Tunbridge Wells garden village approved by councillors

At a extraordinary Full Council meeting at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council [TWBC] last night, councillors overwhelmingly voted to send the document for another round of consultation before it is then sent on to the Government’s Planning Inspector.


The Local Plan, outlining where houses and infrastructure will be built in the borough over the next 15 years, has been delayed by six months due to the sheer number of comments received by the Council over its plan.

One of the most controversial aspects of the Local Plan is the creation of a garden village around Tudeley in the parish of Capel, where up to 2,500 homes are to be built.

The proposal has seen a protest group form to try to block the development.

However, last night, councillors voted by 30-6 with 9 abstentions to approve the document.

After a short round of consultation, the plan will be sent to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The Planning Inspector’s office has already rejected local plans for neighbouring boroughs of Wealden, Tonbridge & Malling and Sevenoaks due to unmet housing needs.

Cllr Alan McDermott, Council Leader and the head of Transport and Planning at TWBC who helped develop the Local Plan, said: “I am enormously grateful to the councillors who voted to support taking the Local Plan to its next stages – the pre-submission consultation and submission.

“The decision we took was a difficult one but it is in the best interests of the borough and it allows us to retain control of the planning agenda.

“Developing the Local Plan has meant making some difficult decisions which inevitably means it will not be welcomed by all but the decisions were taken fairly and by members of all parties and not without some considerable thought and debate.”

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