Connectivity is one of 8 topics we have researched to provide evidence in support of our Neighbourhood Plan.
To investigate this topic, we have:
- Researched local connectivity and considered how best to ensure that our community is able to maximise the benefits of digital technology for home working etc.
- Identified local issues relating to connectivity.
- Scoped out what evidence is already available.
- Identified existing plans, strategies and programmes and their relationship to connectivity and the Neighbourhood Plan.
- Identified any gaps in the evidence base and considered whether any further research needs to be undertaken or reports commissioned.
- Identified local key players on this topic to engage in the Neighbourhood Planning process.
We are grateful to the members of the Boughton Aluph and Eastwell Residents’ Association for their participation in a survey on broadband speeds.
In relation to planned future development at Eureka Park and future residential development of over 10 dwellings in our parish, we can rely on Policy EMP6 – Promotion of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) in Ashford Borough Council’s Local Plan 2030. As such, there will not be a specific objective related to connectivity in the Neighbourhood Plan.
Policy EMP6 – Promotion of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
All residential and employment developments within the Ashford urban area, including the site allocations promoted in this Plan which adjoin Ashford, will enable FTTP. In the rural area, all residential developments over 10 dwellings and reasonably sized employment proposals shall enable FTTP. For schemes under these thresholds the Council’s expectation is that provision for FTTP will be achieved, where practical. Where it can be demonstrated that fibre to the premise is not practical due to special circumstances, then non Next Generation Access technologies that can provide speeds in excess of 24Mbps should be delivered wherever practical.
In relation to broadband connectivity of the existing housing provision in our parish, this is not related to the development of land and therefore to include a policy in the Neighbourhood Plan would be unlawful. However, since researching connectivity in the parish, households in the village of Boughton Lees with the slowest broadband speeds of less than 1Mbps were included in the second phase of the Kent Rural Broadband Making Kent Quicker programme. This was a part of central government’s Broadband Delivery UK initiative to improve access to superfast broadband services. A new broadband cabinet 106 was installed on the village green and became operational in August 2018.
Other useful sources of information on connectivity:
- Kent County Council Broadband Delivery UK Contract
- Ashford Borough Council interactive Planning Information Map (shows Telephone Masts)
- Ofcom site finder
- Ofcom mobile coverage
Let us know your views
If we have missed something or got something wrong, please let us know. Add a comment in the box below or email the report author. Our aim is to create a strong evidence base to underpin the final Neighbourhood Plan document.