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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 109 - Creating a responsive development framework

109 - Ashford Local Development Framework (LDF)

The Ashford Local Development Framework provides a spatial planning strategy for the town and its surroundings. The Framework has set out a clear plan for the development of the town, including the identification of key sites and the associated transport, environmental, social and commercial infrastructure requirements. It has also proposed a logical programme for development.

The development industry has embraced the principles of the framework on key sites because of the range of benefits it delivers. This includes shortened negotiation, improved communication between different stakeholders, greater understanding by key local decision makers and reduced uncertainty due to political support.

The framework is informed by spatial considerations alongside related technical studies on transport, water environment (supply, waste and flooding) and the economy. These were all focused around the aspect of ‘capacity’ i.e. the extent of growth possible within acceptable environmental, economic and social limits. The framework was developed at various scales, for example, the overall development framework, a strategic design code for major strategic sites, a town centre framework and key transport corridor frameworks. Each level was informed by design workshops involving key stakeholders from all sectors – political, service providers, local people and groups and developers.

The application of the framework has fed into the Borough’s LDF, core strategies and plans for:

  • Taming the ring road and creating two-way streets
  • Site planning at the larger scale
  • Setting design parameters in more specific studies for corridors and the town centre

The Ashford LDF Core Strategy has been found ‘sound’ by the Planning Inspectorate and further work is planned on the development of detailed planning policies and design documents to complete the LDF.

Other Information

  • Location: Ashford
  • Project Team: Ashford Borough Council, Masterplanners- Urban Initiatives Ltd, Alan Baxter Associates
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seedg the Seed  

The Ashford Local Development Framework bridges policy and spatial planning and sets a clear vision for the future that will inform planning applications, major developments and reduce political uncertainty.

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