We have responded to the latest consultation on Tunbridge Wells local plan challenging the huge housing numbers planned which would cause severe environmental damage, loss of countryside, green space and ancient woodland.
CPRE Kent’s Tunbridge Wells committee has raised many concerns in its comments on the Issues and Options consultation.
We dispute the need to provide 650 to 700 houses per year. Given that employment growth in the borough in the 21 years from 1991 to 2013 was zero, the jobs forecasts which project an ever-rising volume of employment seem unduly optimistic and if the increase in jobs is not forthcoming, this volume of housing development could turn the borough into a dormitory for businesses elsewhere. The population and household formation forecasts on which the housing need assessment is based may also be too high.
Committee chairman Elizabeth Aikenhead said: “Most importantly, housing development on this scale together with its infrastructure clearly cannot be accommodated in a borough with so many environmental constraints without causing serious damage to the environment.”
It is also contrary to the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. CPRE Kent does accept that there will have to be new development within the borough but this should continue to be at no more than the rate previously required under the Core Strategy. Even that amount of development will be very difficult to provide without serious environmental damage.
Taking the proposed Strategic Options one by one, Continue reading