Tonbridge Wells Local Plan Issues & Options
As reported previously, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council needs to significantly increase the amount of housing planned for within its administrative area. The Council has an identified need for at least 12,960 houses (648 per year) between 2013-2033, which is more than double its previous target of 300 homes per year.
Last year, the Council invited submissions to identify sites and broad locations for housing and employment development as part of a Call for Sites exercise. DHA made several submissions on our clients’ behalf, which the Council is continuing to consider.
The Council has announced a further Call for Sites, inviting details of any other land which might be suitable for housing or employment uses to be submitted for consideration. The deadline for submissions is 12 June 2017. If you have a site which might be of interest for inclusion in a future Local Plan, DHA would be happy to assist. Please note, it is not necessary to resubmit sites previously promoted in the 2016 Call for Sites.
The Council is also consulting on its “Issues and Options” Local Plan, which is seeking views on various alternative scenarios for meeting the Borough’s development needs. These include:
- Concentrating development in main towns only
- Concentrating development in main towns and larger villages
- Dispersing development across all settlements in the Borough
- Focusing development along an “A21 Growth Corridor” around Tunbridge Wells and Pembury
- Creating a new freestanding “Garden Village” somewhere in the Borough
The Issues and Options Plan does not identify any specific development sites but invites comments on the various options above, together with a wide range of other high-level approaches to various types of development. The Council is inviting comments by 12 June 2017 and DHA would be happy to assist in preparing responses.
In addition, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is currently inviting comments on its Landscape Character Assessment Supplementary Planning Document (again by 12 June) as well as a Civic Complex Draft Planning Framework which seeks to guide the development of new civic facilities and a theatre at Calverley Grounds and the future redevelopment of the existing civic centre site in Tunbridge Wells (comments due by the earlier date of 1st June).
Other Current and Future Consultation Exercises
Other South East local authorities are also currently undertaking consultation exercises in relation to their Local Plans (or are planning to do so shortly):
- Maidstone are consulting on Main Modifications to their Local Plan, with responses by 19 May 2017
- Wealden, Gravesham, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge & Malling are all expected to launch consultations on the next stages of their Local Plans within the next few months.
If you would like to discuss any of the above or require more information on the Call for Sites or Local Plan consultation processes, please contact David Bedford