Diggers start work on the controversial motor village before getting green light

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Despite no formal planning permission having yet been granted to Hendy Group, work on the proposed ‘motor village’ has got underway to remove vegetation and relocate wildlife.

The plans for the regional dealership hub, include showrooms, service centres and workshops.

Pembury Parish Council has objected to the development on the grounds that it would cause serious traffic congestion on Pembury Road and have a detrimental effect on the village.

Pembury resident, Sue Nuttall, said villagers were ‘horrified’ to see the diggers start work.

She told the Times: “They [Hendy] are acting as if it’s a done deal.

“The Council asks our opinions but the work goes ahead and they do it anyway; it’s like our opinions count for nothing.

“It’s rubbing salt in the wound, it’s just awful and shows a very cavalier attitude from Hendy. I don’t think they care about the people who live in Pembury.”

She added that residents fear there will not be enough parking spaces in the proposed complex leaving staff to clog up Pembury with their cars. They also feared an increase in pollution.

A spokesperson for Hendy Group confirmed work was being done to ‘remove vegetation and trees’ on the site and was being undertaken with the full knowledge and approval of both Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Tesco.

He added that following a survey of the site, common reptiles had also been identified and successfully relocated.

But Pembury Parish Councillor Katy Brookes said Hendy were being ‘overconfident’ in spending money on diggers to clear the site of trees and vegetation before they had planning permission.

She added: “I’m also not sure if they realise the scale of the objection to the site in the village.”

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council confirmed it was aware work had started but said Hendy was not breaching any regulations.

A spokesperson said: “Planning officers have visited the site and no planning regulations are being broken. The planning application for this site is still under consideration and will be decided by the Planning Committee at a future date.”


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