The Parishes of Brabourne and Smeeth have jointly developed a policy position on their behalf and would also like to promote the management and control of the cumulative effects of development on the local area through the inclusion of an area specific policy within the Local Plan.

The village protection policy (VPP) is intended to provide a co-ordinated policy basis for the consideration of development proposals in a defined character area around the village centres of Brabourne Lees, Smeeth and East Brabourne. The collective concern of the two parishes is to protect the intrinsic character of these three areas of the villages.

The VPP is not intended as an ‘anti-development’ policy, but it seeks to set a series of bespoke criteria that can be applied to proposals to ensure that they are acceptable in terms of their impact on the local area. Small scale development of up to around10 properties will be welcomed, encouraged and supported in the right locations.

The policy is intended to be a key consideration in the determination of development proposals within the settlement area by setting out criteria which development proposals are required to meet.

Proposals for new development in the Brabourne village area will only be permitted on sites adjacent to or within the defined built up areas of existing settlements provided that all of the following criteria are met:

a) The development respects the character of the area, its landscape setting, historic and archaeological reference points and sites of biodiversity value, and in particular, can demonstrate that it will not exacerbate current impacts to existing verges, the street amenity in villages, or rural activities that sensitive to development impacts;

b) It can be demonstrated that the development will not on its own or cumulatively as a result of other permitted, committed or planned schemes within or adjacent to Brabourne village generate a type or amount of traffic that would be inappropriate to the rural road network that serves it;

c) There would be no significant impact either individually or cumulatively as a result of other permitted, committed or planned schemes within or adjacent to Brabourne village on the character of or important features within the sub area including the rural lanes, verges and hedgerows which cross the area ; and

d) There would be no significant impact on the amenities of occupiers of any neighbouring properties.

In accordance with national planning policy and guidance, the existing policies within the Local Plan are required to be supported by evidence including (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Photographic evidence identifying key architectural characteristics of the sub area
  • Photographic evidence and written justification of areas considered by the local community to be valuable, ecological assets
  • Identification of locations within the sub area that are socially/environmentally sensitive
  • Traffic counts (number and vehicle class)
  • Speed data
  • Crash data • Photographic evidence demonstrating damage to footways / carriageways and hedgerows etc. caused by HGVs