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Section 5: Place Shaping Policies Speldhurst


Contents

General comments

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Response

DLP_8308

NHS West Clinical Commissioning Group

Speldhurst Overview Table – Page 354

Health Facilities – Speldhurst column – please could this be amended to ‘ Branch Surgery of Greggswood & Speldhurst Medical Group.

DLP_2126

James Tansley

The total cynicism of the plan laid bare.  The plan was drawn up during David Jukes's reign of error.  With an eye only on his blatant self-interest, it concludes that only 15-20 of the 12,000 new homes to be built in the Borough should be located in his ward, presumably because the thought this would ensure the locals kept holding their noses and continued to vote for him, no matter how much they held him in contempt.  Thankfully, the Crowborough navvy is now history.  This appalling plan should follow him into oblivion.

Policy STR/SP 1: The Strategy for Speldhurst Parish

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Response

DLP_369

Joan Lumley

Having read the literature and attended the meeting in Speldhurst on 14th October, I feel it is important to make my view known to be part of the decision making process.

Firstly, the recently added 20mph along the Langton Road appears to have had little or no impact on drivers as they continue to drive up and down the road at speeds well in excess of 40mph, sometimes a lot faster. As a resident who lives along that 20mph stretch, it is both frightening and incredibly dangerous (if you happen to be walking) to have the cars whizz past at these speeds.

With this in mind, the proposed development is situated on a bend which would not give either party (car driver or pedestrian) any notice to take action to avoid a collision. The housing would be designed for young families and, it is widely believed, this would be a potential fatal accident site.

Secondly, at school drop off and pick up times (along with other school functions) the road is already congested with cars, down the Langton Road and half way up Ferbies. Manoeuvring out of driveways in this area is nigh on impossible at times and extremely dangerous for the sight line.  Adding potentially more cars and children, to this already congested area, with increase road traffic hazards.

I hope these comments and views will be considered carefully as the fact remains that this continues to be too fast a road with a bend on the site location for very poor visibility which cannot be deemed a safe location for children and adults to either walk or have a safe exit road from which to drive.

DLP_8307

NHS West Clinical Commissioning Group

General Observation

The CCG notes that it is expected that contributions will be required towards health/medical facilities to mitigate the impact of the development. These will be requested, as necessary, in line with CCG Policy which is currently for developments of over 20 houses or more; noting that the allocation currently detailed is for less than 20 houses.

DLP_601

Sport England

Sport England supports bullets point d and e in particular the Speldhurst Recreation Ground, including provision of new showers and new fixed nets for cricket; as they are priorities within adopted Playing Pitch Strategy.

DLP_712

Speldhurst Parish Council

Speldhurst overview –Recreational facilities – play equipment should include the MUGA.

Other matters – add medieval field patterns and historic farms.

Policy STR SP1 6d –  ….“including provision of new showers and new fixed nets for cricket” should be replaced with “including improvements to showers and new ends and goals for the MUGA”.

Policy STR SP1 6e - Any monies raised should be spent within the village where the development takes place and not on a new sports hub in Rusthall.

“Any major development larger than approximately 100 residential units on greenfield windfall sites is expected to provide suitable employment floor space, to be discussed with the Local Planning Authority and Speldhurst Parish Council through pre-application discussions”.  Delete this paragraph – all rural parts of the parish lie within the AONB and Green Belt so development of this scale on unallocated sites would be totally inappropriate in this sensitive, protected landscape and in direct conflict with the Policy EN21.

DLP_1351

Mr Richard Larkin

I am writing to raise my strong objections over the TWBC proposal to build up to 15-20 dwellings in Speldhurst, Kent Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Please confirm receipt of my objections and registration. I tried on line but the site kept failing.

I have resided in Speldhurst Village for all but 4 years of my 51 years.  I live on Ferbies and am convergent with the site and its environment. My property backs onto the site in question.  I would like to make TWBC aware of a Covenant to the South West Boundary of our property, Title deeds K272811, and of possible height restrictions with regard to any new dwellings.

These are virtually the same as per the previous occasion and the grounds for the site being rejected. Other than the speed limit reduction which has made matters worse!! The protected plants, the TPO’s in place that restrict the required vehicle access, hence I believe further consideration a true waste of your time and the tax payers money to explore again.

With regard to the Policy STR/SP1 and Site 231 AL/SP1, here are my objections.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green.  These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village.  There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.  There are already planned dwellings at Bradleys Site, and 8 proposed at Speeds Farm, Farnham Lane and a further 3 already built at the Old Dairy, Barden Road.

My concern is that once the land use of Site 231 is changed from Greenbelt to development, with the likes of Went Farm, Dragonfly Farm, Danemore, plus other land along the Langton Road which have been offered up for allocation, it would open the door to future ribbon development.  This would destroy the rural feel of the village and create urban sprawl. In the Parish Plan submitted in 2016 it was a strong feeling of the residents that the village boundary should not be expanded, and definitely not at the loss of green belt/AoNB.

At present our community surrounding Ferbies and along the Langton/Speldhurst Road enjoy the wonder of Dark Skies. Policy EN10. 115.6.115 states that the impact of light pollution is particularly harmful in the open countryside, where rural character is eroded and the distinction between town and country is blurred …. the full effects of artificial lighting on biodiversity are not fully understood but nocturnal animals can be seriously affected by artificial light at even very low levels, adversely affecting their ability to feed and reproduce.

Stated in the Speldhurst Parish Plan 2016 the major concerns of the residents and highlighted by the Speldhurst Parish Council was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity.  It is important to protect the biodiversity of this site.

EN12 Habitats: Site 231 is described as ‘wooded farmland’.  It is actually an organic meadow, surrounded by mature trees and hedgerows.  Apart from it being harvested once a year for hay, this meadow has not been grazed on or cultivated on for the last 15 years that I have overlooked it. It has remained undisturbed and is full of wild flowers and is a natural habitat to many wild animals. In the summer of 2019 it was clear to see Yellow Rattle and at least two wild orchids are in the field, protected by Rural England. These were part of the consideration when the site was previously rejected and unless they have been dug up, they remain. Having been uncultivated for so long it is officially deemed ‘organic’ and not woodland. There are absolutely no trees within the field, just the odd one around the parameter, including the very large tree in the corner on the Langton Road that house a barn owl nest, which you hear and see most evenings – beautiful.

Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes to satisfy local needs and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built-up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB.  It stated that it would not consider unneighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality.  All of which building on Site 231 will do.

When previously proposed in 2012, the infamous ‘site 15’ caused an undeniable amount of divisiveness, anguish and stress in our community. It is again doing so.  This should not be underestimated.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

Just because a landowner, who in this circumstance has no affinity with the village living, offers up a plot of convenient land TWBC should not jump at the chance to meet the Governments increasing pressure for development.  A development that is against the villages’ desires.

NPPF policy 2019, 7, states that achieving sustainable development means the planning system must reach 3 overarching objectives one of which  c) environmental objective - to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity ……

This development will NOT enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity.

TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT (TP1-TP6)

The main issue raised within the village was road traffic.  Subsequently the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph.  Unfortunately, this has now caused a further problem with speeding and dangerous overtaking by impatient drivers.  On a personal note my family and I have had several horrifying situations where impatient drivers have over-taken slow moving traffic and nearly causing a head on collision on the junction of Ferbies and Speldhurst/Langton Green Road.

The access to site 231 on the Speldhurst/LG road is a black spot waiting to happen.  The speed at which vehicles enter and leave the village could be potentially lethal.  I fail to see where access would be acceptable within the available line of site (EN1/TP2) without the destruction of hedgerow and mature trees.  We have three TPO’s with in our land and as stated before the removal of one of these was required to provide the suitable splay required by Kent Highways. You can also see the historical driveway access into the rear of our property that was closed in 1978 due to dangerous access to Langton Road. The proposed access would be closer to the bend and in a decade when cars are more frequent and quicker.

EN14. 115 Protection of trees.  Both of which TWBC have been promised to maintain.

Another concern is the increase in motor vehicles in this vicinity.   With the proposal to build up to 20 dwellings I can only assume, with current building policy, that only 20 car park spaces will need to be allocated (confirmed by two independent developers), one for each home.  As with a majority of households the probability is most will have at least two cars, especially for 3 bedroom dwellings.   That many houses on this relatively small meadow will mean that there will be substantial over flow parking.  These additional cars plus visitor cars will, without doubt, end up being parked outside on the main access road with its perilous blind bend or onto Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.  Already we have daily chaos with parking at school drop off and pick up.  This proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution. Just last night with the Village Bonfire display, during the hours of 16:30 and 18:30, there were at least four occasions when loud horn blaring could be heard as cars were parking between Ferbies and Ewehurst Lane, causing absolute chaos and near accidents.

The plan says there is a bus that goes ½ hourly.  The bus is only every 2 hours and would not suit commuters as the first bus starts too late and the last bus too early.  There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.  NPPF 102 states that transport should be considered from the earliest stages of plan making and development proposals.

Children already have to stand on School allocated bus routes.

There are NO cycle paths.  Our Parish Council explored this but did not succeed due to private ownership of land areas making the process unworkable. NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Green Belt land it should give first consideration to land which has been previously developed and is well served by public transport.

Parking and Commuter Trains into London at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed.

Therefore,- this site is NOT sustainable.

EDUCATION

Another important issue raised by research within the Parish was the concern regarding the availability of school places and school admissions.  Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be very popular.  It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30.  It is not able to expand further.  The school is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level.  Many places will be taken up by siblings and again, with the locality of plot 231 this will cause undue stress of many residents.  I am aware that land has been sourced for possible further development near Langton Green Primary, so why not build on brownfield sites in Langton Green.  Speldhurst on the cusp of catchment to popular secondary schools in the area.  With the proposed TWBC development at Tudely the very competitive entry levels will make it nigh on impossible for Speldhurst children to achieve.

The SHELLA notes the following:  The education scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand.  The equality objective scores negatively because selective education choices are easier to access than non-selective and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons. 

NPPF policy 2019 states that it is important that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities.

There is not sufficient choice of school places hence this is NOT a sustainable site.

The land uses score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of green belt, green field land and underlying soils.  The Bus service from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking. 

Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight patch for Gatwick airport.  The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within AONB. 

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified.

OTHER AMENITIES

Similar to the school, to obtain an appointment at the village Doctors is extremely difficult at the time you are ill. The alternative is to send you to the sister practice in Sherwood, which is difficult to reach without your own available transport.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Green Belt and AONB, thus making it NOT an inappropriate site. Please do not waste any more time and tax payer’s money considering this site. It has been clearly proved that it does not meet the requirements on numerous fronts. 

I hope you have read all the document and duly noted all the reasons for my objections and I’m sure other villagers will submit theirs.

DLP_2549

Mrs Angie Larkin

I am writing to raise my strong objections over the TWBC proposal to build up to 15-20 dwellings in Speldhurst, Kent Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1.

Please confirm receipt and acknowledgement to the policy as I could not manage to download to the official site.

I have resided in Speldhurst Village for over 28 years. I live on Ferbies and am convergent with the site and its environs. My property, Ingleside, backs onto the site in question. I would like to make TWBC aware of a Covenant to the South West Boundary of our property, Title deeds K272811, and of possible height restrictions with regard to any new dwellings.

With regard to the Policy STR/SP1 and Site 231 AL/SP1, here are my objections.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development. There are already planned dwellings at Bradleys Site, and 8 proposed at Speeds Farm, Farnham Lane and a further 3 already built at the Old Dairy, Barden Road.

My concern is that once the land use of Site 231 is changed from Greenbelt to development, with the likes of Went Farm, Dragonfly Farm, Danemore, plus other land along the Langton Road which have been offered up for allocation, it would open the door to future ribbon development. This would destroy the rural feel of the village and create urban sprawl.

At present our community surrounding Ferbies and along the Langton/Speldhurst Road enjoy the wonder of Dark Skies. Policy EN10. 115.6.115 states that the impact of light pollution is particularly harmful in the open countryside, where rural character is eroded and the distinction between town and country is blurred …. the full effects of artificial lighting on biodiversity are not fully understood but nocturnal animals can be seriously affected by artificial light at even very low levels, adversely affecting their ability to feed and reproduce.

Stated in the Speldhurst Parish Plan 2016 the major concerns of the residents and highlighted by the Speldhurst Parish Council was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. It is important to protect the biodiversity of this site.

EN12 Habitats: Site 231 is described as ‘wooded farmland’. It is actually an organic meadow, surrounded by mature trees and hedgerows. Apart from it being harvested once a year for hay, this meadow has not been grazed on or cultivated on for the last 15 years that I have overlooked. It has remained undisturbed and is full of wild flowers and is a natural habitat to many wild animals

Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes to satisfy local needs and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider unneighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

When previously proposed in 2012, the infamous ‘site 15’ caused an undeniable amount of divisiveness, anguish and stress in our community. It is again doing so. This should not be underestimated.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

Just because a landowner, who in this circumstance has no affinity with the village, offers up a plot of convenient land TWBC should not jump at the chance to meet the Governments increasing pressure for development. A development that is against the villages’ desires.

NPPF policy 2019, 7, states that achieving sustainable development means the planning system must reach 3 overarching objectives ….. c) environmental objective - to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity ……

This development will NOT enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity.

TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT (TP1-TP6)

The main issue raised within the village was road traffic. Subsequently the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. Unfortunately, this has now caused a further problem with speeding and dangerous overtaking by impatient drivers. On a personal note I have had several horrifying situations where impatient drivers have over-taken slow moving traffic and nearly causing a head on collision on the junction of Ferbies and Speldhurst/Langton Green Road.

The access to site 231 on the Speldhurst/LG road is a black spot waiting to happen. The speed at which vehicles enter and leave the village could be potentially lethal. I fail to see where access would be acceptable within the available line of site (EN1/TP2) without the destruction of hedgerow and mature trees. EN14. 115 Protection of trees. Both of which TWBC have been promised to maintain.

Another concern is the increase in motor vehicles in this vicinity. With the proposal to build up to 20 dwellings I can only assume, with current building policy, that only 20 car park spaces will be allocated, one for each home. As with a majority of households the probability is most will have at least two cars, especially for 3 bedroom dwellings. That many houses on this relatively small meadow will mean that there will be substantial over flow parking. These additional cars plus visitor cars will, without doubt, end up being parked outside on the main access road with its perilous blind bend or onto Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow. Already we have daily chaos with parking at school drop off and pick up. This proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

The plan says there is a bus that goes ½ hourly. The bus is only every 2 hours and would not suit commuters as the first bus starts too late and the last bus too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus. NPPF 102 states that transport should be considered from the earliest stages of plan making and development proposals.

Children already have to stand on School allocated bus routes.

There are NO cycle paths. Our Parish Council explored this but did not succeed due to private ownership of land areas making the process unworkable. NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Green Belt land it should give first consideration to land which has been previously developed and is well served by public transport.

Parking and Commuter Trains into London at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed.

Therefore,- this site is NOT sustainable.

EDUCATION

Another important issue raised by research within the Parish was the concern regarding the availability of school places and school admissions. Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be very popular. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30. It is not able to expand further. The school is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Many places will be taken up by siblings and again, with the locality of plot 231 this will cause undue stress of many residents. I am aware that land has been sourced for possible further development near Langton Green Primary, so why not build on brownfield sites in Langton Green. Speldhurst on the cusp of catchment to popular secondary schools in the area. With the proposed TWBC development at Tudely the very competitive entry levels will make it nigh on impossible for Speldhurst children to achieve.

The SHELLA notes the following: The education scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand. The equality objective scores negatively because selective education choices are easier to access than non-selective and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons.

NPPF policy 2019 states that it is important that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities.

There is not sufficient choice of school places hence this is NOT a sustainable site.

The land uses score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of green belt, green field land and underlying soils. The Bus service from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking.

Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight patch for Gatwick airport. The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within AONB.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Green Belt and AONB making it NOT an inappropriate site.

DLP_1567

Pam Mills

I extremely object to the TWBC proposal to build up to 15-20 dwellings in Speldhurst, Kent Site 231AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1.

I have resided in Speldhurst for seventy-five of my eighty-one years and absolutely adore the village. My late husband and I struggled in our early years on a small income but we were fortunate to be offered a council house in the village 1972. We then saved enough money to purchase the property. This scheme was a helpful step for low incomed families at the time, but TWBC failed to rebuild any new homes, seemingly happy to take the profits and not re-invest. Now in the 2019 there is outcry with a supposed shortage of affordable housing. If TWBC had not been so greedy at the time when offering council houses to buy, the situation would not be as bad as they allege today.

I have three major objections.

1) TRAFFIC

The Langton Road is a death trap waiting to happen. During the school drop off/pick up hours the road is mad with cars park on verges in Ferbies, and all the way along the Langton Road, past the Ferbies turning. In addition, the recently imposed 20mph limits have made the speeding worse, as I am now regularly overtaken when adhering to the limit. I dread every day a child stepping out at school time and being hit by a speeding car. If more houses will be built the access point to the Langton Road will be a further step towards a serious road accident. When the filed in question was put up for development strategy years ago the Kent Highways agreed with the above, so I really cannot see why TWBC are wasting my council tax money and trying again.

2) GREEN BELT FIELD:

The field in question was a camp site for soldiers in the 2nd World War. As a child in the village we would often walk past the soldiers and chat. Never in my lifetime has the field been cultivated, therefore it would now be deemed 'organic' and absolutely not woodland as your EN12 Habitats: Site 231 describes. Every year there are numerous wild flowers to see in the field and often in the summer on my early evening walk to can see and hear the barn owls in the large tree in the corner of Site 231, adjoining Ingleside. This field is the boundary of the village and I am extremely alarmed that TWBC would consider building on such a site, killing wildlife, wild animals' habitat. There are far more ugly 'brown' sites in the village e.g. the garages on Northfields and the workshop opposite the Post Office, or even the Chapel site.

3) LOCAL AMENITIES

My time of using the school are long gone for myself, my children and my grandchildren, but as an ex-governor I am concerned that the building of new houses will ultimate bring new families into the village, wanting a place at the school. Talking with the head teacher there is no further scope to add to the size of the school. Where will these potential 'village' children go to school? There is no capacity. Langton has capacity so why not consider developing brown belt in Langton? I can see from the TWBC site there is in fact sufficient numbers of proposed developments already in Langton to hit the quopta required by TWBC, so why impose further unsupported development on green belt in Speldhurst.

I'm also concerned about the local Doctors. You can hardly ever get an appointment on the day you need it. Often offered appointments in the sister surgery in Sherwood, which is not reachable by TWBC public transport. More housing in the village will cause further delays to appointments, which is worrying for a generation of mine and probably all.

I welcomed the SPC asking their parishioners their views for a Parish vision. The results were conclusive with residents stating the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. This is being blatantly ignored by SPC and TWBC.

Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes to satisfy local needs and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built-up areas of out village not encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider unneighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC should not be weak. Like Sevenoaks BC, TWBC should man up and refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

Just because a landowner has offered up the plot of convenient land, TWBC should not jump at the chance to meet the Governments increasing pressure for development. A development that is against the villages' desires. It is purely a money-making scheme on the landowners behalf and I assume they have absolutely no connection to the village.

To conclude I would ask TWBC that if they 'have' to meet the government quota, which we now see is out of date in the current Brexit statistics that they seek alternative sites, less damaging to a village environment, not on green belt and not where they will be contributing to someone being badly hurt in a car accident.

SITE 231 is totally inappropriate to build on.

DLP_2384

Susan Gander

Local Plan - SPELDHURST

I wish to object to the proposed building of 15 to 20 houses on Green Belt land. We are constantly being made aware of the damage we are causing to our environment - endangering wildlife, fauna, flora & the climate. Yet we are expected to condone the building of houses on Green Belt Land & in AONB. These spaces need protecting.

Building these 15 to 20 houses will have little impact on the great number of houses that the Government tell us need to be built in the south east. They will however have a great detrimental impact on the people living in the vicinity. Also on our already limited & stretched local amenities such as the Surgery & school. The necessary new vehicle access onto this part of Langton Road should also be taken into consideration. It is busy at most times of the day due to the vast number of drivers that use Speldhurst as a detour to avoid the congestion in surrounding areas.

Unfortunately many completely disregarded the 20mph speed limit & the fact they are approaching a school.

DLP_3361

Kent County Council (Growth, Environment and Transport)

Highways and Transportation

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

Paragraph 4 – “Maintenance and enhancement of, and/or linkages to, public footway network, public rights of way…”

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. It is requested that PRoW enhancements are included in the list of expected contributions, to mitigate the impact of future development.

DLP_4154

Tunbridge Wells District Committee Campaign to Protect Rural England

Object

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 Green Belt.  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_4568

Historic England

Policy STR/SP 1: The Strategy for Speldhurst 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_5737

Mr T Shields

Land adjacent to Langton House, Langton Green

I understand there is a call for new sites for the Local plan. I refer to the above site which I have already submitted and now attach further land, with boundaries marked in red, adjacent to that site for consideration. It extends to approximately 45 to 50 acres and is currently farmed. I hope this is sufficently detailed but am happy to provide a more detailed plan if required.

See site location plan

DLP_5017
DLP_5021
DLP_5026
DLP_5028

Sana Smith-Tilley
Graham Smith-Tilley
Jack Smith-Tilley
Maria Smith-Tilley

TWBC: the following comment was submitted by the responders on the left:

Policy Number: STR/SP 1

I wish to object to the plan to build 15-20 houses on land to the west of Speldhurst Road and south west of Ferbies, Map 97 Policy AL/Sp1 for the following reasons –

According to the National Planning Policy Framework issued in February 2019 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, achieving sustainable development must fulfil an environmental objective 7c “to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity” . It is surely not the case that providing 15-20 new homes on a piece of land currently designated as Green Belt land in an ANOB protects or enhances our natural environment. In addition, it is clear from the Strategy for Speldhurst Parish point 2 that, in future additional sites in our Green Belt and ANOB will be considered, which could further erode the green spaces around Speldhurst Parish with a detrimental effect on the environment.

The National Planning Policy also states that 12 “Where a planning application conflicts with an up to date development plan (including any neighbourhood plan) permission should not be granted”. The Speldhurst Parish Plan of 2016 clearly states that on the issue of the environment, the 2015 Household Survey confirmed that residents place environmental protection of the highest possible importance. 58% of households said that maintaining green space and rural environment should have a greater priority than building more homes to satisfy local needs. Just 5% consider building more homes should be a priority. Speldhurst Parish Council state that they will seek to safeguard the character and individual integrity of the village communities across the Parish and the pleasant semi-rural environment, which will not involve the outward extension of the built up area of the villages in the Parish and/or encroach onto Green Belt/ANOB. Clearly the weight of opinion of the local community is opposed to any construction on or erosion of green belt land.

Furthermore, the National Planning Policy Framework makes the following references to Green Belt -

133. Once established Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified.

143. Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances. When considering any planning application, local planning authorities should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt. ‘Very special circumstances’ will not exist unless potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm resulting from the proposal, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.

In my opinion nothing in the in Policy STR/SP1 indicates that exceptional or very special circumstances are present.

With regard to infrastructure the National Planning Policy documents states strategic policy making authorities should identify suitable locations for development taking into account 72.2b “sufficient access to services and employment opportunities” and 72.3 “that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of the existing and new communities”. In addition, 138 “where it has been concluded that it is necessary to release Green Belt land for development, plans should give first consideration to land that has been previously developed and/or is well served by public transport”. Taking these points Speldhurst has very limited employment opportunities and access to services. The village shop is community run and its future is not necessarily guaranteed. Speldhurst CEP School is at full capacity and oversubscribed in the lower years. Speldhurst is semi-rural village accessed by minor roads with no cycle routes. The village is not well served by public transport with buses only once an hour or once every two hours at certain times of the day. The nearest railway stations are between 4.7km and 6.9km away. The Doctors surgery is also running at capacity and is currently housed in a building that wold not allow for any expansion. Speldhurst clearly does not have the infrastructure to support the increase in the number of residents this development would bring.

I also object to this proposed development based on the impact on highways and traffic. The National Planning Policy Framework states 102 “Transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan making.” The traffic on this section of road is already heavy and the recent introduction of the traffic calming measure of a 20mph limit have made very little difference to the speed of traffic approaching the potential entrance to this new development. I do not believe that the entrance to the development can be made safe with the sight lines that will be available.

In conclusion I do not feel this proposed development is of sufficient importance or impact to justify destroying Green Belt land and ANOB. The infrastructure in Speldhurst would currently be unable to support this number of extra residences and any expansion of services such as the school, doctor’s surgery, provision of employment and transport links is neither likely nor in some cases, possible. The introduction of an access road to this proposed development will be both dangerous and unworkable.

DLP_5129

Sean Williams

I am writing to object in the strongest way possible to TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1Policy STR/SP1.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

DLP_5707

Julian Lee

I write on behalf and with the consent of the landowners of the above-named land and property (Mr and Mrs Hoekstra), regarding the above-mentioned Strategic Policy against which I wish to comment, with specific reference to a late ‘new site’ proposal submitted by me on behalf of the landowners to xxx [TWBC: officer name redacted] the Tunbridge Wells Planning Policy Team in April this year that would not have been considered under the original ‘Call for Sites’ process.

I have attached herewith a copy of the relevant site plan and application summary sheet that were submitted and, taking into account the Strategy for the Speldhurst Parish (STR/SP1), would comment as follows:-

For reference purposes, the land sits to the west of Speldhurst Road and south of Ferbies (SHELAA reference: Site 231) which has been allocated for residential development under the Draft Local Plan, providing approximately 15-20 dwellings. At its southernmost point, it is located only some 10 metres from the site proposed above at Went Farm.

Whilst details pertaining to the Went Farm site are contained within the attached summary sheet, I would draw further attention to the following:-

Unlike the site south of Ferbies, there is an existing vehicular access off the Speldhurst Road that services the residential barn at Went Farm and the business park.

Immediately adjacent to this access and within the proposed application site is a further existing gate access directly into the land proposed for development that, consistent with the site at ‘Ferbies,’ would require minimal loss of hedgerow to widen and provide enhanced vehicular and pedestrian access, in accordance with criterion 3 of Policy EN 1: Design and other development management criteria.

As mentioned in the summary, a proportion of the land shown (1.14 acres) is adjacent to the main highway and is flanked by existing residential dwellings and the commercial business park. This portion of land is comprised of a sand school and paddock.

A highways assessment undertaken in support of the existing B1 office business park development adjacent to Went Farm confirmed the adequacy of visibility splays (criterion 5 of Policies EN 1: Design and other development management criteria and TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility)

The ‘Ferbies’ development requires an assessment of the feasibility of extending the 20mph speed limit southwards ie towards Went Farm or proposals for creating a new 30mph limit in the wider southern vicinity (either of the above assessments could encompass or be extended to include the highway area adjacent to the land proposed for development at Went Farm). This too could be informed by highway assessments and associated gateway features (criterion 7 of Policy TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility).

An existing pavement is accessible immediately opposite the proposed site entrance providing a pedestrian link direct to the village centre at Speldhurst and towards Langton Green. There is also a local bus transport service.

If all or even ‘part’ of the Went Farm site were considered suitable for residential development, as with the site at ‘Ferbies’ contributions could be made to traffic calming measures, as informed by the outcome of the highway assessment referred to above.

In accordance with the development requirements for the site at ‘Ferbies,’the proposed land at Went Farm can provide for significant areas of natural green spaces, in accordance with the requirements of Policy OSSR 2: Provision of publicly accessible open space and recreation.

It is also accepted that any development layout and design of a scheme must give full consideration to the historic environment and the site’s location on the edge of the settlement and to provide a scheme that is sensitively designed and provides a suitable urban edge to the settlement (Policy EN 1: Design and other development management criteria, Policies EN 7: Heritage Assets, EN 20: Rural Landscape and EN 21: High weald AONB.

In addition, given that the proposed site is immediately adjacent to the established and thriving business park, employment opportunities exist for residents of any new development without reliance on vehicular transport.

AONB Management Plan and Joint Advisory Committee Guidance 

In submitting this application, it is acknowledged that there is a clear requirement to meet the high standards required of policies in this plan for the High Weald AONB and to retain and enhance the key components of natural beauty at the proposed site location as follows:-

  • Significant opportunity for the enhancement of existing boundary planting and the planting of additional native hedgerows around all boundaries.
  • Protection and enhancement of the existing public right of way through further planting and maintenance.
  • Implement wildflower meadows to encourage biodiversity.
  • Provide opportunities for birds, bats and other natural species in the available open spaces and site curtilage e.g. within trees and hedgerows.
  • Open areas around any built development will provide space for wildlife to thrive.
  • Open space available to providing potential to foster sensitive small-scale growing of vegetables, salad crops and fruit.
  • Retained land to continue to be utilised for grazing animals.
  • From an architectural perspective, any scheme would provide traditional architectural detailing, utilise timber technology innovation and use local materials.

I trust that the above information and attachments provide a compelling case for positive consideration of the site (or a proportion thereof) for development.

See site plan and summary sheet

DLP_5965

Paul Ashworth

I am writing to express my strong objection to the above site being considered for development.

* With such a high density development proposed there will inevitably be a significant number of additional cars. There is no safe access point onto the Langton Road as the field sits by a blind bend and most cars are travelling at more than 40mph as they pass this field towards Speldhurst and accelerating quickly as they head to Langton Green.

* There is currently site access from the adjacent field onto Langton Road, the contractors have found it necessary to place numerous signs there warning that traffic will be exiting this site and this exit is away from the blind bend.

* The site is an established meadow with an abundance of trees, wildlife and animal life that sits on Green belt land in an Area of outstanding natural beauty. To release the site would cause high harm if released from the Green Belt and is not a logical extension to the LBD - reasons given for the rejection of the site adjacent to this one and the one opposite this site.

* The proposed development is for a high density development that is out of keeping with the remainder of the village and will lead to further unsustainable demand for primary school places at the already over subscribed village school.

DLP_6162

David and Ellen Rowley

This proposed development on Green Belt land would have a major detrimental impact on the environment and does not justify approval given the special nature of the land, allied to the safety and practical transport considerations. Further, the proposal would provide a very small number of dwellings in relation to the overall local plan, which provides for over 12000 dwellings. Given the go ahead, this would set a dangerous and, in this instance, a totally unjustified precedent to build on hitherto protected land.

Furthermore, the proposed site is off a very busy road and this would create a danger to drivers and other road users, including frequent cyclists and horseriders. Langton Road is currently heavily congested each morning and afternoon outside Speldhurst Primary School with cars parked as far back as Ferbies. The school is still expanding so this will naturally deteriorate further without the additional traffic resulting from another 18-20 planned dwellings. It is difficult to see an obvious entrance point to the proposed site but, given it’s on the curve of a road, wherever the entrance would be sited would be extremely dangerous. As a pedestrian using the footpath by the industrial site opposite, it’s always a hazardous place to cross with limited visibility. One can imagine the combination of speeding cars (as the 20mph is rarely observed), poor light at certain times of the year without street lights, and stationery vehicles causing twice daily serious obstructions, resulting in major and problems.

I therefore, strongly object to this development on the basis that it is sited on Green Belt land, and also on the basis that an entrance into and out of the site would cause danger to road users. I urge you to reject the proposal.

DLP_6364
DLP_6376

Jessica Williams
Emma Williams

TWBC: the following comment was submitted by the responders on the left:

I too would like to add my objections to the TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Along with the majority of people who live in Speldhurst, I fully support the letter below. Please acknowledge that you have read these objections and confirm to me that my complaint has been registered.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

DLP_6378

Alex Pinard

I would like to object to the TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Along with several people who live in Speldhurst, I fully support the letter below. Please acknowledge that you have read these objections and confirm to me that my complaint has been registered.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.
Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

DLP_6381

Jacqui Williams

I am writing to object in the strongest way possible to TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

I look forward to hearing from you and would be grateful if you could confirm that my complaint has been registered.

DLP_6386

Finlay Fuller

I too would like to add my objections to the TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Along with the majority of people who live in Speldhurst, I fully support the letter below. Please acknowledge that you have read these objections and confirm to me that my complaint has been registered.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

I look forward to hearing from you.

DLP_6942

Tina Arnold

Policy Number: STR/SP1

I am writing to strongly recommend refusal to the acceptance of site allocation SHELAA REF Site 231 Policy STR/SP1for Speldhurst Village Map 97 Policy AL/SP 1 on land bordering Ferbies.

I object to the development of this site for the following reasons:

This land is an agricultural field in area of AONB and Greenbelt. The analysis carries out by SHELAA notes the following:

The education objective scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand. The equality objective scores negative because selective education choices are easier to access than non selective, and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons. Land use score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of the green belt, green field land and underlying soils. Bus services from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking. Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight path for Gatwick airport. The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within the AONB. The scale is in keeping with the existing settlement but sensitive design will be necessary.

(TWBC Comment - see DLP 6939)

Policy AL/SP 1: Land to the west of Speldhurst Road and south of Ferbies

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Object/support/support with conditions/general observation

Response

DLP_7855

Phillip Tew

Object

Having dealt with the wider policy point, I notice that you have in the Draft New Local Plan a small development at the end of Ferbies in Speldhurst. It took me a very long time to find this as it was almost impossible to navigate your maps. Very few people will have been able to ascertain where is site is from your pretty opaque maps. The Speldhurst Parish Council a few years ago decided that they would look at this site and tried to suggest some limited development. This caused an absolute maelstrom of objections from local residents and so I am absolutely astonished that this site is included on the Draft New Local Plan. It is on Green Belt land and given its size will make no perceptible difference to the overall housing situation in the Borough so it seems perverse, if not malicious, to include it. The Speldhurst Parish Councillors who were advocating this development previously were defeated in their aims by the forces of common democracy and are no longer in situ.This site should be taken out of the Draft New Local Plan and never put back. Any development proposal will cause another ( perhaps larger ) maelstrom of objections from local residents.

I do live in Ferbies and so it is right that I declare that. However I live much further up the road and so the site would not be particularly close to my property and so personally I would not be particularly affected. Consequently my objection is not mere nimbyism but one of fundamental principle.

DLP_367

Richard Larkin

Object

I have written previously regarding my concern with building on the field along the Langton Road. I have requested that Natural England are consulted as both Yellow Rattle and the odd Wild Orchid are present in the field, both of which are protected.

I would be happy to meet them to locate the plants, although very difficult outside of June – August.

DLP_464

Paul Bartlett

Support with conditions

Given the history of safe access and sight-line of this site, I suggest that a mini-roundabout would be an appropriate traffic calming measure to the south of this site and to delimit the 30mph restriction (south) from the 20mph restriction (north) on the Speldhurst-Langton road. That would need to change the current highway route to meet the roundabout north west of its' current position, so consume some of the current site boundry to make it a safe junction.

The current Whent farm access to the east could form the other access roadway to the mini-roundabout. Given the need to use farm vehicles, that mini-roundabout must not prevent high axle or wheel farm vehicles from crossing at low speeds, whilst preventing private cars, especially 4x4/SUV, crossing at higher speeds.

DLP_576

Simon Whitaker

Object

Object to building houses here in AONB.  No need to extent boundary of village as there is plentiful housing in Rusthall/Langton Green/Tunbridge Wells.

There is no employment in the village to support 10-15 houses.  So local roads already overcrowded with people bypassing Tunbridge Wells will be even more congested.

Additional housing should be close to existing employment and transport hubs in Tunbridge Wells.  Not on Green Belt in AONB.

DLP_655

John Burke

Object

The development is in both an area of outstanding natural beauty and the green belt- this should be done in only the most extreme of circumstances. The local plan has provision for more homes than the government has requested by a long way so it cannot be argued that these are extreme circumstances. There is a very reasonable prospect that further land that is neither in an AONB or the greenbelt will become available within Kent in the future. These restrictions are to protect our future environment- overrule them now,  in these circumstances, and it difficult to see how they could be enforced at all in the future.

The site itself has dangerous access onto a road network which is already over capacity with long queues into Langton Green and Tunbridge Wells. It contains valuable wildlife. The village is remote from amenities and employment and so would represent a poor choice of location for affordable housing.

DLP_711

Speldhurst Parish Council

 

Policy AL/SP 1Land to the west of Speldhurst Road and south of Ferbies (CfS reference: Site 231):

2: “On assessment of the feasibility of extending the 20mph speed limit southwards of the site and/or proposals for creating a new 30 mph limit in the wider southern vicinity of the site, as informed by highway assessments, and associated gateway features (see criterion 7 of Policy TP 2: Transport Design and Accessibility)” : Remove ‘extending the’ and rewrite: As assessment of the feasibility of creating a new 30mph limit in the wider vicinity of the site. A safe location for the entrance to the site relative to the corner and appropriate warning signs including associated gateway features.

6: “The layout and design of the scheme to give full consideration to the historic environment and the site's location on the edge of the settlement, and to provide a scheme that is sensitively designed and provides a suitable urban edge to the settlement (see Policy EN 1: Design and other development management criteria, Policies EN 7: Heritage Assets, EN 20: Rural Landscape, and EN 21: High Weald AONB;7. Improvements to existing allotments, amenity/natural green space, parks” : Replace ‘urban’ with ‘rural’– Speldhurst is a rural village and does not have a hard urban edge.

Please clarify whether the requirements under H5 for 40% affordable housing and local connection will apply to this site.

AL/SP1– the policy should ensure that the development is self-sufficient for parking and that there is no overspill into neighbouring roads.

DLP_883

J Horne

Object

I am writing to strongly recommend refusal to the acceptance of site allocation SHELAA REF Site 231 Policy STR/SP1for Speldhurst Village Map 97 Policy AL/SP 1 on land bordering Ferbies.

I object to the development of this site for the following reasons:

This land is an agricultural field in area of AONB and Greenbelt. The analysis carries out by SHELAA notes the following:

The education objective scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand. The equality objective scores negative because selective education choices are easier to access than non selective, and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons. Land use score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of the green belt, green field land and underlying soils. Bus services from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking. Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight path for Gatwick airport. The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within the AONB. The scale is in keeping with the existing settlement but sensitive design will be necessary.

Taking each of these statements on order:

EDUCATION – Speldhurst School was enlarged last year to increase entry from 20 to 30 pupils per year. The entry level years are still oversubscribed as noted in the SPC Parish Plan 2016. The school cannot expand again given the size of the site. Local residents already have great difficulty getting children into secondary schools due to distance issues.

NPPF

  1. It is important that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities. Local planning authorities should take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement, and to development that will widen choice in education.

THERE IS NOT SUFFICIENT CHOICE OF SCHOOL PLACES HENCE THIS IS NOT A SUSTAINABLE SITE

AONB AND GREENBELT – NPPF policy 2019 states 7. Achieving sustainable development means that the planning system has three overarching objectives, which are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways (so that opportunities can be taken to secure net gains across each of the different objectives) and c) an environmental objective–to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment; including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity, using natural resources prudently, minimising waste and pollution, and mitigating and adapting to climate change, including moving to a low carbon economy.  THIS DEVELOPEMENT WILL NOT ENHANCE THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OR IMPROVE BIODIVERSITY.

  1. Once established, Green Belt boundaries should   only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and   justified, through the preparation or updating of plans
  2. When drawing up or reviewing Green Belt   boundaries, the need to promote sustainable patterns of development should be   taken into account.
  3. Inappropriate development is, by definition,   harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special   circumstances.

When considering any planning application, local planning authorities should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt. ‘Very special circumstances’ will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm resulting from the proposal, is clearly outweighed by other considerations

THIS FIELD IS GREEN BELT AND INDICATES THE END OF THE VILLAGE ENVELOPE. DEVELOPINGTHIS SITE WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO MORE RIBBON DEVELOPEMNT WHICH WILL CAUSE THE VILLAGE TO LOSE ITS RURAL NATURE AND EVENTUALLY MERGE INTO LANGTON GREEN WHICH IS AN URBAN SITE.

TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The plan says there is a bus that goes 1 / 2  hourly. The bus is only every 2 hours and would not be suitable for commuters as the first starts too late and the last bus finished early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus. Look at NPPF 102 Transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals

There are no cycle paths. The Parish council explored trying to set up cycle routes but could not succeed due to private ownership of land areas making this process unworkable.

The site is therefore not sustainable due to lack of transport. This would be contrary to NPPF 138 Where it has been concluded that it is necessary to release Green Belt land for development, plans should give first consideration to land which has been previously-developed and/or is well-served by public transport.

Also your own analysis acknowledges inadequate transport links:

Sustainability Assessment: The education objective scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand. The equality objective scores negative because selective education choices are easier to access than non selective, and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons. Land use score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of the green belt, green field land and underlying soils. Bus services from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking. Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight path for Gatwick airport. The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within the AONB. The scale is in keeping with the existing settlement but sensitive design will be necessary. 

DLP_1128

Polly Wood

Object

RE: Policy AL/SP1

As residents of Ferbies and parents of children that attend Speldhurst CEP School we are concerned about the extra traffic that will be created by building these houses.  This will add to the already very busy Langton Road and Ferbies especially at rush hour times. We feel it is already incredibly dangerous for our young children walking to school.  With the approved expansion of the School there is already a significant amount of extra traffic on the roads and further expansion to the residential area will put further pressure on the infrastructure which is already struggling to cope. There is a 20mph speed limit but it is widely ignored and has never been enforced.  Cars are overtaking other cars on the Langton Road leaving the village while still within the 20mph speed limit, this will cause a significant hazard with any new junction created.

DLP_3627

Southern Water Services Plc

Support with conditions

Southern Water is the statutory wastewater undertaker for Speldhurst. 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. The assessment reveals that existing local sewerage infrastructure to the site has limited capacity to accommodate the proposed development. Limited capacity is not a constraint to development provided that planning policy and subsequent conditions ensure that occupation of the development is phased to align with the delivery of new wastewater infrastructure.

Proposals for 20 dwellings at this site will generate a need for reinforcement of the wastewater network in order to provide additional capacity to serve the development. This reinforcement will be provided through the New Infrastructure charge to developers, and Southern Water will need to work with site promoters to understand the development program and to review whether the delivery of network reinforcement aligns with the occupation of the development. Connection of new development at this site ahead of new infrastructure delivery could lead to an increased risk of flooding unless the requisite works are implemented in advance of occupation. Southern Water has limited powers to prevent connections to the sewerage network, even when capacity is limited. Planning policies and conditions, therefore, play an important role in ensuring that development is coordinated with the provision of necessary infrastructure, and does not contribute to pollution of the environment, in line with paragraph 170(e) of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (2019).

In consideration of the above, we recommend the following criterion is added to Policy AL/SP 1

Occupation of development will be phased to align with the delivery of sewerage infrastructure, in liaison with the service provider.

DLP_1938

Mr W M Marshall

General Observation

Land at Milford House, Penshurst Road, Speldhurst, TN3 0PH (Call for sites Plot 94)

We are the owners of Milford House and garden which was submitted under the Call for Sites Program and was included as Site number 94.  We are registered as consultees regarding the plan. We want to raise two issues for your consideration.

1.Exclusion of Land at Milford House from Draft Local Plan

We note from the Draft Plan that the Milford House site has not been included as a potential site.

The comments relating to the site are that it is let down by a lack of key services and facilities and a lack of pavement to the centre of the settlement making it less suitable for those with disabilities. We comment as follows:

  • Any lack of services or facilities apply equally to site 231 which has been included as suitable.
  • The site does lack a pavement to the centre, but this is a common issue in Speldhurst and much of the pavement that does exist is too narrow for wheelchairs and have no ramps so is unsuitable for disabled persons. Site 231 has the same disadvantage of an extremely narrow pavement on a much busier road. Any development could include provision of appropriate pavement.
  • Site 94 is also closer to the Doctor, shop, bus stop and church than site 231
  • Site 94 while currently in Green Belt (see below comments) is not agricultural land but Residential Curtilage, unlike site 231 which is Agricultural land
  • Site 94 has potential for limited development of 10 houses (see plan submitted with call for sites) and is currently surrounded on three sides by existing properties some of which have been developed recently, but largely screened from them

We believe that site 94 is at least as an attractive a site as 231 and we believe you should reconsider your decision not to include it in the Draft Local Plan.

  1. Change to Green Belt Boundary at Milford House

The Green Belt boundary and the Limit for Built Development in Speldhurst currently runs midway across the lawn at Milford House see Attachment 1 and, in our opinion, this is completely illogical. The boundary should be moved to include all the Residential Curtilage which would when then form the natural boundary with the 231at the other surrounding agricultural land. This line would also be completely consistent with the village Green Belt boundary and Limit for Built Development and with the inclusion of site 231 which is at the end of the same fields and which has been selected in Speldhurst for development. See Attachment 2.

We believe this proposal does not compromise any of the stated intentions of the green belt provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) of 2012.

  • To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas
  • To prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
  • To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
  • To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land

We think there is a strong case for this minor change to The Green Belt boundary and the Limit for Built Development in Speldhurst which would also be consistent with the inclusion of site 94 and site 231 in the Draft Local Plan

Please feel free to contact us for any additional information.

DLP_2120

Terry Everest

Object

Call for a reduction of the scale and numner of developments to be more in keeping with the local setting.

DLP_1355

Mr Richard Larkin

Object

I am writing to raise my strong objections over the TWBC proposal to build up to 15-20 dwellings in Speldhurst, Kent Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Please confirm receipt of my objections and registration. I tried on line but the site kept failing.

I have resided in Speldhurst Village for all but 4 years of my 51 years.  I live on Ferbies and am convergent with the site and its environment. My property backs onto the site in question. I would like to make TWBC aware of a Covenant to the South West Boundary of our property, Title deeds K272811, and of possible height restrictions with regard to any new dwellings.

These are virtually the same as per the previous occasion and the grounds for the site being rejected. Other than the speed limit reduction which has made matters worse!! The protected plants, the TPO’s in place that restrict the required vehicle access, hence I believe further consideration a true waste of your time and the tax payers money to explore again.

With regard to the Policy STR/SP1 and Site 231 AL/SP1, here are my objections.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green.  These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village.  There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development. There are already planned dwellings at Bradleys Site, and 8 proposed at Speeds Farm, Farnham Lane and a further 3 already built at the Old Dairy, Barden Road.

My concern is that once the land use of Site 231 is changed from Greenbelt to development, with the likes of Went Farm, Dragonfly Farm, Danemore, plus other land along the Langton Road which have been offered up for allocation, it would open the door to future ribbon development.  This would destroy the rural feel of the village and create urban sprawl. In the Parish Plan submitted in 2016 it was a strong feeling of the residents that the village boundary should not be expanded, and definitely not at the loss of green belt/AoNB.

At present our community surrounding Ferbies and along the Langton/Speldhurst Road enjoy the wonder of Dark Skies. Policy EN10. 115.6.115 states that the impact of light pollution is particularly harmful in the open countryside, where rural character is eroded and the distinction between town and country is blurred …. the full effects of artificial lighting on biodiversity are not fully understood but nocturnal animals can be seriously affected by artificial light at even very low levels, adversely affecting their ability to feed and reproduce.

Stated in the Speldhurst Parish Plan 2016 the major concerns of the residents and highlighted by the Speldhurst Parish Council was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity.  It is important to protect the biodiversity of this site.

EN12 Habitats: Site 231 is described as ‘wooded farmland’.  It is actually an organic meadow, surrounded by mature trees and hedgerows.  Apart from it being harvested once a year for hay, this meadow has not been grazed on or cultivated on for the last 15 years that I have overlooked it. It has remained undisturbed and is full of wild flowers and is a natural habitat to many wild animals. In the summer of 2019 it was clear to see Yellow Rattle and at least two wild orchids are in the field, protected by Rural England. These were part of the consideration when the site was previously rejected and unless they have been dug up, they remain. Having been uncultivated for so long it is officially deemed ‘organic’ and not woodland. There are absolutely no trees within the field, just the odd one around the parameter, including the very large tree in the corner on the Langton Road that house a barn owl nest, which you hear and see most evenings – beautiful.

Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes to satisfy local needs and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built-up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB.  It stated that it would not consider unneighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality.  All of which building on Site 231 will do.

When previously proposed in 2012, the infamous ‘site 15’ caused an undeniable amount of divisiveness, anguish and stress in our community. It is again doing so.  This should not be underestimated.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

Just because a landowner, who in this circumstance has no affinity with the village living, offers up a plot of convenient land TWBC should not jump at the chance to meet the Governments increasing pressure for development.  A development that is against the villages’ desires.

NPPF policy 2019, 7, states that achieving sustainable development means the planning system must reach 3 overarching objectives one of which  c) environmental objective - to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity ……

This development will NOT enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity.

TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT (TP1-TP6)

The main issue raised within the village was road traffic.  Subsequently the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph.  Unfortunately, this has now caused a further problem with speeding and dangerous overtaking by impatient drivers.  On a personal note my family and I have had several horrifying situations where impatient drivers have over-taken slow moving traffic and nearly causing a head on collision on the junction of Ferbies and Speldhurst/Langton Green Road.

The access to site 231 on the Speldhurst/LG road is a black spot waiting to happen.  The speed at which vehicles enter and leave the village could be potentially lethal.  I fail to see where access would be acceptable within the available line of site (EN1/TP2) without the destruction of hedgerow and mature trees.  We have three TPO’s with in our land and as stated before the removal of one of these was required to provide the suitable splay required by Kent Highways. You can also see the historical driveway access into the rear of our property that was closed in 1978 due to dangerous access to Langton Road. The proposed access would be closer to the bend and in a decade when cars are more frequent and quicker.

EN14. 115 Protection of trees.  Both of which TWBC have been promised to maintain.

Another concern is the increase in motor vehicles in this vicinity.   With the proposal to build up to 20 dwellings I can only assume, with current building policy, that only 20 car park spaces will need to be allocated (confirmed by two independent developers), one for each home.  As with a majority of households the probability is most will have at least two cars, especially for 3 bedroom dwellings. That many houses on this relatively small meadow will mean that there will be substantial over flow parking.  These additional cars plus visitor cars will, without doubt, end up being parked outside on the main access road with its perilous blind bend or onto Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.  Already we have daily chaos with parking at school drop off and pick up.  This proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution. Just last night with the Village Bonfire display, during the hours of 16:30 and 18:30, there were at least four occasions when loud horn blaring could be heard as cars were parking between Ferbies and Ewehurst Lane, causing absolute chaos and near accidents.

The plan says there is a bus that goes ½ hourly.  The bus is only every 2 hours and would not suit commuters as the first bus starts too late and the last bus too early.  There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.  NPPF 102 states that transport should be considered from the earliest stages of plan making and development proposals.

Children already have to stand on School allocated bus routes.

There are NO cycle paths.  Our Parish Council explored this but did not succeed due to private ownership of land areas making the process unworkable. NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Green Belt land it should give first consideration to land which has been previously developed and is well served by public transport.

Parking and Commuter Trains into London at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed.

Therefore,- this site is NOT sustainable.

EDUCATION

Another important issue raised by research within the Parish was the concern regarding the availability of school places and school admissions.  Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be very popular.  It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30.  It is not able to expand further.  The school is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level.  Many places will be taken up by siblings and again, with the locality of plot 231 this will cause undue stress of many residents.  I am aware that land has been sourced for possible further development near Langton Green Primary, so why not build on brownfield sites in Langton Green.  Speldhurst on the cusp of catchment to popular secondary schools in the area.  With the proposed TWBC development at Tudely the very competitive entry levels will make it nigh on impossible for Speldhurst children to achieve.

The SHELLA notes the following:  The education scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand.  The equality objective scores negatively because selective education choices are easier to access than non-selective and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons. 

NPPF policy 2019 states that it is important that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities.

There is not sufficient choice of school places hence this is NOT a sustainable site.

The land uses score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of green belt, green field land and underlying soils. The Bus service from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking. 

Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight patch for Gatwick airport.  The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within AONB. 

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified.

OTHER AMENITIES

Similar to the school, to obtain an appointment at the village Doctors is extremely difficult at the time you are ill. The alternative is to send you to the sister practice in Sherwood, which is difficult to reach without your own available transport.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Green Belt and AONB, thus making it NOT an inappropriate site. Please do not waste any more time and tax payer’s money considering this site. It has been clearly proved that it does not meet the requirements on numerous fronts. 

I hope you have read all the document and duly noted all the reasons for my objections and I’m sure other villagers will submit theirs.

DLP_2551

Mrs Angie Larkin

Object

I am writing to raise my strong objections over the TWBC proposal to build up to 15-20 dwellings in Speldhurst, Kent Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1.

Please confirm receipt and acknowledgement to the policy as I could not manage to download to the official site.

I have resided in Speldhurst Village for over 28 years. I live on Ferbies and am convergent with the site and its environs. My property, Ingleside, backs onto the site in question. I would like to make TWBC aware of a Covenant to the South West Boundary of our property, Title deeds K272811, and of possible height restrictions with regard to any new dwellings.

With regard to the Policy STR/SP1 and Site 231 AL/SP1, here are my objections.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development. There are already planned dwellings at Bradleys Site, and 8 proposed at Speeds Farm, Farnham Lane and a further 3 already built at the Old Dairy, Barden Road.

My concern is that once the land use of Site 231 is changed from Greenbelt to development, with the likes of Went Farm, Dragonfly Farm, Danemore, plus other land along the Langton Road which have been offered up for allocation, it would open the door to future ribbon development. This would destroy the rural feel of the village and create urban sprawl.

At present our community surrounding Ferbies and along the Langton/Speldhurst Road enjoy the wonder of Dark Skies. Policy EN10. 115.6.115 states that the impact of light pollution is particularly harmful in the open countryside, where rural character is eroded and the distinction between town and country is blurred …. the full effects of artificial lighting on biodiversity are not fully understood but nocturnal animals can be seriously affected by artificial light at even very low levels, adversely affecting their ability to feed and reproduce.

Stated in the Speldhurst Parish Plan 2016 the major concerns of the residents and highlighted by the Speldhurst Parish Council was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. It is important to protect the biodiversity of this site.

EN12 Habitats: Site 231 is described as ‘wooded farmland’. It is actually an organic meadow, surrounded by mature trees and hedgerows. Apart from it being harvested once a year for hay, this meadow has not been grazed on or cultivated on for the last 15 years that I have overlooked. It has remained undisturbed and is full of wild flowers and is a natural habitat to many wild animals

Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes to satisfy local needs and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider unneighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

When previously proposed in 2012, the infamous ‘site 15’ caused an undeniable amount of divisiveness, anguish and stress in our community. It is again doing so. This should not be underestimated.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

Just because a landowner, who in this circumstance has no affinity with the village, offers up a plot of convenient land TWBC should not jump at the chance to meet the Governments increasing pressure for development. A development that is against the villages’ desires.

NPPF policy 2019, 7, states that achieving sustainable development means the planning system must reach 3 overarching objectives ….. c) environmental objective - to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity ……

This development will NOT enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity.

TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT (TP1-TP6)

The main issue raised within the village was road traffic. Subsequently the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. Unfortunately, this has now caused a further problem with speeding and dangerous overtaking by impatient drivers. On a personal note I have had several horrifying situations where impatient drivers have over-taken slow moving traffic and nearly causing a head on collision on the junction of Ferbies and Speldhurst/Langton Green Road.

The access to site 231 on the Speldhurst/LG road is a black spot waiting to happen. The speed at which vehicles enter and leave the village could be potentially lethal. I fail to see where access would be acceptable within the available line of site (EN1/TP2) without the destruction of hedgerow and mature trees. EN14. 115 Protection of trees. Both of which TWBC have been promised to maintain.

Another concern is the increase in motor vehicles in this vicinity. With the proposal to build up to 20 dwellings I can only assume, with current building policy, that only 20 car park spaces will be allocated, one for each home. As with a majority of households the probability is most will have at least two cars, especially for 3 bedroom dwellings. That many houses on this relatively small meadow will mean that there will be substantial over flow parking. These additional cars plus visitor cars will, without doubt, end up being parked outside on the main access road with its perilous blind bend or onto Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow. Already we have daily chaos with parking at school drop off and pick up. This proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

The plan says there is a bus that goes ½ hourly. The bus is only every 2 hours and would not suit commuters as the first bus starts too late and the last bus too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus. NPPF 102 states that transport should be considered from the earliest stages of plan making and development proposals.

Children already have to stand on School allocated bus routes.

There are NO cycle paths. Our Parish Council explored this but did not succeed due to private ownership of land areas making the process unworkable. NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Green Belt land it should give first consideration to land which has been previously developed and is well served by public transport.

Parking and Commuter Trains into London at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed.

Therefore,- this site is NOT sustainable.

EDUCATION

Another important issue raised by research within the Parish was the concern regarding the availability of school places and school admissions. Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be very popular. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30. It is not able to expand further. The school is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Many places will be taken up by siblings and again, with the locality of plot 231 this will cause undue stress of many residents. I am aware that land has been sourced for possible further development near Langton Green Primary, so why not build on brownfield sites in Langton Green. Speldhurst on the cusp of catchment to popular secondary schools in the area. With the proposed TWBC development at Tudely the very competitive entry levels will make it nigh on impossible for Speldhurst children to achieve.

The SHELLA notes the following: The education scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand. The equality objective scores negatively because selective education choices are easier to access than non-selective and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons.

NPPF policy 2019 states that it is important that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities.

There is not sufficient choice of school places hence this is NOT a sustainable site.

The land uses score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of green belt, green field land and underlying soils. The Bus service from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking.

Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight patch for Gatwick airport. The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within AONB.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Green Belt and AONB making it NOT an inappropriate site.

DLP_1566

Pam Mills

Object

I extremely object to the TWBC proposal to build up to 15-20 dwellings in Speldhurst, Kent Site 231AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1.

I have resided in Speldhurst for seventy-five of my eighty-one years and absolutely adore the village. My late husband and I struggled in our early years on a small income but we were fortunate to be offered a council house in the village 1972. We then saved enough money to purchase the property. This scheme was a helpful step for low incomed families at the time, but TWBC failed to rebuild any new homes, seemingly happy to take the profits and not re-invest. Now in the 2019 there is outcry with a supposed shortage of affordable housing. If TWBC had not been so greedy at the time when offering council houses to buy, the situation would not be as bad as they allege today.

I have three major objections.

1) TRAFFIC

The Langton Road is a death trap waiting to happen. During the school drop off/pick up hours the road is mad with cars park on verges in Ferbies, and all the way along the Langton Road, past the Ferbies turning. In addition, the recently imposed 20mph limits have made the speeding worse, as I am now regularly overtaken when adhering to the limit. I dread every day a child stepping out at school time and being hit by a speeding car. If more houses will be built the access point to the Langton Road will be a further step towards a serious road accident. When the filed in question was put up for development strategy years ago the Kent Highways agreed with the above, so I really cannot see why TWBC are wasting my council tax money and trying again.

2) GREEN BELT FIELD:

The field in question was a camp site for soldiers in the 2nd World War. As a child in the village we would often walk past the soldiers and chat. Never in my lifetime has the field been cultivated, therefore it would now be deemed 'organic' and absolutely not woodland as your EN12 Habitats: Site 231 describes. Every year there are numerous wild flowers to see in the field and often in the summer on my early evening walk to can see and hear the barn owls in the large tree in the corner of Site 231, adjoining Ingleside. This field is the boundary of the village and I am extremely alarmed that TWBC would consider building on such a site, killing wildlife, wild animals' habitat. There are far more ugly 'brown' sites in the village e.g. the garages on Northfields and the workshop opposite the Post Office, or even the Chapel site.

3) LOCAL AMENITIES

My time of using the school are long gone for myself, my children and my grandchildren, but as an ex-governor I am concerned that the building of new houses will ultimate bring new families into the village, wanting a place at the school. Talking with the head teacher there is no further scope to add to the size of the school. Where will these potential 'village' children go to school? There is no capacity. Langton has capacity so why not consider developing brown belt in Langton? I can see from the TWBC site there is in fact sufficient numbers of proposed developments already in Langton to hit the quopta required by TWBC, so why impose further unsupported development on green belt in Speldhurst.

I'm also concerned about the local Doctors. You can hardly ever get an appointment on the day you need it. Often offered appointments in the sister surgery in Sherwood, which is not reachable by TWBC public transport. More housing in the village will cause further delays to appointments, which is worrying for a generation of mine and probably all.

I welcomed the SPC asking their parishioners their views for a Parish vision. The results were conclusive with residents stating the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. This is being blatantly ignored by SPC and TWBC.

Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes to satisfy local needs and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built-up areas of out village not encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider unneighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC should not be weak. Like Sevenoaks BC, TWBC should man up and refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

Just because a landowner has offered up the plot of convenient land, TWBC should not jump at the chance to meet the Governments increasing pressure for development. A development that is against the villages' desires. It is purely a money-making scheme on the landowners behalf and I assume they have absolutely no connection to the village.

To conclude I would ask TWBC that if they 'have' to meet the government quota, which we now see is out of date in the current Brexit statistics that they seek alternative sites, less damaging to a village environment, not on green belt and not where they will be contributing to someone being badly hurt in a car accident.

SITE 231 is totally inappropriate to build on.

DLP_2023

Lisa & Andrew Maynard

Object

Local Plan to Build over Green Belt field adjacent to Ferbies, Speldhurst

In 2012, in the field adjacent to Ferbies, a proposed development was raised and roundly objected to by both the Parish Council and local villagers. The main objections were development over green belt and the entrance way being unsafe as inadequate splay lines cannot be achieved along the busy Langton Road with a steep corner at one end of the field.

The development is small and will only contribute 20 homes to the Tunbridge Wells local plan at a cost of building over green belt, removal of protected trees and increasing the danger of a traffic accident in the busy Langton Road approach to the village.

The National Planning Policy Framework clearly states that green belt should not be built on unless there are ‘exceptional’ or ‘very special’ circumstances. There are no economic, social or environmental objectives in building these 20 houses on green belt. It seems that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council simply want to build here with no clear objectives being met.

Many villagers are in favour of brown field development in the village and indeed currently some 17 new homes have been allocated in such brown field developments, very nearly what would be achieved by the above development at no cost to the environment. However, clearly these homes will put additional strain on the existing infrastructure, roughly equivalent to the proposed development, which is already under stress. For example, Speldhurst Primary School is full and oversubscribed every year. Parents will need to drive children to schools out of the village, adding to traffic. In addition, there is a limited public transport service to Tunbridge Wells and none to Tonbridge.

We would urge that the council abandon the idea of developing on green belt and instead concentrate on brown field sites in the existing towns and/or in exceptional circumstances new planned village developments like at Tudeley where infrastructure can be built and planned to take the strain of additional households.

DLP_2753

James Hammond

Support

The site owners welcome the draft site allocation proposed in the Regulation 18 Local Plan under reference AL/SP 1. The site allocation is founded on robust evidence commissioned by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in support of the emerging Local Plan. The breadth and depth of work undertaken by the site owners has been appropriately reflected/captured in the wording of criteria presented under policy AL/SP 1.

The site owners have sought and received pre-application advice from both the Local Planning Authority (combination of officers from Development Management and Planning Policy) and the Local Highway Authority. These discussions prompted the commissioning and submission of further studies to the Local Planning Authority in autumn 2018, to include a site masterplan layout prepared by a professional (and eminent) Urban Design consultancy to show how the site could be laid out for residential use in a manner that would be respectful of the urban/rural edge setting. Importantly, the masterplan provides for a landscape buffer area to the south-western corner of the site to soften the transition along the southwestern boundary edge. The proposed landscaped area also incorporates Sustainable Urban Drainage System features to mitigate surface water storage/discharge. The landscape/open space features are suitably summarised/reflected in criterion 5 of policy AL/SP 1.

As part of pre-application discussions with TWBC officers it was conveyed to the site owners that Speldhurst Parish Council wanted consideration to be given to the possibility of extending the 20 mph limit currently in place on Langton Road further to the south-west. Discussions with the local highway authority resulted in the emergence of a strategy to introduce a ‘transition zone’ through the incorporation of a section to Langton Road that would be the subject of a 30 mph speed limit. It is proposed the 40 mph entry point on Langton Road would be relocated to the south-west of its current position. This point is generally summarised in criterion 2 of policy AL/SP 1, and it is considered that such an intervention would result in slower vehicle entry speeds into the village from the south-west. Should the local highway authoirty consider that traffic calming features would assist in reinforcing the local speed limit regime the site owners would be wholly committed to consideration (and implementation) of such a requirement, subject to the relevant tests for S106 contributions being complied with.

The site owners are currently in advanced discussions with a local housebuilder about entering into a Promotion Agreement with a proven track record of delivering high-quality residential development within the local housing market area. The draft agreement includes timescales for the submission of a planning application, which is intended to run in parallel with the Local Plan timetable. Progress made engenders a high degree of confidence that the site is deliverable in the short term.

The site owners welcome the prospect of working alongside the Local Planning Authority, local highway authority and other stakeholders (to include representatives of the Parish Council) to bring forward the site in due course.

DLP_3362

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 archaeological potential

DLP_5130

Sean Williams

Object

I am writing to object in the strongest way possible to TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1Policy STR/SP1.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

DLP_5968

Paul Ashworth

Object

I am writing to express my strong objection to the above site being considered for development.

  • With   such a high density development proposed there will inevitably be a   significant number of additional cars. There is no safe access point onto the   Langton Road as the field sits by a blind bend and most cars are travelling   at more than 40mph as they pass this field towards Speldhurst and   accelerating quickly as they head to Langton Green.
  • There   is currently site access from the adjacent field onto Langton Road, the   contractors have found it necessary to place numerous signs there warning   that traffic will be exiting this site and this exit is away from the blind   bend.
  • The   site is an established meadow with an abundance of trees, wildlife and animal   life that sits on Green belt land in an Area of outstanding natural beauty.   To release the site would cause high harm if released from the Green Belt and   is not a logical extension to the LBD - reasons given for the rejection of   the site adjacent to this one and the one opposite this site.
  • The   proposed development is for a high density development that is out of keeping   with the remainder of the village and will lead to further unsustainable   demand for primary school places at the already over subscribed village   school.

DLP_6366
DLP_6377

Jessica Williams
Emma Williams

Object

TWBC: the following comment was submitted by the responders on the left:

I too would like to add my objections to the TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Along with the majority of people who live in Speldhurst, I fully support the letter below. Please acknowledge that you have read these objections and confirm to me that my complaint has been registered.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

DLP_6379

Alex Pinard

Object

I would like to object to the TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Along with several people who live in Speldhurst, I fully support the letter below. Please acknowledge that you have read these objections and confirm to me that my complaint has been registered.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

DLP_6382

Jacqui Williams

Object

I am writing to object in the strongest way possible to TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.
EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

I look forward to hearing from you and would be grateful if you could confirm that my complaint has been registered.

DLP_6387

Finlay Fuller

Object

I too would like to add my objections to the TWBC’s proposal to build up to 20 dwellings in Speldhurst Kent, Site 231, AL/SP1; Policy STR/SP1. Along with the majority of people who live in Speldhurst, I fully support the letter below. Please acknowledge that you have read these objections and confirm to me that my complaint has been registered.

My objections are as follows:

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT

A main issue of concern raised within the village is road traffic and as a result, the speed limit has been reduced from 30mph to 20mph. However, unfortunately this has now caused further problems of speeding and dangerous overtaking by wreckless drivers. On many occasions, we have nearly had head-on collisions with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road as we pull out of our drive. The Speldhurst/Langton Green road is a rat-run and as such, creating access to further housing development on the boundary of the village will be an accident waiting to happen.

In addition, current building policy states that only one parking space per dwelling needs to be allocated, so where will additional cars be parked given that most households now own two cars? Inevitable they will park on the main access road with its dangerous blind bend, or in Ferbies which already takes a substantial amount of school parking and residential overflow.

We already have daily chaos at school drop off and pick up – on many occasions we are unable to either exit or enter our drive – this proposed development will only add to congestion, dangerous parking and air pollution.

NPPF 138 states that where it is necessary to release Greenbelt land it should give first consideration to land which has previously been developed and is well served by public transport. The buses only run every two hours, (not half hourly as stated in the plan), and the first bus is too late for commuters as well as the last bus being too early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus.

Children already have to stand on school allocated bus routes and there are no cycle paths. Parking and commuter trains into London from Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hildenborough are at a premium, expensive and oversubscribed therefore making this site not sustainable.

ENVIRONMENT

Speldhurst is a rural village that sits within the Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The loss of this buffer field could result in urban sprawl to Langton Green. These dwellings would not contribute to the infrastructure of our small village and would open the door to future ribbon development on Greenbelt land. There are alternative brown field sites and windfall sites that would be better suited to development.

A major concern of the residents as stated in Speldhurst Paris Plan 2016 and highlighted by Speldhurst Parish Council, was the importance of protecting our countryside, preserving village space and village identity. Development of this site would have a major impact on light pollution and biodiversity. Our Parish Plan stated that over 58% of households felt that maintaining green space and rural environment should have greater priority than building more homes and just 5% consider building more homes should be the priority.

Our Parish Council promised us that they would not approve the outward extension of the built up areas of our village nor encroach onto Greenbelt/AONB. It stated that it would not consider un-neighbourly development that requires unsuitable access, reduces the privacy of adjoining properties or is inconsistent with the character of the locality …. All of which building on Site 231 will do.

TWBC, like Sevenoaks BC, should refuse to use Greenbelt to meet Government alleged housing needs.

This development will not enhance the natural environment nor improve biodiversity as stated in the sustainable development objectives in NPPF policy 2019,7.

EDUCATION

Speldhurst Primary School, rated Outstanding, has been oversubscribed at entry level for many years, and continues to be so. It has recently expanded its year group entry from 20 to 30 – it is not able to expand further. It is now at full capacity and oversubscribed at entry level. Therefore there is not sufficient choice of school places available to meet the needs of the existing community, let alone any future development in the vicinity.

Paragraph 136 of the NPPF is clear that Greenbelt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstance are fully evidenced and justified. My objections clearly demonstrate that this is not the case.

Site 231 is a Green Field, Greenbelt site and AONB making it an inappropriate and unsustainable site for development.

I look forward to hearing from you.

DLP_6939

Tina Arnold

Object

This land is an agricultural field in area of AONB and Greenbelt. The analysis carries out by SHELAA notes the following:

The education objective scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand. The equality objective scores negative because selective education choices are easier to access than non selective, and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons. Land use score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of the green belt, green field land and underlying soils. Bus services from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking. Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight path for Gatwick airport. The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within the AONB. The scale is in keeping with the existing settlement but sensitive design will be necessary.

Taking each of these statements on order:

EDUCATION – Speldhurst School was enlarged last year to increase entry from 20 to 30 pupils per year. The entry level years are still oversubscribed as noted in the SPC Parish Plan 2016. The school cannot expand again given the size of the site. Local residents already have great difficulty getting children into secondary schools due to distance issues.

NPPF

1. It is important that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities. Local planning authorities should take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement, and to development that will widen choice in education.

THERE IS NOT SUFFICIENT CHOICE OF SCHOOL PLACES HENCE THIS IS NOT A SUSTAINABLE SITE

AONB AND GREENBELT – NPPF policy 2019 states 7. Achieving sustainable development means that the planning system has three overarching objectives, which are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways (so that opportunities can be taken to secure net gains across each of the different objectives) and c) an environmental objective–to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment; including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity, using natural resources prudently, minimising waste and pollution, and mitigating and adapting to climate change, including moving to a low carbon economy. THIS DEVELOPEMENT WILL NOT ENHANCE THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OR IMPROVE BIODIVERSITY.

133. Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified, through the preparation or updating of plans

138. When drawing up or reviewing Green Belt boundaries, the need to promote sustainable patterns of development should be taken into account.

143. Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances.

When considering any planning application, local planning authorities should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt. ‘Very special circumstances’ will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm resulting from the proposal, is clearly outweighed by other considerations

THIS FIELD IS GREEN BELT AND INDICATES THE END OF THE VILLAGE ENVELOPE. DEVELOPINGTHIS SITE WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO MORE RIBBON DEVELOPEMNT WHICH WILL CAUSE THE VILLAGE TO LOSE ITS RURAL NATURE AND EVENTUALLY MERGE INTO LANGTON GREEN WHICH IS AN URBAN SITE.

TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The plan says there is a bus that goes 1 / 2 hourly. The bus is only every 2 hours and would not be suitable for commuters as the first starts too late and the last bus finished early. There is no evening service and no Sunday bus. Look at NPPF 102 Transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals

There are no cycle paths. The Parish council explored trying to set up cycle routes but could not succeed due to private ownership of land areas making this process unworkable.

The site is therefore not sustainable due to lack of transport. This would be contrary to NPPF 138 Where it has been concluded that it is necessary to release Green Belt land for development, plans should give first consideration to land which has been previously-developed and/or is well-served by public transport.

Also your own analysis acknowledges inadequate transport links:

Sustainability Assessment: The education objective scores slightly negative because the existing primary is in high demand. The equality objective scores negative because selective education choices are easier to access than non selective, and the distance of the site to Speldhurst facilities may disadvantage disabled persons. Land use score reflects the harm that would be caused by loss of the green belt, green field land and underlying soils. Bus services from Speldhurst are not regular and some services are lacking. Noise scores negatively because the site is within the main flight path for Gatwick airport. The site is in a sensitive, edge of settlement location within the AONB. The scale is in keeping with the existing settlement but sensitive design will be necessary.

Policy AL/SP 2: Land north of Langton House

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Object/support/support with conditions/general observation

Response

DLP_465

Paul Bartlett

Support

Policy AL/SP 2

I strongly support this safeguarding measure.

DLP_1650

Speldhurst Parish Council

 

AL/SP2– Land North of Langton Houses – safeguarding land for the school – SPC has no comments.

DLP_3363

Kent County Council (Growth, Environment and Transport)

Support

Highways and Transportation

The Local Highway Authority supports this policy.

Heritage Conservation

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

Some Mesolithic flints are recorded from this site and there may be further associated remains.

DLP_6807

Mr T Shields

General Observation

I am the freehold owner of this land. When submitted for consideration I proposed development of housing and new parking and play facilities for the school. I believe that such a proposal continues to make strategic sense.

Policy AL/SP 3: Land adjacent to Rusthall recreation ground, Southwood Road

Comment No.

Name/Organisation

Object/support/support with conditions/general observation

Response Field 1d - Please enter your comments in the box below. It would be helpful if you would state which Policy Number you are commenting on.

DLP_466

Paul Bartlett

Support

I strongly support this change of use.

DLP_2321

TWBC Property and Estates

TWBC

Support

AL/SP3

Suggest that the site allocation boundary follows the change of use approval 17/03403

https://twbcpa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/files/A2B57CBFED89842BEE532F59EC21CB2A/pdf/17_03403_FULL-Site_Location_Plan-3766358.pdf

DLP_1651

Speldhurst Parish Council

Object

AL/SP3– Land Adjacent to Rusthall Recreation Ground, Southwood Road – As previously advised, we still object to this allocation.

GENERAL POLICIES 

Transport and Parking:

TP2 – transport design and accessibility: there is no mention of retaining the character and safety of rural lanes.

TP3 – parking standards:  we assume Parking standards Zone C applies to this site?

EN6 – this is labelled twice on Appendix B.

DLP_3364

Kent County Council (Growth, Environment and Transport)

Support with conditions

Highways and Transportation

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

Paragraph 2 - “The provision of details for any additional on-site car parking, to include area for overspill parking

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 archaeological potential

DLP_5573

Rusthall Parish Council

Object

Rusthall is concerned about the development of 6 new football pitches on land from Jockey Farm. This land will be accessed from the car park at Southwood Road Playing Fields and will cause additional problems with congestion and parking in Rusthall High Street and Southwood Road which already are difficult to drive along and to find a parking space due to the amount of current traffic and parking.

Jockey Farm has been in the Rusbridge family since 1925 and operates a free range egg enterprise and a pedigree Sussex Beef Suckler herd. The land that you are looking at building the new football pitches on are surrounded on 2 sides by other fields that are in constant use by Jockey Farm and this will make it more difficult for the farm to continue to trade.

Also the fields in question can get waterlogged in the winter and the application https://twbcpa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OXPJTDTYMGA00

17/03403/FULL

No drainage measures have been included in the above application and if drainage was included this would mean that the standing water would be drained off onto another of Jockey Farm’s fields. Again this would mean that they would have less available land for their livestock.

The present changing rooms would be insufficient for the amount of pitches and do not have separate changing rooms for male and female players.

DLP_6124

Angela Funnell

Object

Site Ref 239 ( Local plan allocation AL/SP3) LAND ADJECENT TO  RUSTHALL RECREATION GROUNDS

In opposing this site please take the objections made on this planning application as detailed by the link below into consideration.

https://twbcpa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OXPJTDTYMGA00

Please also take my further objections concerning developing  on other playing fields around the borough and making one or two recreational hubs around the borough also attached into consideration.

Jockey farm has been in the Rusbridge family for many years. It is a family business as well as a family home. To compulsory purchase their land would have detrimental effect on their business. It is being strongly opposed by them, strongly opposed by both Speldhurst and Rusthall Parish council, and by Lib Dem Borough Councillor Dave Funnell as well as many residents of the villages.

Rusthall recreational grounds is at the bottom of an extremely narrow road where there is already insufficient parking and having this there will only cause more parking problems for the residents of the village

For very many years Rusthall has had problems with a congested high street, Rusthall does not have the infrastructure in place to cope with the volume of traffic that six new football pitches will bring

There is no vehicular access to the new football pitches except via Rusthall high street and Southwood Road. This will not only severely increase the congestion through Rusthall but especially down Southwood Road where the access will be via car thereby increasing pollution and decreasing the air quality. As it’s a road with cars parked all along either side and a road with many families with young children, a higher volume of traffic thereby increases risks of accidents.

On the fields in question drainage Is particularly poor and its possible that more land from the Rusbridge family would be needed to sort out the drainage. This is totally unacceptable.

All in all there are too many factors that make this site totally unacceptable to allocated for this use.

Please keep the remaining playing fields around the town as suggested and leave this site totally alone.