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Section 5: Place Shaping Policies Horsmonden


This response report contains comments received on Section 5: Place Shaping Policies - Horsmonden.

Contents

General comments

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Response

DLP_25

Darren White

Sprivers is a National Trust property, not just a historic park and garden. There's no mention of Furnace Ponds which offer recreational and leisure facilities.

DLP_541

Catherine Catchpole

Current population approx 810 homes - adding in up to 305 additional new homes is a massive increase which will change the nature of the village completely...and yet very little positive impacts to the community.  People choose to live in a village - development should be proportional to ths size of the village but this isn't. Bus links to the village are terrible (1 every 2 hours) - everyone relies on cars on congested roads - this will only get worse.  Building on prime fruit-growing land which will never be recovered.  Road links are poor except to A21, and this is poor heading north from Lamberhurst as it is single lane traffic.  Small country lanes are congested already and adding hundreds of new houses will exacerbate the current situation.

DLP_2467

Mr Peter Bird

Population

The proposal for up to 305 additional dwellings would see a possible increase in population of the village by upto 50% far far above the average increase for the total borough with very little if any increase in the inferstructure.The comment of "several buses three days a week to Paddock wood" our nearest main line station,this is a bus running only twice aday on the three days for shopping times only leaving the village  after 10am  and in the afternoon.No good for commuters who will have to use their cars.

DLP_2755

Gail Belton

STR HO 1 & The Draft Plan as a whole

Please see below for my comments on the proposed development.

1. 265 homes is a lot. Will they be affordable to buy for local people not landlords? Why is Horsmonden taking far more than the surrounding villages put together? Where are the occupants for these houses coming from? Houses built in villages should be for local people first. 

2. We need more bungalows for elderly people that live in Horsmonden and wish to stay near.

3. 17 properties have already been built in Horsmonden this year. This should be enough to satisfy needs for a few years.

4. The roads are far too narrow around the site shown in Gibbet Lane/Furnace Lane. There will possibly be an extra 100 cars on these roads from the development at this site alone without other developments that are proposed in the village.

5. The Doctors Surgery is already full - will we be provided with another doctor/surgery? I see that developers are supposed to make payments towards these extra services, but will this money be guaranteed? What happens if the houses are built and the developers say they have no funds left to fund these extra services?

6. The school is not big enough to accommodate more children without an extension – who will pay for it? Also extending village schools is a good idea in some respects but by having schools that are more than one form entry, the overall feel of being in a village school is lost. The village school feel is what many parents bring their children to the area for.

7. Is the drainage sufficient to cope with all the extra waste?

8. Is there enough parking for each house as there certainly isn’t enough room for them to park on the roads?

9. Will the water pressure cope with the extra properties? The proposed development in Gibbet Lane/Furnace Lane will need a new main pipe which will mean that roads will need to be dug up.

10. Will a pedestrian crossing be provided across the Maidstone Road for children to cross to the school as this is already a dangerous crossing?

11. Will there be enough spaces at secondary schools? Many, many extra houses are being built in Paddock Wood and many are proposed for the surrounding area too.

12. Why has Brenchley not been allocated its fair share of the new houses (affordable and otherwise) that ‘need’ to be built in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council area.

13. On the environmental side, currently there are trees being planted as part of a scheme, what is the point of this when trees will be pulled chopped down to build new housing estates?

14. What about the wildlife and the habitats that will be lost through the loss of these green sites? It seems nonsense to say that wildlife and hedgerows will be planted and green space created when development will ruin the wildlife, habitats and spaces that are already there?

15. Building so many houses in villages where there are few facilities and few employment opportunities does not seem logical. Surely if development is needed, we need job opportunities to go with it and facilities. Towns and cities would seem much more logical places for development as they have brown spaces which can be used and much better facilities and far better transport links.

16. Traffic has already increased in the Horsmonden due to the number of houses that have been built in Marden. With all of the development that is proposed in Horsmonden and around the area traffic will automatically get worse. The crossroads in Horsmonden is already a dangerous place for vehicle and pedestrians, what will be done to solve this problem? We currently have no pedestrian crossings in Horsmonden, so safety when crossing roads will be a big issue when there is more traffic, especially at school times.

Policy STR/HO 1: The Strategy for Horsmonden Parish

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Response

DLP_15

Darren White

I would suggest that point 2 should put a limit of approximately 20 properties in total as windfall as otherwise certain large scale plots could be put forward for consideration that would include substantially higher numbers.

DLP_112

Catherine Catchpole

All sites within Horsmonden are outside the AONB but close to the boundary - this does not seem to have been considered in the proposed development.  The policies state that you are going to concentrate building within the limits to build, but have increased the limites to build to include all the sites presented in teh local plan. What is the point of having limits if you ignore them?  The crossroads in the centre of Horsmonden is already an accident blackspot.  Adding a lot more traffic will result in more accidents.

DLP_378

Joseph White

I strongly object to the number of properties that is proposed for Horsmonden considering the size of the village compared with others in the Plan. The numbers are far in exceess of those proposed for Tunbridge Wells by ratio and percentage and there are minimal additional facilities or infrastructure proposed for Horsmonden. Despite having access to several brownfield sites in the borough it appears as if the majority of properties are proposed for greenfield sites as it is cheaper to develop. The question regarding the lack of development along the A21 corridor, in particular around the Kippings Cross has to be asked. It would appear that these sites would provide ideal connectivity to Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood, whilst also not causing detrimental impact to the surrounding villages and being able to accomodate a high density of properties.

when you look at the current density, Tunmbridge Wells has 4,290 population km2, tonbridge has 4,237 km2 whereas Horsmonden already has 3,440 km2 which is nearly the same as the neighbouring towns. And thats without the porposed 330 new properties, an increase of 28%. The village does not has the infrastructure capacity to accomodate that number, there are already regular road accidents without the increase of potentially an additional 500 cars.

The proposed plot of AL/HO2 162 is unsuitable as it does not provide good access to the village centre by foot, which means that residents would either drive the 100 metres - which isnt sustainable and would affect the Governments target of becoming net zero carbon or put their lives at risk walking along the road.

A total number of approx 100 properties would be acceptable as long as they are low carbon, affordable housing included. Also a figure should be placed on wondfall sites as otherwise landowners, such as Swigs Hall could put forward a development of several hundred outside of the remit of this plan as a windfall. A total of potentially 10% of the total for the village should be set to avoid tricks by unscruplous developers.

DLP_608

Harry Standen

STR/HO1

I wish to register my objection to the dispersal approach that is being recommended in this local plan, as this will ruin the appeal of the rural villages such as Horsmonden and Matfield. People move to these villages for the appeal for a rural village and the quiet countryside lifestyle. Whilst we understand that we need some limited growth, such as a 10% increase in particular affordable housing, a 28% increase in Horsmonden is unbelievable. It will ruin the village, and the village's infrastructure such as the roads and the non-existent bus service cant cope with that increase. Surely an overall figure of 80 properties woudl be more feasible with the majority of those allocated to rural areas being placed in a large development along the A21 corridor instead. The A21 provides connectivity to both Tunbridge Wells and Paddock and would cause minimal impact to neighbours.  A limit on windfall properties should also be set to, for example, 15% of the total allocation as there is fear that a major development could be built as a windfall.

I would support the approach being adopted in Speldhurst that the village speed limit is reduced to 20mph, and the 30mph is extended along Lamberhurst Rd

AL/HO2

This site is impractical as there is no safe pedestrian access to the village and would infringe on the neighbouring Ancient Woodland. Also vehicle access onto Brenchley Road would be dangerous.

AL/H03

the numbers proposed for this site is inpractical and unasfe, as an additional 200 cars could not safely access and egress onto Goudhurst Rd.

DLP_870

Angela Jenkins

I am sending my comments via email as I don’t have the skills to manage your document. I have been assured this will not discredit my comments.

Density of proposed housing

I am 2nd generation resident in Horsmonden. My comments are out of concern for our small rural village which functions exceedingly well as a neighbourly community. I am not opposed to inevitable change. In the 1960s we saw development through Fromandez Drive and Orchard Way which broadened our narrow agricultural based population to a more diverse one. This had knock on benefits over the decades resulting in a vibrant community compared to near-by villages which haven’t embraced new development.

However, the intended density of new housing is TOO HIGH which will bring problems on many levels. We already have a (well documented) dangerous traffic problem without solution. Our infrastructure is already stressed e.g. medical practice,  pavements, parking, lack of bus service etc.

Sustainability

Horsmonden is already ahead of the curve in sustainability. We have had an ‘environmental movement’ Village Footprint since 2017, which has resulted in a Parish Council Sustainability Policy commended by TWBC. Our Parish Church is now part of the ECO Church movement aspiring to become a Centre of Excellence in the Diocese.  We are working towards a net zero carbon ambition through education and encouragement of our residents through Carbon Conversations (an approach spreading from Holland through Europe.) This leads us to demand not just the standard sustainability credentials of a new build, but to aspire to award winning design of the highest standard. This means eco-friendly, passive ultra-low energy homes with more than ¼ of the site design as communal space and  with renewable green energy from ground source or solar feeding into a community energy supply.

Horsmonden could become a flagship project for TWBC, but it could equally well become a disaster area……

DLP_1263

Stephen Crane

Paragraph 1 suggests a total of 225 - 302, this would result in a potential increase of 25% - 30% in the number of dwellings to be supported by the present infrastructure. This number would not be large enough to merit the necessary investment in the infrastructure of the village but would be much to large for the village to absorb without serious harm to the local environment and services since all are currently running at full capacity. A total of about 100 dwellings could, possibly, be absorbed gradually, over time.

Paragraph 7 refers to electric vehicle car charging points. This implies the use and upgrading of a car park which, of course, Horsmonden does not have, and has no provision for. All village public parking is 'on street', this cannot be used for electric charging as it implies mains cables across the pavement (illegal) or parking meter type bollards which obstruct the pavement denying access for the disabled.

DLP_1733

Horsmonden Parish Council

2. Place-shaping policies for Horsmonden

(a) Policy STR/HO1 Strategy for Horsmonden Parish 

  • Our concerns about the overall scale of development proposed for Horsmonden (225-305 dwellings) are set out in detail above [TWBC: see comment number DLP_1732].
  • Our concerns about the weight and value to be attached to sites outside the AONB are set out above, and are only partly offset by the approach in section 4 of the draft policy. We think some reference to the intrinsic qualities of countryside areas beyond the AONB are needed (as set out in TWBC’s own landscape analysis for the Local Plan) and that this policy should not just rely on passing references to “AONB setting” in the High Weald AONB Management Plan and its supporting guidance.
  • Our concerns about the strength of the linkage between housing growth and the provision of upgraded infrastructure through developer contributions are also set out in detail above. The term “expectation” is not sufficiently robust.
  • The reference to “greenfield windfall sites of larger than 100 units” has caused some consternation locally, especially if developed in addition to the three proposed housing allocations for the village. Any such development would be a big issue for a rural settlement such as Horsmonden. We consider that this reference to “greenfield windfalls” would be better as an element of a general strategic policy across the borough.
  • The Policy should refer to a limitation of 10% maximum increase in the total housing allocation for Horsmonden to be via windfalls, in order to avoid mass development by this means.
  • Further development in the village would require new community facilities in a suitable location, accessible for all members of the community. This should include a village hall, with meeting rooms, shared parking etc. with other community facilities. Lenham (Kent) and Etching ham (East Sussex) are nearby examples of what can be done.
  • The policy should have some reference to local housing needs in Horsmonden and the need for the mix of housing on allocated sites to address local needs for affordable housing and more smaller size housing (1/2 beds), particularly to meet the needs of young people wishing to remain in the village where they grew up, and for older people who wish to “downsize” or have supported or sheltered housing, and so maintain their family and social links, and the support they provide, in the local community. This approach is supported by evidence gathered by the Parish Council.
  • We would welcome the opportunity for economic development in the parish by, for example, the provision of a business centre with shared office space. This will help to offset the need for longer distance commuting to find work.
  • We accept that the current “Limits to Built Development” may need to be extended to accommodate any new housing allocations beyond the current boundary.

DLP_1956

Ms Jacqueline Stanton

Policy STR/H01 - Horsmonden Parish

Item 1:  states "approximately 225-305 new dwellings will be delivered...".  This shows a growth for the parish of 25-30% up to 2036 which is higher than other parishes.

This volume of growth is not sustainable due to:

-  the village does not have a suitable transport infrastructure with infrequent bus services to Tunbridge Wells, no bus service to Paddock Wood for commuters (the nearest railway station) and a rare bus service to Paddock Wood during the week.

-  the increase in the use of cars due to this number of new dwellings.  Roads are generally small rural lanes which would be compromised due to the volume, thus creating congestion, compromising safety for cyclists and people on foot.  Large heavy goods vehicles and farm vehicles regularly use the local roads which already cause difficulties.  Through-traffic affects the village centre with a dangerous crossroads where there is a lack of parking and footpaths when people have to use the highway for access to local services.

-  the capacity of local infrastructure would not be able to support this growth.  The doctors, school, broadband services and phone coverage would not be adequate.

The statement "It is expected that contributions will be required..." lists a number of services. However, developers are unlikely to support all these points unless they are required to provide these services.  What would the Council do to ensure these services are, in fact, supplied to the parish?

Item 2: windfall developments should be limited.  There is no mention of what that limit would be which could mean a major number of extra dwellings in addition to those already mention.

Item 7:  how would the Council ensure adequate charging points are provided?  The Government is planning for a major increase in the use of electric cars but this can only be met by appropriate planning for the period of this Local Plan.

How would the "car share facilities" be provided?  The volume of car-users with the increase in dwellings would make this a challenging plan.

Policies AL/HO 1, AL/HO 2 and AL/HO 3:

I accept that the parish will have additional dwellings. I raise concern particularly with regard to access for all these sites and the provision of adequate parking, safe footpaths/cycle links to the village for pedestrians and the ability of surrounding rural roads to support the increase in the volume of vehicles.

These policies are also all affected by the expectation that developers will provide local services (Section 106 agreements) but how will they be required to do this?

Policy AL/HO 1 - this development is already a planning application with TWBC which could affect the details recorded in this Plan so should be taken into account.

DLP_1974

Brenda White

Str/ho1 Horsmonden.  I object to the number of properties proposed for Horsmonden for  numberof reasons, the infrastructure is insufficient for the current housing let alone 300 extra houses

Surely several developments could be put along the A21 Corridor instead of trashing the villages and rural areas. Why wasn't that included?

The public transport requires improvements to get to Paddock Wood and Tunbridge Wells as it is more sustainable than everyone driving.

I am concerned that there is no upper limit on windfall sites as this gives the opportunity for hundreds more to be built.  An upper limit of 15% for Horsmonden should be set to avoid this mass development.

Traffic calming me sure should be included such as a 20 mph in the village centre and extensions along Lamberhurst Rd

It would he good if there was a nursing home included somewhere in Horsmonden so that families can stay together

Will you be providing pavements along to al/ho2 on Brenchley Road as otherwise that site is impractical and unsafe.

Where will parking for the new village hall be

Will you be providing electric vehicle charging points.

Upper limit for Horsmonden should be 150 properties, primarily affordable

DLP_1981

Mr Jeremy Waters

The draft Local Plan states that 225-305 dwellings, representing 28% increase on the existing village size, will be delivered on three sites, and that additional housing may be developed through "windfall" sites. There is mention of "greenfield windfall" sites of larger than 100 houses. I am very concerned that if the three designated sites HO1, HO2 and HO3 are granted, there will be a high risk that associated land adjoining these sites will be viewed as greenfield windfall sites and will add substantially to the growth of the village, above and beyond the 28% already proposed. Clearly, given the stated issues with infrastructure, transport, environment and built and landscape character this would be completely unsustainable and directly challenges TWBC's own policies as stated elsewhere in the draft Local Plan.

DLP_2106

Terry Everest

The village here can support some growth but I would argue for a severe reduction on all that is proposed by around 75% as the village is historic and has a natural setting in the countryside. Which needs protecting and not overdeveloping.

DLP_2122

Brenda White

This is the third time i have attempted to submit comments as it wasnt working on Sunday and i have been told by our Borough Councillor that the website gets upgraded on a sunday. I strongly object to the proposed number of properties planned for Horsmonden. The majority of people live here due to the rural setting and village life, which would be ruined by this scale of development. The current infrastructure is insufficient for its current total - the bus service is pathetic and everyone relies on private car useage - which is unsustainable.

Why cant the majority of the dispersed allocations be allocated to one large site along the A21 corridor as this wouldnt ruin as many communities as the dispersed approach.

I recommend that the speed limit be reduced to 20 mph in the village centre and restrictions along lamberhurst road.

It would be nice if a nursing home could be built as, like myself, i have 2 generations of family in the village and it would be nice to stay close.

The proposed site along the Brenchley road is unsafe unless a pavement can be provided.

Finally i am concerned that there is no upper limit on the windfall sites as this gives landowners an opportunity to sneek a couple of hundred homes onto their land as a windfall. I think a limit of 10% the total allocation should be set.

In summary - only 100 properties should be allocated as anymore would ruin the character of the village, improvements need to be made to the bus service, an upper limit of 10% should be set for the windfall sites.

DLP_2236

Ms Francesca Brown

Place Shaping Policies 5.3 Horsmonden

The number of houses planned for Horsmonden far exceeds our neighbouring villages and is a disproportionate allocation of houses compared to the size of our village.

Horsmonden seems to have been targeted for greater development because a large part of the village is technically outside the AONB and alot of sites were put up for potential development by residents - these drivers appear to have led to an over allocation of houses to Horsmonden which presents a serious risk to Horsmonden as a thriving, welcoming and pleasant place to live. Many residents fear Horsmonden being developed in the same way as Marden, which has been completely spoilt with the recent over development. We are not averse to a steady and proportionate level of housing growth over time, in line with the rate of development over recent years, to ensure Horsmonden remains a vibrant place to live.

However the current proposals threaten large housing estates and in some locations, on beautiful green fields. Irrespective of the AONB boundary lines, there are very special fruit belts that represent the local history and special nature of this area of Kent, which can never be got back, once built on. We moved to the village approximately two years ago to live in this beautiful countryside.

It is clear from living here in Horsmonden that what is needed most are affordable dwellings for younger people to move into when they leave home, so they aren't forced to leave the village to find housing and employment, and smaller dwellings for older residents to move into when they need or want to downsize, so they can remain in the village where they may have spent their whole life. Too often we see new developments with 4 or 5 bed executive homes, unaffordable and unsuitable for the needs of our village. For the village to retain its special character it cannot simply become a commuter village. It would be really exciting to see a proposal for almshouses or other type of sheltered housing  that were innovative and enabled a communal fun living space for older residents to move into together if they wished. We would also like to see Horsmonden and TWBC leading the way in obliging developers to implement environmentally friendly homes and broader ecological building practices that properly considered the local rural environment and protected nesting birds in hedgerows etc.

The draft local plan comments on small rural roads - we regularly walk and run on the local roads but they are not safe - traffic is generally far too fast for walking, particularly for the vulnerable such as parents with pushchairs or the elderly. Site AL/HO1 Land adjacent to Furnace Lane and Gibbet Lane, for example, is at the other end of our lane (Furnace Lane in Horsmonden) and we are very concerned at the thought of increased traffic flows on Furnace Lane, which is already notorious for unsafe narrow sections. The crossroads in the centre of Horsmonden need no additional mention - footage of collisions and near misses are a regular post on the village Facebook site.

Echoing the response of our Parish Council and supporting many of their points, we would like to see infrastructure as 'mandatory' rather than 'recommended' for developers. The infrastructure always seems to be the last part to be delivered (if at all) - it should be developed at the same pace as the building, not as an afterthought. As we commute most days to London from Paddock Wood, we are particularly interested to know if thought has been given to train capacity - carparking is mentioned but will the trains be full at Paddock Wood, given the building that has already taken place further down the line (particuarly in Marden) and planned significant development in Paddock Wood? At the moment it is a relatively pleasant train route and easy to find a seat in rush hour - but people are usually standing from Sevenoaks even at the moment.

Lastly, as others have mentioned, there should definitely be a limit placed on windfall sites so as to avoid developers proposing additional large sites outside this current process which may not be subject to such scrutiny nor open to equivalent transparent consultation.

This response process has taken me c. 3 hours to complete because the website is very hard to navigate for those of us unfamiliar with planning policy and processes - so I have inserted all my comments in this window only but they relate to all relevant proposals for Horsmonden.

DLP_2848

David Watson

2011 census population is stated as circa. 2435, served by circa 800 homes (approx. 3 persons per home). Since 2011, several new house developments have been completed within the Parish, so the current population must be in excess of 2,550.   With the addition of 305 homes, taking ave 3 persons per home, the new population by 2036 could be 3,465, a population and homes increase of over 40%. This increase is far greater than any other neighbouring village. The village infrastructure will not be sustainable given this increase, and the likely contributions from S.106 agreements will be insufficient to pay for the additional infrastructure required to enhance school capacity, doctors, etc to note two. Furthermore, consideration for the increase traffic in the narrow country lanes that entwine the village, and are regularly used at excess speed, without needing more vehicles destroying them. The main arteries serving the village will need upgrading and further maintaining – which will need to include the provision for increased utilisation of bicycles, as is frequently resonated within The Plan.

Horsmonden is one of only a select few Fruit-belt villages in the local area. Building on this prime fertile land can never be replaced. Taking consideration of today’s European outlook, the population forecasts are likely be short of previous predictions, but more importantly as a County and Country our prime farmland soil and Fruit-belt will be needed to provide for the increasing population. Therefore Horsmonden’s Fruit-belt land should be protected from development.

The Hop Pickers line is an important history for the village, and should be protected.

DLP_2984

Denise Cole

I object to the dispersed growth strategy for housing development as the basis for the Local Plan's development strategy. I would like policy STR1 to have a clearer and more explicit relationship between the settlement hierchy and the scale of development proposed in different parts of the borough. I consider that the level of growth proposed for Horsmonden is excessive and unsustainable, 25%-30% expansion is much higher than our neighbours in Lamberhurst, Goudhurst, Brenchley & Matfield, Horsmonden should be allocated considerably less houses. All the current proposed development allocations involve loss of green field sites around the edge of the village. Although only 40% of Horsmonden is AONB it is an attractive and locally valued landscape and borders AONB villages.

DLP_3141

Annalisa Webb

Policy HO2 (together with HO1 and HO3) are aimed to building 300 extra houses but do not represent any request by the people of Horsmonden. They have been submitted by landowners, who want to develop their land for their own profit and do not consider the negative impact impacts that such a rate of growth will have on the village environment, on its structures and on the existing community. There are no real justifications for turning a small village of 932 dwellings to a much bigger size with an increase of 30%. The consequences will be disastrous, because of an unsustainable increase of traffic, lack of parking, inadequate infrastructures (doctors, school, recreational....)

This will also bring great damage to the environment.

DLP_3159

Christine & David Turnbull

The rural village of Horsmonden cannot sustain the growth of housing etc. as proposed, without infrastructure, that we do not have the resources to cope with. In particular this village is unique because of the crossroads. There is no alternative route that through traffic can take. Problems are already being experienced with regard to this.

DLP_3187

Mr Peter Bird

There are ongoing consultation with Kent Highways. The plans state the site ajoins the public highway on all four sides. The big problem is that to of the sides the roadway are less than 8-feet wide in places, with Furnace Lane a rat run at peak times. Once again there is no mention of social housing on plans. With the lack of parking for ever growing families, this will mean more on road parking as we see in most developments.

We have one development nearing completion with so called "affordable housing" with none of them being sold. Maybe not sufficient infurstructure around.

DLP_3203

Mr Peter Bird

The policy should limit the number of dwellings to no more than 10% including social housing.

The proposed 305 properties will Se and increase of population of just under 50% on 2011 census, with very little increase in infurstructure. No additional jobs in the village people will have to travel to towns & city with very little transport available other than cars. The village will become a dormatory village.

DLP_3315

Rodney Webb

1) Brenchley Road is already a very busy and dangerous road with a considerable proportion of vehicles exceeding the speed limit and would become more dangerous if 80 - 100 dwellings are built at this location -

2) Vehicular and pedestrian access should be through Fromandez Drive as any access onto Brenchley Road would be dangerous but a dwelling on Fromandez Drive would have to be removed.

3) If dwellings are built at this site and access for vehicles is to be onto Brenchley Road it should be as close to the village as possible so the speed of traffic minimised.

4) The village hall should be in the centre of the village making it easier for pedestrian, elderly and disabled access.

General Comments on Horsmonden

With the Tunbridge Wells objective of adding 9.4% of additional houses, to add approximately 30% (plus windfall sites) to housing in Horsmonden would:-

1) Destroy the current ideal structure of the village

2) Overwhelm the small winding & undulating rods in and around the village, especially on Brenchley Road which is the route to Paddock Wood and Tunbridge Wells.

3) There have been numerous accidents at the crossroads in the centre of the village including the destruction of what was a small office. These crossroads will be even more dangerous with a significant increase in traffic.

4) There is extremely limited parking in the centre of the village and more houses would exacerbate this problem

5) The doctors surgery is at capacity now

6) The bus service is very limited

DLP_3341

Kent County Council (Growth, Environment and Transport)

Highways and Transportation

The Local Highway Authority conditionally supports this policy. The following changes are requested:

The policy should include consideration of the provision of pedestrian links from the site.

Paragraph 5 – “Maintenance and enhancement of, and/or linkages to, public footway network and public rights of way and the local strategic cycle network in accordance with Policy TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility”

The standard paragraph regarding contributions should feature in this policy - It is expected that mitigation measures will be implemented by the developer. A contribution may be taken if appropriate

Public Rights of Way and Access Service

The specific reference to PRoW in paragraph 5 is supported. While contributions towards feasibility studies for enhancing PRoW are welcomed, it is requested that PRoW enhancements are included in the list of expected contributions, to mitigate the impact of future development.

DLP_3785

Georgina Hagen

I disagree with the "dispersement" policy as a basis for the Local Plan's development strategy. With reference to Horsmonden the level of growth proposed (225-305) dwellings is at odds with Horsmonden's place in the settlement hierarchy and the scale of development proposed in other parts of the borough. I do not accept that Horsmonden could cope with this level of growth in the next twenty years. Horsmonden is an attractive village, made up of 40% AONB and borders AONB villages. I do not consider this has been taken on board in the Local Plan.

DLP_4049

Susan Huzzey

I have been unable to respond to the neighbourhood plan as I have been unable to use the portal.  However, the opportunity has arisen with a link through Facebook so I am grateful for the opportunity.

Having been to most meetings my husband and I have considered the options available to overcome any housing shortage, especially for young people in the village.  However,we believe that this plan fails to address the needs of villagers as shown in the questionnaire.

We, as a village agreed that we would not be unhappy with housing that addresses the housing shortages of young families as many when leaving their parent's home have to move away. Nor does it cater for the elderly as we desperately need accommodation so that the older generation can downsize.

What we don't need are 4 or 5 bedroomed houses for families to move to a village with no transport links, no employment, no pavements, nothing for teenagers and an increase in traffic, pollution and noise.  The roads are already dangerous and 250 houses with the potential for 500 new villagers who each have a car will change the nature of this village.

We believe that it is wrong to use Greenfield sites from which nature will not recover.

This is all apart from the infrastructure needed to support such a potential large influx of people.

Whilst accepting that we, as a village need to support the wider picture and would be happy to consider a reduced number of houses that target the needs of current residents we wholeheartedly object to the current proposal.

DLP_4140

Tunbridge Wells District Committee Campaign to Protect Rural England

Object

Allocations HO1, 45-55 dwellings on land adjacent to Furnace Lane, and HO2, 80-100 dwellings on Land south of Brenchley Road are both major developments in the setting of the AONB. HO1 is on a partly sunken lane which is a narrow historic routeway of nature conservation and recreational importance and which for much of its length forms the boundary of the AONB.  HO2 is right beside the boundary of the AONB, in countryside which is largely indistinguishable from it.  CPRE are not convinced that these developments are justified under paragraph 172 of the NPPF.  If AL/HO1 is to go ahead, there needs to be provision made (perhaps a road closure to vehicles north of Furnace Pond) to prevent rat running to Paddock Wood station along Furnace Lane, as otherwise its character will be destroyed and the road’s users’ safety will be compromised.

We are concerned that the part of this policy referring to developments larger than 100 residential units could encourage applications for major developments which are thoroughly unsuitable in the AONB and its setting.  Arguably, for sustainability, any development of more than 20 dwellings in villages and the rural area ought at least to provide some employment possibilities, for example through live/work units.

DLP_4412

Alison Adams

STR Policy – Horsmonden Parish HO1

Whilst I am not averse to some development in our village I am not convinced that there is a demand for 265 + houses here.  We have several properties already on the market which have not sold in over a year.  There is a new development being built at this time and it will be interesting to see the impact of these additional homes on the village.  If these houses struggle to sell then there is no point in embarking on further development.  Similarly, if the new houses sell but the sale of existing older properties stagnates this will cause significant harm to the village community as villagers are unable to move on with their lives as they are tied to a property that will not budge.

I appreciate the opportunity to comment and hope that the Borough Council will take into account the many and varied views of the people of the borough.  Maybe building thousands of new homes will boost the economy in the short term but once built these homes cannot be removed so let’s hope there is a real demand and that the houses built actually satisfy that demand.

DLP_4562

Historic England

Policy STR/HO 1: The Strategy for Horsmonden Parish et seq. - as with the foregoing comments, we would expect the allocation of sites following on from this Strategy policy to be subject to appropriately robust and detailed heritage impact assessment prior to the allocations being adopted.

DLP_5765

Hilary Marshall

I have no comment to make on the plans as such except to point out that infrastructure is lacking in the area of provision for young people. There is a ‘play area’ mentioned in the Horsmonden plan but it is vague and I think we need facilities for youth that are under a roof as well as outdoors. Marden has  a lot of social problems as a result of growing too fast and not having provisions in place for youth.

DLP_5778

Rose Harrild

Horsmonden

The village has special historic interest and a historic village green.  Whilst not in the AONB it is surrounded by attractive countryside,  mostly orchards and  farm land which should be retained.

The proposal is for 265 dwellings on three sites. These are proposed on land currently outside the LBD area. If developed the village would be greatly enlarged. The proposed sites for the numbers of dwellings proposed are unacceptable.

Traffic Generation in this area - Matfield, Horsmonden

Apart from the complete unwelcome alteration of the villages, there is the serious question of traffic generation.

The roads serving these villages already carry a great deal of traffic, which has greatly increased over the last few years.  There already queues on B2160 to join A21 in the rush hour.

The road between Matfield and Horsmonden passes through the centre of Brenchley village. It is narrow with dangerous sections, particularly at the Fairmans lane bend and the crossroads in Horsmonden. It is quite unsuitable to plan for this road to take more traffic.

To conclude, as it stands the Draft Local Plan is unacceptable. There are planning policies in place to resist development on the scale that is proposed. They must be used.

DLP_5825

Heather Simmons

I would like to add my views on the houses being put forward for horsmonden.

I think the amount of housing being proposed for Horsmonden is far to high.

We already have a notorious crossroads, which has been the subject of many accidents.  This amount of housing will definately add to the problem, as we have not got a regular bus service from the village.  These houses would all potentially mean many more cars on our already crowded roads.

DLP_5944

Cynthia Kirk

I feel the proposed development of potentially over 300 houses in Horsmonden is far too many. There has already been a development proposed at Bassets farm for a substantial number of houses which isn’t included in this plan. The proposed developments would completely alter the character of our village and services and amenities would be overwhelmed. There is very limited public transport in our village and limited employment so anybody living here would have to travel anywhere by car, which is environmentally unacceptable. The amenities in the village, e.g. the school and the doctors simply would not be able to cope with the additional people. You already have to wait two weeks to see a doctor. The additional traffic on the roads would be dangerous, with Horsmonden already having a notable danger spot at the crossroads. There is no adequate parking in the village and there are limited pavements from the developments to the centre of the village for people to walk on, with little availability to develop these without damaging the heart of the village and the village green ~ a site of great cultural value and part of the heritage of Horsmonden.

DLP_5954

Linda Roberson

Object

Policy Number: Policy STR/HO 1

The level of growth proposed for Horsmonden is excessive and unsustainable. It represents a nearly 30% expansion of the village, which is almost equivalent to that proposed for Paddock Wood. This is inappropriate given that Horsmonden is a rural village whereas Paddock Wood is a town with many more facilities, services and public transport.

Horsmonden has extremely limited public transport. There is no daily bus service to Paddock Wood, so any commuters wishing to use Paddock Wood train station will need to drive to Paddock Wood and park there. Horsmonden has limited shops and services meaning new residents would be very car dependent. This will result in additional traffic on low capacity roads where traffic conditions in the village are already difficult.

No direct provision has been made in the Local Plan for accompanying infrastructure upgrades for Horsmonden, other than by way of possible developer contributions. Even assuming contributions are delivered by developers (there being a concern that developers will plead lack of viability), it is doubtful that funds generated would be sufficient to deliver the infrastructure development required to mitigate the impact of the village expansion.

The level of development proposed in Horsmonden is inappropriate for its setting. Part of the parish is within the AONB and the rest on the edge of it. Just because the centre of the settlement is outside of the AONB, it does not mean that the landscape will not be adversely impacted by development. TWBC’s evidence in the document entitled “Landscape Sensitivity of Additional Settlements in Tunbridge Wells” July 2018 concludes that the Horsmonden landscape has a sensitivity of “High” or “Medium High” for even small scale developments, whereas two of the three proposed allocated sites will deliver potentially 100 houses or more. The statement in paragraph 4 of the Policy STR/HO 1 is not strong enough. This is evidenced by TWBC itself stating in its summary leaflet on the draft Local Plan, that the fact that Horsmonden is outside the AONB has been a factor in the amount of housing allocated there. This ignores the general contribution of Horsmonden to the AONB setting and the impact that development (e.g. increased traffic) will have on surrounding villages which do sit within AONB.

DLP_5967

Tim Wye

The number of proposed extra houses in a village like Horsmonden is far too high. It would have a dramatic impact on the size and character of the village, eroding many of the things that make it a special place to live in the first place. I understand people want to live in a village like Horsmonden, but at what point does extra housing, increased numbers of people and volume of traffic actually spoil the very essence of the place that makes it so attractive in the first place? Much better, in my opinion, to focus more growth in the existing towns like Tunbridge Wells with limited growth in the rural areas in order to protect that special rural quality and way of life.

DLP_6453

L Noakes

Place Shaping Policies- Horsmonden

Policy STR/HO1 Strategy for Horsmonden Parish

The Plan’s development strategy contradicts some of the earlier work carried out by the BC, where settlements were placed in a hierarchy depending upon their relative size and population. Horsmonden fell into category 3 in this hierarchy, however, it has been given a housing allocation nearer to that associated with a much larger settlement, which would seem to make little sense.

One explanation to this approach might be the fact that a lot of sites were put forward in Horsmonden, in the BC’s ‘Call for Sites’. However if this is behind the BC’s reasoning for placing a higher housing allocation in Horsmonden, I would question this approach, as housing should  be put in the most appropriate sustainable places in the Borough, not where residents have offered up the most sites!

Such a large amount of housing in a small rural village like Horsmonden will ruin the unique character and rural feel of the village. The village is surrounded by small rural farms mainly operating with apple, grapes and hop growth and some small-scale industrial activities. Development on this sort of scale in the village will completely change its character, thus eroding the unique landscape character and destroying the pleasure and enjoyment of those who chose to live in such a small rural community.

The BC tends to categorise landscapes into two type AONB or other areas. This puts villages like Horsmonden, which is on the edge of the AONB, in a difficult position. However, the distinctive character of the village, which forms part of the ‘fruit belt’, contributes to the setting of the AONB and TWBC’s own evidence base documentation ‘Landscape Sensitivity of Additional Settlements in Tunbridge Wells’ (July 2018) establishes that the Horsmonden landscape has a high or medium /high sensitivity for even small-scale development. Through its current housing allocation of 225-305 new dwellings in the Plan, the BC now appears to be ignoring this evidence.

Such large-scale development will also create many infrastructure problems for Horsmonden as a village. The village has a road structure which runs through the centre and is surrounded by housing (the central part also being a conservation area), thus making the main road structure very difficult to change. The central cross roads have been the subject of regular accidents over recent years. Residents have already raised concerns over the amount of traffic moving through the village at certain times of day, much of which comes from surrounding villages and hamlets on its way to Paddock wood and Tunbridge Wells. More development in Horsmonden and its surrounding villages will exacerbate this problem and may push traffic on to small residential side roads, creating an even more hazardous situation.

Other services in the village are very limited and already under strain to cope. The bus service to Paddock wood and Tunbridge Wells is far from regular or frequent and cannot be relied upon as a method of transport for regular activities. There is one small doctors’ surgery, a primary school, Kindergarten, village shop, chemist and one pub. Many of the services are already running at full capacity and have little spare capacity for such a large increase in the population within the village. The promise of further infrastructure or ‘expectation’ of developer contributions does not adequately dispel the problem associated with large growth in such a small place. This is not an area for sustainable development as described in the NPPF!

DLP_6798

Kember Loudon Williams for Wedgewood (New Homes) Ltd

Object

This submission is made in response to the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s (TWBC) Consultation Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18). It is made by Kember Loudon Williams on behalf of Wedgewood (New Homes) Limited.

A separate, fully detailed Supporting Statement has been prepared to accompany these representations (See Chapter 3 of the Statement), which supports

Horsmonden as a suitable and sustainable location for a modest amount of additional housing to that which is currently proposed to be allocated, particularly given the stated importance elsewhere in the draft Plan (including at paras. 4.38 and 4.40) of only considering development within AONB areas ‘having first maximised potential outside the AONB’.

Horsmonden is one of the larger villages in the Borough and, unlike the great majority of villages in the Borough sits outside the AONB, and is unencumbered by Green Belt designation. Submissions in the KLW report demonstrate that the settlement is perfectly capable of accommodating a further 35 homes, which is a modest 11 per cent uplift in the number currently proposed to be allocated to the Settlement in the first Draft Local Plan.

We propose to increase the current housing allocation given to Horsmonden Parish by 35 residential units. This can be accommodated on land South of Goudhurst Road, Horsmonden.

The specific changes to the Policy that are required are therefore (i) an amendment to the range of units to be accommodated in Horsmonden at STR/HO1(Criterion 1), and (ii) in the final sentence of the draft Policy, reference should be made to an additional allocated site AL/HO 4. reflecting the suggested allocation of the Land South of Goudhurst Road, Horsmonden (unless any of the other allocations are deleted in which case the site can replace one of the three proposed allocations in the first Draft Local Plan).

Furthermore, the Proposals Map should be updated to reflect the suggested amended Limits to Built Development – the LBD is referred to within this Policy.

As stated above, a new Allocation Policy AL/HO4 should be included in the Local Plan, and the Proposals Map updated to reflect this.

[TWBC: see Supporting Statement and Comment Numbers DLP_6793, 6797-6799, 6801, 6803-6804]

DLP_6825

Persimmon Homes South East

3.0 HORSMONDEN PARISH STRATEGY  

3.1 This Section provides comments and observations in respect of the proposed development strategy for Horsmonden Parish.

Policy STR/HO1

3.2 The strategy for Horsmonden is set out at draft Policy STR/HO1. The strategy directs between 225-305 new dwellings to the settlement to be delivered on three allocated sites. The strategy also requires enhanced pedestrian and cycle connectivity, the provision of new open space and green infrastructure, and contributions towards the delivery of infrastructure improvements including primary and secondary education; health and medical facilities; community centre and sustainable transport opportunities.

3.3 It is considered that the development strategy for Horsmonden is broadly appropriate and Sound. The proposed strategy will ensuring that the additional housing required to help meet local housing needs, including need for affordable housing, is supported by delivery of appropriate new and enhanced infrastructure.

3.4 The provision of the new and enhanced infrastructure required under STR/HO1 will not only meet the needs of new residents but also benefit the existing community.

3.5 It is thereby considered that the development strategy for Horsmonden will help ensure the sustainable growth of the village over the plan period, supporting and enhancing the viability and the vitality of the village whilst also protecting the character and distinctiveness of the village.

Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan 

3.6 The draft Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) identifies several infrastructure improvements that are required to support of growth at Horsmonden, including:

  • new health centre/doctors surgery to serve the village and the surrounding area;
  • expansion of the existing primary school by up to 1 FE to serve the area;
  • new green infrastructure and pedestrian/cycle links/PROW enhancements (including the proposed Hop Pickers Way cycle link).

3.7 Whilst the school extension and the new health centre are required to meet the needs of Horsmonden, they have been identified as come forward on safeguarded land identified as part of Policy Allocation AL/HO3. Whilst we are supportive of the safeguarding of land for the provision of new infrastructure to 634/B1/CC/TA 8 November 2019 support the sustainable growth of Horsemonden, it is also important that responsibility for the delivery the facilities, is made clear in the IDP. Given that these facilities are to serve the wider needs of Horsmonden, it is suggested that this safeguarded land is dealt with by way of a separate allocation specifically related to the delivery of the school and health centre. This is discussed further in Section 6 below.

3.8 Given the relatively low levels of traffic in the local area, and comparatively limited the scale of growth proposed at Horsmonden, the draft IDP does not identify any strategic highways improvements to be delivered within Horsmonden Parish in support of the development strategy.

3.9 Notwithstanding the absence of a requirement for highways improvements, the need to support sustainable opportunities in the village is noted and is supported by Persimmon and can be facilitated through the delivery of our Site. This is discussed further in Section 6 below.

DLP_7064

Bloomfields for Giles MacGregor

Place Shaping Policies

The place shaping policies establish the spatial priorities for different areas in the Borough. For each area, there is an overarching policy that development should adhere to and details are provided for individual allocated sites that will deliver the quantum of development proposed. The site-specific allocations provide both strategic and development management guidance.

Horsmonden Policy STR/CRS1

This sets the proposed strategy for Horsmonden and states that approximately 225-305 new dwellings will be delivered on three sites, including land subject to this representation, under allocation reference AL/HO 2.

This says that development should accord with the following criteria;

1. Approximately 225-305 new dwellings will be delivered on three sites allocated in this Local Plan in the plan period (Policies AL/HO 1-3);

With reference to the proposed site layout plan, the proposed development would provide 70 dwellings on site.

2. Additional housing may be delivered through the redevelopment of appropriate sites and other windfall development in accordance with Policy STR 1;

The proposed residential scheme would be undertaken on an appropriate site in accordance with Policy STR1.

3. Where a site is within the AONB, it should be demonstrated that the proposal will make a positive contribution towards achieving the objectives of the most recent AONB Management Plan and show how relevant guidance from the AONB Joint Advisory Committee has been considered to meet the high standards required of the other policies in this Plan for the High Weald AONB landscape (see Policy EN 21: High Weald AONB);

The site is not located within the AONB and therefore does not need to meet the requirements of the AONB management plan.

4. Sites outside the AONB but within the High Weald National Character Area, or close to the boundary of the designated AONB landscape, will have similar characteristics and are likely to contribute to the setting of the designated landscape. The AONB Management Plan and any supporting guidance will be a material consideration for these sites (see Policy EN 21: High Weald AONB);

The site does not fall within the AONB however, consideration has been given to the designated landscape. ‘Milestone Green’ indicated on the site layout plan, considers new dwellings set out along Milestone Cottage to preserve of the hierarchy of listed buildings in the area. Additionally, the listed building at Oasthanger to the south is also given equal consideration with a significant buffer of the fields to the south of the development.

5. Maintenance and enhancement of, and/or linkages to, public rights of way or the local strategic cycle network in accordance with Policy TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility;

In accordance with Policy TP 2, the proposed development would enhance pedestrian accessibility and public rights of way (PROW). As indicated within the site layout plan, the ‘Community Hub’ to the east of the site, would ensure that efforts to maximise accessibility between the existing settlement and the site are met. The ‘Open Edges’ located to the south/south western edges of the site which offer landscape buffers to the ancient woodland to the west with the potential to incorporate pedestrian connectivity to other PROW networks.

6. Provision of allotments, amenity/natural green space, parks and recreation grounds, children’s play space and youth play space in accordance with the requirements of Policy OSSR 2: Provision of publicly accessible open space and recreation;

The proposed development would offer sufficient green space throughout the site for residential uses. As highlighted within the site layout plan, the site is situated within close proximity to substantial green spaces to the west, where the buffer zone of 15m site between the site and the Sprivers Wood Ancient Woodland as well as the provision of fields for recreational use to the south of the site.

7. Provision of public electric vehicle charging points and car share facilities in accordance with Policy TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility.

It is considered that the provision of electric vehicle charging points could be incorporated into the proposed development.

Therefore, having regard to these draft requirements, the general thrust of the Policy is supported. In particular, it is put forward that this site can be delivered in a manner which maintains and enhances linkages to public rights of way and accessibility to services and amenities in the village. This site can also be used to deliver a new community centre, as well as a mixed use of development including a significant contribution towards housing requirements in the area.

[TWBC: for Policy AL/HO 2 see Comment No. DLP_7061. For Vision & Strategic Objectives see Comment No. DLP_7062. For Policy STR1 The Development Strategy see Comment No. DLP_7063. For Policy STR/HO 1 The Strategy for Horsmonden Parish see Comment No. DLP_7064. The full report is attached to this representation, along with supporting documents: Ecology Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Report , Highways definition team letter, Schedule of Accommodation, Sketch Scheme Existing , Sketch Scheme Site Layout Plan, Transport Statement Final with appendices].

DLP_7321

Roger Nightingale for J E Properties Ltd

Draft Policies Maps

Paragraph Number(s): Inset Map 25 - Horsmonden

The LBD for Horsmonden as shown on the Draft Policies Map for the village should be amended to include the land as shown on the plan attached to these comments.

This land immediately abuts the existing LBD for the village. In addition, it forms part of the former route of the ‘Hop Pickers Line’, for which the Council is seeking to encourage initiatives that would enable it to be used as part of a “wider green infrastructure corridor”.

There is a public footpath running along the eastern side of this parcel of land, leading from Back Lane to the recreation ground to the north-east. From the recreation ground there is a link through to the B2162. While this footpath link exists, it is somewhat restricted in width and only of basic standard, and there would be an opportunity to significantly enhance it if some of the adjoining former route of the railway line were used. This could then link into the new public access route proposed for the former railway land to the south, which is part of one of the proposed housing allocations for Horsmonden.

That said, it is not a practical proposition to re-route the footpath up through the central section of the former railway track route largely because the northern end of the land is enclosed and blocked by the rear gardens of two existing residential properties (Boundary Cottage and Maythorn). The path could not continue through this land to the north.

If the land shown on the attached plan were to be included in the LBD for the village a limited number of dwellings could be provided to help meet the housing need for the area, and at the same time a key link within the Hop Pickers line strategic corridor could be safeguarded and greatly enhanced.

There are TPO trees lining both sides of the route of the former railway line within the site, and care would need to be taken to ensure that these are safeguarded. There is no doubt however that there is space within the site to provide some new dwellings without causing harm or undue pressure on these trees.

A further limitation is the standard of Back Lane, which is a modest, largely singletrack access road. As part of a modest development on this former railway land there would be scope to provide some improvements to the road, including widening in the vicinity of this site, which would provide a suitably located passing area.

If this land were to be included within the LBD of the village it could make a modest contribution to the housing in the village, in line with the second element in the strategy for Horsmonden Parish. At the same time, it could make a positive contribution to the achievement of the Hop Pickers Line strategic corridor. Furthermore, it could deliver some improvement to Back Lane, for the benefit of existing and future users.

We would urge the Council to make this amendment to the new Local Plan.

DLP_7346

Andrew Winser

Object

As stated below I object to STR/HO1 on the grounds of a disproportionate allocation to Horsmonden compared to its neighbouring rural villages which have the same limitations to access and traffic congestion.  I consider that the allocation of 225-305 dwellings is excessive and should be reconsidered.

I am concerned that since Horsmonden is designated to be just outside the AONB the fact that Horsmonden and its surrounding areas are designated as High Sensitivity for even small scale developments by TWBC on its Borough Landscape Character Assessment map, has been ignored and the impact of the draft plan on the local environment requires further consideration.

It is not clear whether the proposed policy would cap the permitted development in Horsmonden to 225-305 or whether other “greenfield windfall sites” would be allowed in addition.  Surely the plan must take account of the inevitable small developments that will take place over the years to come and not simply ignore these.

For any development in Horsmonden I am particularly concerned about the need for the village infrastructure to be developed in tandem with any such development:

  • The village health centre and health services are stretched to the limit and placing further demand on our doctors and health team without providing for better facilities would have a very high chance of Horsmonden losing its health practice and the residents having to travel much further afield for their health care.  Conversly the provision of new health facilities world greatly enhance the village.
  • Good school facilities with sufficient places for any expansion would also add to enhancement of the village.
  • Pedestrian walkway throughout the village are essential to preserve the character of the community and ensure that the unnecessary the use of cars is avoided.
  • Car parking facilities and a 20 mph zone are essential if the village is to grow constructively.
  • Access to very high speed broadband is also key to growth and attracting local business.

The draft policy makes reference to an “expectation” for the village infrastructure to be developed but I strongly object to this approach – a strong policy must have the vision and determination to require that the planned infrastructure is implemented.

DLP_7440

Clare Marsh

I object to the proposed 3 developments totalling 265 houses in the village of Horsmonden.

The village lacks the necessary infrastructure to support 265 additional  houses and the number of additional residents of all age groups that will live in them:

a) limited availability of primary and secondary school places locally will not be anything like sufficient. Mascalls (the nearest appropriate school for Horsmonden children) will be massively over subscribed with the vast number of houses being built in Paddock Wood. Given that places will be allocated to those living closest to the school leaves Horsmonden children potentially without local school places.

b) GP surgery will be overwhelmed – more GP’s needed against a backdrop of a severe national shortage of GPs

c) Transport infrastructure – bus service will be wholly inadequate and no commuter service to and from PWood Station. Most people living in the village will need to drive.

d) The village cross roads is already an accident blackspot. These are rural roads - many without pavements and some single track - therefore dangerous for pedestrians and motorists.

General comments: For people to be able to afford local house prices and mortgages they need a higher salary than can be commanded locally. It is hard to see how anyone can afford this without at least one occupant commuting into London for a London salary. This will mean additional journeys to Paddock Wood Station – so more traffic on the roads, more parking needed at Paddock Wood and a huge number of commuters travelling from PWood Station into London. Add to this the massive number from other developments trying to get on the same trains at Tonbridge this is a recipe for chaos. From local knowledge houses aren’t selling in the village because of lack of proximity to a commuter station.

DLP_8183

Highways England

No/Type:

Distance to SRN:

Current traffic flows:

Recommendations

Horsmonden

225-305 residential dwellings (3 sites)

Safeguarding land for primary school expansion, doctors surgery

Open spaces

Large scale developments >100 dwellings proposed.

< 5km

A21 / A262

+25km

M20 J7/J8

Traffic data shows moderate traffic currently at AM and PM peaks.

T junction modelling recommended at the B2162 Lamberhurst Rd/ A262 to understand impact of development turning right onto the A262 to join A21.

Roundabout modelling recommended at Forstal Farm roundabout. Mitigation at roundabout may be required to accommodate increase in trips.

TWBC: see Technical Note. See also full representation].

 

DLP_8300

NHS West Clinical Commissioning Group

General Observation

Howell Surgery provides the general practice medical services to this area; the practice has premises located in Brenchley (main surgery) and Horsmonden (branch surgery).

The existing premises do not have capacity to accommodate the estimated growth of c 1100 registered patients within the area (Brenchley, Matfield and Horsmonden); the majority of this growth is expected in Horsmonden. The branch surgery at Horsmonden is a converted domestic property and cannot be reconfigured or extended.

The CCG is strategically assessing, with general practice, how capacity may be provided in the future to accommodate growth in this area. The requirement for new premises will form part of this assessment and the allocation/ safeguarding of land along with contributions will be required for medical facilities to mitigate the impact of this development.

Planning for growth in general practice is complex; physical infrastructure is one element but alongside this workforce is a critical consideration both in terms of new workforce requirements and retirements. Any plans developed need to support delivery of sustainable services for the future. It is therefore important that in order to ensure proactive development of premises capacity the trigger of any healthcare contribution should be made available linked to commencement or at an early stage of development.

Please also refer to response to AL/HO 3

DLP_1939

Barry Shrubb

Support

Ref All proposed sites in Horsmonden. The village desperatly requires new housing projects to divert it away from a retirement village. As many other villages have lost most of their shops ,pubs and surgeries, Horsmonden has managed to save them, including even a chemist, all due to the hard work of the proprieters of those businesses. The current population has soon become complacent, and without full support none of these businesses will stay profitable, new housing of 200/300 units is not out of proportion, to the continuous trading of our excellent shop, public house, chemist and doctors.

Policy AL/HO 1: Land adjacent to Furnace Lane and Gibbet Lane

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Object/support/support with conditions/general observation

Response

DLP_178

Stephen Crane

Support with conditions

I understand that this site is scheduled to have a general mix of housing. Has it been realised that it would be most appropriate to provide accomodation for the elderly and infirm here as the access to the village is relatively good and pavements could be enhanced to cope with wheel chairs etc.

It should be noted that neither HO2 nor HO3 are a viable option for elderly/infirm residents and these are the only other options

DLP_1734

Horsmonden Parish Council

 

(b) Policy AL/HO1 Land adjacent to Furnace Lane and Gibbet Lane 

  • This site is the subject of a current planning application (18/1976/FULL) for 49 dwellings. We accept that the proposed allocation in the draft Local Plan will need to reviewed in the light of whatever decision is made on that application.
  • The Parish Council has objected to both the original and revised plans for this application on traffic, parking and pedestrian safety grounds. One is prompted to question whether this site makes a sound basis for a Local Plan allocation, given that it has so far been unable to resolve these issues to the highway authority’s satisfaction more than 15 months after a planning application was made.
  • We support the proposal to seek developer contributions to the improvement of pedestrian links, the public realm in the village centre and the enhancement of public transport, but question the feasibility of delivering them, given the heavily constrained position along roads in the centre of the village. These are only “expectations” and the wording should be strengthened to become mandatory requirements (see above comments).
  • We also support the draft Local Plan’s requirement for retention of hedgerows, a design which is sensitive to the edge-of-village location, and provision of on-site amenity/natural green space and children’s play facilities. These are essential if any development allocation is to be integrated successfully into the local environment.

DLP_1978

Mr Jeremy Waters

Object

HO1 has been submitted for development. There is a significant problem with access as the roads around the site are all narrow lanes and access to the main Brenchley road is limited and frequently congested, even with the existing traffic levels. If upwards of 40 houses are built this would only get worse unless they were for sheltered homes for the elderly where car usage may be less.

DLP_2448

Mr Peter Bird

Object

AL/HO1

2 of the four roads around this site are less than 8 feet wiode in places,this would be a tragic plan awaiting to happen.There is no potential for employment in the village there fore people are going to have to travel by car to work as public transport is not at peak requirment times.

DLP_2731

Rupert Lovell

Object

There is no way that the highway system can accommodate sightlines and general weight of traffic entering and leaving this site in a sustainable way without loss of existing hedgerows and without causing traffic problems at the junction with Brenchley Road.

Development on this site would cause harm to landscape character and would be at odds with policies relating to sustainable development and the protection of the environment and landscape in the NPPF. The character of the quiet tranquil lane linking Gibbet Lane with Furnace Lane would be ruined as a recreational route for walking.

Horsmonden, as a village, has accommodated more than it's fair share of housing development in recent years. The village has been extremely accommodating, with sustainable housing development on brownfield sites such as thee 'Boddingtons' site and the 'cold store' site at Morley Drive. Other developments include Lamberts Place, and greenfield development off Gibbet Lane, Kirkins Close and current development on Maidstone Road.

DLP_2749

Tracy Belton

Object

Policy AL/HO1

As a resident who will be directly affected by this development as I live opposite the site, I would like to make the following comments.

Access and Safety

1. Access to the site is via one of a possible three routes – Maidstone Road into Gibbet Lane, Brenchley Road into Furnace Lane and Castle Hill into Furnace Lane. All routes are single carriageway roads which is not ideal for the increased traffic that an extra 49 properties would bring. 49 properties could potentially mean an extra 90 vehicles on these roads on a daily basis. The development company have proposed that they would widen the road along the south end of the site (the section from Gibbet Lane – number 9, to Furnace Lane). Where this in theory is a good idea, not all of the houses already on this road have enough parking and so there is the likelihood that having widened the road, it would simply act as a means for parking for the current residents and visitors.

2. There is a need for large vehicles and lorries to be able to easily access the current properties and the village in general. This is already difficult due to the single carriageway access around the proposed site and more vehicles on the road would hinder this not only around the proposed site, but around the village as a whole due to the increased traffic.

3. The development company have proposed to put footpaths in along the inside of the hedge in Furnace Lane and across the top end in Gibbet Lane. This will be beneficial to local residents as currently there are no footpaths along either of these roads and many school children walk along these routes to school. However, there are only two access points to the paths in Furnace Lane and these are proposed where the current two entrances to the field are. If more access points to these paths were made along Furnace Lane, this would be beneficial to those who live along this road. However, would visitors/residents of the new development then be tempted to park in Furnace Lane near to these entrances, in which case perhaps thought needs to be given as to how these entrances should be placed.

4. Safety in the village – especially at the crossroads is already a problem. The crossroads is a very dangerous junction as there are always cars/vehicles parked in every direction right on top of the junction which makes it extremely difficult to cross on foot and when driving. We have seen many accidents at this junction over the past year. If there are more vehicles on the roads, the problem of cars parking, and the risk of an accident will only increase.

5. The Maidstone Road is also a really dangerous road to cross due to the parked cars all the way from the crossroads up to Kirkins Close. A further development site next to Kirkins Close has been granted permission for 17 properties to be built and I believe that these properties will only have one parking space per property. This means that even more vehicles will be parked further along the Maidstone Road as well as increased traffic from this development. More properties on the west side of the village will mean more children needing to cross the Maidstone Road to get to school and Locket Green, and with increased traffic and parking on this road, the risk of there being an accident will be higher.

6. Whilst there is parking at the Methodist Hall, once this is full, as the car park isn’t very big, visitors to the hall use Furnace Lane to park in, which again will cause more traffic congestion along the road.

7. Can it be stipulated that lorries/deliveries can only be made after 9am and before 3pm so that large vehicles are not moving about near the site when residents are taking children to school?

8. Can it be stipulated that a path has to be put I first so that it is safe for residents to walk past the site (when taking children to school, etc).

Services

9. Can the existing services cope with an additional 49 properties linked into them? Are there sufficient broadband services – we find that our broadband seems to drop out quite often. Also I believe that some residents already have problems with water pressure – will this be made worse by building more houses?

10. Is the primary school able to cope with the extra children that will need a school place if this development goes ahead? There is already a development for 17 properties that has been granted planning permission in the village – how many more children has the school got space for? If the school is unable to cope, are there places in the surrounding villages? If people have to travel to take their children to school, this will again increase the traffic on the roads in peak times and add to the safety issues mentioned above.

11. Will there be enough secondary school places to cope with the extra children that this development and those already approved will bring to the village? Paddock Wood is gaining another approximately 600 houses, as well as houses being built in many other villages in the area, so where will the extra school places come from?

12. The doctors surgery in Horsmonden is already shared with Brenchley, and is already at full capacity. Will increased services be provided to accommodate the extra residents, or will they have to drive to another village/town (which would again increase traffic on the roads)?

13. Will more NHS dentist places be provided locally? Benchley is not taking on any more NHS patients and many other dental practices in the area are also no longer providing services to NHS patients.

14. Will more buses be provided for school children?

15. There are now very few employment opportunities within the village which means that the majority of residents will be commuting to their places of work by car, again increasing the amount of traffic on the roads during key times of the day.

Layout of proposed development

16. A pond has been proposed at the north end of the site near the second gate to the field as you go down Furnace Lane. A natural area for play is proposed next to the pond. Is it a good idea to put it next to the play area? As the site mainly contains family homes, and as the only other play area in the village is in Locket Green, I would imagine that many children living on the west side of the Maidstone Road would use this area. I have two small children who I would expect would play in this play area should the development go ahead. I really do not like the idea of having a pond so close to my house for the safety of my children and I would have thought that the majority of parents would feel the same. Could the play area be moved to the middle of the development so that parents/residents can keep an eye on it for the safety of the children rather than it being on the edge of the site furthest away from the residents? I understand that the pond is for surface water drainage – will/what happens when the pond overfills? Will the water simply run down Furnace Lane and to the properties below the site as the water does now (except there will be more water due to more of the site being covered in houses and tarmac)? Also will the ditches that run along the outside of the site be cleared and the hedges maintained on a regular basis?

17. The proposed site will potentially have up to 17 properties for social housing. Could it be stipulated that these properties can only be made available to those who live in the village? I believe that other developments in the village have a similar covenant in place.

18. Could more of the properties be bungalows rather than houses? A row of bungalows could be put along the boundary of the site on both Gibbet Lane and Furnace Lane, leaving the rest for family homes. This would allow those who already live in Gibbet Lane and Furnace Lane to have their privacy by not being overlooked by new properties built on the opposite side of the road.

19. Bungalows could make up part of the social housing available on the site. If more 1-2 bedroom bungalows were built, these could be specifically for local elderly people who currently live in family properties but who are now less able to cope with living in a property with stairs, or a big garden to maintain, etc. Councils spend money adapting these family homes by putting in stair lifts, new wet rooms and widening doorways for wheelchair access, and then having to convert them back into family homes, so there is the potential so save money on this type of expense. If a bungalow were available these type of resident may swap their family home for one which suits their needs. The south end of the proposed site (Gibbet Lane) is level with the centre of the village and so would be ideal for this type of property. Also many elderly people like to see children/others pass their windows and may

children and families do walk along Gibbet Lane to school. This would hopefully be good for the community spirit as the elderly would get to know the younger residents of the village and the younger residents would build up a rapport and respect for the elderly. With old and young living side by side, there would be people on hand to look out for the elderly.

Visual Impact

20. The planning application states that it has taken into consideration the design of existing properties when designing the new ones. Some of the new ones along the south end along Gibbet Lane will be weatherboard and some brick and some brick and tile. These are not in keeping with those on the opposite side of the road which are brick built – rather they are more like those in Willard Place, which is not really visible from the proposed site to the same degree. Those along Furnace Lane consist of weatherboard and brick bungalows and brick houses. Again, there are only 2 bungalows on the proposed development so again, not really in keeping with the surrounding properties.

21. There are several photos of how it is predicted the site will look in 1 year’s time and in 15 years time. These have been taken at eye level and from various corners of the development. None of them show how the site will look if you were to look directly onto the south side which is where the development will be most obvious as the current hedge is proposed to be removed. I live along this side and as we are north/west facing we currently get a lot of light in the front of our houses in the afternoons and evenings. With houses built directly opposite us we will lose a lot of light and in the winter when the sun is low in the sky, we will hardly get any. I would have thought that with any development consideration needs to be given to existing residents as to how the light in their properties will be affected? Also, while we may not be entitled to a view, our current view would have been taken into consideration when purchasing our properties for existing residents. Blocking our view will reduce the value of our properties and I wonder how we will be compensated for this?

22. Properties in Willard Place appear to have high pitched roofs. If the new properties were built similarly to this, it will block out even more light from existing residents. Also it would give scope for those in these houses to extend into the loft space which will then mean existing residents are even more overlooked. I feel that there is no need to have high pitched roofs as this would not be in keeping with existing properties along the boundary of the site.

Environment

23. The proposed site has got a lot of wildlife living within it and in the hedgerows surrounding it. Habitats will be lost for many of the species that live here. Slow worms live on the site and are a protected species. Perhaps further investigation into the site to see what other wildlife lives there should be undertaken to make sure that important wildlife is protected. Overall I feel that this development is too big and that if it has to be developed, bungalows would be a better option as residents of the village would have the opportunity to perhaps move (whether it be social housing or privately owned) to more suitable accommodation which would free up family sized properties in other parts of the village. I would of course prefer the site not

to be built on at all. Too much building is happening in this area and services cannot keep up with it. I think it would put a huge strain on a village where services are already stretched to a maximum and where traffic and safety issues are a big problem. I personally dread the thought of crossing the crossroads in the village, especially with small children, due to the accidents that have occurred. Even though some measures have been put in place to try to resolve the problem, I believe that still vehicles are not stopping at the junction. Although this isn’t a direct concern of the development company, it should be taken into consideration. One of the documents states that there are very few accidents along Furnace Lane. Whilst I appreciate that they have to obtain information from accident records, not all accidents are reported, and neither are all the times when near misses occur. There was an accident in Furnace Lane in June this year which would not have been on the records used by the developers. The proposal in 1985 was refused on several points, and at least to two of these still stand – overdevelopment of the site and it would intensify traffic flows in the area which would be detrimental to residential amenity. This proposal was for 28 retirement homes and 8 starter homes – 36 properties in total and now the new proposal is for an additional 49 and the majority are family homes so the extra traffic would be more than it would have been on the proposal in 1985. Surely Horsmonden has had enough houses build on all of the sites that used to be used for businesses in the last 20-30 years to cover the need?

DLP_2843

David Watson

Object

Policy AL/HO 1 - The existing footway network to the village centre is often beset with Cars parked on footways, or blocking dropped kerbs, so the footpaths will need to be upgraded and controlled before development on this site for families, the elderly and infirm can be considered. High density housing on this site will exasperate that problem, and the nearby roads, as it is unlikely the number of cars per family, combined with residents work/business associated vans/trucks within the new development, will most likely exceed the allocation of parking bays per build given a high density of homes, as proposed in the most recent proposal.

This site is prime Fruit-belt soil. Building on this prime fertile land can never be replaced, and as per comment in STR/HO 1.

Consideration needs to be given to ensure the existing hedgerows are properly maintained on both sides of the hedgerow, forever, and not left as an additional burden upon the Borough Council to maintain as they impede onto the surrounding perimeter roads.

The site drainage is frequently overwhelmed during seasonal damp periods, with run-off water frequently streaming across Furnace Lane, and becoming an ice-hazard during the winter months. This will only be accentuated with less porous open space being built on this site. If development proceeds on this site, the location of recreation space needs careful consideration.

DLP_3342

Kent County Council (Growth, Environment and Transport)

Support with conditions

Highways and Transportation

The Local Highway Authority conditionally supports this policy. The following change is requested:

The standard paragraph regarding contributions should feature in this policy - It is expected that mitigation measures will be implemented by the developer. A contribution may be taken if appropriate

Heritage Conservation

Scale 4 - Low level archaeology anticipated which could be dealt with through suitable conditions on a planning approval.

Low potential for archaeological remains.

DLP_4141

Tunbridge Wells District Committee Campaign to Protect Rural England

Object

Please see our comments at STR/HO1 [DLP_4140].

DLP_4854

Robin & Diana Morton

General Observation

This site, already with permission, could perhaps be revised to allow for a larger proportion of accommodation for the elderly. Because it is central and accessible, it would be preferable to either of the other sites under consideration.

DLP_5098

Rebecca MacGibbon

Object

I haven’t lived in the village for very long but moved to Horsmonden because it is a small quiet rural location with a lovely community feel. I don’t have the background knowledge that longstanding village residents do but can see that the plan to add 225-305 additional dwellings (the number of which excludes any additional windfall developments so could be more) will completely change the village and not for the better.

Whilst we are all aware that additional housing is required and no town or village will be exempt from this, the sheer quantity of new dwellings proposed for a village of this size is overwhelming. Should the numbers proposed be built the village is going to increase in size by about 35-40% which will push it to breaking point from an infrastructure and facilities perspective and change the nature of the village dramatically and irreversibly. Once greenfield land is built on it will be gone forever and what has made this part of Kent such a special area will be lost.

The document states that “It is expected that contributions will be required towards the following if necessary, to mitigate the impact of the development:” (and lists various items) but this is an expectation and nothing more. If the contributions do not materialise the infrastructure and facilities listed will be stretched well beyond breaking point.

The traffic along the Goudhurst Road is already very busy for a road this size and is treated as a rat run with many vehicles driving well in excess of the speed limit. Putting an additional 100-150 houses on the east side of the village will add about 300 more cars on this road just from this development alone and does not take into account the additional traffic from the other sites within the village and similar proposals in neighbouring villages (along with the associated environmental impact). There are not enough alternative means of transport in place to mitigate the additional residents and their travel needs this will bring with it. It is surprising that there haven’t been more serious accidents and the number of accidents may well go up as a result of additional traffic. In my mind new large-scale housing developments should to be near existing transport links or have infrastructure and transport upgrades included in the plans as a necessity and not just as expected contributions.

A large worry for many people is that whilst the current government policy requires large numbers of houses to be built, it isn’t clear that we will see the right type of housing being built or housing built in the most appropriate areas. We need more affordable housing and starter homes and not the 4-5 bedroom houses that inevitably get built whenever these drives for more housing get made. There are a number of larger homes in the village and surrounding areas that have been on the market for a while now which would suggest that properties of this size are not so popular. 1-3 bedroom properties on the other hand may well be welcomed, though not in the quantities proposed, as it is the volume of properties that appears to be of most concern to people.

It would also be good to see some joined up thinking with respect to employment opportunities alongside the development plans. The document states “Any major development larger than approximately 100 residential units on greenfield windfall sites

is expected to provide suitable employment floorspace.” Again this is an expectation and nothing more. There are lots of ifs and buts but no solid assurances within the document. If no additional employment opportunities (as opposed to just floorspace) are put in place prior to the housing being completed then this won’t attract residents based on employment opportunities. Instead, those looking to move to the new housing will be working in areas they need to commute to and thereby adding to the already groaning infrastructure.

As a general note - from an environmental perspective the size of the developments in question is a worry. In addition to the increased number of vehicles with the associated pollution, there are other impacts of increased building. By removing areas of land and replacing with areas of hardstanding this removes natural drainage. Even if climate change were not an issue rain water needs to drain somewhere and concreting over vast swathes of land removes the normal routes for the water and increases the chance of surface and flash flooding.

DLP_5762

Jill Hughes

Object

I have twice trieD to obtain a form to complete but without success and have had my login details unrecognised, so am having to resort to an informal email which I hope will be taken into consideration.

My concerns are limited to Horsmonden and are as follows:

Map 72 AL/HO1

Furnace Lane itself is too narrow to accommodate any additional traffic.  The lane to the north and east of this site is not even wide enough to permit the passage of one car.  Gibbet Lane is already stretched to capacity so far as traffic is concerned and has many cars parked along it belonging to households with no garages or off-road parking.

CONCLUSION :  If all or any of these sites were developed for housing, there would necessarily be a substantial increase in traffic which the village could not absorb.  Already there have been several accidents at the crossroads, and a pedestrian suffered severe injuries trying to reach the village centre on the Brenchley Road approach where there is no pavement.  There are no pedestrian crossings in the village.

DLP_5945

Cynthia Kirk

Object

My comments refer to the proposed developments in Horsmonden.

Map82PolicyAL/HO1

  • Furnace lane is narrow with many dangerous bends, which already causes many accidents along it. So this development along this lane would be unsafe as it would not be able to cope with the increased volume of traffic along it.
  • The access to the village would be a real issue, because there is no pavement along the existing houses between the village and the proposed development.

DLP_7446

Clare Marsh

Object

I object to the proposed development of land adjacent to Furnace Lane and Gibbet Lane for 45-55 houses. CfS ref site 31

This site is wholly unsuitable for development. It is utterly misleading to say that it adjoins the public highway on all four sides. Two of these are an extremely narrow country lane with no passing places and barely one car’s width. Also Gibbet Lane and Furnace Lane could not provide safe access in and out of the site for motor vehicles. We live on a sharp bend on Furnace Lane away from the village, but next to the development. The increase in traffic would seriously compromise our safety when walking up the lane to the village and leaving or entering our driveway. There have been many near misses on the bend which we have observed. This is bad enough in good visibility, but in the dark or on ice it will be lethal.

The site is surrounded by ancient hedgerow which must not be compromised.

The village lacks the infrastructure for this and the other proposed developments:.

a) There is limited availability of primary and secondary school places locally will not be anything like sufficient. Mascalls (the nearest appropriate school for Horsmonden children) will be massively oversubscribed with the vast number of houses being built in Paddock Wood. Given that places will be allocated to those living closest to the school leaves Horsmonden children potentially without local school places.

b) GP surgery will be overwhelmed – more GP’s needed against a backdrop of a severe national shortage of GPs

c) Transport infrastructure – bus service will be wholly inadequate and no commuter service to and from PWood Station. Most people living in the village will need to drive.

d) The village cross roads is already an accident blackspot. These are rural roads - many without pavements and some single track without passing places - are already dangerous for pedestrians and motorists.

e) The village lacks adequate mobile phone and reliable internet coverage. We are at the end of an inadequate line of service which will be further compromised by this proposed development.

For people to be able to afford local house prices and mortgages for property in Horsmonden they need a higher salary than can be commanded locally. It is hard to see how anyone can afford this without at least one occupant commuting into London for a London salary. This will mean a vast increase in additional journeys to Paddock Wood Station – so more traffic on the roads, more parking needed at Paddock Wood and a huge number of commuters travelling from PWood Station into London. Add to this the massive number from other developments (Tudely etc) trying to get on the same trains at Tonbridge this is a recipe for complete chaos. From local knowledge houses aren’t selling in the village because of lack of proximity to a commuter station.

Policy AL/HO 2: Land south of Brenchley Road and west of Fromandez Drive

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Object/support/support with conditions/general observation

Response

DLP_16

Darren White

Object

Also it should be noted that Sprivers is a National Trust property, not (as described) a historic park and garden.

DLP_110

Catherine Catchpole

Object

This development is outside the LBD set in 2016.  Your Development Strategy states an intention to build within the LBD ... what was the point of setting the limits if you simply increase them to accommodate your new plans? Surely the limits should be set for a goodly amount of time?  As a general obseration the speed limits on Brenchley road have been extended to include the entry to this site.  By siting a village hall here it is right on the edge of the village (rather than in the centre where it is now) and so harder to access for elderly/those with young children/those without cars - exacerbating traffic situation which is already poor in the centre of the village.

DLP_397

Mark Ironmonger

Object

Policy AL/HO 2.  Site 162

Overall we feel that as it stands Horsmonden village is a well balanced, caring community where there are established local extended families and social networks that look after each other with the support of the facilities already provided such as the primary school, pre-school, surgery, clubs, sports facilites, Readycall etc.  The traffic through the village has proved to be excessive, especially since the A21 dualing was extended from Tonbridge to Kippings Cross, creating huge tailbacks and traffic diverting through the villages.  There have been multiple accidents as noted on national television.  Parking is already a problem in the village.

The village surgery is working beyond capacity in both consulting facilities and parking provision.  Without definite commitment to funding a new surgery facility the village is likely to lose local access to primary care, which is highly valued by all.

Concerning specifically site 126 - Although buffer zones have been designated to protect National Trust land and an oast house, no such protection has been afforded to the Listed property, 1-2 Milestone Cottages, to the north of this site. In fact Para 6 and 8 imply pushing development closer to this northern boundary.  The new 30 mile per hour speed limit on this road has been widely ignored and accidents have ensued already.

Horsmonden has steadily developed housing in a controlled way over the last few years but the excessive number of houses proposed risks overwhelming the cohesive local population, threatening the very nature of the community.

DLP_408

Joseph White

Object

I strongly object to the number of properties that is proposed for Horsmonden considering the size of the village compared with others in the Plan. The numbers are far in exceess of those proposed for Tunbridge Wells by ratio and percentage and there are minimal additional facilities or infrastructure proposed for Horsmonden. Despite having access to several brownfield sites in the borough it appears as if the majority of properties are proposed for greenfield sites as it is cheaper to develop. The question regarding the lack of development along the A21 corridor, in particular around the Kippings Cross has to be asked. It would appear that these sites would provide ideal connectivity to Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood, whilst also not causing detrimental impact to the surrounding villages and being able to accomodate a high density of properties.

when you look at the current density, Tunmbridge Wells has 4,290 population km2, tonbridge has 4,237 km2 whereas Horsmonden already has 3,440 km2 which is nearly the same as the neighbouring towns. And thats without the porposed 330 new properties, an increase of 28%. The village does not has the infrastructure capacity to accomodate that number, there are already regular road accidents without the increase of potentially an additional 500 cars.

The proposed plot of AL/HO2 162 is unsuitable as it does not provide good access to the village centre by foot, which means that residents would either drive the 100 metres - which isnt sustainable and would affect the Governments target of becoming net zero carbon or put their lives at risk walking along the road.

A total number of approx 100 properties would be acceptable as long as they are low carbon, affordable housing included. Also a figure should be placed on wondfall sites as otherwise landowners, such as Swigs Hall could put forward a development of several hundred outside of the remit of this plan as a windfall. A total of potentially 10% of the total for the village should be set to avoid tricks by unscruplous developers.

DLP_905

Harry Standen

Object

AL/HO2

This site is impractical as there is no safe pedestrian access to the village and would infringe on the neighbouring Ancient Woodland. Also vehicle access onto Brenchley Road would be dangerous.

DLP_1224

Stephen Crane

Object

Paragraph 3 suggests that pedestrian access has, quite rightly, been deemed unsatisfactory along the Brenchley Road. By considering Fromandez Drive it will require pedestrians to take the longer route through a quiet suburban close onto the conjested Lamberhurst Road. This road narrows towards the crossroads, has no pavement nor space for one to be included. Any pedestrian now has to negotiate a busy crossroad, already renown for car accidents.

The number of dwellings for HO 2 has been but at 80 - 100. Using the usual estimate of 0.25 children of primary school age per dwelling approximately 20 - 25 children will be walking along Lamberhurst Road and negotiating the crossroad every day/afternoon at peak time.

Surely this is not sensible! I would hate to consider a mother walking with a young child, and another in a pushchair, having to take this journey every morning!

DLP_1735

Horsmonden Parish Council

 

(c) Policy AL/HO2 Land south of Brenchley Road and west of Fromandez Drive 

  • Our main concern with this proposed allocation remains the practicality of providing a safe pedestrian link between this site and the centre of the village, including pedestrian access to the shops, primary school, kindergarten, village hall, doctor’s surgery and pharmacy. Such a link is essential for any allocation on this site. The most obvious route is a continuous footway alongside Brenchley Road into the village centre, but this would require the acquisition of garden land from a large number of private frontages, making it impracticable. During discussions with KCC, following several significant accidents in the village, they have concluded that there is no feasible safe crossing point in the area. Therefore, provision of a safe and continuous pedestrian access along Brenchley Road would not be feasible.

Instead, the draft Local Plan proposes a pedestrian link into the village centre via Fromandez Drive. This would require acquisition, and possibly demolition, of an existing bungalow there (and presumably reduce the ability of a developer to afford other necessary supporting infrastructure for the development). The Local Plan does not indicate where, and how, this would be achieved and this raises issues of whether such an approach is actually deliverable.  The introduction of a large amount of pedestrian traffic, will change the character of what is now a very quiet cul-de-sac, particularly at the beginning and end of the school day. It would then bring pedestrians to another difficult road crossing at the village crossroads to get over to the school. We think the practicality of this proposal needs a re-think and begs questions about the suitability of this site for large scale housing development of 80-100 dwellings.

Even if a pedestrian route can be secured via Fromandez Drive, there is still a strong likelihood that residents of the new development would still be drawn to walk along Brenchley Road with potentially dangerous consequences (pedestrian desire lines are almost unstoppable in practice).

  • If the above points are overridden and the allocation is confirmed, we support the policy’s references to further reduce the speed limit to 20 mph and extend it out along Brenchley Road; provision of a buffer to protect the ancient woodland to the west of the site; protection of hedgerows on the site; reinforcement of landscaping on the southern boundary of the site; contributions to meeting biodiversity targets; safeguarding the setting of nearby heritage assets (including the conservation area and historic park and garden); and provision of on-site amenity/natural green space and children’s play space. All of these are essential if the development is to be successfully integrated into the local environment.
  • Given the difficulties of securing safe and convenient pedestrian access between the proposed allocation site and the centre of the village, we consider that this is not a suitable and sustainable site for a village hall, as it will encourage more short car journeys by people who do not wish to negotiate a difficult walking route.
  • The contributions to transport infrastructure (public realm in village centre, other highways related works and measures to enhance bus travel) are all welcome, but again should be mandatory requirements rather than expectations (see comments above).

DLP_1979

Mr Jeremy Waters

 

HO2 has a significant problem with pedestrian access as it would not be possible to provide a pavement on either the north or south side of the Brenchley road. Alternative ideas of accessing through Fromandez Close are not viable and even if the developer was to buy and demolish a property, pedestrians would still need to cross the Lamberhurst road to reach the shop and pub. There is no pavement or crossing at this point so pedestrians would be endangered.

DLP_2072

Mrs Christine Allen

Object

Policy ALHO2

The proposed development would have an impact on our property, the residential properties surrounding the site and the properties across the road.  The view we have enjoyed for many years would be gone. The peace and tranquility of the site would be lost due to the proposed housing which would also result in loss of privacy and increased noise, therefore impacting on the overall character and enjoyment of the site. The site proposed is adjacent to woodland owned by the national trust and is part of historic Sprivers estate. The impact on the wildlife habitat and trees bordering one side of the site and our own historic farmstead Oasthanger is concerning.

It is proposed that 80 - 100 houses be built on this site.  This is over development and unacceptable. The open aspect of the site would be lost, and have a detrimental affect on the overall visual impact on Horsmonden village with its many traditional buildings.

The development would also impact on the roads due to the increase in traffic not only from these proposed properties but the site proposed at Furnace Lane and Gibbet Lane. The roads are no more than country lanes and are all in a poor state of repair, including the road that borders this proposed site (AL/HO2) going into the village. The village is currently suffering from an increase in traffic due to the increase already in housing, this is impacted by articulated lorries that are travelling through the village and up and down the Lamberhurst Road on a daily basis. The Lamberhurst Road is again no more than a country lane.  In the village there are already rows of cars parked on the road making driving hazardous and the village junction at the green is a notorious back spot for accidents.

I understand the need for housing and the pressure the council is under to provide this but tearing up the country side around this historic village is not the answer when there are other sites within the borough with good roads and infrastructure already.  We therefore object to the proposal in its current form and support the views of the Parish Council regarding this proposal.

DLP_2452

Mr Peter Bird

Object

Unable to put the required pavements along Brenchley road.Would need a CPO on a property in Formandez drive

DLP_2732

Rupert Lovell

Object

This development would be highly unsustainable and harm landscape character, the setting of the High Weald AONB and the National Trust Sprivers estate. It is on highly valued greenfield rural countryside and is completely inappropriate and in contravention of policies relating to sustainable development and the protection of the landscape and environment in the NPPF.

Horsmonden has already accommodated numerous developments including more sustainable development on brownfield sites such as 'Boddingtons' and also other greenfield sites such as development on Gibbet Lane.

DLP_2987

Denise Cole

Object

It is not going to possible to provide a safe pedestrian link between this site & the centre of the village. The village crossroads are extremely dangerous and without pedestrian access on the Brenchley Road it would potentially be catastrophic

DLP_3178

Christine & David Turnbull

Object

This site borders an area of national beauty which is of great importance and should not be disturbed. The main road access into the village gives great concern for safety of pedestrians. Any village hall/community centre should be in the centre, not the outskirts of village.

DLP_3343

Kent County Council (Growth, Environment and Transport)

Object

Highways and Transportation

The Local Highway Authority objects to this policy.

KCC as Local Highway Authority is unable to support without a footway link into the settlement. It appears the site is unable to deliver a pedestrian link to any existing facilities which are some distance from the site. Currently appears any link to Fromandez Drive is outside of site boundary.

Paragraph 9 - suggests opportunities for parking - this would require good pedestrian links to key facilities

Paragraph 10 - suggests a replacement village hall may be sited on this site - this must be safely accessible by foot from the residential areas of the village.

Heritage Conservation

Scale 3 - Significant archaeology could be dealt with through suitable conditions on a planning approval

The site lies adjacent to historic gardens of Sprivers and also contains a spring and small water channel. There is potential for prehistoric or later activity.

DLP_3568

Kent & East Sussex Regional Office
National Trust

Support with conditions

The National Trust are the owners and custodians of Sprivers Historic Park and Garden that adjoins the proposed site allocation on its western edge. This allocation presents a number of significant opportunities for the National Trust in relation to Sprivers with potential for improved public access, new parking and greater community engagement.

The National Trust positively encourage walking and dog walking within Sprivers woodland and would support the creation of a new public access route into the woodland from the new development. This will enable new residents and visitors to access the woodland from the village safely without the need to walk on Brenchley Road. We therefore recommend modification of criterion 3 to ‘Provision of pedestrian access from the site to link with the wider footway network, to include consideration of opportunities for pedestrian access through the site via Fromandez Drive and providing safe pedestrian access into the Sprivers Historic Park and Garden’.

Policy AL/HO 2 criterion 4 requires the provision of a buffer to Ancient Woodland on the western part of the site, as defined on the site allocation plan. The National Trusts experience of these buffers is that they are put in place and then left unmanaged to the detriment of habitat and local wildlife. Conservation is at the heart of National Trust core values and we would only support new development at this location if it can deliver the best possible outcomes in terms of improved habitat of the Ancient Woodland and net biodiversity gains.

Criterion 9 requires opportunities to be explored for providing additional public parking within the site in circumstances that a pedestrian link through Fromandez Drive can be achieved. As a key stakeholder the National Trust wish to engage with the LPA prior to Regulation 19 on the potential for new parking to also facilitate Sprivers Historic Park and Garden. We would also like to be part of discussions on any potential options for the provision of enhanced natural play space to be located and managed by the National Trust within Sprivers Historic Park and Garden which is currently required on-site at policy criterion 12. There may also be opportunities such as habitat management, and rural fringe management that could be organised to be mutually beneficial for both the National Trust as owners of Sprivers Historic Park and Garden and the developer and we would like to discuss these options also.

It is hoped that the National Trust can work with the LPA and any potential developer to provide greater access to the countryside, provide valuable amenity space for Horsmonden whilst balancing the need to proactively manage wildlife habitats adjoining this site. A key longer-term outcome for the National Trust would be to have greater engagement and working with the Horsmonden community in environmental conservation and its associated objectives.

DLP_3622

Southern Water Services Plc

Support with conditions

Southern Water is the statutory wastewater undertaker for Horsmonden. As such, we have undertaken a preliminary assessment of the capacity of our existing infrastructure and its ability to meet the forecast demand for this proposal. Our assessment has revealed that Southern Water's underground infrastructure crosses this site. This needs to be taken into account when designing the site layout. Easements would be required, which may affect the site layout or require diversion. Easements should be clear of all proposed buildings and substantial tree planting.

In consideration of the above, we recommend the following criterion is added to Policy AL/HO 2

Layout is planned to ensure future access to existing wastewater infrastructure for maintenance and upsizing purposes

DLP_3787

Georgina Hagen

Object

The crossroads in Horsmonden Lane has already seen numerous accidents. I do not think it will be possible to provide a safe pedestrian link between this site and the centre of the village. I do not accept that this is a suitable location.

DLP_3793

Gary McCulley

Object

This is prime agricultural land which will be lost for the future if developed. That it has not been in use for years should not be used as an excuse to change its use.

What if in future years we require agric. land?

Are we to demolish the houses or knock down trees - something the world is currently critical of.

We are getting to a point of way more houses are reserved in a village without services - we have mo direct access to the nearest (county) town of Maidstone.

The South East is now becoming the housing estate of London where access will be increasingly difficult.

These aim at the wrong target: Filling agric land with houses can only lead to future issues which must be faced now.

If the draft local plan has omitted to include any developable land I would be surprised.

Surely the over-riding concern of any development in this village is the potential of actual loss of prime agricultural land: A loss that would be permanent & irreversible.

That land in the village has not been not properly used (for agriculture) for years should not be used as an excuse to target it for housing development. The land along the Brenchley Road (Site 162:ALHO2) is one such parcel of land which should be used to support full agric-use - & the world food programme. Any other development should be denied.

When the UK is looking around for agric land, ?what will we do: ?cute down trees: ? Exavate the peak district: ? use the higher cricket ground.

DLP_4142

Tunbridge Wells District Committee Campaign to Protect Rural England

Object

Please see our comments at STR/HO1 [DLP_4140].

DLP_4413

Alison Adams

Object

I am a resident of Horsmonden and have lived here for the last 6 years.  During my time I have been the Chair of the local Horsmonden Kindergarten and I have been very busy renovating my home and garden.  I love living in this village with its community spirit and feel very involved and integrated in the society here.

Although I appreciate that new housing is inevitable and do not object to sensitive and structured new building I am concerned greatly by the idea of large scale new development which does not take into account the requirements of the existing community or the actual requirements of the prospective purchasers of the homes.

Horsmonden like most villages provides a mixture of housing and there are many residents living here who do not foresee living anywhere else. Houses however do come onto the market and at present there are a number in the village that have been up for sale for over a year.  My question is therefore, how have the “powers that be” come up with the decision that we need to create 13,560 new homes (Para 4.7)?  If we do need these homes I sincerely hope that the main priority is to create homes that will fulfil the specifications that these new prospective owners are looking for.  In my view one of the biggest problems that we face is that large family homes continue to be occupied by parents well after their children have left, couples in their 60s, 70s and 80s are reluctant to downsize due to the lack of smaller but prestigious, spacious, convenient houses/apartments/bungalows that also offer attractive outside space.  This creates a barrier to the upward movement of younger families who wish to gain more space.  Space in the South East is at a premium so there needs to be some incentive to free up these family homes for the new generation.

I would also like to be 100% certain that the companies that are employed to build all these new homes are actually controlled so that the new homes are good quality and sustainable with eco-friendly initiatives being used. Why is it not compulsory to have solar panels, permeable paving, grey water storage?  All these design features are available and if every builder was enforced to use them there would be economies of scale so the price of these technologies would ultimately come down.

In terms of the Consultation I would like to comment on the following:

Policy AL/HO2 Land South of Brenchley Road and west of Fromandez drive

If this area is to be developed then a pavement must be constructed from the village centre along the Brenchley Road to enable access by foot. This is an extremely dangerous bit of road with a blind corner opposite Furnace Lane.  As I mentioned before my elderly neighbour was knocked down crossing the road right outside my house.  It is impossible to see around the bend, so sight lines need to be established to prevent further horrific accidents. There are young children and families currently living further along the Brenchley Road who walk to school or the bus stop and face this dangerous experience on a daily basis.  It is not reasonable to expect that all the residents of this new development will walk or drive through Fromandez Drive whenever they want to go somewhere.

I appreciate the opportunity to comment and hope that the Borough Council will take into account the many and varied views of the people of the borough.  Maybe building thousands of new homes will boost the economy in the short term but once built these homes cannot be removed so let’s hope there is a real demand and that the houses built actually satisfy that demand.

DLP_4856

Robin & Diana Morton

Object

AL/HO2

Land south of Brenchley Rd and west of Fromandez Drive (site 162)

Even with careful handling of the neighbouring Ancient Woodland, this site appears to be undeliverable. Vehicular access onto the already busy Brenchley Road will be dangerous, and pedestrian access totally impossible, as even should houses bordering the road into the village centre be prepared to sell land, on the bend immediately at Furnace Lane, it would not be possible, and, more importantly pedestrians would have to cross over that road to reach the school, Social Club or Pharmacy. A possible pedestrian access through Fromandez Drive would depend upon puirchase of one of the existing bungalows, and even then, access from Fromandez Drive to the school, Pharmacy, and Social Club necessitates, again, the extremely busy Goudhurst to Brenchley Road. Land alongside Fromandez Drive is protected by covenant, and is totally unavailable. Should a Community Hall of sorts be envisaged, that too would add to safety of access concerns.

DLP_5099

Rebecca MacGibbon

Object

I haven’t lived in the village for very long but moved to Horsmonden because it is a small quiet rural location with a lovely community feel. I don’t have the background knowledge that longstanding village residents do but can see that the plan to add 225-305 additional dwellings (the number of which excludes any additional windfall developments so could be more) will completely change the village and not for the better.

Whilst we are all aware that additional housing is required and no town or village will be exempt from this, the sheer quantity of new dwellings proposed for a village of this size is overwhelming. Should the numbers proposed be built the village is going to increase in size by about 35-40% which will push it to breaking point from an infrastructure and facilities perspective and change the nature of the village dramatically and irreversibly. Once greenfield land is built on it will be gone forever and what has made this part of Kent such a special area will be lost.

The document states that “It is expected that contributions will be required towards the following if necessary, to mitigate the impact of the development:” (and lists various items) but this is an expectation and nothing more. If the contributions do not materialise the infrastructure and facilities listed will be stretched well beyond breaking point.

The traffic along the Goudhurst Road is already very busy for a road this size and is treated as a rat run with many vehicles driving well in excess of the speed limit. Putting an additional 100-150 houses on the east side of the village will add about 300 more cars on this road just from this development alone and does not take into account the additional traffic from the other sites within the village and similar proposals in neighbouring villages (along with the associated environmental impact). There are not enough alternative means of transport in place to mitigate the additional residents and their travel needs this will bring with it. It is surprising that there haven’t been more serious accidents and the number of accidents may well go up as a result of additional traffic. In my mind new large-scale housing developments should to be near existing transport links or have infrastructure and transport upgrades included in the plans as a necessity and not just as expected contributions.

A large worry for many people is that whilst the current government policy requires large numbers of houses to be built, it isn’t clear that we will see the right type of housing being built or housing built in the most appropriate areas. We need more affordable housing and starter homes and not the 4-5 bedroom houses that inevitably get built whenever these drives for more housing get made. There are a number of larger homes in the village and surrounding areas that have been on the market for a while now which would suggest that properties of this size are not so popular. 1-3 bedroom properties on the other hand may well be welcomed, though not in the quantities proposed, as it is the volume of properties that appears to be of most concern to people.

It would also be good to see some joined up thinking with respect to employment opportunities alongside the development plans. The document states “Any major development larger than approximately 100 residential units on greenfield windfall sites

is expected to provide suitable employment floorspace.” Again this is an expectation and nothing more. There are lots of ifs and buts but no solid assurances within the document. If no additional employment opportunities (as opposed to just floorspace) are put in place prior to the housing being completed then this won’t attract residents based on employment opportunities. Instead, those looking to move to the new housing will be working in areas they need to commute to and thereby adding to the already groaning infrastructure.

As a general note - from an environmental perspective the size of the developments in question is a worry. In addition to the increased number of vehicles with the associated pollution, there are other impacts of increased building. By removing areas of land and replacing with areas of hardstanding this removes natural drainage. Even if climate change were not an issue rain water needs to drain somewhere and concreting over vast swathes of land removes the normal routes for the water and increases the chance of surface and flash flooding.

DLP_5763

Jill Hughes

Object

I have twice trieD to obtain a form to complete but without success and have had my login details unrecognised, so am having to resort to an informal email which I hope will be taken into consideration.

My concerns are limited to Horsmonden and are as follows:

Map 83 AL/HO2 site 62

Even if a footway was constructed to link up with Fromandez Drive, from the point it reaches Lamberhurst Road there is no footpath to the village centre where there is already a dangerous crossroads.

CONCLUSION :  If all or any of these sites were developed for housing, there would necessarily be a substantial increase in traffic which the village could not absorb.  Already there have been several accidents at the crossroads, and a pedestrian suffered severe injuries trying to reach the village centre on the Brenchley Road approach where there is no pavement.  There are no pedestrian crossings in the village.

DLP_5947

Cynthia Kirk

Object

Map83PolicyAL/HO2

  • This is next to Sprivers which is an area of natural beauty, which would be affected by the development of a significant number of houses being built adjacent to it.
  • A loss of significant trees would be involved and damage to the natural environment in an area which has been designated for the local people.

DLP_5956

Linda Roberson

Object

Policy Number: Policy AL/HO 2

It is not easy to see how a safe and convenient pedestrian link between this site and the centre of the village can be established. Even if it were feasible to purchase land in Fromandez Drive for a pedestrian link, this delivers pedestrians to the village cross roads with a difficult crossing, with no pavement, in order to reach the village green, pharmacy and village school. Pedestrians may still choose to walk along the most direct route, being the main road, which without pavement will be inherently unsafe.

DLP_5969

Tim Wye

Object

I believe this development is far too close to the Sprivers National Trust grounds and woods, and would have a negative impact on this much-loved site. The peace and quiet would inevitably be compromised by so many homes in such close proximity.

DLP_7061

Bloomfields for Giles MacGregor

 

This representation has been prepared on behalf of the landowner, Mr MacGregor, in response to the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (‘TWBC’) Draft Local Plan Consultation.

Context

The site is located south of Brenchley Road and west of Fromandez Drive within the village of Horsmonden.

[TWBC: for site location plan, see full representation].

There is not known to be any relevant planning history at this site.

The Tunbridge Wells Draft Local Plan

The TWBC Draft Local Plan (herein referred to as ‘the plan’) sets out the spatial vision, strategic objectives, and overarching development strategy for the Borough. It details overarching place shaping policies for each parish and settlement, as well as site specific allocations to deliver the strategy and detailed policies to be applied to all new development.

As outlined by the plan, there is an overriding and growing housing need within the Borough. The Council’s SHMA findings initially identified the future need to plan for some 648 new homes per year. This in turn has seen a further uplift as a result of the standard methodology for calculating housing need, which based on the most credible set of population projections suggests a further uplift to circa 680 new homes per year.

In addition to the need moving forward, the previous difficulties in keeping pace with delivery has resulted in a need to accommodate a significant number of dwellings in the short-term with a deficit in five-year supply.

Given the current development plan has seen documented difficulties in meeting the existing core strategy housing target, the need for new housing is compelling and indisputable and must be addressed by the new plan as a priority. The plan will set the agenda for development across the borough to 2036 and replace the current Development Plan, which comprises the Local Plan 2006 (saved policies), the Core Strategy 2010, and the Site Allocations Local Plan 2016.

This representation comments on the following elements of the plan:

  • Vision and Strategic Objectives;
  • Development Strategy and Strategic Policies; and
  • Place Shaping Policies for the Parish of Horsmonden.

[TWBC: for Policy AL/HO 2 see Comment No. DLP_7061. For Vision & Strategic Objectives see Comment No. DLP_7062. For Policy STR1 The Development Strategy see Comment No. DLP_7063. For Policy STR/HO 1 The Strategy for Horsmonden Parish see Comment No. DLP_7064. The full report is attached to this representation, along with supporting documents: Ecology Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Report , Highways definition team letter, Schedule of Accommodation, Sketch Scheme Existing , Sketch Scheme Site Layout Plan, Transport Statement Final with appendices].

Place Shaping Policies The place shaping policies establish the spatial priorities for different areas in the Borough. For each area, there is an overarching policy that development should adhere to and details are provided for individual allocated sites that will deliver the quantum of development proposed. The site-specific allocations provide both strategic and development management guidance. 

Policy AL/HO 2 - Land south of Brenchley Road and west of Fromandez Drive

This states that the land is allocated for residential development (C3) providing approximately 80-100 dwellings. Having regard to these draft requirements, the general thrust of the Policy is supported. The indicative masterplan submitted shows that at least 70 units can be comfortably accommodated at the site together with an indicative commercial floorspace. It is considered that 80-90 homes could be provided at the site if the required area of commercial floorspace was less than that shown. For this reason it is considered that the proposed allocation of some 80100 units is attainable and should not be amended.

Development on the site shall accord with the following requirements:

1. The overall design of development, including vehicular access into the site (including the design of visibility splays), should reflect the location of this site within the rural approach into Horsmonden. Details of vehicular access into the site to be informed by a highways assessment and by a landscape and visual impact assessment (see Policy EN 1: Design and other development management criteria and Policy EN 20: Rural Landscape);

The proposed development of the site has been assessed by Highways Consultants.at PBA (now part of Stantec). A Transport Assessment has been carried out including an analysis of visibility that can be provided into and out of the site, in manner that ensures appropriate visibility splays. It is clear that visibility can be achieved with only minimal / negligible impact upon the existing boundary hedgerows being required.

[TWBC: for Transport Statement extract, see full report].

Trip generation analysis has been carried out for the development of 100 units to ensure robust results. This has shown the impacts on the road network to be minimal and the equivalent of 3.5 vehicles entering and leaving the site every 5 minutes in both the AM peak and PM peak.

It is concluded that due to the rural location of the proposed development site most trips will be made by car. However, trip generation analysis has revealed that the impact on the network is likely to be minimal. There is also some opportunities for sustainable transport use. For example, there is a primary school, convenience shop and doctor’s surgery all within walking distance from the site. There are also several buses throughout the day. Therefore, the proposed development should not result in any adverse unacceptable impacts in terms of highway amenity, capacity and safety.

2. Opportunities to be explored for extending the 30mph speed limit westwards along Brenchley Road to include the site, and provision of associated gateway features;

It is noted that the 30mph speed limit at this part of the highway has already been extended westwards.

3. Provision of pedestrian access from the site to link with the wider footway network, to include consideration of opportunities for pedestrian access only from the site via Fromandez Drive;

It is noted from the Horsmonden Parish Council response to this consultation process that there is concern about the proposed allocation based on ‘the practicality of providing a safe pedestrian link between this site and the centre of the village, including pedestrian access to the shops, primary school, kindergarten, village hall, doctor’s surgery and pharmacy’. It is agreed with the Parish Council that such a link is essential for any allocation on this site and the most obvious route is a continuous footway alongside Brenchley Road into the village centre.

The draft Local Plan proposes a pedestrian link into the village centre via Fromandez Drive. This would require acquisition, and possibly demolition, of an existing bungalow. However, the Parish Council may be pleased to hear, that following collaboration with Kent County Council about the extent of the ownership of highways land along this most practical pedestrian route, it is not actually considered that it would be necessary to acquire garden land from a large number of private frontages here. It can be confirmed therefore, that a practical footpath can now be provided alongside the full extent of the carriageway, without dependence upon any third party land (i.e. wholly within land under the control of Kent County Council).

The summary of the Transport Assessment confirms that a footway can be provided on the south side of Brenchley Road by utilising existing highway verge and carriageway, allowing a minimum 1.2m wide footway, widening to 1.8m, and a carriageway of 5.5m wide.

[TWBC: for extract from Transport Assessment, see full report].

This will address the Parish Council’s concerns about the introduction of pedestrian traffic at Fromandez Drive, and the allocation will not impact the character of that cul-de-sac.

4. Provision of a buffer to Ancient Woodland on the western part of the site, as defined on the site allocation plan (see Policy EN 15: Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees);

As now being shown within the indicative masterplan for the site, the site can be relied upon for the delivery of housing whilst maintaining an appropriate buffer to the Ancient Woodland on the western part of the site, in accordance with Policy EN15: Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees.

5. Regard shall be given to existing hedgerows on site, with the layout and design of the development protecting those of most amenity value, as informed by an arboricultural survey and a landscape and visual impact assessment (see Policy EN 14: Trees, Woodlands, Hedges, and Development and criterion 3 of Policy EN 1: Design and other development management criteria);

Again, as shown on the indicative masterplan submitted, the site can be relied upon for the delivery of housing without material impact upon existing boundary hedgerows. Only a minor extent of hedgerow would be affected by the access and associated visibility splays required to be provided at the site.

6. Reinforcement of southern landscape boundary. It is expected that any built development is set away, northwards, from this boundary;

As shown on the indicative masterplan submitted, the proposed development is set to provide a ‘Green Gateway’. The site can be relied upon for the delivery of housing whilst reinforcing the southern landscape boundary. The indicative masterplan shows that built development would be set away, northwards, from this boundary, in accordance with the policy requirement. The proposed sketch scheme indicates that there has been a considerable effort made to ensure that the southern landscape boundary has been reinforced with the retention of the fields which are complimented by ‘The Open Edges’. These ensure that the low density dwellings create visual permeability and ensure that there are clear views of the land which includes the fields and beyond.

[TWBC: for extract from indicative masterplan, see full report].

7. Development proposals will need to demonstrate, where appropriate, a positive contribution to Biodiversity Opportunity Area targets (See Policy EN 11: Net Gains for Nature: biodiversity);

With reference to the preliminary ecological appraisal, ecological enhancements could be incorporated where appropriate with reference to Paragraph 175 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2018, which states that “opportunities to incorporate biodiversity improvements in and around developments should be encouraged, especially where this can secure measurable net gains for biodiversity”. It is acknowledged that the proposed development falls with the High Weald Biodiversity Opportunity Area (BOA). It is considered that proposed enhancements could be made to compliment BOA targets as highlighted within section 4.10 of the ecology report.

8. Scheme to give consideration to, and take account of, adjacent historic farmstead (Oasthanger), the Conservation Area and Historic Park and Garden (see Policy EN 7: Heritage Assets);

The proposed scheme would give adequate consideration to the various heritage assets surrounding the site. In terms of the historic farmstead (Oasthanger), as highlighted within the proposed sketch scheme, ‘The Open Edges’ ensure that visual permeability is promoted in relation to the visual bearing upon the listed building. Similarly, the ‘Milestone Green’ ensures that the visual hierarchy of the listed building is preserved.

[TWBC: for image within text, see full report].

9. Opportunities to be explored for providing additional public parking within the site in circumstances that a pedestrian link through Fromandez Drive from the site could be achieved (see Policy TP 3: Parking Standards);

The proposed sketch scheme refers to the ‘Community Hub’ which offers opportunities for a pedestrian link between the site and Fromandez Drive. The promotion of accessibility within this area could also promote additional public parking opportunities to coincide with accessibility needs and would need to be subjected to the requirements of KCC Highways.

10. Opportunities to be explored for providing a replacement village hall and associated parking within the site (see Policy EN 1: Design and other development management criteria);

It has been considered that a building could be provided either in replacement of, or complimentary to, the existing village hall at what is being shown on the indicative plans as the ‘Community Hub’. Here a degree of commercial floorspace could be provided in the form of any specific retail and / or office uses that may be required / desirable for the village.

11. Provision of suitable employment floorspace (N.B. This element of the policy will be further refined before the Regulation 19 Pre-submission version of the Local Plan);

Provision of suitable employment floorspace is proposed at the eastern edge of the settlement which is identified as the ‘community hub’ as highlighted within the proposed site layout plan, where a replacement village hall could be provided if it is considered to be necessary, and new commercial and / or retail floorspace can provide adequate employment floorspace.

[TWBC: for extract from indicative masterplan, see full report].

12. Provision of on-site amenity/natural green space and children’s play space and improvements to existing allotments, parks and recreation grounds and youth play space in accordance with the requirements of Policy OSSR 2: Provision of publicly accessible open space and recreation.

Efforts have been made to ensure that green space is promoted on site. The ‘Open Edges’ outlined on the site layout plan, work to promote landscape buffers between the fields and the site to the south as well as Sprivers Wood Ancient Woodland to the east and the 15m buffer zone.

Summary

Based on the current national and local planning context, it is considered that the site is suitable for formal allocation and it is important that such sites are retained within the Regulation 19 draft of the Local Plan. This representation responds to the content of the draft plan (and relevant supporting documents), reinforces why the site remains suitable and outlines how development could be delivered. A key concern regarding the connectivity of the site and accessibility into the village has been thoroughly reviewed by PBA Highways Consultants via consultation with Kent County Council. It is confirmed that pedestrian access can be provided from the site to the village centre making use of only Kent County Council Highways land. Taking all of the above into account, the principle of the proposed allocation is supported.

It is trusted that the contents of this representation are clear and I hope the comments are useful in guiding the forthcoming stage of the plan making process.

Policy AL/HO 3: Land to the east of Horsmonden

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Object/support/support with conditions/general observation

Response

DLP_17

Darren White

Object

I object to the numbers of 100-150 that are suggested in this policy as there is no safe vehicle access onto Goudhurst Road, nor pedestrian access into the village. the number should be reduced significantly in order to make any access safer for other road users. The land of the old Hop Pickers line should be developed into an amenity site such as a BMX track for the teenagers of the village to use. This could be done through Section 106 commitments

DLP_111

Catherine Catchpole

Object

Site plan does not protect hop pickers line down to the Old STation building but stops short - why - you say you want to protect the line?  South west part of site is steep railway cutting and banked and not suitable for development.  Why is there no landscape buffer the full length of the west boundary of the site?  Where will site access be from - difficult access onto Goudhurst road due to course of existing road.  All of this land is outside the limits to build, why are you increasing them to include this?

DLP_176

Granville Davies

Object

Of far more use to the village would be to develop the Bassetts farm site only as small business/craft/industrial units, leaving the rest of the land as farm land.

DLP_811

Karen Evelyn

Object

I have lived at xx Bassetts Villas, Goudhurst Road, Horsmonden Kent TN12 xx [TWBC: part of postal address redacted] for 24 years and strongly object to the proposals for the ‘Land to the east of Horsmonden’ for all of the following reasons: 

1. Access to the Goudhurst Road from the Bassetts Farm site is dangerous and not suited to use by a large number of cars. There is insufficient visibility to pull out from Bassetts Farm safely.  Cars can appear very fast from just past Old Bassetts Cottages to the right and from the blind bend to Goudhurst on the left not leaving time to pull out safely.  Passing cars are frequently speeding especially in rush hour. There have been many near misses and a few hits in the past at this junction.

2. The residents of Old Station Cottages park their cars outside their cottages when off loading shopping, dropping and receiving visitors. These cars plus the vans of visiting tradesman and visitors create a dangerous obstruction to cars pulling out from Bassetts Farm and block visibility. It is dangerous as it is without any more cars using the junction.

3. If each house planned has 1 or 2 cars, which is the norm nowdays, there will be approximately 150-300 cars queueing up to try to pull out onto the Goudhurst Road every morning in order to get to school and work. This will result in enormous queues of cars and problems of strings of cars trying to get through a very crowded Goudhurst Road to the village centre which is already congested.

4. Cars currently park outside their houses all the way along the Goudhurst Road from Old Station Cottages to Brookfield Villas, particulary in the evening. This already causes traffic chaos as there is not room for two lanes of traffic to pass each other with these parked cars obstructing the road. With an additional flow of traffic from the Bassetts Farm access and/or Old Station Garage access of 150-300 cars the Goudhurst Road would simply clog up and not be able to function.

5.There is currently a curtesy bus stop near to Lamberts Place, along side of Station Oast that a large number of the village children and elderly residents use to get to and from school and to shops. This is right opposite the proposed Old Station Garage access to the site. It would be very dangerous for the school children and elderly bus users waiting here to have an additional 150-300 cars travelling past them and to have to cross the road where cars are turning in to the Old Station Garage access point.

6.The access track up the hill to New Bassetts Cottages and Bassetts Villas is only just wide enough for one car and too narrow for vans and lorries, refuse collection trucks or for two way traffic. I believe that it is a requirement that the road be wide enough to allow a refuse truck to enter, turn and leave the site in a forward gear without the need to cross the centre line on the main road. There also needs to be adequate turning space. There would not be room for these requirements. Also at times articulated vehicles come up the track to service the Farm at the top of the site and there would not be room for these wide vehicles to come up the road, pass other cars or pull out on to the Goudhurst Road. There also wouldn’t be room for house removal vans to go up the track and to pull out on to the Goudhurst Road without causing obstruction to other cars.

7.The Goudhurst Road isn’t wide enough by the Bassetts Farm access point to put in a pavement to ensure safety for pedestrians walking up the Goudhurst Road.

8.There is already an existing surface water run-off problem on the farm site and broken drain issues down the current access road. In heavy rain, water pours off the fields at the North of the site forming channels and gulleys in the access road as it flows on down to the Goudhurst Road. With the addition of 100-150 houses the water run off and drainage issues would be compounded.

9.Point 11 of 5.123 states ‘Scheme to take account of, and respect, the setting of New Bassetts Cottages’. I feel very strongly that it is only fair and reasonable that the Scheme give the same consideration to 1 and 2 Bassetts Villas. 1 and 2 Bassetts Villas will be affected on all sides of their properties by the proposed development and will lose the beautiful views from their house and the quiet, traffic free rural location which has been so much enjoyed for 24 years by myself, family and neighbours. I believe building such a large number of houses surrounding my property will substantially devalue my house and reduce it’s desirability to prospective buyers. I am extremely offended that respect is called for in the plan for New Bassetts Cottages and that this is not extended to 1 & 2 Bassetts Villas. I believe this is an oversight and one that should be urgently remedied before any plans are drawn up.

10. Stripping out the orchards and building on the orchard land would result in irreversible loss of rare wildlife. The land is currently full of birds, foxes, badgers, dormice, field mice, slow worms, snakes, bats and more.

11. The size and density of houses planned is not in keeping with the rural nature and character of the surrounding area.

12. The access road at the top of the site coming in past the Kindergarten, Primary School and Bramley Cottages isn’t wide enough to accommodate the vehicles required to service a future additional school building or medical centre. It would be dangerous for the necessary traffic trying to get to the medical centre to have to come through this narrow approach road. Also the medical centre would be better placed nearer to the centre of the village where older people can access it easily.

13. There is currently a very old sewage/water system at Bassetts Farm which connects on to 1 & 2 Bassetts Villas. This waste system runs through the disused packing shed land down to behind old Bassetts Cottages and would not be able to cope with additional houses proposed.

14. I believe that the land adjacent to the Goudhurst Road on the site of the old packing shed (marked Depot on the map) may also be built on by Persimmon Homes. If they build 16-33 houses on this area of land in addition to the 150 proposed on the main Bassetts Farm plot then all the problems cited in the above points 1 – 12 will be exacerbated even more. Many people will not be aware that the numbers proposed by Persimmon will be in addition to the 150 houses proposed by TWBC and there would be further objections if this were made clear to the people of Horsmonden. If a total of 150 houses plus another 16-33 (previous planning application numbers) are built on this whole plot the numbers of new houses would be in excess of the government requirement.

I trust you will take into consideration all of these points when making your decision.

1. Point 11 of 5.123 states ‘Scheme to take account of, and respect, the setting of New Bassetts Cottages’. I feel very strongly that it is only fair and reasonable that the Scheme give the same consideration to 1 and 2 Bassetts Villas. 1 and 2 Basetts Villas will be affected on all sides of their properties by the proposed development and will lose the beautiful views from their house and the quiet, traffic free rural location which has been so much enjoyed for 24 years by myself, family and neighbours. I believe building such a large number of houses surrounding my property will substantially devalue my house and reduce it’s desirability to prospective buyers. I am extremely offended that respect is called for in the plan for New Bassetts Cottages and that this is not extended to 1 & 2 Bassetts Villas. I believe this is an oversight and one that should be urgently remedied before any plans are drawn up.

2. The size and density of houses planned is not in keeping with the rural nature and character of the surrounding area.

3. The total number of houses proposed does not take into account the additional houses that may be built on the adjacent Bassetts Farm packing shed (Depot) land currently owned by Persimmon Homes. If Persimmon get planning permission for houses on their land then the total number of houses built would exceed the Government requirement.

DLP_906

Harry Standen

Object

AL/H03

the numbers proposed for this site is inpractical and unasfe, as an additional 200 cars could not safely access and egress onto Goudhurst Rd.

DLP_1274

Stephen Crane

Support with conditions

Paragraphs 1,2 and 3 say it all! Vehicular access to this site has been the defining issue regarding planning permission here of several years. The main Goudhurst Road is only just wide enough for two large lorries to pass, they often have to draw in their wing mirrors as they go. Access would be on a bend with bad sight lines, and this is without the inclusion of pavements. Navigation of this junction at peak times would be hazardous, to say the least!

If the access situation could be overcome then the site might be acceptable, provided the development could be spaced out over some years to enable the village to absorb influx of people/traffic.

DLP_1736

Horsmonden Parish Council

 

(d) Policy AL/HO3 Land east of Horsmonden 

  • This is the largest and most complex of the three allocations proposed in Horsmonden. As you know, we have engaged Locality/AECOM to undertake some master planning work on this site to explore the various issues arising from its possible future development. In particular, our work is seeking to assess how development of this scale can be successfully integrated into the local environment and bring some real benefits for the local community. We held a local community workshop on it on 5 October and the work is now nearing completion. Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group representatives are seeking an early meeting with TWBC planning officers to discuss this master planning work and its implications for policy AL/HO3. This has now been arranged for Friday 15 November.
  • Our master planning work, and feedback from the local community workshop, suggests that achieving safe and convenient access to the site from Goudhurst Road remains an important, and as yet apparently unresolved, issue. This matter is complicated by an existing outline planning permission for 30 dwellings (Ref: 15/505340/OUT) on the vacant farm storage buildings at the southern end of the site. We would like to hear more about TWBC discussions with KCC Highways on possible access arrangements. We do not think that the site should be allocated unless the access issue is resolved and the site is shown to be realistic and deliverable for an allocation of this scale.
  • The integration of the site into the village is of paramount importance, both in terms of its impact on the landscape setting of Horsmonden and in terms of safe and convenient pedestrian links between the centre of the village and the site (particularly if it incorporates community facilities, such as an extended primary school and a new health centre/doctor’s surgery). Again, this is part of the Neighbourhood Plan’s master planning work, for future discussion with TWBC officers.
  • If the allocation is confirmed, we support measures to protect the amenity of public rights of way; to protect the Hop Pickers Line route; an archaeological assessment prior to development and protection of any archaeological assets identified; reducing development densities on the outer parts of the site to assist its integration into the countryside; provision of on-site amenity natural/green space, children’s play space and allotments; measures to respect the setting of Bassets Farm Cottages and other adjacent properties.
  • The contributions to transport infrastructure (public realm in village centre, other highways related works and measures to enhance bus travel) are all welcome, but again are only expectations rather than requirements (see comments above).

DLP_1980

Mr Jeremy Waters

Object

HO3 is a significant development and would have the effect of enlarging the village to the east, thereby creating additional pedestrian traffic along a narrow footpath on the north side of the Goudhurst road where cars already exceed the speed limit with regular HGV traffic passing inches from pedestrians. If the Hop-pickers Line was developed as a cycle path/pedestrian route , this might alleviate some of this traffic but access by cars would still be a problem as evidenced by previous failed applications to develop Bassetts Farm. I also have concern that by opening up development into the present orchards, there would be inevitable pressure from landowners to extend the development towards the footpath which would then impinge on the views from neighbouring areas both within and outside the AONB.

DLP_2107

Terry Everest

Object

Object strongly

This site is not suitable for development as it is green field and has a natural and treed aspect to it.

DLP_2456

Mr Peter Bird

Object

AL/HO3 To enlarge the site to include Bassett Farm which has already been turned down because of the lack of pathway to the village centre,no disabled entrance onto the site also the roadway on and off the site onto the Goudhurst road is unsuitable and dangerous.

DLP_2733

Rupert Lovell

Object

The site is far too large and comprises highly valued greenfield rural countryside. Development here is completely unsustainable harming landscape character, biodiversity and the setting to the High Weald AONB. It would be highly visible from public rights of way and impact cherished views towards the AONB.

To be allocating such large tracts of beautiful countryside for housing development is at odds with any concept of sustainable development. It is at odds with policies in the NPPF relating to sustainable development and the protection of the landscape and environment.

Horsmonden has already accommodated its fair share of new housing development on much more sustainable and defensible sites such as the 'Boddingtons' site and the 'cold store' site at Morley Drive. There has also already been significant greenfield development on Gibbet Lane, Kirkins Close and current greenfield development on the Maidstone Road.

DLP_2855

David Watson

Object

Policy AL/HO 3 – Additional consideration need to be given regarding Policy 1 that road traffic in both directions on this stretch of the Goudhurst Road, frequently exceeds 30mph. With an increased density of traffic entering and exiting the site, combined with the poor sight lines, and the nearby corner in the Goudhurst Road, the probability of accidents will be accentuated. The most likely accident will arise from traffic that is stationary in the Goudhurst Road queuing to turn across into the site, having rounded the corner and will be a “surprise” hazard for which stopping times may not be sufficient.

The Hop Pickers line is elsewhere stated as an important history for the village, and should not be included in the development.

DLP_2988

Denise Cole

Object

The Goudhurst Road is too narrow to support this development. Its impossible for two lorries to pass and all traffic is single file on sections where cottages have only street parking. There are cars always parked. The site is too far from the centre of the settlement and would be unsuitable for a village hall or indeed surgery. These are presently adequate and centrally located. This site would have a significant negative impact on the landscape setting of Horsmonden.

DLP_3180

Christine & David Turnbull

Object

Any developments on these sites will give cause for concern regarding access onto an already busy main road and pedestrians will create an added danger.

DLP_3344

Kent County Council (Growth, Environment and Transport)

Support with conditions

Highways and Transportation

The Local Highway Authority conditionally supports this policy. KCC would prefer to see these sites split owing to the fact they are not joined and will have different access requirements.

The following changes are requested:

Paragraph 1 – “The vehicular access points into the two parcels of lane will be required to accommodate any existing uses which continue to take access through the sites. A Highways Assessment will inform the location of the access points

Paragraph 3 – “Provision of pedestrian links between the sites and Bassetts Farm..”

The standard paragraph regarding contributions should feature in this policy - It is expected that mitigation measures will be implemented by the developer. A contribution may be taken if appropriate

Public Rights of Way and Access Service

Paragraph 4 requirement for development to preserve the amenity of PRoW WT340A and WT341 is supported. It is also requested that improvements are also made to these PRoW, where there pass through the development site.

Paragraph 5 should be amended and strengthened. The section of Hop Pickers Line that passes through the development site should be dedicated as a Public Bridleway by the developer and surfaced to an appropriate specification, to be agreed by the KCC PRoW and Access Service. This would provide a sustainable transport link through the village of Horsmonden and contribute towards the long term aspiration to create a sustainable cycle route along the Hop Pickers line.

Off-site PRoW enhancements should also be included in the list of expected contributions, to mitigate the impact of future development.

DLP_3788

Georgina Hagen

Object

The Goudhurst Road is narrow and traffic is presently single file due to on road parking very close to this proposed site. It would prove impossible both in any building development stage and if there was a housing development. The site is too far from the centre of the settlement and village amenities need to be more centrally located (as they currently are). I do not accept that this is a suitable location.

DLP_4857

Robin & Diana Morton

Object

AL/HO3 Land to east of Horsmonden sites 82 108, 297 and 324

Hugely difficult access onto the Goudhurst Road, which previous developers have been unable to solve. As residents cars are parked on theGoudhurst Road as they do not have garages or parking spaces, traffic is held up continually. As more and more vehicles pass through this would be untenable. This site may prove to be the only possible new development site in Horsmonden, but in order to ensure the village retains its rural identity, and remains viable, we feel strongly that whatever housing is developed here should be a proper mix, particularly of smaller starter, or downsizing, homes and with to an absolute maximum of 100 homes, providing this is the only remaining site. We feel that a community hall here is too far from the village centre, and access at the top of the site would only be pedestrian, so limiting again, with safe pedestrian access very difficult to envisage on the main Goudhurst Road.

DLP_5100

Rebecca MacGibbon

Object

I haven’t lived in the village for very long but moved to Horsmonden because it is a small quiet rural location with a lovely community feel. I don’t have the background knowledge that longstanding village residents do but can see that the plan to add 225-305 additional dwellings (the number of which excludes any additional windfall developments so could be more) will completely change the village and not for the better.

Whilst we are all aware that additional housing is required and no town or village will be exempt from this, the sheer quantity of new dwellings proposed for a village of this size is overwhelming. Should the numbers proposed be built the village is going to increase in size by about 35-40% which will push it to breaking point from an infrastructure and facilities perspective and change the nature of the village dramatically and irreversibly. Once greenfield land is built on it will be gone forever and what has made this part of Kent such a special area will be lost.

The document states that “It is expected that contributions will be required towards the following if necessary, to mitigate the impact of the development:” (and lists various items) but this is an expectation and nothing more. If the contributions do not materialise the infrastructure and facilities listed will be stretched well beyond breaking point.

The traffic along the Goudhurst Road is already very busy for a road this size and is treated as a rat run with many vehicles driving well in excess of the speed limit. Putting an additional 100-150 houses on the east side of the village will add about 300 more cars on this road just from this development alone and does not take into account the additional traffic from the other sites within the village and similar proposals in neighbouring villages (along with the associated environmental impact). There are not enough alternative means of transport in place to mitigate the additional residents and their travel needs this will bring with it. It is surprising that there haven’t been more serious accidents and the number of accidents may well go up as a result of additional traffic. In my mind new large-scale housing developments should to be near existing transport links or have infrastructure and transport upgrades included in the plans as a necessity and not just as expected contributions.

A large worry for many people is that whilst the current government policy requires large numbers of houses to be built, it isn’t clear that we will see the right type of housing being built or housing built in the most appropriate areas. We need more affordable housing and starter homes and not the 4-5 bedroom houses that inevitably get built whenever these drives for more housing get made. There are a number of larger homes in the village and surrounding areas that have been on the market for a while now which would suggest that properties of this size are not so popular. 1-3 bedroom properties on the other hand may well be welcomed, though not in the quantities proposed, as it is the volume of properties that appears to be of most concern to people.

It would also be good to see some joined up thinking with respect to employment opportunities alongside the development plans. The document states “Any major development larger than approximately 100 residential units on greenfield windfall sites

is expected to provide suitable employment floorspace.” Again this is an expectation and nothing more. There are lots of ifs and buts but no solid assurances within the document. If no additional employment opportunities (as opposed to just floorspace) are put in place prior to the housing being completed then this won’t attract residents based on employment opportunities. Instead, those looking to move to the new housing will be working in areas they need to commute to and thereby adding to the already groaning infrastructure.

As a general note - from an environmental perspective the size of the developments in question is a worry. In addition to the increased number of vehicles with the associated pollution, there are other impacts of increased building. By removing areas of land and replacing with areas of hardstanding this removes natural drainage. Even if climate change were not an issue rain water needs to drain somewhere and concreting over vast swathes of land removes the normal routes for the water and increases the chance of surface and flash flooding.

DLP_5764

Jill Hughes

Object

I have twice trieD to obtain a form to complete but without success and have had my login details unrecognised, so am having to resort to an informal email which I hope will be taken into consideration.

My concerns are limited to Horsmonden and are as follows:

Map 84 HO3 (82, 108, 297 & 324)

There is no footpath on the north side of Goudhurst Road, so any pedestrians from this site would have to cross Goudhurst Road in order to reach the village centre.

CONCLUSION :  If all or any of these sites were developed for housing, there would necessarily be a substantial increase in traffic which the village could not absorb.  Already there have been several accidents at the crossroads, and a pedestrian suffered severe injuries trying to reach the village centre on the Brenchley Road approach where there is no pavement.  There are no pedestrian crossings in the village.

DLP_5948

Cynthia Kirk

Object

Map84PolicyAL/HO3

  • A loss of significant trees would be involved and damage to the natural environment
  • Access would be another issue as there would be not road access
  • A proposed development already exists in this area so the increase in the number of houses would be an overload.

DLP_6833

Persimmon Homes South East

Object

4.0 LAND TO EAST OF HORSMONDEN 

Site Location & Description

4.1 The Site is located in a sustainable location on the north eastern edge of Horsmonden, within walking distance of the village’s services and facilities including local bus stops, a village shop, post office, pharmacy, doctor surgery, public house, nursery and primary school.

4.2 The Site extends to approximately 14.7ha and comprises two distinct areas an orchard area to the north and a paddock area to the south-west. The Site is positioned on the side of a very gently sloping valley; Goudhurst Road runs along the valley contours, therefore in terms of topography the application Site slopes upwards from south to north. A Public Right of Way (PROW) traverses the Site north to south; and PROW also runs along the northern boundary.

4.3 The north boundary of the Site is defined by a field boundary and a PROW. Beyond the northern boundary is agricultural land which is currently given over to orchards. To the east of the Site is an area of woodland which enclose the site to views from the east. The western boundary is defined by a former railway line which is now heavily vegetated by mature trees and hedgerows. Beyond the former railway line is a mature residential area which comprises a range of 2 - 2.5 storey semidetached and detached units constructed in the last 20 years. The palette of materials is varied, including red/brown brick, timber weather boarding, cream painted render and tile hanging. To the south of site is situated a terrace of housing and a large detatched property situated in extensive grounds. Beyond that is a complex of former farm buildings (including a Listed Building) and a former orchard. Outline Planning Permission has been granted for the redevelopment of the former farm buildings (this is considered further below).

4.4 The Site is located within Flood Risk Zone 1 (less than 0.1% annual probability of tidal and fluvial flooding), which is the lowest zone in terms of probability of flood risk. This is confirmed by the Environment Agency flood maps.

Adjacent Consented Development Site – Bassetts Farm

4.5 Outline Planning Permission has been granted for development for up to 30 no. residential dwellings on land immediately to the south of the proposed allocation (reference TW/15/505340/OUT). The consented site, which is known as Bassett Farm, is owned and controlled by Persimmon Homes.

4.6 The consented development includes detailed approval for a site access (simple junction arrangement) with Goudhurst Road. As is discussed in Section 5, the approved junction arrangement could provide access to the allocated land and is of sufficient scale to accommodate the traffic generated by the proposed allocation.

4.7 It is envisaged that the consented site and the (proposed) allocated site could be brought forward together to deliver a well-designed sustainable extension to the village. This is discussed further in Section 5 below.

Suitability, Availability and Achievability

4.8 The Site has been assessed through the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA, 2018). The SHELAA identifies the Site as Parcels 297 and 82. The SHELAA has been utilised as part of the evidence base for the emerging Local Plan.

4.9 With regard to suitability the assessment states:

“The site lies adjacent to the LBD [Limits of Built Development] and is likely to be sustainable in this context. It would for a logical extension to the built form. [Whilst] there is concern about landscape sensitivity in parts…[this] could be addressed by site layout and design”

4.10 As is discussed in Section 5 we have already begun assessing how the landscape of the surrounding area can be protected and enhanced by the proposed development.

4.11 With regard to availability the assessment notes that the Site is within a single ownership.

Persimmon can confirm that they are working with the landowner to deliver this Site. In addition Persimmon own the adjacent land through which access to the allocated land can be provided, further ensuring the availability and deliverability of the Site.

4.12 With regard to achievability the assessment notes that the Site can be delivered in the Plan

period. Persimmon Homes can confirm that, as a national house builder, should the Site be allocated it would our intention to deliver the Site in the early part of the Plan period, with units coming out of the ground within 5 years. This is discussed further in Section 5 below.

Sustainability Appraisal

4.13 The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) prepared by TWBC (dated September 2019) makes up an important part of the evidence base of the Draft Plan. The SA examines the Site within the geographical scope of Horsmonden and assesses its role in meeting the Sustainability Objectives.

4.14 It is noted that the SA notation in respect of the site specific assessment appears to be incorrect. The Site is cross referenced with draft Allocation AL/HO4 when it is in fact AL/HO3. It is therefore unclear if which assessment relates to the Site. This error needs to be resolved for the Reg 19 SA.

4.15 Notwithstanding the confusion arising from the incorrect notation, it is noted that both AL/HO3 and AL/HO4 identify that the development would deliver the major positive of meeting local housing needs. In addition the assessment identifies several other positives including access to education and employment. The majority of other objectives are neutral. Whilst a limited number of objectives scored negatively, it is considered that these can be mitigated through layout design, landscaping and sustainable travel measures – these issues are discussed further in Section 5.

Policy AL/HO3

4.16 The Site has been identified as a draft allocation in the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan. The allocation of the Site under Policy AL/HO3 sets out that the Site is allocated for a mixed use scheme, providing approximately 100-150 residential (C3) dwellings, as long as Site specific requirements are met, including:

  1. A highways assessment will inform the location of vehicular access into the site allocation area (see criterion 5 of Policies EN 1: Design and other development management criteria and TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility);
  2. Provision of pedestrian links into the village centre, including improvement of footway located on the north side of Goudhurst Road;
  3. Provision of pedestrian links between western part of site and Bassetts Farm to be explored;
  4. Provision of link to, and preserve amenity of, Public Rights of Way WT340a and WT341 (see criterion 4 of Policy TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility);
  5. No built development on the route of the Hop Pickers 'Line unless it can be demonstrated that the route can be maintained (see Policy TP 5: Safeguarding Railway Land);
  6. Archaeological assessment required (see Policy EN 7: Heritage Assets);
  7. Built development on the eastern area of the site to be a lower density informed by a landscape assessment (see Policies EN1: Design and other development management criteria and Policy EN 20: Rural Landscape);
  8. Provision of on-site amenity/natural green space and children’s play space and improvements to existing allotments, parks and recreation grounds and youth play space in accordance with the requirements of PolicyOSSR2: Provision of publicly accessible open space and recreation. To include the provision of a community orchard;
  9. Safe guarding of land to north for future school expansion, as defined on the site allocations plan;
  10. Safeguarding of land within the site for the provision of a new health centre/doctors surgery;
  11. Scheme to take account of, and respect, the setting of New Bassetts cottages;
  12. Demonstration through the submission of relevant and proportionate archaeological investigations (as part of any planning application) that the proposal will not cause a materially harmful impact on the archaeological environment (see Policy EN 7: Heritage Assets).

4.17 Section 5 below demonstrates that Persimmon Homes can comply with requirements of the draft Allocation Policy AL/HO3 to deliver approximately 150 dwellings and associated open space and infrastructure.

DLP_6840

Persimmon Homes South East

 

5.0 DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL 

5.1 This Section seeks to demonstrate the development potential of the Site in accordance with the requirements of the draft allocation Policy AL/HO3. To this end Persimmon Homes have instructed consultants to undertake a preliminary landscape and transport appraisal for the Site. Given our ownership of the adjacent consented development site ‘Bassetts Farm’ we have undertaken these assessments to jointly consider these Sites, to explore how these two sites can be effectively brought forward together.

5.2 The following sets out the findings of these assessments, before setting out the proposed development parameters for the joint Sites.

5.3 Finally this section also sets out some key points in respect of delivery and contribution towards housing land supply.

Landscape

5.4 James Blake Associates (JBA) have conducted a preliminary landscape review of the Site (included at Appendix 1), factoring its current state, its position and relationship with the surrounding countryside, and the impact that any development may have on the Site and the surroundings.

5.5 The assessment identifies the following landscape sensitivities/characteristics and opportunities:

  • Landform: the landform within the Site follows a shallow valley with the land rising to the north. Just beyond the Site to the north lies to ridgeline at approximately 75m AOD. Any proposed development should avoid breaking the skyline.
  • PRoW network: PRoW WT340A, PRoW WT338 and PRoW WT341 run through or abut the site boundary. These connections should be retained and provision enhanced through the introduction of additional connecting footpaths;
  • Visibility and Views: From the northernmost boundary of the Site there are panoramic views across the wider landscape. Views towards the Site are also possible from the other side of the shallow valley to the south. Again, any development on Site should avoid breaking the ridgeline;
  • Woodland structure including ancient woodlands: The Site boundaries include some strong tree belts in places. These features should be retained, enhanced and reinforced with native buffer planting;
  • Tranquillity of the Site: Due to the rural nature of local landscape and association with the nearby High Weald AONB, there is a sense of tranquillity within the Site and its surroundings;
  • Listed Buildings: The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) indicates that there are a number of Listed Buildings in close proximity to the Site. The setting of these buildings will need to be carefully considered.

5.6 JBA thereby concluded that “The Site is considered to be a suitable location in landscape and visual terms for development subject to some landscape considerations”.

5.7 JBA have found that based on the landscapes present, the Site could suitably accommodate an appropriate development scheme, in line with what has been proposed in Policy AL/HO 3. This would be best achieved through the implementation of a sensitively designed masterplan which incorporates the following key design principles:

  • The location of proposed development areas should respond to the landscape features and characteristics that give the landscape its sense of place and local distinctiveness. For this reason, development should be kept below the 60m contour line in order to avoid breaking the ridgeline. A detailed topographical survey should be undertaken to inform the extent of the built development area and the ridge heights of proposed dwellings.
  • The built form should reflect the local settlement with the use of vernacular style materials wherever possible.
  • Hard and soft landscaping materials should be complementary to the proposed dwellings and the local vernacular design.
  • The use of dark/earthy tones will help to integrate the proposed development into the wider landscape, particularly any proposed dwellings towards the north of the Site.
  • Proposed dwelling could adopt a vernacular style, or be more contemporary in style but with vernacular references in their design or materials.
  • Existing boundary vegetation should be retained wherever possible and reinforced where necessary by new structural planting to provide screening value and create a wooded backdrop to the proposed development.
  • Groups of trees within open space will soften the built form and integrate with the Green Infrastructure corridors, providing connectivity across the Site. A north-south view corridor from the ridge has been retained in order to allow panoramic views towards the High Weald AONB.
  • The Site should look to provide opportunities for multi-functional green infrastructure to provide ecological, climate and recreational benefits.
  • Residential streets and buildings should reflect the existing settlement form, with a transition in density and building height, creating a lower density settlement edge to the north and east.

5.8 A Landscape Strategy Plan (included within the landscape assessment) has been prepared in accordance with these requirements and thereby in accordance with the requirements of Policy AL/HO3.

Access

5.9 Markides Associates have a Transport Appraisal (TA) to assess the accessibility of the allocated land, alongside the adjacent committed site, and prepared a robust proposed transport strategy for the Site. This is included at Appendix 2.

5.10 The TA establishes that the site is an appropriate place for residential development, benefiting from being located within close proximity of a range of social infrastructure within the village that acts as typical trip attractors for residential land uses, ensuring residents are not wholly reliant on travel by private car to access essential services such as primary education, health and convenience retail.

5.11 Horsmonden also benefits from being served by a number of existing bus services that provide access to higher order settlements such as Royal Tunbridge Wells and Paddocks Wood, from which there are opportunities to access National Rail services.

5.12 The TA demonstrates that the vehicular and pedestrian access from Goudhurst Road, approved as part of the Bassett Farm planning permission (reference TW/15/505340/OUT) is suitable to serve the whole development. The proposed site access junction has also been demonstrated to operate within capacity, with no material impacts on through traffic on Goudhurst Road.

5.13 The development proposals will also include additional pedestrian access via the established public right of way network that runs north of the site via Back Lane.

5.14 The TA has undertaken a trip generation exercise and demonstrated that the development proposals are not anticipated to result in a significant increase in traffic levels, against an existing local highway network that Draft Local Plan evidence suggests operates within capacity anyway.

5.15 The development proposals will be designed in accordance with Manual for Streets and Kent Design Guide principles, future proofing connections with proposed infrastructure such as the Hop Pickers route to Paddock Wood, which runs adjacent to the site, and which will offer convenient and safe cycle access on traffic free routes.

5.16 The development proposals will also support and encourage sustainable travel via the implementation of a Travel Plan and is of a scale of development that will potentially be able to deliver improved public bus services and/or the creation of a demand responsive bus service that is branded to the site.

5.17 In summary, the TA has reviewed emerging transport related planning policy within the Draft Local Plan and concluded that residential development of the envisaged scale at this site would be in compliance.

Development Potential

5.18 Within the framework established by the landscape strategy and the access strategy we have prepared a preliminary parameters plan (included at Appendix 3) which demonstrates that the site can accommodate some 150 dwellings in accordance with the key requirements of allocation Policy AL/HO3.

5.19 The parameters plan has also includes our adjacent land at Bassetts Farm. When taken together with the Bassetts Farm site we anticipate that the Site could achieve approximately 175 dwellings.

5.20 With reference to the requirements of draft allocation Policy Al/HO3 the parameters the plan

demonstrates the following development parameters can be achieved:

  • A safe vehicular access from Goudhurst Road, via the Bassett Farm site;
  • Provision of two safe pedestrian links into the village centre via Goudhurst Road (with delivery of the footway improvements approved under TW/15/505340/OUT) and Back Lane;
  • Retention and enhancement of PROW through and adjacent to the Site, with linkages provided;
  • Protection of the Hop Pickers’ Line from development;
  • Lower density development on the eastern part of the site;
  • Provision of on-site amenity/natural green space (in the form of a potential community woodland area), children and youth play space;
  • Consideration of New Bassett Cottages (Grade II listed buildings);
  • Retention and enhancement of existing hedgerows and trees;

Delivery

5.21 The land at allocation Site AL/HO 3 is controlled by Persimmon Homes, a national house builder, and we are keen to bring the Site forward at the earliest opportunity alongside our adjacent land (Bassetts Farm).

5.22 To this end it is likely that we would seek full planning permission for the joint site for approximately 175 dwellings, with an application submitted shortly after adoption of the Local Plan.

5.23 Even allowing for 12 months for the planning process we would anticipate a start on site in the second year of the plan with units delivered no later than the third year of the plan period and the development completed by year six (assuming a delivery rate of approximately 60 dwellings per annum). In short the site can make a very early contribution to the Borough housing land supply.

DLP_6868

Persimmon Homes South East

 

6.0 AMENDMENTS TO AL/HO3 

6.1 Persimmon Homes are supportive of the draft allocation. The previous section has demonstrated that the Site can be delivered in accordance with the draft allocation and early in the plan period, making an important early contribution to housing land supply.

6.2 Notwithstanding our support for the draft allocation we have some detailed comments and recommendation which we would like reflected in the Reg 19 iteration of the policy and supporting evidence base, most notably the IDP, to make the Plan Sound:

  • Development Quantum – The analysis undertaken has demonstrated that the Site AL/HO3 alongside the consented development of Bassetts Farm can comfortably accommodate 175 dwellings.

We thereby request that the policy is updated to specifically identify AL/HO3 as having development potential for up to 150 dwellings. This will provide certainty and clarity about the capacity of the Site whilst also providing flexibility for detailed design considerations to be worked through as part of the development management process.

  • Site access – as demonstrated in Section 5 below, the most appropriate and deliverable vehicular access to the Site is via the approved access through Bassetts Farm immediately to the south of the Site. This will provide a safe and deliverable vehicular access onto Goudhurst Road. Given that the Bassett Farm site is owned and controlled by Persimmon Homes this will avoid the need for the co-ordination of at least one additional land owner (which would potentially undermine the timely delivery of the site harming the authorities housing trajectory).

We thereby request that the policy is updated to specifically identify the access point to the allocation via the Bassett Farm development. 

  • Safeguarded Land – the allocation specifically identifies the land to be safeguarded for the school and the health centre, this is shown on Map 84. We support the safeguarding of land in this location for the school and the community centre given its proximity to the existing school site and the ability to have its own access via Back Lane.

Further, as noted in the IDP, the school extension and the health centre are required to meet some existing local needs and also the need of all of new the development coming forward within village, not just the development within AL/HO3.

As such the requirement for this land is not fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind, or directly linked, to the housing coming forward on AL/HO3. As such a Section 106 requirement for the delivery of the safeguarded land may not be CIL 122 complaint (without a mechanism for recouping the cost of land from the other developments in the village which would benefit).

Further, neither the school nor the health centre will not be expected to be delivered by the developer, rather it will be brought forward by the infrastructure providers (namely the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group in respect of the Medical Centre and the Kent Local Education Authority in respect of the school extension) in accordance with their delivery programme. It is noted that the draft IDP explains that both the NHS CCG and the Kent LEA have further work to undertake to determine the scale of provision required in this location. Ambiguity on the responsibility for the delivery of infrastructure could lead to uncertainty and delay in the delivery of units on the Site, undermining the robustness of the Borough housing land supply assumptions.

Given that the safeguarded land will benefit all development sites coming forward in the village, and given the school and health centre will not be delivered by the developers, we request that the safeguarded land is subject to a separate allocation policy rather than being included within AL/HO3. This will allow for a much clearer framework for delivery with clear responsibilities. It will also allow the community land to come forward independently in accordance with the requirements and programme of the infrastructure providers and in accordance with the CIL 122 test. 

We thereby also request that the IDP is updated to explicitly acknowledge that the safeguarded land will be delivered by the infrastructure providers in accordance with their delivery requirements and programme.   

Persimmon Homes would of course provide CIL compliant contributions toward the delivery of necessary infrastructure improvements, secured by way of a Section 106 agreement, and we would therefore be keen to see necessary infrastructure delivered in a timely fashion.

DLP_6907

Persimmon Homes South East

 

8.0 CONCLUSION

8.1 These representations have been prepared in respect of Land to the East of Horsmonden (hereafter referred to as ‘the Site’) which has received a draft allocation, under Policy Reference AL/HO3.

8.2 This land is controlled by Persimmon Homes who are also the owners of the adjacent committed development Site known as Bassetts Fam.

8.3 It is the intention of Persimmon Homes to jointly deliver these Land East of Horsmonden and Bassett Farm to create a new high quality, sustainable neighbourhood of Horsmonden.

8.4 Supported by a detailed site specific evidence base these representations have demonstrated that the Site is located in a sustainable location, is suitable, available and achievable, and deliverable in the Plan period.

8.5 It is thereby considered that the development of the Site would deliver sustainable development in respect of all three sustainability objectives:

o Economic

From an economic perspective, the development of the site will contribute towards building a strong, responsive and competitive economy within Horsmonden. The delivery of high-quality housing on the site will contribute to ensuring a number of benefits including: additional Council Tax revenues and direct and indirect/induced job creation. Benefits from the construction of the site include the creation of jobs for the local economy where possible and the use of local construction firms and suppliers. Additional residents will also generate more spending power in the local area to enhance the vitality of local services.

o Social

From a social perspective, the development of the site will support the creation of a strong, vibrant and healthy community by increasing the supply of housing in Horsmonden. The proposed development will comprise a high-quality built environment and will been designed to meet the needs of the area and complement the character of the surroundings. The development of the site provides the opportunities to deliver a number of benefits comprising public open space and recreation space, including play areas for children. The new homes will meet local affordable needs, as well as attract and welcome new families to the area.

o Environmental

From an environmental perspective, the development will deliver a number of benefits including: provision of new green infrastructure including green corridors and open space which can provide ecological gain; and, a design which is informed by the existing landscape and incorporates and protects existing features such as the existing hedges and woodland. No environmental constraints have been identified that would inhibit the development of the site.

8.6 However to ensure that these sustainability objectives are realised it is important that the comments and recommendation concerning the plan development strategy and evidence base are carefully revised and acted upon, to ensure that the Plan is sound going forward.

8.7 In addition it is important that the amendments to Policy AL/HO3 outlined in Section 6 are incorporated into the Reg.19 Plan to ensure that the allocation is deliverable.

8.8 Most notably it is critical that clarity is provided concerning the safeguarded community land, to ensure that the delivery of this infrastructure does not delay the realisation of much needed housing on the Site.

DLP_6908

Persimmon Homes South East

 

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 These representations have been prepared by Persimmon Homes in response to the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Draft Local Plan Regulation 18 Consultation (hereafter referred to as the ‘draft Plan’).

1.2 Persimmon Homes have several interests within Tunbridge Wells Borough which are being promoted through the Local Plan process including land at Paddock Wood, land at Horsmonden and land at Cranbrook.

1.3 These representations have been prepared in respect of Land to the East of Horsmonden (hereafter referred to as ‘the Site’) which has received a draft allocation, under Policy Reference AL/HO3.

1.4 These representation should be read alongside the following supporting submissions:

  • Preliminary Site Layout (prepared by Persimmon Homes)
  • Transport Appraisal (prepared by Markedis Associates)
  • Landscape Statement (prepared by James Blake Associates)

1.5 These representations, and the supporting submissions, demonstrate that allocation AL/HO3 is deliverable, and that the Site can deliver dwellings within the early part of the Plan period. The representations also demonstrate that the proposed allocated land can accommodate approximately 150 dwellings in accordance with the requirements of the draft Plan and the emerging allocation policy.

1.6 Persimmon Homes support the draft Plan in principle, especially the proposed allocation of the Land to the East of Horsmonden.

1.7 Notwithstanding our support for the draft Plan we are seeking some clarifications and amendments to the draft Plan and the supporting evidence base, to ensure that the emerging development strategy and allocation is robust and Sound.

Proposed Allocated Land - Land to the East of Horsmonden

1.8 The Site is located in a sustainable location on the north eastern edge of Horsmonden, within walking distance of the village’s services and facilities. The Site extends to approximately 14.7ha and comprises two distinct areas an orchard area to the north and a paddock area to the south-west.

Adjacent Consented Land – Bassetts Farm

1.9 Outline Planning Permission has been granted for development of up to 30 no. residential dwellings on land immediately to the south of the proposed allocation (under reference TW/15/505340/OUT). The consented land is owned and controlled by Persimmon Homes.

1.10 It is envisaged that the consented land and the proposed allocated site could be brought forward together to deliver a well-designed sustainable extension to the village.

Structure

1.11 These representations are structured as follows:

  • Section 2 sets out our observations on the emerging Development Strategy for the Borough and sets out several recommendations to enhance the robustness and soundness of the Development Strategy;
  • Section 3 sets out our comments on the proposed development strategy for Horsmonden Parish;
  • Section 4 provides a detailed overview of the Site and surroundings;
  • Section 5 sets the vision and development potential of the Site, demonstrating deliverability;
  • Section 6 provides commentary on the development management policies in the Draft Plan; and
  • Section 6 provides a summary and conclusion.

[TWBC: See full representation]

DLP_8301

NHS West Clinical Commissioning Group

General Observation

The CCG notes that these sites are allocated for a mixed use scheme providing approximately 100-150 residential (C3) dwellings, and safeguarding of land for future expansion of Horsmonden Primary School and new health centre/doctors surgery.

As detailed in the CCG’s response to Policy STR/HO 1 a strategic assessment is required to determine requirements for future provision; these discussions have commenced. The safeguarding of land within this policy is noted.