Public meeting about building on Tonbridge's Green Belt

GREAT DEBATE: 480 homes are planned for Haysden in south Tonbridge next to the Country Park

Public meeting about building on Tonbridge's Green Belt

by Andy Tong | 14th November 2018

A PUBLIC meeting will be held at Sussex Road Community Primary School on Thursday November 15 to discuss the loss of Green Belt on the edge of Haysden Country Park in the Local Plan.

It has been called after the council extended the period when the public can make comments on the draft document by a week.

There will be advice about how to make an objection online and plans for when the plan is submitted to the Secretary of State in January.

The document calls for 480 homes to be built between Hayesbrook School on Brook Street and the dual carriageway in south Tonbridge – a large part of which is designated as Green Belt.

The planning term calls for separation between towns and surrounding countryside, acting as a buffer zone with tight controls over development.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council has extended the plan’s public consultation period by a week until Monday November 17.

It has done so ‘to ensure that everyone we had contacted had at least six weeks to respond’.

It added: “The feedback from the briefing sessions with Parish Councils was that they would appreciate a short extension as some did not have scheduled meetings to discuss their responses within the initial six-week period.”

Mr Tugendhat commented: “Government policy on the Green Belt does state that it can only be developed in exceptional circumstances.

“It is evident that Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council feels this applies with the plan as passed.

“The key issue now is for those opposed to development to make the case that exceptional circumstances ought not to apply here.

“I hope that residents living nearby will be able to respond in volume with technical planning arguments to make this case.

“This will be the most effective way for residents to have their views heard.”

The Conservative MP added: “Following the consultation, the plan will be assessed by a Government Inspector, which provides a further opportunity for representations.

“Please be assured I will make representations to the Inspector and would like to hear from as many residents as possible to ensure I can represent them as accurately as possible.”

The Local Plan can be viewed on the council’s website at tmbc.gov.uk/localplan

Comments can be submitted online at tmbc.gov.uk/localplanreg19, by emailing localplan@tmbc.gov.uk or in writing to Gibson Building, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill, West Malling ME19 4LZ.

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