Tunbridge Wells have issued two call-for-sites (2016 & 2017) which were intended to identify land for development. These two activities brought forward 23 sites across our Parish for consideration for future development.
Although we have not issued a ‘Goudhurst only call-for-sites’ we have developed a set of Site Assessment Criteria to allow us to objectively review sites submitted in the TWBC process. Our own Site Assessment Criteria allows us to complete a consistent analysis of any sites now and in the future.
What are our criteria?
Our criteria only assess the land and its suitability of the land for development. There are no specific schemes (x houses or Y flats) proposed at this stage of the planning process. Any proposed scheme would need to comply with the policies in our plan as well as borough and national policy.
|Access for pedestrians
All of the sites submitted to the two TWBC Call-for-Sites requests have been assessed.
You are invited to one last workshop!
The neighbourhood plan is in final development and we need your help to work through the finer details of the plan before we publish our first draft in June.
If you have any thoughts of how you would like our communities to grow and change over the coming years or how we can overcome some of the issues and concerns raised in our community then please come along to the Parish Hall Goudhurst on the 28th April at 9:30.
The workshop will review our options for development within the Parish and also identify and finalise the list of projects and activities to be included in the final plan. These will range from improving or creating village amenities to addressing traffic congestion. This is a chance to get your project on the list.
We will also answer any questions you may have about how future development in other parishes and the borough might impact on our community.
So put the 28th April at 9:00 in your diary and join us for coffee in the Parish Hall before the meeting – make your opinion count.
We have just completed our Sustainability Analysis Scoping document and have sent it for review to a set of statutory consultees (Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency). This document is an important milestone for the team and forms part of the delivery required by planning legislation.
But what is a Sustainability Analysis Scoping document?
The document contains an overview of all of the evidence we have gathered over the last 15 months looking at the village from three perspectives:
- Social – Understand the impact of change on our Parish looking at services, our residents’ needs and issues etc. This covers topics such as deprivation, education, equality, health, housing and transport.
- Environmental – We live in a very special part of the country and our Parish has a number of unique features, habitats, and environments that need to be protected and enhanced. Here the topics were air quality, biodiversity, climate change, energy, heritage, land use, landscape, resources, waste and water.
- Economic – The Economic theme looks at business and economic development in the Parish and how the Neighbourhood Plan can support economic growth and jobs.
We analysed all of the data to identify which elements were relevant to our Parish and from that, we created a set of sustainability objectives, identifying areas that could be impacted by any future change.
The objectives (listed below) are aligned with specific topics. For each objective there are a list of guide questions. These questions will be applied to all options and proposals listed in out plan – ‘Does this option Reduce……..’ . Depending on the option under review answers will be yes, no or not relevant. The results are scored.
We will measure all proposals and options being considered for our Neighbourhood Plan against these objectives to gauge the the sustainability of any individual proposal. We will only include those proposals in our plan that can be demonstrated as sustainable.
High Level Objective
Guide questions – Does the NP…?
|1. Air||Reduce air pollution||
|2. Biodiversity||Protect and enhance biodiversity and the natural environment||
· Minimise pollution of all kinds
|3. Business Growth and employment||Encourage business growth and local employment||
|4. Climate Change & Energy||Reduce carbon footprint and adapt to predicted changes||
|5. Deprivation||Reduce poverty||
|6. Education||Improve educational attainment and enhance the skills base||
|7. Equality||Increase social mobility and inclusion||
|8. Health & Wellbeing||Improve health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities||
|9. Heritage||Preserve and enhance historical and cultural heritage assets||
|10. Housing||Provide sufficient housing to meet identified needs||
|11. Land use||Protect soils, and reuse previously developed land and buildings||
|12. Landscape||Protect and enhance landscape and townscape||
|13. Noise||Reduce noise pollution||
|14. Resources||Reduce the impact of resource consumption||
|15. Services & Facilities||Improve access to and range of services and facilities||
|16. Traffic||Reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety||
|17. Travel||Improve travel choice and reduce the need to travel by private vehicle||
|18. Waste||Reduce waste generation and disposal||
|19. Water||Manage flood risk and conserve, protect and enhance water resources||
In building our Neighbourhood Plan the first activity will be to create short and long term visions for our Parish and set out the overall objectives for the Neighbourhood plan.
Come along, help set the pattern for future development in the Parish and influence the direction and content of Neighbourhood plan.
This workshop will be held in Goudhurst Parish Hall on the 9th September starting at 9:00 am and finishing around 1:00 pm.
This will be an interactive session and will use the information gathered in the questionnaire to drive the meeting agenda.
- 9:00 – Registration & refreshments
- 9:15 – Welcome and Introductions
- 9:30 – How do we create a Neighbourhood Plan?
- 9:45 – NDP questionnaire – how do we use the results?
- 10:00 – Housing Needs Survey – what did it tell us?
- 10:15 – Build our vision – develop visions for our Parish
- 11:00 – Review ‘visions’ and give feedback
- 11:15 – Choosing our vision
- 11:30 – Refreshments
- 11:45 – Setting our Objectives
- 12:15 – Review objectives and feedback
- 12:30 – Q&A
- 12:50 – Sum-up and next steps.
The results will be published on the website and in posters around the village.
This will be followed by three further workshops:
- Housing and Design – 23rd September Goudhurst Parish Hall
- Traffic and Economy – 7th October Kilndown Village Hall
- Landscape and Community – 21st October Kilndown Village Hall
You will have completed the questionnaire and now it is time to use the information we gathered to develop our Neighbourhood Plan.
We are hosting four public workshops in September and October which will use the questionnaire data and the evidence we have gathered so far to develop the key components of our plan.
This is your chance to directly influence the direction and content of Goudhurst Neighbourhood plan. The workshops will run from 9:00 to 13:00 on each day. The workshops will be interactive and the output produced in each session will be included in our final plan.
- Vision and Objectives – 9th September – This session is the starting point for the overall process and will create both a short and long term vision for the Parish setting the objectives of our Neighbourhood plan. The meeting will be held in Goudhurst Parish Hall.
- Housing and Design – 23rd September – Housing is one of the most important areas for the Neighbourhood Plan and a large amount of our efforts will be focused on developing design and development policies, the types of housing we need in Goudhurst, identifying sites and managing change in the community over the next 15 years. The meeting will be held in Goudhurst Parish Hall.
- Traffic and Economy – 7th October – Traffic is an important issue across the Parish and this session will look what how we might address the issues raised in the Questionnaire. The workshop will look at policy areas to manage development and will identify projects and activities that we can deliver as a community to improve traffic. This workshop will be held in Kilndown Village Hall.
- Landscape and Community – 21st October – The questionnaire responses show that as a Parish our Landscape and Community is an extremely important part of life in Goudhurst. The things we value, the facilities we use and our concerns all contribute to our overall quality of life. By registering for this workshop you are helping to ensure that our heritage remains an important part of our future. This workshop will be held in Kilndown Village Hall.
We would like to have some idea of the numbers and, if possible, we would like you register you interest so we can get a sense of numbers attending each session. You can register for each of the workshops by completing the format the bottom of this page or by reserving your places on the lists at Burgess Stores or the Quarry Centre.
The results of each session will be published following the workshops.
There were four questions which related to the landscape.
- 31 – How important to you is the preservation of the existing landscape?
- 32 – How important is it to you that Green Spaces within the Parish should be kept for community enjoyment/recreation and be immune from future housing development?
- 33 – How important is it to you that Historic Buildings and Sites across the Parish are protected from future housing development?
- 34 – Most of the Parish is within the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), which is currently protected from development. How important is it to you that the AONB continues to be protected?
All questions related to the AONB, Green Spaces, our Landscape and our Historic Buildings received over 90% positive(very or fairly important) support. Perhaps, and not unsurprisingly, the things we value most in our hilltop settlements are the views we have both from and to the surrounding countryside.
The community questions centred around what we value in our community, the facilities that we use and our concerns.
What we value
The three things we value most reflect the quality of life in the Parish with a Sense of Community, Views, Rural Living and a Safe Environment topping the list.
What we Use
When it came to facilities the Post Office, Village Shops and Footpaths & Bridleways were the most frequently used each month.
What needs to improve
Your three immediate priorities were public recycling, phone coverage and broadband.
These are quite different from your long-term vision of what is needed in our community where the focus is around community and environmental objectives.
Our first question asked whether our roads are adequate for the vehicles using them? 82% felt the roads are not adequate for the current volume of traffic.
Subsequent questions established an almost universal concern around the number and size of HGV’s travelling through the parish.
Again, when it came to traffic problems, the size of vehicles also topped our list of concerns.
We confirmed anecdotal evidence that people feel that the roads in our communities are generally unsafe for walking, cycling or riding.
We asked ‘Which road causes you most concern?’ and you overwhelmingly chose Goudhurst village as the number one problem.
A number of options to improve traffic safety were included in the Questionnaire and responses to these show that Speed Limits were seen as potentially the most beneficial. These options, along with other ideas, will need to be tested in the autumn workshops.
Questions around Bus usage shows that local bus services are used by only 18% of responders with those under 30 more dependent in bus services.