Early plans for 180 homes in Cranbrook passed through

Pam Mills

A developer’s plan to build 180 homes in Cranbrook has been boosted.

Persimmon Homes want to build on greenfield land at Brick Kiln Farm, which is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Planning Committee cautiously granted ‘outline planning permission’ in a meeting last week.

After members voted ten against two in favour, Persimmon will now prepare a bid for ‘full planning permission’, which will set out in more detail how they intend to deliver the infrastructure for the plan.

This process will also allow the developer a chance to address concerns put forward by the 78 objectors who responded to the planning consultation.

These included fears that the development would be ‘out of character’, that more rigorous tests should have been implemented, and that the scale is too large.

Cllr Sean Holden spoke as a guest on behalf of his Cranbrook ward.

He said: “It will mean a significant increase in the town’s population, and it is not good enough to put in an outline application. If you want to intrude, we want to see how you are going to do it.

“There is also insufficient information about traffic matters. This plan has a dead end, and that is not good.”

Persimmon appealed to councillors with the promise that 35 per cent of properties would classify as ‘affordable’.

A spokesman said: “We believe the end result respects the landscape of Cranbrook and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“We do not have to provide a more detailed application [at this stage]. This is not going to be a pattern block.”

Persimmon is likely to bring the full plans to the table next year.

Cllr James Scholes commented: “It will come back to us and the devil will be in the detail.”

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