Canterbury District Local Plan to 2040

Consultation on the draft Canterbury District Local Plan To 2040 is underway and comments are welcome.

We have used the feedback received from our issues consultation in 2020, options consultation in 2021 and previous 12-week consultation in October 2022 on the last draft Canterbury Local Plan to 2045 to help shape this revised version. 

Once approved by a government-appointed Planning Inspector, and formally adopted by the council, the Canterbury District Local Plan To 2040 will form Canterbury City Council’s official planning blueprint until 2040. 

The revised draft plan proposes to allocate land for new homes, jobs, new schools, a new hospital and community uses. It also seeks to put in place new rules designed to dictate the quality and density of developments, boost biodiversity, protect valued open spaces over the long term and to ensure any new development minimises its contribution to climate change while also mitigating against its effects.

Why do we need a Local Plan?

Local planning authorities like Canterbury City Council are required by the government to provide a long-term Local Plan that sets how it will meet the district’s needs into the future. 

The government dictates Local Plans need to be reviewed every five years and has set a deadline of 30 June 2025 for the district’s next plan to be submitted.

Failure to meet this deadline could lead to government intervention and potential penalties.

In fact, without a plan, our planners and councillors on the Planning Committee may find they are unable to resist unacceptable developments – maybe because they are in the wrong locations or come without important infrastructure – or, if they refuse them, that their decisions will be overturned on appeal by a Planning Inspector.

Failure to adopt a Local Plan could mean central government steps in to write one for the council including the policies for where growth happens. It would dictate the quality of new development.

A number of complex factors have to be taken into account when formulating the Local Plan including the need to demonstrate it will deliver the number of homes the government decides the district needs using a calculation known as the standard methodology. 

The number of houses the government requires to be built in the district each year has grown by more than 50% in recent years.

When pulling together a Local Plan, officers must ensure the process follows the appropriate legislation, there is the expert evidence to justify a particular decision, the views of key and statutory stakeholders such as Kent County Council, as the lead authority on issues such as transport and education, and the views of the public have been taken into consideration.

How we’ve used your feedback to shape the draft plan

In 2020, we asked you to tell us about the issues affecting you and your local area. Using these issues, we drafted a set of options for different policies with our future Local Plan in mind.

In 2021, we consulted you on these options. We gave you the opportunity to comment on which of the options you thought were more appropriate and why.

In 2022, we consulted on the previous draft Canterbury District Local Plan To 2045. This resulted in more than 2,000 responses from individuals and organisations and more than 24,000 individual representations. 

The purpose of these consultations was to identify the key planning issues and opportunities the new Local Plan should address. The feedback received from you has helped us shape our draft Local Plan and influence the next stages.

Our Consultation and Engagement Topic Paper contains the responses to both the issues and options consultations, and the links to the responses can be found in the appendices.

This will form part of the evidence submitted to the Planning Inspector who makes the final decision on whether our plan is sound.

What’s changed since the last draft plan?

The key differences proposed between this draft and the last can be summarised as:

  • the plan period being reduced from 2045 to 2040/41
  • a fall in the number of new homes proposed by a total of 4,149 – from 13,495 to 9,346 over the life of this plan compared to the previous draft plan
  • removal of the proposed new settlement at Cooting Farm near Adisham
  • removal of the proposal for an Eastern Movement Corridor, better known as the Eastern Bypass, in Canterbury, and, as a consequence:
  • removal of the proposed Canterbury Circulation Plan which contained the suggestion that the city should be zoned to remove ‘rat runs’ and force active travel opportunities
  • removal of the proposed strategic sites to the east of Canterbury which provided land for a part of the Eastern Movement Corridor and funding.

What are the main proposals in the draft plan? 

We have highlighted the main proposals below, but we strongly recommend you read the full draft Local Plan.

You can also view all the proposals on our interactive map – this can sometimes take a little while to load, so please be patient.

The following proposals have been added or strengthened to the draft:

  • tackling climate change and boosting biodiversity put even more firmly at the heart of the plan
  • supportive policies for Blean Woodland and Old Park
  • a transport strategy that now focuses on better bus services as well as the promotion of walking and cycling to help to persuade people to leave their cars at home, rather than building additional road capacity
  • brownfield development sites such as Wincheap now prioritised
  • a new freestanding settlement on land to the north of the University of Kent in Canterbury
  • a renewed emphasis on monitoring, compliance and enforcement

Supporting evidence

This folder includes all the supporting evidence.

At the same time we are also publishing a specific Call for Sites in respect of potential land for Gypsy and Traveller pitches. You can submit a site for this purpose.

Have your say

Give us your views by completing our questionnaire by 5pm on Monday 3 June 2024.

We strongly recommend you read the draft Local Plan before completing the questionnaire. 

You don’t need to complete the survey all in one go – if you would like to start it but then come back to it at a later stage, the system gives you the option to save your answers and will email you with a link for you to come back and finish it later.

If you need a paper copy of the survey, or if you have a need or disability that means you need the document (or aspects of it) in a different format, please contact Victoria Asimaki, Principal Policy Officer (Engagement) at

Hard copies of the draft Local Plan can also be viewed at the following locations (please check opening hours before making a special journey):

  • Canterbury City Council Offices, Military Road, Canterbury, CT1 1YW
  • The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, 18 High Street, Canterbury, CT1 2RA
  • Whitstable Library, 31-33 Oxford Street, Whitstable, CT5 1DB
  • Herne Bay Library, 124 High Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5JY

If you would like to see what questions you will be asked before you start filling in the survey, you can see a list of the questions.

Please note: only one submission per person will be accepted for this consultation. Any subsequent submissions will be deleted.

We strongly recommend that you use the survey form to submit your comments, but you can submit your comments in writing to

If you choose to send your comments in writing, please make it clear which policies your comments relate to and include your name and address, as anonymous representations cannot be accepted.

Paper copies of the draft plan are available on request at a cost of £35. 

We are also holding a number of engagement events in the coming weeks, including three public information sessions across the district where you can come and talk to council officers about the draft Local Plan in person:

  • Tuesday 23 April, 6pm to 8pm: Herne Bay Baptist Church, High Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5LA
  • Wednesday 24 April, 6pm to 8pm: Whitstable Umbrella Centre (St Mary’s Hall), Oxford Street, Whitstable, CT5 1DD
  • Monday 29 April, 6pm to 8pm: The Guildhall, St Peter’s Place, Canterbury, CT1 2DB

You can now read the public presentation slides from these meetings

Please note that these events are not drop-in style. While people can arrive whenever they like, each event will begin with a presentation at 6pm with an opportunity to ask any questions you may have afterwards.

You don’t need to register to attend – simply come along on the day.

What happens next?

This consultation closes on Monday 3 June 2024.

We will then carefully analyse all the responses we receive, and they will be reported to councillors who will decide what changes should be made to the draft Local Plan as a result.

In early 2025, we will publish the final draft Local Plan and you will be able to make further comments before the plan is submitted to be examined by the planning inspector.

Published: 12 March 2024

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