PC Response to Development Proposal


PC Response to Development Proposal


1. This document refers to the proposed development of Land at Matfield – a parcel of land bordered by Brenchley Road, Coppers Lane, and Maidstone Road (sometimes referred to as “The Island Site”).

2. It is acknowledged that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) has not decided that the site would be included in its draft Local Plan, and that the PC has not yet determined its position on the emerging proposals for the site. However, given the project's size and significance, and at the request of their representative, the Council invited the developers to present their plans to councillors.

3. The regulations governing pre-determination prohibits the Council from making any judgements about the proposed development, until its views are sought on any planning application that may be submitted to TWBC. At that point in the process the application would be assessed on its merits, and with due regard to the relevant local and national planning policies.

4. At the present, the Council’s general views on development take account of the emerging policies of the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan for the parish. They are based on a number of principles that are being tested with the community and, when finalized, would apply to all developments in the parish. Those principles are summarized below.

a. A quantum of development in keeping with the size, topography, and the landscape designation and setting of the site; at present a ceiling of 35 units, with an Affordable Housing requirement of 35%.
b. An approach to design that reflects the vernacular built-heritage of the area, balanced with high-quality modern architectural standards.
c. Application of sustainability principles to secure the effective use of renewable resources, enable ethical waste management, and measures to constrain light and noise pollution.
d. Pedestrian and vehicular access (including parking), and improvements to the highway, to serve the specific requirements of the application sites (informed by landscape and visual-impact assessments), and to address the known road safety deficits at those locations.
e. The preservation of specified landscape views, the protection of habitat-rich environments, and the remediation and enhancement of amenity assets such as community green spaces and public rights-of-way.
f. Contributions to improve public and community transport services, fibre-optic broadband, and mobile phone connectivity.
g. Provision of a play facilities for children, with suitable arrangements for their management and maintenance.