DHA has secured a resolution to grant outline planning consent from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for up to 45 homes in the historic village of Matfield. 

The site is sensitive in nature as it is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), is in close proximity to a number of listed buildings, and has potential for a number of long-distance views. It is also outside the currently defined built confines of the village and there was substantial organised local opposition. 

Key facts
  • 45 new homes
  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • 40% allocation of affordable housing
  • Open space

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DHA was able to demonstrate to the planning committee the distinct benefits of the scheme, highlighting that the site is proposed for allocation for housing and will be absorbed into the defined village confines with the emerging draft Local Plan.

A number of measures were proposed to help mitigate the impact of the Fernham Homes development, including a 40% allocation of affordable housing instead of the usual 35%. Additionally, approximately half of the site is set aside for open space, including a large ecological buffer surrounding the perimeter, which mitigates the impact on the AONB. A natural children’s play area is also planned and a number of wider financial contributions will be secured to improve existing facilities within the village.

DHA provided the planning, design, transport and drainage expertise to secure this resolution.

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