Frequently Asked Questions from the Consultation Feedback

Why is the proposal in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB)?

To ensure the homes remain affordable for local people in perpetuity, local needs housing is built on Rural Exception Sites. This is land that wouldn’t usually gain planning approval for housing, however the Rural Exception Site planning policy permits such development, provided the homes meet the in-perpetuity/ local connection criteria. It is not possible to restrict affordable housing built on brownfield sites to local people in perpetuity.

How will you ensure that the design of the homes reflect the rural location?

As a rural specialist housing association, English Rural is aware that rural exception sites are located in sensitive rural areas and recognise the need to ensure that the design and build quality reflect the local vernacular. This is why we always seek comments and local feedback from the Parish Council and wider community, on the preliminary designs.

Is the development in a flood plain?

No. The Environment Agency’s flood mapping service confirms that the proposed development is in the lowest category of concern for flooding, flood zone 1. Part of the landscaping just inside the Southern boundary falls within zone 2 or 3, however no development is proposed in this area. As part of the design process, we are commissioning soakage tests to be carried out at the site to confirm geology and inform the drainage strategy that will be submitted with the planning application.

What are you doing about sustainability?

One of our key aims is to provide homes for local people that are not only affordable to build and maintain, but affordable for residents to live in. Where mains gas is not available, such as here, our solution is to provide each home with an air source heat pump to provide heating and hot water. These low carbon technology units are between 250 and 400% efficient and do not burn fossil fuels at point of use. Whilst these units are typically double the cost of a gas boiler installation, air source heat pumps can help residents avoid the fuel poverty trap. Hard surfaces such as drives will be permeable where ground conditions allow, and we install a water butt to every home. Our homes are well insulated, and we have a requirement that they reach an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of ‘B 85’. We install triple glazed windows throughout our new homes. All our homes are provided with a cycle storage shed. A rotary linen line to discourage the use of tumble dryers is also provided to each home.

How will drainage be dealt with?

We are currently considering the means of foul drainage with our consulting Engineers. All proposed drainage would be strictly controlled by planning condition and Building Regulations to ensure that sewers are not overloaded and that the proposals do not create problems downstream. All surface water (ie rain water) will be dealt with on the proposed development site using a combination of soakaways, permeable paving and/or other sustainable drainage systems.

How many parking spaces have you allowed for each dwelling?

Parking provision will exceed that required by Kent County Council Highway policy, all homes are being provided with a minimum of two parking spaces. . In addition, English Rural provided secure cycle parking to all our homes to reduce vehicle trips and encourage healthier forms of travel.

What about disruption during the build process?

We recognise that building work can create some noise and disruption at times, but we aim to keep this to an absolute minimum. Any granting of planning permission will normally include a condition that strict working hours must be adhered to. We expect any appointed building contractor to be courteous and understanding throughout the construction process and to communicate amiably with neighbours prior to and during the construction process.