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View north towards Holy Innocents church. William Turrell 16 October 2022

Local Plan updates: new draft expected February 2024

(updated )


  • Redrafting process expected to take 6 months: approx. August 2023 to January 2024

  • 31 July: working group to meet for first time, then at "monthly" intervals

  • Aim to publish new plan in February 2024 (another "draft" with 12-week "Reg 18" consultation)

  • Sturry Road Park & Ride to reopen April 2024

  • Council votes to increase number of councillors from 39 to 50, reversing 2015 reduction

We are unlikely to discover the fate of the "new town" and other until spring next year.

In a press release on 12 July, the Council confirmed the formation of a cross-party working group and a new 12-week "Section 18" consultation on the redrafted plan once published. Latest media reports suggest this may not now be until around February 2024.

A cross-party "working group" was formed in July (to be chaired by Pat Edwards - Labour. It has nine members - four Labour, two Liberal Democrat, two Conservative and one Green). It will eventually report its findings to a council committee and the full council will decide whether to adopt the new plan.

This plan is likely to have a "bus led" public transport policy, as an alternative to the bypasses proposed in the original. New roads are very expensive to build; these were to be funded with income from the larger development schemes such as R1(the new town between Adisham/Aylesham).

There remains the opportunity to reduce the plan's length so it ends earlier than 2045 - an idea originally advanced by the Lib Dems. The plan length determines the overall number of new houses required, using a national government calculation called the "standard method". A reduced target would allow controversial sites to be removed.

Plan Timeline

The consultation responses already submitted need to be reviewed, and there will need to two public consultations on the redrafted plan - the first will be a repeat of the "Regulation 18" consultation that began in October 2022.

Once the council has consulted and is happy with it's own plan, it has to be submitted to a government inspector. The inspector will conduct an Examination in Public to determine if the plan is "sound" and meets legal requirements. At that point, it is "adopted".

Park and Ride

On Tue 1 August the council considered a report on reopening Sturry Road Park and Ride and voted to do so in April 2024. The site was "mothballed" in April 2022.


We are also keeping an eye on developments at Dover District Council. Dover are further advanced with their Local Plan, which includes developments affecting Aylesham and Womenswold. One of the tasks of the EiP is to determine that local authorities have co-operated with one another when preparing their plans.

In addition to adding new information, this article was corrected on 30 July to increase the number of members of the working party from seven to nine, with two extra Labour councillors.