the District Council will expect new developments to take into account the needs of public transport. This could include various measures such as designing in waiting areas or the provision of signposting and bus shelters.

5.64.

Buses

The Council recognises that buses have an important role to play in providing a flexible alternative to the private car. The Council’s Bus Strategy considers a range of measures, many of which are outside the scope of planning control, intended to facilitate more reliable services, improved service information, easier interchange between rail and local buses, introduction of buses accessible to passengers with limited mobility and provision of community buses for passengers whose needs cannot currently be met by commercially operating services. This Local Plan supports development that will facilitate greater use of and improvement to bus services. New development will be expected to provide or contribute towards appropriate improvements.

5.65.

The District together with Kent County Council has entered a Quality Bus Partnership with the major local commercial bus operator in order to promote reliable, attractive and convenient service networks. The District Council has already embarked on a programme of general improvements including shelter renewal/modernisation and installation of “bus boarders”. The Councils have identified three “Quality Bus Corridors” (featured in the Appendices) where investment will be targeted in promoting phased improvements to reliability and passenger information, including approach-time information display at passenger stops. In preparing traffic management schemes, the Council will give sympathetic consideration to the needs of buses including the provision of bus priority measures where appropriate.

5.66.

Rail

Capacity exists for increased use of rail for local journeys. Thanet has seven railway stations serving the main centres of the District. Not all stations are conveniently located in relation to popular destinations and centres of population gravity. The Council intends to work with the local rail operator to promote greater use of rail in preference to cars for journeys within the District and East Kent. Rail/bus interchange facilities have been implemented at Ramsgate, and are planned for Minster Railway Station within the plan period.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR13 - PUBLIC TRANSPORT FACILITIES

THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO APPROVE PROPOSALS TO FACILTATE USE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT, INCLUDING: -

  • PROVISION/IMPROVEMENT OF PASSENGER INFORMATION AND WAITING FACILITIES
  • DEVELOPMENT REQUIRED TO IMPROVE PERSONAL SECURITY AND ACCESSIBILITY FOR PEOPLE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY
  • BUS/RAIL INTERCHANGE FACILITIES
  • SECURE CYCLE STORAGE AT RAIL STATIONS

ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE NEEDS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT, AND WHERE OPPORTUNITIES ARISE, IMPROVED FACILITIES FOR WAITING PASSENGERS.

5.67.

Providing Sustainable Transport Facilities for New Development

The District Transport Plan sets out a six-year programme of action to develop and improve sustainable transport facilities and networks well related to development patterns envisaged in this Local Plan. Development of certain types and size may bring forward the need for these programmed or additional improvements. For example, housing or other travel generating development located within 400 metres of the cycle network, proposed pedestrian links or/and quality bus corridors (featured in Appendices) would normally be expected to contribute to their provision/improvement (Policy TR14). This Local Plan sets out the nature of any improvements expected to be provided in connection with specific site allocations. However, the Council will assess all development proposals to establish the travel demands they will generate. Theemphasis of such assessments will be to promote sustainable travel, and the impact development will have in terms of capacity of networks and facilities in the vicinity of the site. Where assessments indicate a need to bring forward or provide additional transport improvements, the Council will require the developer to provide or contribute to the cost of achieving the appropriate improvements. It will seek to do this by means of a planning obligation. (Policy TR3 refers). In particular, proposals for travel-generating development in the vicinity of Westwood Cross will be required to provide/contribute towards such improvements, including specific improvements along the quality bus corridors that link Westwood to the rest of the plan area. Appendix F identifies some relevant quality bus corridors. Subsequent assessment may identify other quality bus corridors.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR14 - PROVISION OF FACILITIES FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE ASSESSED IN TERMS OF THE TYPE AND LEVEL OF TRAVEL DEMAND LIKELY TO BE GENERATED. PROPOSALS EXPECTED TO RESULT IN A NEED TO IMPROVE OR BRING FORWARD PROGRAMMED IMPROVEMENTS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT, WALKING OR CYCLING FACILITIES OR INFRASTRUCTURE WILL BE REQUIRED TO INCORPORATE OR CONTRIBUTE TO THE COST OF THEIR PROVISION. SUBJECT TO INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENTS, SCHEMES MAY BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE OR CONTRIBUTE TO:

  • CAPACITY IMPROVEMENTS/CONNECTIONS TO THE CYCLE NETWORK
  • PROVISION OF PEDESTRIAN LINKS WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORT ROUTES/INTERCHANGES
  • IMPROVEMENTS TO PASSENGER WAITING FACILITIES
  • FACILITIES FOR DISPLAY OF APPROACH TIME INFORMATION AT BUS STOPS ALONG IDENTIFIED QUALITY BUS CORRIDORS
  • IMPROVEMENT OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICES
5.68.

Green Travel Plans

The effectiveness of policies promoting sustainable travel fundamentally depends on the preferences and behaviour of individuals, businesses and organisations. The Council intends to use its planning powers to encourage reduction in work place parking in favour of alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport. The Council is keen to promote the use of Green Travel Plans as a means of influencing travel decisions by individuals and businesses in support of sustainable travel objectives. It will encourage preparation of Green Travel Plans by local businesses and other organisations, and proposes to prepare supplementary advice setting out model provisions which may be helpful. Examples of measures in Green Travel Plans include specific initiatives to travel on foot, by cycle or public transport, make shared use of cars and secure reduced traffic speeds.

5.69.

The Council will expect Green Travel Plans to accompany planning applications for development likely to generate significant travel demand in locations where car reduction and non-car travel is promoted in the Local Plan, or where specific transport problems may otherwise arise. In particular, Green Travel Plans will be required in respect of major development including jobs, leisure, and services and for development at allocated business parks, Kent International Airport, the Westwood retail area and Ramsgate Waterfront. The content of Green Travel Plans will be expected to be drawn up in consultation with the Council and local transport providers, and applications should include or provide any facilities needed to enable their implementation. The Council will aim to secure implementation of Green Travel Plans through use of planning conditions or obligations.

5.70.

School Travel Plans

The Council wishes to develop working partnerships with schools and the education authorities to promote safe and environmentally friendly travel to and from schools. Encouraging walking and cycling to schools will also promote health and independence. The objective will be to identify suitable measures for inclusion in School Travel Plans to improve pupil safety, reduce the need to use cars for the daily school run and hence reduce the effects of congestion and vehicle emissions arising.

POLICY TR15 - GREEN TRAVEL PLANS

DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS LIKELY TO GENERATE SIGNIFICANT TRAVEL DEMAND AND/OR TRAFFIC MOVEMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO DEMONSTRATE, THROUGH GREEN TRAVEL PLANS, SPECIFIC MEASURES TO ENCOURAGE AND FACILITATE USE OF WALKING, CYCLING AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN PREFERENCE TO PRIVATE CAR TRAVEL.

THE COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO APPROVE MEASURES, WHICH WILL ASSIST IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN TRAVEL PLANS AND SCHOOL TRAVEL PLANS.

5.71.

Car Parking

The availability of car parking is a major influence on choice of means of travel. This Plan recognises the need to maintain some car parking provision, for example, to provide choice of travel to urban centres, while restricting provision in new development in order to optimise site development potential, and promote sustainable transport choice. The District Council is preparing a comprehensive parking strategy to inform detailed parking policy. Important objectives will be to encourage greater use of public transport, walking and cycling for local journeys in preference to private cars, and secure effective enforcement to facilitate safe and efficient traffic movement.

5.72.

The Council will expect new development to make efficient use of sites and optimise site development potential. Accordingly, it will encourage well-designed schemes that correspondingly minimise the proportion of the site used to accommodate the appropriate level of car parking, for example, incorporating, where feasible, underground or multi-storey car parking.

5.73.

In determining proposals for development including residential, the Council intends to apply maximum levels of parking provision to be permitted. These maximum levels are set out in Appendix G. The Council will expect lower or nil provision to be considered where sites are well located in relation to public transport and a range of services. Significant reductions to maximum standards will also be expected in residential development where conversion is involved and where off-street parking may be difficult to design in, or where the size or nature of the accommodation can be expected to generate lower car parking demand than family housing. Special justification would be needed for residential schemes involving average parking provision exceeding 1.5 spaces per dwelling, in order to promote sustainable residential environments.

5.74.

The Regional Transport Strategy points to the need to restrict parking provisions below the levels set in Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 (PPG13) in view of the need to promote non-car travel in the Region. A maximum of 70% of the parking levels contained in PPG13 is considered appropriate to the areas covered by the following policy, and this is reflected in the standards set out in Appendix G. The levels set out in PPG13 do not cover all land uses, for example residential. In such circumstances where particular land uses are not covered in the Appendix then a maximum car parking level will be calculated as 70% of the Kent County Council Vehicle Parking Standards.

5.75.

Where appropriate parking provision for service vehicles will also be required in accordance with the County Council’s vehicle parking standards.

5.76.

Town Centres

In towns centres the objective is to reduce the dominance of the private car in favour of walking, cycling and public transport, and to maximise site development potential. Accordingly the approach is to make better use of parking facilities that already exist, rather than providing more, and to apply charging and enforcement policies designed to encourage use of town centre public car parks for short-term parking, and to prevent displacement of parking pressures beyond the immediate town centre area. Structure Plan policy aims to resist A2/B1 uses in larger town centres where these would lead to additional non-operational parking, in order to reduce long-stay parking provision.

5.77.

With the exception of Ramsgate Renaissance (see Policy TR9) the Council does not propose to create any additional off-street public car parks. New development will be expected to rely on existing public car parks and non-car transport to accommodate customer and employee needs and will be discouraged from providing dedicated car parking. In some instances a limited amount of parking provision for disabled people may be appropriate. Adequate off-highway servicing of business uses will continue to be required.

5.78.

Secondary Shopping Areas

In Secondary Shopping areas including Birchington, and Northdown Road, non-car transport and optimum use of existing public and on street provision for short stay will be encouraged through appropriate charges and enforcement.

5.79.

Outside the areas referred to above, the Council will monitor the situation, and consider appropriate measures and mechanisms to address any problems identified.

POLICY TR16 - CAR PARKING PROVISION

  1. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO MAKE SATISFACTORY PROVISION FOR THE PARKING OF VEHICLES (INCLUDING, WHERE APPROPRIATE, SERVICE VEHICLES).

    PROPOSALS SEEKING CAR PARKING PROVISION ABOVE THE STANDARDS SET OUT IN APPENDIX G WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

    IN CONSERVATION AREAS WHERE PROVISION OF PARKING IN LINE WITH THIS POLICY WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER OF THE CONSERVATION AREA OR HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE SETTING OF A LISTED BUILDING OR ANCIENT MONUMENT THEN EXCEPTIONS MAY BE MADE.

  2. WITHIN THE TOWN CENTRE AREAS OF RAMSGATE, MARGATE AND BROADSTAIRS (AS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP), NEW DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WILL NOT BE REQUIRED OR EXPECTED TO PROVIDE ON-SITE CAR PARKING SPACES. ON SITE NON-OPERATIONAL PARKING FOR A2/B1 USE WILL BE RESISTED.

5.80.

Retention of Existing Car Parking

The attractiveness of town centres for business, shoppers, residents and tourists depends amongst other things on an adequate level of car parking and effective enforcement of traffic regulations to prevent illegal parking on the highway and on public footpaths and grass verges.

POLICY TR17 - RETENTION OF EXISTING CAR PARKING

IN TOWN CENTRES AND IN THE CLIFTONVILLE SHOPPING AREA THE EXISTING LEVEL OF OFF-STREET PUBLIC CAR PARKING WILL BE RETAINED. DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REFUSED WHERE THIS RESULTS IN THE LOSS OF PUBLICLY AVAILABLE OFF-STREET CAR PARKING IN THESE CENTRES UNLESS:

  1. A PROPOSAL MAKES SATISFACTORY REPLACEMENT AS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT OR ON A SUITABLE SITE

OR

  1. THE LOSS OF PARKING SPACE IS A DIRECT RESULT OF PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENT MEASURES
5.81.

Westwood and Out-Of-Centre Locations

At Westwood many individual stores already have large, free car parks, and collectively Westwood is over provided with car parking. This situation also applies at out-of-centre locations, including specifically Asda at Westwood Road, Broadstairs, B&Q and Halfords at Ramsgate Road, Margate, Focus Do-It-All, Pyson’s Road, and Tesco at Manston Road, Ramsgate. The Council will seek to encourage non-car travel to Westwood and the above out-of centre locations. It will restrict parking provision, and encourage developers to work with the Council to reduce existing parking provision, develop better access, services and facilities for customers who wish to walk, cycle or arrive by public transport. It will seek to achieve this through cooperation with developers and use of its planning powers in relation to any proposals to extend existing or build new commercial development including retail and leisure.

POLICY TR18 - CAR PARKING AT WESTWOOD AND OUT OF CENTRE LOCATIONS

AT WESTWOOD AND THE OUT-OF CENTRE LOCATIONS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, NEW COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WILL BE EXPECTED TO DEMONSTRATE SPECIFIC MEASURES TO ENCOURAGE AT LEAST 20% OF CUSTOMERS TO ARRIVE AT THE SITE BY MEANS OTHER THAN CAR.

SUCH MEASURES WILL INCLUDE RESTRICTING TOTAL LEVELS OF CAR PARKING PROVISION AS FOLLOWS AND WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF A LEGAL AGREEMENT.

  • CAR PARKING PROVISION IN NEW DEVELOPMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM LEVELS OF PROVISION SET OUT IN APPENDIX G.
    • WHERE NEW DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED AT SITES WITH EXISTING CAR PARKING THEN SHARED USE OF CAR PARKING WILL BE EXPECTED AND TOTAL PROVISION, ASSESSED ON THE BASIS OF RESULTANT TOTAL FLOORSPACE OF EXISTING AND NEW DEVELOPMENT, SHALL NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM LEVELS OF PROVISION SET OUT IN APPENDIX G. 

WHERE EXTENSIONS TO PREMISES ARE PROPOSED THEN NO NEW CAR PARKING PROVISION WILL BE PERMITTED. REPLACEMENT OF ANY CAR PARKING LOST AS A RESULT OF SUCH DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS SPECIAL JUSTIFICATION CAN BE DEMONSTRATED.

5.82.

Traffic Management

The District Transport Plan contains a package of traffic management proposals. These aim to improve priority for people over traffic in town centres, improve air quality, enhance the street environment and improve road safety in sensitive locations such as residential areas, rural locations lacking footways, shopping streets and near schools. Specific measures include: -

  • Application of zone-based charging for on- and off-street parking and enforcement of parking restrictions.
  • Consultation and introduction of traffic calming measures including education, enforcement and physical measures such as narrowings and speed tables/cushions.
  • Identification of further locations (for example, in town centres, residential areas and near schools) where 20 mph speed limits, traffic calming and traffic restrictions could be tested.
5.83.

Many of these measures are outside the scope of land use planning. Support for introduction of new traffic calming measures in the Thanet Villages is expressed in Policy R6.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR19 - TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT MEASURES

DEVELOPMENT REQUIRED TO IMPLEMENT TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT MEASURES DESIGNED TO REALISE THE BEST USE OF THE HIGHWAY NETWORK IN TERMS OF SAFETY, TRAFFIC CAPACITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS WILL BE APPROVED.

5.84.

Telecommunications

The District Council recognises that the development of telecommunications is essential to quality of life and to the economy at all levels, can facilitate local economic growth, and safeguard the environment through reducing the need to travel. Electronic communication links are potentially of great significance for Thanet’s growing potential as a competitive business location. In particular, the development of Broadband communication services, enabling rapid electronic interchange, will potentially attract hi-tech business investment as well as benefiting domestic users. Accordingly the Council will aim to facilitate, and benefit from direct connection to, these developing high-speed services.

5.85.

The District Council will seek to accommodate development required to facilitate the growth of telecommunications in general and the evolving requirements and growth of telecommunications operators. In recognising the wider benefits of telecommunication facilities the District Council remains committed to safeguarding Thanet's environmental quality. Location of telecommunication facilities may be constrained by technical considerations, and the District Council will seek to accommodate such developments in a way which minimises environmental impact. Mast sharing may be beneficial in reducing visual impact depending on location, and the resultant size and appearance of any structure. Applicants seeking erection of new masts will be expected to show evidence that they have explored the possibility of erecting antennae on an existing building, mast or other structure.

5.86.

Telecommunications technology has raised certain concerns. The Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP), under the chairmanship of Sir William Stewart FRS FRSE, considered concerns regarding possible health effects from electromagnetic fields associated with mobile phone technology. While this found no evidence to suggest that base (transmission) stations put the health of the general population at risk, the Government has adopted the Group’s recommendation to adopt a “precautionary approach” (comprising a series of scientific measures) until more robust and detailed information on health effects is available. Specific recommendations accepted by Government include independent audit of base station emissions against approved guidelines, exclusion zones around base stations antennae to prevent public exposure to radio frequency radiation above approved guidelines and a substantial research programme.

5.87.

Government has accepted the recommendation that base stations should, as a precautionary measure meet the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation protection (ICNIRP) for limiting public exposure. Government planning guidance (PPG8) states that all new base stations are expected to meet ICNIRP guidelines, and that applications for apparatus should include a statement that, when operational, it will meet the guidelines.

5.88.

In seeking to operate within the precautionary principle the District Council will have regard to the Stewart Group’s report and relevant Government Planning Policy Guidance. Where the Council is satisfied that development will not exceed ICNIRP guidelines it will, in general, regard such development acceptable in terms of impact on health.

5.89.

The County Council as county planning authority proposes to develop a strategy for development of telecommunication facilities of national, regional and countywide importance. This will enable the local plan to consider the optimum siting for any such facilities, which may require to be located in the District. In the absence of any known locational requirements, the following policy sets out the general considerations, which will be applied to telecommunications development.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) TR20 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS

IN EXERCISING ITS PLANNING POWERS, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO ACCOMMODATE THE DEVELOPMENT NEEDS OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPERATORS WHILE SAFEGUARDING ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY IN THE DISTRICT.

PROPOSALS WILL BE REQUIRED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT VISUAL IMPACT HAS BEEN MINIMISED THROUGH CAREFUL SITING, DESIGN, AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, LANDSCAPING.

5.90.

Occupiers of new housing, offices and other development will require to be connected to telecommunications networks. The impact of associated cables etc can be effectively reduced if adequate underground ducting etc can be designed in, at the outset. The District Council will expect developers to consider the telecommunications needs of the future occupiers in designing new development. A specific policy relating to satellite television dish antennae is set out in the Design Chapter.

TARGETS

LP Implementation Target
Policy AreaSustainable Travel (Cycling)
Relevant PoliciesTR 12
Indicator% total trips which are undertaken by cycle
TargetAt least 6% of all trips to be made by cycle by end of Local Plan period
MonitoringAvailable information on proportion of trips (e.g. Thanet Travel Survey)
LP Implementation Target
Policy AreaCar Parking Provision
Relevant PoliciesTR 16
IndicatorLevel of car parking provision compared to the policy
Target100% new development should not exceed car parking provision set out in the policy
MonitoringCar parking provision shown in planning approvals
LP Implementation Target
Policy AreaCar Parking
Relevant PoliciesTR 17
IndicatorDevelopment permitted which would result in net loss of existing level of off-street public car parking in coastal town centres
TargetRetention of 100% of existing off-street car parking provision in town centres excluding Westwood
MonitoringPlanning approvals resulting in loss of car parking provision in coastal town centres

ANNEX 1

List of Key Projects to Be Addressed In Local Plan Period 

  • Public Transport Interchange at Westwood
  • Comprehensive network of cycle routes including around coast, schools and other major traffic generators.
  • School Travel Plans in place for 50% of Thanet Schools.
  • Traffic management/improvements to highways to facilitate development of Kent International Airport and movement of work force by reduced dependence on private cars.
  • Improvements to the A256 and A299 to facilitate area regeneration

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