The Future of Charing Village & Parish

Neighbourhood Development Plans come out of the Government’s determination to ensure that local communities are closely involved in the decisions which affect them. The Charing Neighbourhood Development Plan has been developed to establish vision and objectives for the parish and to help deliver the local community’s aspirations and needs for the period up to 2030. Unlike the Charing Parish Plan, 2008, upon which it builds, our Neighbourhood Development Plan is a statutory document that will be incorporated into the Borough planning frameworks and must be used by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to determine planning applications.

Our Plan has been developed from the combined efforts of parishioners, volunteers, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee (NPSC), and the Charing Parish Council (CPC) to ensure that local opinion was at the centre of the Plan. A wide range of processes were used in formulating this Plan in order to influence the well-being, sustainability, and long-term preservation of our rural community. Every effort, therefore, has been made to ensure that the policies contained in this document reflect the consensus view of parishioners.

Nominally the plan covers 2011 to 2030, the planning period on which Ashford’s Local Plan is based. In practice, given where we are, it is a plan for the 2020s.

Charing, particularly Charing village, is facing substantial change over the next decade due to the substantial amount of housebuilding that has been (largely) imposed on it by Ashford Borough Council which in turn is reacting to heavy government pressure. A key thought behind the Neighbourhood Plan is therefore ensuring that policies, infrastructure and facilities are put into place that ensure that quality of life remains as good as, and if possible better than, now for both existing and future residents. The Plan is however more than that and has looked at all aspects of life in the parish aiming to preserve and enhance the many features that are good and mitigate those that are less good.

Our vision for the parish of Charing at the end of the plan period is that both new and existing residents will be enjoying the same benefits or greater benefits of living in the village and parish as current residents do and that the area will be an even more attractive community in which to live and work.