Local Plan & Development

Borough Council Local Plan - Message from Alan McDermott

Alan McDermott, Borough Councillor for Brenchley and Horsmonden, has provided the following message to address concerns regarding potential development in the Parish.

"Local Resident Enquiries

I understand that a number of local residents have been in contact with borough and parish councillors regarding approaches they have received from agents acting on behalf of potential developers looking to buy land and properties.

As background, and as you will be aware, TWBC is currently in the process of preparing a new Local Plan. A consultation on ‘Issues & Options’ took place May/June 2017. This set out a number of options for how the Council might deliver development over the intended plan period of 2013-2033.

This was a consultation document and does not itself propose to allocate sites for development. The next stage in the Local Plan preparation will be a draft Local Plan that will include the preferred strategy for delivering development – most likely to be a combination of some of the Options set out in the Issues & Options document.

The Local Plan will include detailed policies, including the allocation of sites for development. It is envisaged that consultation on this document will be during the first half of 2018, with a public examination by a government appointed inspector late 2018. (Details of the Local Plan process can be found on the councils website here: http://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/residents/planning/planning-policy/new-... ).

The Local Plan page of the website includes information about what is referred to as two ‘Call for Sites’ processes carried out in 2016 and 2017. There is an interactive map that shows all of the sites submitted (see link under the Call for Sites heading). A site being submitted to the Call for Sites does not mean however it is suitable for development, or will be allocated for development in the new Local Plan.

As you would expect a number of landowners and developers are promoting site proposals, including some for new settlements (Option 5 of the consultation), and as part of this the borough council is aware that some are seeking to assemble overall sites. One of these through Savills has been contacting local landowners/residents. This is clearly at their own risk since decisions of a preferred strategy and a draft Local Plan are still a while off.

Whilst I can understand that such approaches may be of concern I can reassure you and local residents that the borough council has made no decisions and all sites submitted through the process described are still being assessed.

Yours sincerely
Alan McDermott
Borough Councillor for Brenchley and Horsmonden and
Tunbridge Wells Planning and Transportation Portfolio Holder"